Transfers (And A Lack Of Source)

There is a problem with being sick off work when you are a 'work blogger' and that is that you will run out of interesting jobs to write about. You start looking at your shift pattern for the next couple of days hoping to eek out a few interesting posts before your seven day break. You might even consider overtime (if such a thing in the LAS existed at the moment) just in order to get some inspiration.

You also find that you have the urge to write about something, but about what you don't know. You are also aware that you don't want to dilute the 'brand' of your site with poems about puppies or some such.


The story of the crew who ended up getting a bit lost on a 30 mile journey (and I have no idea where Mascalls Park Hospital is either, so I may well have made the same mistake) made me think of the last transfer that I did. Our patient was 20 years old, she had taken alcohol, marijuana and 'unknown brown powder' with her boyfriend. She had then fallen asleep. A couple of hours later, still asleep, her flatmates moved her to bed. A couple of hours after that they realised that she wasn't waking up and called an ambulance.

I came on shift to be told about this job by my mate who I was taking over from. The hospital were running tests for everything, even seeking to rule out meningitis due to the patient's slight fever. Little did I know that later that evening I would be transferring her from our local to another London hospital.

The patient was intubated and we were accompanied by an anaesthetist, I've done transfers with her before and she's a good doctor to do transfers with, although she can get a little travel sick. So we packaged up the patient and headed towards the hospital. I knew where the hospital was, but I didn't know where the ward was located. I was driving and it is a good job that I knew where I was going as the GPS system sends you the wrong way – into a street that has no entrance to the hospital.

There is a problem, in that there are four or five buildings to this hospital and at night some of them are closed. So I went to where I normally go, but there were no signs with directions to the ward that I needed. I considered driving around, trying to look cool, while desperately searching for the ward but instead decided to call up Control and ask them.

Control called a local crew who gave me directions over the radio.

It's a good job I'm not a typical man who is afraid of asking for directions.

I remember thinking how sad it was that some brown powder, taken in the pursuit of happiness, could lay such a young person so low. A hell of a waste.


For something a little more fun, I'm on telly tomorrow. I was filmed some time ago for 'Imagine' and it goes on air at 10:35pm on Tuesday the 5th of December. You can follow this link to find out a bit more about the programme. I'm wondering if the bit with me in a revolving chair has been left on the cutting room floor.

13 thoughts on “Transfers (And A Lack Of Source)”

  1. Is it on YouTube? Anyone have a link yet?Tom/Brian, hope you are feeling better and that it's not a kidney stone. I had one once and it was the most painful experience of my life–and I'm a girl! I'd rather not imagine what it's like for men.

    Hugs and hope for a speedy recovery.

  2. A couple of years ago, there was a knock at the door of one of our stations, just this side of the Scottish border. On answering, the duty crew found a rather florid lady with a Merc parked nearby. She asked how much further it was to Birmingham.On being told that it was about 225 miles, she became quite cross. “Don't be ridiculous,” she said. ” It's only about 110 miles from London!!”

    The mystified crew agreed that, indeed, Birmingham was only about 110 miles from London; nevertheless, they pointed out, their ambulance station was some 225 miles from Birmingham.

    “Well, I've followed all of the signs pointing to The North,” she said, “And I've still not reached Birmingham.”

    The penny dropped. Tea was provided. The news was carefully broken to her that the next British city – north of where she now was – was Glasgow.

    She had started from Hampstead about 7 hours previously, and had managed to miss Birmingham entirely. It rather puts the LAS story into perspective!

    Mercs have big fuel tanks

  3. Currently most of our ambulances have a mapping system which plots where you are and where the job is. They don't navigate you to the job, but just let you know where you are etc and let you navigate your own way to the job. However we have started to get these systems that tell you where to go…in the nicest possible way! However we are meant to set them to the shortest route, which takes you down silly side streets that niether man nor dog can navigate down! If you set them to the fastest route (naughty me!) you have to remember to use a little bit of the old noggin and use the knowledge that you have. I can't quite decide which i prefer, however a voice telling you where to go at the end of a night shift is very helpful! However the old system just doesnt work outside our service area…helpful! We tend to rely on friendly local services/stations and faxed maps! So if you see a very lost paramedic in your local area it's probably me, lost as per usual!!

  4. You didn't say if you are feeling better?Wasn't there a story about a lady at Paddington some time ago who wanted to go to Turkey and got put on a train to Torquay?

    One day a man cme for travel vaccs, he said he was going to Pakistan and Tangiers. I thought this was a bit odd and I asked him which one he was going to first.

    After some time it transpired that what he was saying was that he hadn't been to Pakistan for ten years (Tangiers!)

  5. Ah, but one hour into yor journey you would have, atleast, guessed that Brentwood was slightly nearer than that though wouldn't you?

  6. I also found it a bit hard to believe that the crew got all the way to Manchester before they realised the mistake. OK they may not know where the hospital is, but they would have had some idea that Brentwood is in the Greater London Area. Alarm bells should have started ringing when the reached the M25.And didn't LAS wonder what had happened to their ambulance, and the hospital wonder where there pateint was.

    Sorry to be cynical, but would love to know how much of this story is true, and how much is hype.

    btw, my sister-in-law once tried to drive from London to Manchester but ended up in Brighton. That was without the assistance of sat nav.

  7. My Canadian cousin set off from Calgary to a family reunion in the area (north of town, I think), and somehow ended up blowing his car engine in Boise, Montana.You'd think he'd have noticed the border crossing…

  8. Too much reliance upon GPS is bad. I have a better system. It's called the Ordnance Survey and they have lots of nice spiral bound books with street maps in.An old friend of mine couldn't read and he got lost going home to North Wales once. He followed the signs starting with 'North' and ended up in Northumberland :o(

  9. heyyou did indeed appear on the program tonight – in the revolving office chair…

    there was a dickens blogger (or similar) who put a tie on to blog, do you put your uniform on? (im guessing the answer is no…)

  10. Saw you at the beginning, but fell asleep shortly after the bit on blogs,, (we have to get up at 5.30, and am unfortunately a night owl) so hope I didn't miss seeing more of you. The Girl didn't look or sound like I expected. Not in a good or bad way, just wierd how you build a picture in your head that's different from reality. Anyway just wanted you to know someone stayed up late to watch you and now has a crick in the neck from sleeping on the sofa – guess that's why am such a pain.

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