Friday, August 20, 2010


You're 10 years old and on holiday. Dad's sleeping on the sofa cos he's not been very well.

Then mum, uncle, aunty and gran start looking worried. Dad won't wake up.

They call an ambulance.

When it arrives, the paramedic has a look at dad.

You then hear him tell mum that dad has died.

Our job is shit sometimes....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A "London" Day

Today was full of jobs that reminded me of working in London.

We started with a run of the mill back pain. The lady had been doing some gardening, had bent over, and felt her back "go". When we arrived, she was on the kitchen floor, unable to move because of the pain. A community responder had already arrived (to "stop the clock") and was offering sympathetic words and making encouraging noises. A few whiffs of entonox later, and we had the patient on her feet, and out to the ambulance. We took her to hospital for further assessment and treatment.

The next job was given as a 20 year old girl, ?stroke. It turns out she had numbness on the right side of her face, right arm, and the sole of her right foot was numb. She was still able to walk about on it ok, and insisted on walking to the ambulance. We left her at hospital having a CT scan arranged.

Next, the poor patient of a crap doctor. Every area has a crap doctor, and in a rural service, it seems every village and small town has a crap doctor. This was a doctor's urgent into A&E for an elderly lady with an ankle injury. The doctor thought it was broken. We were half way there when control informed us the doctor had upgraded the call to an emergency and we were to run on blue lights. When we arrived, the poor lady with her broken ankle was walking happily off to go to the toilet. I don't know what sort of assessment the doctor did, but he/she certainly didn't think to ask if the patient could bear weight on it. I told her it was highly unlikely she'd done anything too drastic. Apparently the doctor had visited and had said something along the lines of "Oh, it looks like you've done something to that - I'll call an ambulance." The ankle was swollen, and at first I thought it was a sprain, but when I touched it, it was very warm, so I now think she had an infection. Unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to follow it up later.

We finished the day going to a 17 year old who'd taken an overdose of 15 paracetamol. It turns out she's doing a holiday job and the romances weren't what she thought they'd be.

All in all, a day of easy jobs, and all of them reminded me of the kind of calls I was missing in London. I know someone will comment that we only did four jobs, but we ran 15 - 30 miles for each one. Where I am now, the calls tend to be of a more genuine nature, apart from one in my first week here, which I shall write about at some point in the future - it's another crap doctor story...

Monday, August 09, 2010


I *may* have tested the siren while my crewmate was checking the oil. It was accidentally on purpose. He may have sworn at me.

Nee Naw

One of my friends who I met thanks to this blog has just posted her last blogpost

Suzi has inspired many people and helped even more to remain calm whilst doing something you never really get training for in life - making a 999 call for an ambulance. However, her bosses have seen fit to tell her to stop blogging. I won't go into details about why, but suffice to say their reasons are frankly complete bollocks.
Suzi has written some really useful posts, including Common beliefs held by the public about calling 999 along with What to expect when you make a 999 call for an ambulance and how the public often think time is being wasted with stupid questions

There are loads of others - why not visit the site if you've not seen it before? Have a flick through the archives - there are even a couple of cross-blog posts with me.

Good luck for the future Suzi, and I hope that one day, you'll be able to return to blogging.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

moved services

Ahh, there you are. I know I went quiet again, but it's because I've been moving ambulance services - not actually picking them up and shuffling them around, but rather moving from one to a different one. In order to ensure I maintain patient confidentiality, I will not be revealing which ambulance service I now work for.

I've been there 2 weeks now, and to be honest, it's not much different to London - we're still out all day, but doing less jobs because we have much longer running times to get to calls and also to hospitals. Management is pretty much the same - I've had to sort out my own passwords and other important things by myself. The best bit is I no longer work nights or weekends for the forseeable future - and it's doing me the power of good.

I've already identified one hospital that I don't want to be taken to if I'm ill - ever! I've also already been offered bank work at one of the neighbouring services. Seems there's a shortage of Paramedics everywhere - perhaps they should pay us more...