I'm going to try and write this without swearing – honest.

Our first job was the now traditional 'drunken Eastern European', this time he was on a bus. He had a cut to the bridge of his nose and no ability to speak English. He had that immensely annoying way of pawing at us with his big blood-soaked hands. I think that he was trying to argue with us, it certainly sounded like it but you can never be sure with Russian (or Lithuanian, or whatever he was speaking). On more than one occasion we thought that we would have to get the police.

It's actually incorrect to say that he didn't speak any English, he could say “Eeeennglissshhh” and stick his middle finger up at us.

It would have been nice to leave him where we found him, but we'd only keep getting called back to him.

So far, so good – a slight annoyance, but nothing out of the usual.

Out next job however was a young man who was really rather close to dying (and will be the focus of a later blogpost), it took us a while on scene to basically save his life during which I was running back and forth to the ambulance.

When we loaded him in to go to the hospital I realised that in my rush I must have left the ambulance unlocked.

Some filthy thieving scumbag had stolen the Sat-nav screen and my crewmate's bag.

I informed Control and spent the next five minutes fuming as I drove the ambulance to the hospital. We were met by one of our managers who made sure that we were alright and sent us off for a replacement vehicle and a much-needed cup of tea.

Dear thief,

Us ambulance folk work long 12 hour shifts in all weathers, at all times of the day. Because of working shifts our health and relationships suffer, our social life is a nightmare. I take home £10 ($20) for every hour that I work, whether that is two in the afternoon or three in the morning. We do a job that has us verbally abused, assaulted and spat at. We go into the worst parts of town and treat the lowest scum of humanity with dignity and respect. We put ourselves at risk of catching serious diseases like HIV, hepatitis and TB from rich and poor alike. We get used by the police to go to domestic assaults when there are no police units to send. We serve the community, always there when we are called, even if it is for the most minor of things, like the patient who had a 'Chinese burn'. This is what we do – when you hurt we help, when you are dying we provide comfort. We do all this and like oxygen, we are always there.

And this is how you repay us.

By stealing something that is of no use to you, by stealing the medical books that we use to treat you. By seeing that we are in a house treating someone and thinking not 'I hope the person they are seeing to are alright', but rather, 'They won't be back for a while I wonder what I can nick from that ambulance'.

Because of shift work I'm cutting my lifespan, I already have illnesses that are work related. When you get stabbed, I'll be the person to come and make sure that you don't die.

And this is what that sacrifice of every ambulance person is for? For worthless scum bastards like you?

Your actions have taken an ambulance off the road, in the morning there will be one less ambulance to go to people – maybe it will be your mother who is ill and will have to wait longer for the ambulance, maybe it will be someone who you don't know. Either way you have made our job that much more difficult and put peoples lives at risk.

I wish I knew who you were – I'd fight you to get our kit back.

And then, with no doubt, another ambulance would treat you.

-Tom Reynolds.

40 thoughts on “Fuming”

  1. First of all, just a quick hello, I've been following your blog for a few months, and it's brilliant.Regarding the post, I don't know how often ambulances are vandalized in Portugal, though I guess it won't be much different, especially considering the “treatment” crews must get from most of pacients, but I remember that last year, everybody was mighty angry when an ambulance parked open, waiting for the pacient to be loaded inside, was stolen. Of course that the alert went out and police caught the guy 10 minutes later, a few kilometers up the road, and luckily another ambulance arrived a few minutes later to carry the pacient and no harm was done, still… If I was the family of the patient I would surely have to be manhandled from punching the guy! And I would press civil charges against him.

  2. That is crazy, and at the same time rather sad. I'm sorry to hear of that, and sad to hear that some people are as messed up as that.

  3. clearly they can't read either, because they missed the sign saying this is a screen only, the working bits are elsewhere… dipsticks

  4. Twice now this has happened to me and my crewmate, after having to leave the truck unlocked to get the chair out/ramp down.F***ing swines!

  5. I know how you feel. Two years ago some bastard broke into the garage where our St. John Crusader was (which was right underneath the NHS ambulances!) and stole the sat-nav, a mobile phone and the Entonox. Then as if that wasn't bad enough, they set fire to the thing!

  6. fire arms work better and there is less screaming/funny smells. 1 bullet back of knee cap should solve the problem!

  7. What sort of a world are we in these days? Pity you don”t have CCTV monitoring the ambulance. Trouble is, if these idiots were caught the police would have hours of paperwork and some solicitor would get them off because they”d had a hard life or something. Alternatively they'd be sent to prison to learn how to commit bigger crimes grrrrr!At least you've got “us lot” here who care about you and support and admire you!

  8. Pleeeease no CCTV. I would be in the shit big time if my bosses saw me blow my top at twats who jump in the ambo uninvited or vomit in the car footwell instead of the bowl I gave him (he actually cried and apologised when we arrived at A&E, it might have upset him when I turned green and my shirt and trousers split when I swelled to three times my normal size and threatened to put his head through the back window without opening it that caused that reaction!! RESULT!!!

  9. Fucking Oxygen thieving, scrotey, nasty, waste of space wankers. The Ways and Means Act kicks in here. You can always get your own back – might not be the people involved, but it'll be one of their pea-brained compatriates.

  10. Thieving pikey bastards.. I hope you crash in a stolen car and are trapped and die a slow painful death..Finished nearly two hours late tonight as A and E was full of Chavs taking up spaces that my 85 year old fractured and dislocated shoulder should have had.. hence my mood..!

  11. I cannot think of a single word to describe the low life scum who think that sort of act is in any way funny (I'd like to think of a few sentances as well but we all know they would not go to prison!). The idiots who did that are the same type of ape brained moron who wants an ambulance when he injures himself doing his criminal acts. 2 years back we got called to a fall from a height case. The patient was dead, turns out he had fallen off a roof while trying to break in. Tosser, served him right (yeah yeah yeah, I know, we should not be judegmental but even I find a point when I say “sack it” and decide, and wave two fingers to the wooly minded liberal terminal bed wetters who think that criminals should be better treated then the victims).I read in a British Ambulance Society publication that there was a spate of these thefts from ambulances of the screens, though the ambulance sat-navs take over an hour for a qualified person to remove properly, and have no resale value.

    After an ambulance was stolen and written off (Yes, it was on a call and some scumbage stole a 2003 Mercedes benz/W.A.S. Paramedic ambulance) people were suggsting that we should lock the doors up, though that means we have to fart about more opening the ambulance up each time which places more time dealing with the patients we would not have to go through if it were not for these scumbags. A mate of mine seriously suggested classiflying chav's as a non human species and thus justifying the way for having the toffs who were gutted over the fox hunting ban to come up and have chav hunts to exterminate the rodent chav population. That may be a tad extreame.

  12. Trying not to think of how annoying and also terribly sad it is that someone considers it sport to break in to or vandalise an ambulance, and more of a potential solution… I work in IT, one thing I have used is a proximity door key – you just have to carry a device, not hold it out or press it on a panel or anything, just have it in your pocket and be within a couple of feet of the door and it automatically opens as you approach. No idea of the technicalities with regards interfering with your other kit or the cost, but even if its expensive, it probably less than the cost of an ambulance… Maybe even just for high risk areas.Failing that, I would fight him for you.


  13. At least it was interesting, eh?Do the satnav screens ever come back? You know… scrote realises it's useless, pawn shop refuses to buy it, it gets chucked over someone's garden wall, householder picks it up and hands it in to the police as lost property?

  14. Hi mate!Happened to me too! Sept last year! In para car on a job, smashed driver's window, I didn't hear alarm going which must have scared off the villain! So he only got my phone! Which I had forgotten to put away! Missed my bag completely!

    But it is so frustrating!! We even put an artical in the local paper stating that the Sat-nav screens are of no use whatsoever but one wonders if they can read!!


  15. thats absolutly disgusting! it is both sad and worrying to think that there are people out there who are so completely incapable of thinking about what they are doing, that they would do something like this!heres to hoping that 'whats goes around, comes around' in this case!


  16. Oddly, I work for a communications company selling systems just like that. It's not too expensive, and can be relatively easily fitted. I haven't heard of it being fitted to a vehicle before, as it is mainly for door access of some description, but I imagine it could be done.Thinking about it, dont some high end cars come with something similar, keyless locks and remote control boots etc?

    Possibly a daft question, but why are the sat nav screens even detachable? Can they not be built in like the rest of the system in the dash?

  17. Google will give end less leads [unleaded] on key less remote auto locks.For any entrepreneur could make good fa[r]thing selling and installing these devices to NHS and others on the tear to help, needing only to slam the doors shut and the lock unpicker be on the each of the Rushing Guys.

    Then there should be an explosive bag of lucent edible dye available and attached to popular merchandice and then sprayed on every illegal enterer to bedisabbled when the the doors be unlocked by the appropiate keyless device..

    Edible, so that the Perp be eaten by his signifcant other.

  18. Not extreme at all. Sheer brilliance. We had a vehicle nicked from the station which the poor wee shithead who'd had a hard life crashed down the road on a dodgy bend. He fled the scene but the police traced him to his house aided by a rather gifted tracker dog who (as he was trained to do) took a rather satisfying mouthful when the shithead tried to run.In need of hospital attention, the copper shook his head apologetically explaining there would be a significant delay in the arrival of the ambulance as we were one down tonight. In my experience they all get what's coming to them eventually…….its just that usually we don't get the pleasure of witnessing it first hand!!!

  19. Could they not modify it to spray acid or something?Or maybe you could just start an Urban Myth online that ambulances carry such a thing.

    You know, put it on myspace or something that a girl you know's brother's girlfriend's cousin tried to break into an ambulance and there was this defense thing that sprayed acid and his hands and face and baseball cap got all eaten away…

  20. Just comfort yourself with knowing that in this world of cosmic karma, what goes around really DOES come around. The assh*les who stole basically worthless items are evidently too stupid to progress much beyond the bottom of the heap and will doubtless spend their predictably short lives in unsatisfying misery of one kind and another.

  21. There isn't much room for them to be embedded in the dashboard. The sad thing is that they are only screens, the Sat-Nav computer is secured and locked away (probably so *we* don't nick it).I'll be talking about our budget in a few days time, this may explain a lot.

  22. Tom,You are under the misapprehension that the piece of sh.t that stole your equipment can read or even has the mental capacity for remorse.

    However, it is amazing the level of understanding that these lowlifes have for their “human rights”.

  23. You guys should be on 100,000 quid plus for the crap you have to put up with. My husband, who was a copper in London for 15 years until last year (we emigrated to Oz, where I am from) is now studying to be a nurse and wants to eventually become a paramedic. You have to do a degree course to even try out to be a para down under. It is so hard.

  24. That is outrageous!Hi Tom and fellow readers,

    Over here in Russia, at least in this part of the country, ambulances are typically manned by a crew of three: medically non-qualified driver who always remains in the vehicle, nurse/doctor and a trainee nurse/doctor who carries the kit, helps to carry the stretcher, etc. Not that there's anything to be stolen from our ambulandes as sophisticated as sat-nav systems, though. As I gather from this blog and general news about NHS, it may not be viable to have that extra crew on every ambulance just to keep the equipment safe… I have another, less costly suggestion (not even chips, sensors or cameras): maybe have the removable components fitted with discrete bags containing paint, that “explode” all over the thieving bastards' hands and good part of their clothing. This way they should be easily detectible even in crowds of people, should they attempt to escape. I am sure similar measures are employed in bags used for cash transportation in those armored vehicles (dont know what they are called in English, I am sure there is a specific word for them).

  25. you do a fantastic job, the overwhelming majority of the tax paying population admire you & are very grateful. do not let the underclass get you down.when you close your eyes at night be proud of what you do, do not dwell on the actions of ignorant chav's. & the same goes for any decent hardworking person. be proud of what you do.

    its just a shame that all the chav's dont taste like chicken!

    up the workers


  26. Re-read the previous comments and noted that this method has already been suggested by dungbeetle.I can only add that also an instant flash/strobe device could be used to cause temporary eyesight impairment (like those grenades used by special ops). Either way seems that ambulances are long overdue to be treated in manner similar to police cars, possibly carrying even more of expensive equipment to guard, so any measure however aggressive it may seem should be good.

    I remember back in 2000 or 2001 in Edinburgh cases of ambulance crews being attacked by youngsters with… bows (arrows)… even injuring a crew… dangerours and dark world we live in.

    Keep up the good work!

  27. Not even just the high-end cars, the Renault Megane and Laguna both come with keyless entry. Thinking about it, I don't know why ambulance trusts haven't thought about it before!

  28. “I hope you crash in a stolen car and are trapped and die a slow painful death.. “Wow, I thought it was only me that thought like that. I feel normal now.

  29. just a thought………..as some of us know ambulance kit does also break often/easily so dye/paint/acid/blinding strobes can only mean one thing ………….more accident/near miss report forms been filled in by part blinded/burnt/purple@pink ambo crews

  30. Every time I think people can't stoop any lower someone comes along and tells me something that proves me wrong. Stealing from an ambulance – that really is low.

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