Selfishness and/or Ignorance…!?!?!?

April 1, 2009


This report on a woman blocking in an Ambulance on an emergency call prompted me to relate some of the things I have personally had to endure. The gentleman in the report died of a heart attack whilst his neighbour blocked the ambulance in. She was fined £5oo!

In my job most of the time people do get out of our way and will make reasonable efforts to help us. But, and this is getting worse, more and more seem to be in their own little world where everybody else is not to be considered. I have to contend with idiots who will not pull over to let us past when on ‘Blues & Twos’ and with drunks who get in the way of us treating  patients who havebeen assaulted.

A Good Public Information Film

(Although I cant understand why the Paramedic is being treated by a Fireman and then put into a fire engine?)

I had the not so nice experience of being shouted at and sworn at by a taxi driver to get my ambulance out of the way whilst I and my crew mate were doing CPR on a patient in a house! Only when the taxi driver actually walked in to the house to continue his verbal attack on us did he realise what we were doing…and he still then walked off muttering and grumbling!!! 

We are now covered by the  ‘Emergency Workers Obstruction Act 2006’  which gives us some protection but until people start getting prosecuted and it gets made public we are still going to see an increase in this sort of behaviour. As I said earlier most of the time people are good…but it is noticeable that more and more are becoming less tolerant towards us. Is that as a result of the culture we are now living in? This country is becoming increasingly more and more angry and frustrated. This leads to more assaults on us…and sooner, rather than later, one of us will be killed!

But that will be okay…just so long as the taxi driver gets to his next job, or the woman gets to walk her dogs, or the car being driven by the businessman is not delayed, or the customer can get his newspaper whilst we continue CPR on the floor of the newsagents, or the middle aged man can reach over us and get his tin of beans off the shelf in the supermarket whilst again we are doing CPR on a patient!!!

Another Good Public Information film (we don’t see enough of them)

We need more patience from people but that has to be thrust into some peoples faces…just to make them take notice! By that I mean we need more prosecutions and more education. Just to reinforce the selfishness and ignorance of some people that we come across…I was actively resuscitating a baby in my arms trying to get past the crowd of people in the A/E department but was hindered by a couple who were complaining of having to wait so long to see a doctor! They could see me struggling to get past them whilst performing mouth to mouth and nose on the baby! Luckily another member of the public dragged them out of the way!

I would like to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to deal with this and if you have come across this culture of selfishness yourself?