Role Of The Ambulance Service

Blogging is continuing to be a bit light as I’m making a bit of a push on getting the book done.

So I’ll ask you a question.

As an ambulance service our main role is to quickly get to sick people, stop them from dying and take them to hospital.

But it’s not that all we do, we help plan for major incidents, do school visits, run CPR courses and the like.

So…what do you think is the latest thing us frontline ambulance staff are expected to do?

58 thoughts on “Role Of The Ambulance Service”

  1. Train St John's Ambulance staff? Direct traffic? NOT kill people? Attend callouts to split ends and broken nails? Ooh, ooh, I know! Stick to the speed limits and obey all other traffic laws to the letter: no cutting red lights, driving on the wrong side of the road etc….

  2. Tom, was this meant to help me write my essay on how to be a paramedic for my interview? Nice thought, but if I write any of this down I don't think I'll get in

  3. Firefighters respond to med emergencies in many places here in the states, which doesn't keep them from any fires (how many are there anymore anyway?)–but it does ensure that dying patients won't be alone, they'll be surrounded by a circle of husky men wearing turnout gear.

  4. Probably 10 things highly politically correct and/or pointless/unworkable.1. Fill in loads of paperwork – more than now. If that doesn't work – fill in more paperwork.

    2. Counselling for patients become their own personal agony uncle.

    3. Be responsible for making sure your ambulance is clean and spotless on the outside so citizens will see what a wonderful health service we have.

    4. Call all patients Sir or Madam. But what do you call the transgendered?

    5. Buy your own equipment to save money. Our soldiers in Iraq do.

    6. Double up as a firefighter. Attend fires, put them out, save the patients.

    7. Perform operations at the patients home. That would save a lot.

    8. Run down pedestrians to make more work for yourself.

    9. Learn to make do without sleep.

    10. Put a broom up your bum and sweep the streets while you are walking around looking for addresses.

  5. After reading the news.You are expected to get to patients within eight minutes on a bicycle loaded with every piece of medical equipment you can imagine.

  6. It's going to be something part of this 'Respect Agenda' bollocks isn't it? When not blue-lighting, will be required to stop and give young cads a jolly good talking to!Or pizza delivery.

  7. complete guesses… provide beginning-to-end care for patients and their families, up to and including telling the family (several months after the car crash) that it's time to turn the life-support machine off……be trained in the ins and outs of the benefits system to provide advice for people living in poverty…

    …offer ear massage as an alternative to morphine..?

  8. Well maybe you've been asked to provide medical backup to each and every police call out involving a pub………but then again maybe you have been asked to play spy and take note of all the people you see on the streests who you think maybe about start a riot….

    ….or something totally nuts like get to each call in less than 4 minutes!!

  9. Sorry – after posting the remark about “Customers” the bleedin' obvious suddenly pinged into my fuddled brain. The Post Office lost its monopoly at the beginning of the year didn't it? Obvioulsy you'll be delivering letters while between shouts. Blues and Twos for “Special Delivery” of course!

  10. Well theres talk of the fire service responding to medical emergencies, will you be putting out the fires theyre missing while performing CPR on a victim patient?

  11. It has to be smoking sessation (punters not staff). My dentist even asked me this morning, apologising for doing so, but it was a PCT target…. so very important!!!

  12. Oh forgot.11. Put brushes under the emergency vehicles so you can sweep the streets during your travels.

    This matches with the broom up the bum method so you can sweep the streets both in and out of the RFU/Ambulance.

  13. Meals on wheels?So if a patient expires in the ambulance you just take them to the canteen instead of casualty thereby helping the problem of the complaints about hospital food.

    As such all hospitals will have Soylent Green manufacturing plants.

  14. If any vehicle obstructs their progress whilst on the way to an emergency call, it seems likely that the ambulance will be required to stop and obtain sufficient details of the vehicle and its driver in order to comply with PACE requirements necessary to allow the CPS to prosecute the driver of the other vehicle for obstructing the free passage of a vehicle being used for ambulance purposes whilst on an emergency call.Well, that's one way of reading page 34 of the Goverment's new Respect Action Plan (

    “…we are currently looking at creating a new offence of obstructing the progress of ambulance workers, when they are responding to emergencies.”

  15. Drive up to WMAS patch and do they shouts when they are on strike. or have a mini pharmance in the ambo, so you can call on B&T for the morning after pill ?

  16. My vote: giving (young?) cads a jolly good talking to (respectfully, of course) and delivering pizza. It would work so well. Once the cads see the error of their ways, you reward them with a pizza. It may go without saying that you are to maintain your 8-minute response time to calls while doing this.

  17. Advice to kids: Be a cad!All through school, if you keep your head down and aren't any trouble to anyone, it'll do you no good at all. To succeed in life you either need rich/influential parents, a lot of luck, and/or considerable talent. For the average kids: If you act up a bit you'll be classed as “disaffected yoof” and eligible for all sorts of rewards for acting like a human being for 50% of the time.

  18. Fire safety advice on any homes you visit.That's what they're doing up our way. It is, honest.

    The fire service are giving fire prevention training to the ambu crews.

    Makes sense – if you don't mind getting a load of abuse for criticising someones house for not having a smoke detector.

  19. I still think that delivering clips round the ears to smoking parents is probably a good use of your time.P'raps you could tick of cyclists on the pavements and motorists using mobiles too.

    Oh – and fines for littering

    — and spitting!

    Go for it!

    (it worries me rather – but I'm only THAT far from being serious!)

  20. Prescribe drugs to the minor (non emergency) cases? (Like some nurses are being told they can do nowadays) ?Teach new ambo drivers to drive fast n' furious?

    Clean your own ambulances whilst you're sat on station doing 'nothing'?

  21. Surgically removing the 'hoodie' part of garments worn by potential ASBOs.Or maybe it's a fuel saving exercise…you have to give a lift and share the ambulance with someone going your way on every call-out?

  22. I've heard some pretty serious talk about us administering flu shots.(in Canada) I haven't any idea what your scope of practise is like in London so oyu may already be doing this.

  23. Park at the hospitals wile waiting for your next call, and while you're there help out the cleaners/RNs/whoever asks you. This was suggested at one time in NSW, would you believe. Like there'd be no effect on response times because you were up in a ward cleaning up someone's vomit.

  24. In OZ, many years ago, Ambos had to run 'chocolate wheels' in shopping centres on Saturdays in order to raise money for equipment. Could it be some sort of variation of this? Or, perhaps, flogging tickets to the Ambos' Ball to patients/clients/victims?

  25. Double up as phsychologists/therapists?Mediate in domestic disputes?

    Give tailored lectures on healthy living in the back of an ambulance, whether the patient is conscious or not? Better yet, a tape recording would do just as well.

    Depending on the level of stupidity of whatever it is they want you to do next, strike back with demands of your own:

    1) reserve the right to, by means of words or expressions, express your feelings when frustrated by some of the D-UH callers

    2) if this new thing is reeeaaaaly crazy, add in the right to smack 'em 'lightly'; but only if they're incapable of fighting back!

  26. My parents have a smoke detector.A couple of months ago they had an actual fire in the kitchen (luckily quite small and fairly easily extinguished). The smoke detector didn't even blip.

    However it continues to scream when they have certain brands of sausages, more than two rounds of toast, Christmas dinner…

  27. Or the more pro-active approach of leaning out the window and shooting anything with wings as a preventative measure?

  28. Clean up the unwanted ASBOs and Homeless that the police have 'acidentily' shot in their aim to improve 'respect' and reduce crime, drop them off at the nearest 're-cycling' centre …. actually seen as your out at all hours you could do the refuse collection as well?

  29. Pick up dead pigeons for bird flu testing.(During the West Nile virus scare in the US a couple of years ago you were supposed to call a health department number to have dead birds picked up. I'm sure plenty of people just called 911.)

  30. That was my point. Redaing through these – excellent – blogs nothing would suprise me about the health service now.

  31. Whoops… sorry!! I was trying to quote the line from the film in my poor attempt of a joke. I should keep the day job!!!!

  32. Yep.I worked hard all though school, stayed out of trouble and never got to go on a minikart course for joyriders.

    So it's my own fault I ended up working for the NHS instead of doing something where I could be rolling around in money.

    Oh well…

  33. Well, we've run out of 'flu shots this year, but come next year, and the way we seem to be taking over the role of GPs, it'll probably be in our role

  34. We do clean our own vehicles.At least I do, it'a a nice relaxing job.

    We are now training ECPs to do the drug prescribing for the minor cases – madness…

  35. When I was a nurse, I always said that the title of my first book would be “Suicide: Getting it right first time”.heh.

  36. Wow, after reading all these blogs and this being my first reply, I was stunned at all the untoward comments made by these medics. Then I realized duh…. this is the same thing we in the states constantly complain about. It made me realize that ems as a whole sucks worldwide when it comes to the people in charge of us. They want more, they get more, we basically do more for nothing more but yet we all choose to stay when we could leave so really who's fault is it that ems today is like it is?

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