Two ambulance paramedics in North Yorkshire have been sacked because they did not respond to a 999 call while on a meal break, the BBC has learned.
The two men had been on duty for about six hours during a shift last month when the emergency call came in and they said they were unable to respond.
The Yorkshire Ambulance Service sacked them and they are appealing against that decision, the GMB union said.
Managers said they would not comment on the case during the appeal process.
Details of the emergency call or how it was eventually dealt with are not yet known.
The story then goes on to give another example of someone dying due to 'being on a break' (which I believe that I have debunked previously). I don't know anyone in the trust involved so I can't make the story any clearer than what has been released to the media.
The way in which this story would result in a justified sacking would be if the crew consciously refusing to go on a job by lying about their break status. But the story doesn't say this, it has no further details. For the record we can get the sack for 'preventing the public access to an ambulance' as is right.
What annoys me is that this story has been published in the media in the first place. The headline says as much as the body of the story, '999 Crew sacked in meal break row'. The crew have been sacked and the story doesn't give us any more information than that. Everything is 'no comment' or 'details are not known', the story is a headline and nothing more beyond that. The simple fact is that we don't know what has happened and won't until the appeal has been completed. I'm interested in how they got hold of the news in the first place.
Once the reasons are known – That is when the story should be published. When there is enough information to tell us the story, not just a 'Man bites dog' headline.
Unfortunately it seems that the BBC website and the media in general has a problem with ambulance crews having breaks, apparently it has become news that meal break=death. It isn't good news that there aren't enough ambulances, or that we are being sent to people who don't need an ambulance (apart from the annual New Year stories). It's a 'nice' headline and that is what counts.
But what do I know – I'm not a journalist.
If I find out more I'll set the record straight here.
UPDATE: I've had someone closer explain some more about the story – but I'm not going to write about it because it's still under appeal. More perhaps as stuff enters the public domain.