Once again I know a lot of visitors here are from America – So I'm going to explain how the L.A.S works on a day-to-day basis. This will either be very boring or immensely interesting – your choice.
Ambulances run out of dedicated stations, we don't share stations with the Fire Service. In fact, some years ago, when it was suggested – the idea was shot down as we would be waking the fire-crews constantly during the night. Each station has it's own call-sign “K1”, “J2”, “G4” for instance, then each ambo has a suffix that is attached to this – so one ambulance running out of station J2 would be called J201, while another would be J207.

The stations are spaced approximately 5-6 miles apart, and you mainly service the area surrounding the station, however with inter-hospital transfers and other irregularities you can quite easily find yourself across the other side of London.

It's an old joke that when asking if we need to travel so far the dispatcher will ask us if it still says London on the side of the ambulance

There is a main station, and two or three “satellite” stations, the main station will normally have between two and five ambulances running from it, while the smaller stations have between one and four. There is less cover at night – and you can easily find yourself being the only ambulance running from a given station.

Across London we deal with 3000+ calls per day, and with a fleet of 400 ambulances of which perhaps only 3/4 are manned, meaning we seldom get a rest. Where I work we average one job an hour, and are supposed to transport every one of those patients to hospital.

The longest shift we officially do is 12 hours – in which we can expect 10-13 jobs which doesn't sound like a lot – but is enough to keep us busy…We spend 97% of our time away from station (compared to 3% for the fire service)

For this, we get paid around £21,000, the London fire service get around £22,000 and the police get £27,000 (but lets face it – they earn it…)

However, it is a fun job.

4 thoughts on “Workload”

  1. Cheers. I enjoy writing it and part of the reason is to disabuse people of the misconceptions of the job they get from the telvision.Off to a job now…bye…

  2. It really is the same everywhere. Even the pay is disproportionate!Anyway, I thought you guys responded in ALS cars and didn't always travel with the units to the hospital. I thought you only rode in when the patient required a level of ALS care above the scope of the unit crew.

  3. Nope, we have Paramedics and EMT's on Ambulances and “Fast Response Cars”. The sole purpose of the “FRU” is to get to the job in under eight minutes. If you are an EMT with one years experience (Millers qualified) then you can drive an FRU.So the FRU may well have a less qualified person than who is manning the ambulance. There is no split in the job and we all run out of the same station.

    …because of the way calls are dispatched if the car is sitting on the station we often beat them to the job…

    I'll explain more when I post about ORCON during the next few days…

    …For ORCON is GOD!…

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