Ambulance Service Abuse…!!!

March 10, 2007

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Paramedic Motorcycle Unit 

The United Kingdom Ambulance Services are receiving, on average, an increase in calls of 6% year on year. This is due in part to the GP Out of Hours call system where we are being called upon by patients who cannot contact their GP. The Ambulance Service in this country has transformed over the years from a “transport” medium to a professional organisation in its own right. To some extent I think we are a victim of our own success as we take on more and more roles and responsibilities.

But, and I think this is more important, the general public need educating about the 999 system and some sort of fiscal penalty be put in place for the obvious abusers of the service. I have attended many calls where the caller has apologised for ringing us but they did not know what to do….a call “with good intent” is fair enough. Its the drink related calls and the blindingly obvious piss takes that annoy me. For instance…being called to a middle aged woman with “head pain”  who upon our arrival stated that she only wanted us to …”open the aspirin bottle as she could not do it!” (child proof top!)

Our colleagues in the Yorkshire Ambulance Service have reported the problems of inappropriate calls numerous times as has happened nationwide…and yet it still goes on! A news report highlights the problem with a video and actual recording of some of the types of calls experienced in Yorkshire.

Ask any member of the Ambulance Service in the U.K. (and probably Worldwide) what daft calls they have been to and you will hear things that will make you believe in bringing back the stocks and/or the birch! Such as the lady who dialled 999 as she could not reach her remote control for the T.V. or the man who wanted a light bulb changing, the man who wanted his trousers pulling up, the woman who dialled 999 as she was late for a dental appointment, the man who called for an ambulance as he had missed his train and he pays his taxes!!! The list goes on and on!!!

See and listen to some actual calls from “reasonably average intelligent adults?”


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