Ambulance tech ignores 999 call

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Crue-K, Nov 2, 2010.

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  1. Crue-K

    Crue-K Well-Known Member

    This story took my eye as I used to leave nearby. A woman in her 30's was having heart problems and not able to breathe so her partner called 999 for an amulance. The ambulance tech chose not to attend as he was on his tea break. The woman subsequently died. We all know that the work of the emergency services is hard and pressurised (even the fascist police), but this is just so outrageous. Apparently ambulance workers have as part of their working conditions the right to ignore calls if it interferes with their allocated breaks.
  2. Axiom

    Axiom Account Closed

    It has to be that every phone is manned at all times.
    I assume they might have a lack of funding to man all the phones, but with what funding they do have, there can't be any room for a break operation for those active phone lines.

    Sigh.. I wonder if he ignored it or couldnt hear it. It's one thing to leave your station and miss the calls, it's another to sit there drinking your coffee and knowning your phone is ringing. And by phone I mean gateway to some dire situations where people need the help of the emergency services.

  3. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Hold on, aren't there 2-3 EMTs per ambulance? Where are the others in all this?
  4. Abacus21

    Abacus21 Staff Alumni

    I've got some vague notion of this as I read a lot of medical / UK based paramedic blogs. The rules go, I believe, that all front line medical staff (paramedics, EMTs) have the right to have a 30 minute uninterrupted break. They work 12 hrs straight shifts, generally. Only 30 mins to have food, visit the loo and so on. Not to say they don't do at other times, e.g. when booking a patient in at hospital - but this 30 minutes is the only free bit of time they get all shift, legally, to themselves.

    That said, the general consensus is, that if it's a serious call, every paramedic / EMT worth their salt would drop everything and go, but they don't have to - they're not legally obliged to. That's the crux of the issue.

    While ambulances are always crewed with two folks, there are also Fast Response Units, which are generally cars and as such single-manned.

    To have a look at an insider's perspective, look at this blog by an EMT for the London Ambulance Service about rest breaks: click, Puts a different spin on things, rather than the media...
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