Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Taking Calls The Old Fashioned Way

I've said it on here before, but I really quite enjoy it when the MDT system crashes or is taken off-line for maintenance, even though it is a bloody nightmare for those who work in control.

Yesterday started with the MDT's apparently off-line for maintenance, although I suspect there was more to it than that, because they were down for far longer than usual. The maintenance is usually done between 4am and 6am - probably because that's when the call-rate is usually at it lowest, but yesterday it was down until lunchtime.

Listening to crews green up reminded me how many staff have started on the road since the MDTs came in to use. There were rather nervous voices clearly not sure of what they should be saying. The way it should be done, is you press a button on the radio which highlights your callsign on the screen in control and adds it to the list of crews wanting attention. When the radio-op acknowledges and tells you to "go ahead", you tell them you're "Green at [hospital]* on scene at [scenetime]*", unless it was a doctor's urgent, in which case you just need to say your green at [hospital].

There is usually a short pause while they look to see if there's another call for you, then they either tell you to "return" or give you another call.

Yesterday it was more like "Y123, we're green at hospital and we've started returning."

Trainees already on the road tell me that their radio training consists of a couple of hours messing around with handsets that are crap and don't work very well. This has made me determined that when I'm TSing, I will make sure the recruits know how to take a call "the old fashioned way", and what to say when they green up afterwards.

* Insert hospital name and the time arrived on scene here


Anonymous Stuart M said...

Lol, perhaps we should send them on the recently released new comms courses within SJA...

Dosen't surprise me though hearing some of the comms from SJA members that work for the NHS...

SJA comms always sound so much more professional...

3:57 am  
Blogger Beaker said...

That would be most helpful coz those of us in control who are new to the old way of working (if you know what I mean) also have to learn what to do. If the road staff do it properly it makes our job a lot easier

8:36 pm  

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