Saturday, January 20, 2007


There's a new member of the control team. His name is Fred.

Fred is a computer that monitors all the FRUs and automatically sends Category A calls, or calls that it recognises as going to be category A, to the nearest available FRU.

Fred has a slight flaw though. He judges which car is nearest "as the crow flies", which means that as far as Fred is concerned, you're quite close to a call, when in reality, you're miles away from it, because we have to drive round buildings, find bridges to cross the river, and negotiate one way systems.

So the other night, I was activated to 14 calls. Only 6 of which I actually got to, because the others were just miles too far away, and I was cancelled. This meant that I spent more time driving around on blue lights than dealing with patients. This might not seem to be a problem, but I don't see why we should be running at faster than the speed limit, driving through red lights (even though we do it very carefully), putting ourselves and potentially other road users at risk.

Not only that, but the increased concentration levels required when driving on blue lights means that when we get cancelled, and Fred sends down another job straight away, and this happens three or four times on the trot, you can be driving for extended periods, meaning you're absolutely knackered by the time you do actually make it to a call and see the patient. All I can say is thank God none of my patients were suspended, cos I'm not sure I'd have had the energy left to do resus on anyone.

I've mentioned my concerns to one of the officers on my station, but it sounds like Fred's effectiveness won't be evaluated for at least another three months, so I'm now going to query all calls that are miles away to make sure they want me to go before I set off, only to be cancelled again.

So I apologise to the folks on the FRU desk, but safety comes first.


Blogger Iain MacBain - or maybe not!!?? said...

We use to get calls to jobs 50 miles away. As the crow flies it's 6 but unfortunatly the north sea gets in the way.

Local knowledge is essental for this job. Computers are not.

7:56 pm  
Blogger Ian said...

My Suggestion,

Shoot FRED..

9:48 am  
Anonymous Mark Myers said...

Fred also has a habit of ignoring any FRUs that are Green On Station or Away From Vehicle...

1:47 pm  

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