Meet Sam Lambeth, Service Engineer

Clean medical air for operating theatres and hospital beds is crucial for patients’ safety. As a Service Engineer in BeaconMedæs, a leading brand in design, supply and installation of medical gas systems, Sam Lambeth plays a vital role in the service of these systems in the UK

Medical gases such as oxygen and nitrous oxide, are essential in many healthcare facilities in the world. Sam Lambeth is someone who knows how to react in case of medical gas emergencies. When and if that happens, patients’ lives can be at stake and time is critical. Making the right actions and performing under pressure is key.

Sam’s journey in the Atlas Copco Group started in 2016. His brother, who worked at the company at the time, made him aware of an open position as a Trainee in BeaconMedæs.

“I have my background in retail sales but was interested in a change. I really wanted to work more with my hands, fixing things. After two interviews, I was given the opportunity to start my journey in the company as a Trainee. Five years later, and I’m still in here but in a different role, time has gone by so quickly,” Sam says.

service engineer atlas copco group

Sam Lambeth, Service Engineer

Today Sam covers an extensive area in the region around Staveley in the UK, supporting both public and private hospitals as well as other healthcare providers. Some of the daily activities in his job include assisting customers with service of medical air and vacuum systems, changing manifolds, checking monitoring equipment and pipeline components. The role entails preventative plants maintenance jobs and emergency service, whenever needed.

“I’m constantly in contact with and provide support to state engineers in hospitals. I’m in the wards talking to nurses and managers, I’m in medical gas plant rooms or in operating theaters fixing oxygen leaks whenever needed. Many of the jobs I do are quite big, in the sense that I’m on site for about a month. But overall, in service you are constantly on the move and plan your routes to customers’ sites,” Sam explains.

He emphasizes the support he receives from colleagues in the office who help with everything from quotes for spare parts to technical support. “We are so spread out as service technicians, but my team is always there to help me, at the other end of the phone.” he says and mentions the importance of having a solutions-oriented mindset and how valuable it is working as a team.

“With this job you’re constantly thinking about different scenario’s you might experience in the field. If a compressor is faulty, you think “do I have the correct spare parts?" or, “what if the other one breaks?". You’re always thinking about different ways of improving things or getting the job done in the most efficient way. In the medical industry, equipment is critical. It’s about lives so there’s much at stake and the equipment needs to work at all times,” Sam says. 

The most rewarding part of the job

“If I have an engineer on the other side of the phone saying, "We've got a problem in an operating theater", and I get there and fix it, that’s a great feeling. Helping in these kinds of situation always bring a smile on my face, “ Sam describes when asked about what brings him the most joy in his work.  

Covid-19 pandemic times were also extremely busy with plenty of installations of medical air systems, putting in new pipeline and equipment. “Within a week of lockdown, many hospitals had made enquiries asking, “How much oxygen can you supply to patients?”. At this point in time, many of us in the service teams were called to hospital sites where alarms were going off at low pressure. The demand for medical gases was higher than normal and there were many more patients using a lot more oxygen. Some, foremost older, systems couldn't cope with that, “ Sam says and explains that in a normal environment one wants the pressure to be around 4 bar. At this point in time and under these circumstances, the pressure went down to 3 bar, setting the alarms off in a lot of wards. “There was no actual problem in the system, it was merely the demand being much higher than under normal circumstances,” he says.

When asked about where he will be in five years, Sam mentions that moving into the sales side of the business would be interesting to pursue. Considering his know-how and understanding of how air platforms and medical gas systems work, and his numerous encounters with customers in the field, this might very well be what the future holds.   

Isabelle De Wolf, Manager of Engineering in the Medical Gas Solutions division

Meet Isabelle De Wolf

Manager of Engineering in the Medical Gas Solutions division in Belgium

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