It seems that the rumors are true, frontline ambulance staff are going to start carrying electronic radiation meters. These 'pager' style devices will sound an alarm when I start getting irradiated. Why will we have to start carrying this additional bit of kit? The answer is of course 'terrorism', but why, when the threat of a 'dirty bomb' is apparently overrated? And should a bomb go off, I'm sure that there will be experts with Geiger counters crawling over the wreckage. I suspect that we are going to be used much as canaries are used in mine-shafts…
While 'Da Firm' do tend to look after it's staff (for instance, our stab vests and emergency phone systems) I would imagine that the real reason that we are going to be carrying them is to expand our role into “mobile dirty bomb detection units”. Should we enter a property where the alarm sounds, we will have to tell someone, that message will no doubt travel up the chain of command until it reaches someone who can organise a nice, friendly visit by HM government's finest.
Apparently, (and this is pure rumour) the Metropolitan police are going to have similar devices, and I would imagine for pretty much similar reasons.
It's not that I mind – even if it means carrying even more kit up and down the patient's stairs. Just, wouldn't the money be better spent on equipping our fleet with ambulances that actually work? Or with providing our station with separate male and female changing rooms (which management were going to do, except that we ran out of money)? The chances of us catching a 'dirty bomb' are slim to start with, so wouldn't it be better to deal with the sort of things that kill more people each year, like – for example our crap record of cardiac arrest survival rates.
I wonder which company will get the tender for this job, and what ties they might have with the government?