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Around the world, our 250 000 employees in AccorHotels brand hotels share the same dedication to customer service.

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Meet our staff!

Meet our staff!

At 47 years of age, each night David Nicoll manages the Mercure Daventry Court hotel and spa in the heart of the Midlands (UK). Ensuring the well-being of his guests comes naturally to this night manager, who brings the same enthusiasm to his work with the local emergency ambulance service. In everything he does, he is committed to serving others.

How do you view your job as night manager at the Mercure Daventry Court hotel and spa?

It's still quite a new experience for me as I took up this post in the AccorHotels group in November 2015. But I've been in the hotel business for a long while, considering my first student job in a hotel on the west coast of Wales way back in 1988! I love working at night because of the special atmosphere, the direct contact with guests and also because we're a small team. We all know one another well and enjoy working together.


This notion of "community" has also been central to your work as an emergency first responder over the last eight months…

Yes, it's the same thing to some extent. In a hotel, you never know what sort of guests will be coming through the door next or what their expectations are. With emergency first response work, you never know what sort of situation you'll find when you reach the scene. In both cases, it's important to be polite and respectful in all circumstances and above all to have a positive attitude when dealing with people. I believe that that when you really try to improve people’s lives, you can make all the difference.


In practice, what does your work as an emergency first responder actually involve?

When people phone the emergency service and an ambulance needs to be sent, sometimes it’s a long time before help arrives on the scene. Two or three minutes can sometimes make a difference when it comes to saving a person who's having a heart attack. For this reason, the dispatcher calls in the nearest first responder, who heads to the scene and begins treating the patient.


How do you proceed?

I've been trained, and I always keep a first aid kit stored in the boot of my car. In a backpack, I have an oxygen tent with different types of masks, a defibrillator and so on. The goal is to be able to get the treatment chain started before the ambulance arrives and before the transfer to hospital. You don't only need to be able to draw upon technical and medical skills but also to be able to provide emergency care under pressure. If you find yourself dealing with a heart attack for example, the family are often very upset and even aggressive because they don't understand what's happening. You therefore need to be able to stay focused, and to treat the victim while at the same time reassuring their loved ones.


Sometimes you find yourself faced with tragic circumstances which are difficult to bear.

Heart-attack situations are the most tricky to stabilise. Over the last seven months, I've encountered eleven such cases. When we manage to revive someone, it's a fantastic feeling. And when we can't, despite our best efforts, it can be difficult, but we're accustomed to this. I experienced that situation personally when my younger brother died in a motorbike accident sixteen years ago. Having experienced that helps me now.


Was it this tragedy which led you to become a first responder?

Not directly. On the other hand, my son, who's 15 years old now, had cancer, which required extensive treatment. We received a great deal of support from the local hospital and our community. At one point, he almost died, and had to be transferred urgently to one of the largest children's hospitals in the country. When the emergency crew arrived at the house, there were only about four to five minutes to spare! That day, I really understood what it meant to have the power to help your community.


How do you succeed in juggling this responsibility as an emergency first responder and your duties as a night manager?

I'm a first responder during my spare time and above all I'm free to contact the department to let them know if I'm available or not. If I am, then my telephone could ring at any time and I need to be ready to leave immediately. Sometimes I receive a lot of calls, while at other times it's quieter. In all, I devote between 120 and140 hours per month to it and I've assisted 88 patients.


Are your medical skills also of use at work?

Yes, everyone knows that I'm a first responder, but the only time a guest called the emergency services I wasn't on duty (laughs)! It was another of my colleagues, also a first responder, who handled the case and everything turned out well. Ultimately, when an incident ends well we feel the same personal satisfaction as when guests leave the hotel having thoroughly enjoyed their stay.

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