'Category A call – 25 year old woman with thrush, itchy genitals. Difficulty in breathing'.
This warranted a fast car response as well as my fully equipped ambulance.
I have two options here.
I explain exactly how this is a waste of an ambulance, especially as how the hospital is 800 yards away from the woman's address. I suggest that a taxi would have been more appropriate. I could explain how people who are actually ill are now waiting for an ambulance while she gets a free ride to hospital. I could refuse to take her.
Then I get a complaint, then I get fired.
I shut up, take her to hospital, make ready for my next call as son as possible and get to keep my job.
Yeah, I'm a coward – I always take option two.
The problem is this, the people up in Control aren't allowed to use the 3lb of grey squishy stuff nestled between their ears to determine how important a call is. They have to mindlessly follow a computer script, if they deviate from the script they'll miss out on any chances for promotion.
While the computer script is useful it's a real shame that our call-takers can't use their common sense. It's why we end up going to people who 'aren't breathing', yet are able to make a 999 call.
And all because the computer system we use has never been sued.