Night Bus

I am so unbelievably busy at the moment, mainly because of my impending move (and the fact that the place I’m moving into was left in a barely habitable state), couple that with some nightshifts, and a few other things that are going on, and you have a very tired, busy and generally worn out EMT.

I apologise if I need to email you, phone you or generally do something for/with you at the moment, and haven’t gotten around to doing it.  I will do it in the near future.

However the last nightshift did throw up a few possibly interesting stories – so I won’t need to search for inspiration for the next couple of posts.

Night buses are wonderful things, they allow nightclubbers in London the opportunity to find their way back home after the tube network has closed down for the night.  They also seem to collect people with *ahem* ‘colourful’ personalities.

The only problem is that they tend to rock you to sleep.

Bus drivers aren’t allowed to touch their passengers.

So when a driver reaches the end of his route, and there is someone still asleep on the bus, then the driver can shout, bang on the handrail, and stamp their feet.  But they can’t shake the person awake.

So they call the police, and the ambulance service to wake the person up.  The police in case they are violent, and the ambulance service in case they are ill.

The details are often sent as ‘person unconscious’.  Which makes it a high category call…

Can you see where I come into the situation?

As it is a high category call, myself, or someone like me is often sent along, on blue lights and sirens, to well…

…give someone a shake, and wake them up.

This is how our resources seem to be allocated these days.  Waking people up who have fallen asleep on the bus.

I don’t mind the patient, because who hasn’t fallen asleep on the train or bus?  But I do dislike the need for us to turn up to a call where there is no injury or illness because bus station staff are too scared/not allowed to gently shake someone awake.


I am part way through reading the Ambulance Report, and have already thought of a few comments for it.  Stay tuned.

11 thoughts on “Night Bus”

  1. If you give them an airhorn, better include ear protection. Or else a wholenew category of call will start to annoy the crews – spontaneous loss of hearing!

  2. Interesting – didn't know that about the non-shaking rule. Was on a train today (Earl's Court underground) and a guard was trying to wake someone to ask them if he owned the bag that was lying unattended in the middle of the carriage. He used his radio to wake the guy up – not by knocking him gently on the top of the head but but getting it to make a very loud beep in his ear. Didn't realise he couldn't wake him more normally.

  3. at parties I've been to, traditional ways of waking drunk people up include writing on their faces or piling various items on top of their recumbent form. Although I admit that you tend to be more hoping for them to stay asleep.How about smelling salts?

  4. It seems the 'no touch' policy is extending everywhere, like bindweed. It's litigation-phobia, health and safety, human rights all gone bonkers. If it leads to this sort of abuse of public services (in addition to those who do that quite happily without encouragement from daft rules and regs)… something has to be wrong…

  5. as a 'certified' HSE first-aider even if I was a bus driver/tube gaurd I would have to “Check Response” Shake and shout.. Possibly inflict painfull stimulus.Bung em all on a First-Aid course = Ligitamate reason to check the person is alive… Probably more expensive than them calling 112 tho

  6. Nope, First Aid method of checking response is now “a gentle tap on the shoulders”. No shaking.grrr…

  7. Well, you start with the gentle tap, and then proceed to whatever you need for responsiveness. Quick sternal rub will do nicely. Ok, I can see where that might be a problem too. Still, a basic CPR course wouldn't be that bad, and would allow at least a tap. With gloves on. Put the OED pads on, that would wake up most folks.

  8. Wake up call: “twas the only time a squaddy could get away with striking a member of the superior class, non or commissioned, if yer shook/touched the sleeper and the sleeper connected. It still was not worth the pleasure, as there be the catch all, that would get ye all the rewards of the clink gang [regs 1040].

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