Sunday, October 08, 2006

We're not coming!

It was about 11pm on Thursday night when the activation phone rang and I answered it.

"Hello, do you know Ethel Smith?*" asked the dispatcher.
"Oh God!" I moaned. "What's she rung up for this time? Don't tell me, she's fallen with ?injuries."

My crewmate paused in the act of picking up the ambulance keys. Ethel is one of our regular callers. We're pretty suspicious of her calls on our station. We're usually sent to Ethel for "Fall ? Injury", but when we get there it ends up being something completely different. The last time a crew went to her, the real reason turned out to be because her commode was too far away from her bed and she wanted it moving closer. The time before that was because she thought her house was haunted. Other reasons include a lightbulb had blown and the TV remote didn't work.

"Er nooo, it's because she's too hot and wants her radiator turning off," said the dispatcher.
"You what?! You're not sending us on it are you?"
"No, I went down to the call-taker while the call was still in progress and told her I had no intention of sending an ambulance to turn off a radiator. I wanted to let you know because I gather you're collecting a list of the times she calls and what for."
"That's great, thanks."

When we get persistant regular callers who are blatantly misusing the service, we begin to collate evidence so we can do something about stopping them calling. We get regular callers who have genuine reasons for calling, and we do all we can to help them. It's the time-wasters we want to get rid of for obvious reasons.

On this occasion, she slipped up and told the call taker the real reason for calling, and the allocator refused to send.

If only she'd slip up like that more often....

* Not the patient's real name.


Blogger Beaker said...

I was working your desk for that call!!!! I was the radio relief!!

10:43 pm  
Blogger Spike said...

Barmy caller.

10:28 am  

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