Reasons to be Cheerful…!!!

Just thought I’d have a bit of a whinge and at the same time explain why there has been a sparsity of posts. Work has increased due to targets and ‘call connect’ so that when I walk into the station the first job is given bang on the hour (there are always emergencies outstanding at the start and end of shifts which I’ll explain why in a bit).

It is absolutely relentless and we are lucky to get a break (unless we opt out of the AVP which I can’t do for operational reasons and my own opinions on that issue ). All resources are being thrown at achieving ORCON with no regards for the crews on the road. In all my years in the service I have never known so many staff going off sick with stress, exhaustion, immunocompromised conditions or just to simply to get away.

On top of the relentless calls we have management chasing us to turn round quicker and be available for more jobs. At the end of the day we are a demand driven service and the public need us in times of illness or injury…but…we are getting sent to more and more and more and more and more (you get the picture) and more crap!!!!!!!!

The Ambulance Service is supposed to be for life threatening or serious emergencies and we should be sending the right response to the right patient at the right time…..but we are not!!! We are responding to everything as though it was life threatening due to stupid f*****g targets and the only way we can protect ourselves is to time the last job so we clear at the hospital dead on the hour of finishing. This still means we are late off due to travelling back to station.

Where at one time in the service if we got called to a stupid job it would be one of a few in a 24 hour period…now it seems we are being called to 99% stupid jobs and the real emergencies are the ones that end up having to wait for an available crew!!! Over the past months I have been late off every single shift. No crew or RRV dare call clear with even just one minute to go to the end of the shift as it is guaranteed they will get a job. We seem to be forced into enforced overtime when all we want is proper breaks and getting off on time! Not much to ask is it?

Examples of recent calls I’ve been sent to: electric wheelchair with a flat battery…abdo pain (for twenty years and decided to get it checked at 4am)…broken finger nail…a cold sore…infected navel due to piercing…tired…a sneeze (yes a single sneeze!!!) And they all got a blue light response because of the absurdity of  the ‘call connect’ system.

Got to stop now as I can feel myself getting fired up!!!!! Take care out there.

So you can appreciate why I am so knackered and finding it hard to post at the moment….(nb. not looking for sympathy just thought I’d let you know I’m still here…just!!!)

22 Responses to Reasons to be Cheerful…!!!

  1. Bendy Girl says:

    That all sounds pretty crap big bro, hope you and your family are surviving it somehow!
    BG Xx

  2. piratedani says:

    I know you been having a hell of a time recently. Hate to say it, but it doesn’t sound as if its gonna get any better any time soon either.
    Its nice to hear from you though. Stay safe

  3. Eric says:

    You’re spot on about the “off-job”. But this last 2 weeks we are being chased for our breaks, to the point of stupidity, and the overtime on the ambo’s has all but gone, while all the budget goes on overtime for the FRUs. This means that on the ambo’s you’re run ragged, for what will be a smaller pay-packet.
    I hope the suits and our”representatives” understand how low the moral has fallen.
    Keep posting mate.

  4. tom gane says:

    Please keep posting.

    When I joined we had a rolling eight shift pattern, with few crap calls, but we had to accept that we could be required to work operational overtime.

    We could request to be ‘off on time’ but as a rule -in the abscence of crap calls- we would be back at the station, and booking off in preperation of going home or to our ‘second job’.

    It’s some years since I left the service, and I despair about the changes the Ambulance Service has undergone in order to meet the unreasonable demand of a cossetted nation. It’s madness..

    Bless, keep going.

  5. Stonehead says:

    Good to have you back, even if the circumstances aren’t ideal. Keep your chin up and remember you (and your colleagures) do have supporters out here.

  6. Stonehead says:

    Argh! The spelling gremlin struck.

  7. Rach says:

    Good to hear your still here.

    I believed with all the press and advertising your workload would start to decrease.

    Obviously this doesn’t stop the “we pay our taxes so we are entitled”…it’s bollox mate…thinking of you..xx

  8. I know it may not be of much comfort, but your counterparts in NYC suffer a lot of the same things, so you’re in good company.

    BTW, I stole that pic, it was great.

  9. AnneDroid says:

    That sounds awful. Poor you. And your colleagues. That looks like a system which will backfire in terms of lost staff (sick and permanent through giving up altogether). Hopefully then they’ll undo what’s been done.

    I remember being in a work situation (the then D.H.S.S.) where every time we thought we couldn’t cope with any more we’d be given more. When we asked when we were supposed to do it, we were told “in your marginal time”. The only marginal time we had was between taking our coats off and sitting down at our desk.

  10. Keep posting, remember, its therapy…..

    I can’t remember which trust you work for, but its the same here too and its rubbish!

    Its almost as if the Management (and some of the public too) have forgotten about the pink squishy things that work on these ambulances to treat people, yes, they are humans too you know!

  11. kingmagic says:

    BG…big sis. Surviving it so far.

    piratedani…theres light at the end of the tunnel (either that or its a train coming!!!) Hope you are well?

    Eric…we seem to have more ‘suits’ than shop floor staff!

    tom gane…’cossetted nation’ good description. We need to spend money on educating the public…and our managers.

    Stonehead…thanks Stoney.

    Rach…workload seems to be increasing daily with crews decreasing at same time! And the service is going into ‘arse covering’ exercises big time.

    Mr. Nighttime…dont say ‘stolen’ just say ‘borrowed on a permanent basis.’

    AnneDroid…we have a situation where training is virtually non-exsistant (continuation training/updates etc) and we are expected to do it all in our own time.

    Paramedic Blogger…its therapy like ECT (electro convulsive therapy) at the moment I think. Lots of stuff going on and not enough time to do it!

  12. tparkar says:

    bad news im afraid I cant offer you much hope ,I had someone ask me the number for an ambulance.They have been in this country for 40 odd years .Good luck .By the way I would like to use an image from your site if thats ok

  13. steve says:

    Agree with all is said bro, you must work for EEAS same sh*t day and night, really gets to you, talk about workplace stress leading to depression, I think I’m on my way…. Only way to get time off

  14. ECParamedic says:

    Hey, long time no post KM. Hope you are doing well and feeling a bit more positive than in your last post.

  15. manchesteregg says:

    hey just found your blog its ace I am a rrv/fru driver in nwas and can say us in manchester have been battered more and more over the years and i agree with everything in this post christmas day i ended running a total of 370 miles in a 12 hour shift all over the shop and the only job that really needed me was a 7oyom who was having a stemi and still had to wait for 45 mins for a vehicle its becoming the norm to not expect a vehicle arrrrrrrghhhh think might start my own blog and share the experience for example 3 wk hx of headache seen gp at the start took pain releif on the first day then not bothered since decided he had a temp (might be the three jackets two duvets and the fact your lay on the radiator) call me cynical but did this warrant a cat a response

  16. kingmagic says:

    manchesteregg…thanks for your comments. I will be posting more stuff soon….just need to find the time and double, double, double (treble?) check that it will be untraceable and anonymous. Something to bear in mind if you start your own blog! (The service will be looking for any excuse to bin people due to cutbacks etc!)
    We need to educate the public, and GPs, when and what to call an ambo for….fairly recent 999 call I went to on blues & twos resulted in the woman caller wanting advice on moving to a council bungalow! An absolute waste of time but ended up with us doing all the non transport paperwork (30-45 mins)which made us unavailable for the best part of an hour because the service will jump on us if we dont do the paperwork properly!!!
    Still the best job in the world and also the worst at times all rolled into one.
    It would be even better if the public wised up and the management supported us rather than conducting witch hunts at the slightest error.

  17. Purpleplus, thanks for the return reply. I look forward to reading more and more of your stuff nice to see same stuff different area really. Well your inspiration has gone far as now I have started who knows where it will end if your interested here is the link feel free to pass comment and give pointers look forward to your comments
    Manchester egg

  18. I blame the civilisation of the control room. When we had ambulance staff working in there they would filter out these non urgent calls. Now they are just call takers who rely on the ProQA screen to determine what priority to gove the job.

  19. Amanda Walters says:


    I hope you don’t mind me contacting you, but I wondered if you were currently accepting guest blog posts?

    I am an experienced writer and graphic designer with a passion for UK healthcare and careers, and would love to send a post over to you.

    Would this be of interest?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,

    Amanda Walters

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