Friday, 25 July 2008

Wasting ambulance time

We hear a lot about wasting police time, hell just read David Copperfields marvellous book. Coppers' heads were nodding all round the country, including mine. I have never been so drunk that an ambulance has been called for me, I have never got an ambulance when a lift or a taxi has sufficed and I've sure as hell never hoax called any of the emergency services. Not like some of the people you read about here.

But in my professionnal life, I barely go a day without wasting their time. Our instructions are basically if someone we come into contact with is intoxicated/injured/ill in any way, call the ambulance. It covers my arse or should I say the arse of the MPS.

I come across drunks, whether called by members of the public, the ambulance or come across them direct. I then have to make a decision as to whether there's a chance if I leave them they're going to choke on their own vomit or they're going to waddle off happily and recover. Generally my rule is, if they can stand and insult me, they're probably the latter. I try and avoid calling the ambulance in this instance but when it comes to arresting a drunkard who's not being violent or disorderly, or palming them off to the ambulance to deal with them, the choice is simple. And I hate doing that. I wish they'd just wander off and be adult for a change.

Some people are assaulted and even though I can't SEE any injuries it doesn't mean they've got any. But sometimes, especially when heads are involved, we're more inclined to call the ambo. Arse covering you see. At least they're qualified to make the decision as to this person's condition.

If someone tells me they're ill or they feel a bit faint, I'm not going to refer them to their GP, what if its serious? Call the ambo down, they can sort that out, they've got the knowledge to refer them to their GP.

Now its not just us who are involved in arse covering. Take this example for the chain of arses being covered. A man is brought into custody who is of the age where he should be fit and well, has no previous medical history to speak of. He 'collapses', I don't think it's genuine, but we call an ambulance. Police arse covered. The ambulance turns up and they think he's faking, he can't tolerate an intubator which is a tell tale sign, but they can't get him to stop playing, so they decide to take him to hospital. Ambo arse covered. He's booked in at A&E and the handovers given. The nursing staff and doctor think he's putting it on, but they can't get enough consciousness to turf him out, so they admit him for obs overnight. Hospital arse covered. Of course the people who are with him throughout this whole chain of events are.... us! So chummy still wins cos he's wasted a lot of our time. But that I don't mind, we're used to our time being wasted. What I don't like is an ambulance with a crew of two men/women who can resucitate people from cardiac arrest dealing with my faking prisoner before taking up a bed in a hospital next to people with real medical issues who could be my dad or mum.

Now before I get a load of abuse from my best friends dressed in green I'd just like to point out that this isn't how it should be and I HATE calling the ambulance for people who don't deserve them. But at the end of the day, we all work for accountable organisations and this is the world we live in. Plus we get to see our best mates the ambulance service on a more regular basis :-)


Noddy said...


Up in Toy Town™ we are incredibly fortunate to (still) have a detox centre. It amazes me that nowhere else seems to have this facility.

Perhaps the combined weight of the LAS and MPS could push Boris to consider a similar move.



p.s. Any chance of a reciprocal Linky?

Noddy said...


kingmagic said...

Its the nature of the beast...we have to cover our arses because of their lack of social responsibility.

Hit them in the pocket with fines for wasting Police and NHS resources.

Or ban them from drinking for a week using some sort of ASBO.

Area Trace No Search said...

I want a detox centre.

I wonder if Santa would be kind this year?

PCSO Bloggs said...

I'm with kingmagic, hit 'em in the pocket.

PCSO Bloggs said...

I'm with kingmagic, hit 'em in the pocket.

PC Plastic Fuzz said...

Emailed you

Hogday said...

My wee lass worked in Ambo control room and it seemed that if Joe `the Schmo` Public wants, then ultimately it gets. Detox centres, yes. I rarely met a druggie who liked their lifestyle but could I ever get the poor buggers onto a detox/rehab programme?

Just found your blog via Noddy. Will follow.

Abigail said...

You don't like calling ambulances for people who don't "deserve" them. Should you not call ambulances for people who _need_ them?

Yes, I am a Guardian reader. Keep up the good work, Love.

Anonymous said...

I work in Ambo Control and I feel the same way when we HAVE to call MPS to attend RTCs that are no more than a 'fender bender' or people feeling depressed, or someone who was punched in the face 4 hours ago.