6 Down Days

Today is a down day (day off).

A lay in is never achievable when you have children!

How do you separate your personal life from work?

Maybe it’s as I’m new to the job, but I can’t seem to escape it. Every phone call consists of “hows work going”, I simply scramble for a subject, any subject to divert the conversation away from the hub.

I’ve also noticed my vocabulary slowly being influenced by work terminology. Just today I told my mechanic my car had suffered a cardiac arrest, how humiliating!

Then there’s my triaging my infant child over the phone whilst she’s in the care of family, convinced she’s suffering anaphylactic shock by way of exposure to suncream (she’s allergic) when in fact she was simply tired and a tad puffy in the face.

One thing I absolutely never do is wear my uniform in public, mainly for safeguarding purposes, why would you put a target on your back? Secondly so that your local Tesco’s staff can’t identify you and ask all about your work.

Then there’s the problem of integrating back into work when you’re a part timer with days, sometimes even a week between shifts. On several occasions I’ve sat there frantically turning out the old cranium archives for that first word… “Ambulance”.

I’m first to admit I’m the worst closer, and by that I mean I just can’t seem to summarise my posts in an articulate manner.

I shall therefore leave you with the below quote.

KW x

Start every day off with a smile and get it over with. — W C Fields


5 Mechanics For Dummies

Arriving to work to learn that your vehicle has no intention of stopping is not the definition of fun.

To then identify the liquid oozing from beneath your front end as brake fluid is far from ideal when you shift finishes at midnight, arranging recovery may take hours and you absolutely can’t drive the thing.

My track record with cars is… poor! The one and only loyal vehicle I’ve owned being a 21 year old Suzuki Vitara which I prided, unfortunately being sold to accommodate my ever growing family.

It got me thinking about the wear and tear on fleet vehicles. It’s easy to sit back and assume the vehicles are regularly serviced, have reliable and fast break down services and rarely go wrong, but something tells me that could be optimistic and far from the truth.

I’d be interested to learn of the ambulance still serving on UK roads with the highest mileage.

Do our vehicles get scrapped or sold once they accumulate a predetermined mileage/age threshold?

This is just my being curious, any personal experiences openly welcomed.

KW x

Take it easy driving – the life you save may be mine. — James Dean

4 Intoxication

Common practice on a Friday and Saturday evening is to find yourself remotely controlling a scene where somebody has done themselves a mischief among a crowd of rather “merry” humans.

Never in my life have I loathed alcohol as much as I do now following yesterday’s night shift.

For the first time I found my self contradicting my own advice where it comes to caller management, it’s hard not to raise your voice when dealing with a rowdy crowd and being passed from drunk caller to drunker caller.

To say I am exhausted doesn’t even scrape the surface, and so a long enthralling read is not what you will be getting from me today.

Instead, a sample of legitimate sentences delivered to my dear callers in the early hours of this morning in order of recurrence.

“Listen to me, listen to me, listen to me, listen to me, listen to me, listen to me, listen to me…” (recurring).

“Hello Police”

“Stop passing the phone”

“I can’t hear you”

“Please refrain from shouting”

“Ok, slow down”

“Repeat that please”

“Do not move the patient”

“Tell me where you are”

“You need to stay still so we can find you”

“Do not stand in the way of oncoming traffic”

“Do you need an emergency ambulance?”

“Do not poke the patient, again, do not continue to poke the patient”

“You need to listen to my instructions”

And finally…

“I’m sorry, you’re biting him and he’s not waking up?!”

And that my dear readers is why I am and will remain, T total.

KW x

The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory. — Anon

3 The Thanks We Get

Amidst the media onslaught of damning headlines it is easy to overlook the things that as an organisation we do get right.

In a world enthralled by frivolous lawsuits targeting the NHS and their subsidiaries, it’s impossible to think that behind closed doors there are hard working individuals whom put patient care first and pride themselves on their compassion and ability to provide comfort to those truly in need.

I can assure you, we do exist! Far be it from me to gloat, but coming from a cutthroat corporate background where kindness was mistaken for weakness it’s refreshing to be commended for my dedication, nonetheless for doing something as simple as CARE.

Two callers in one week have taken the time to contact our control room during the aftermath of a life or death emergency to express their gratitude. I cannot begin to express how humbled I am, and how this feedback will help to shape my career as an EMD.

We appreciate and absorb both the positive and the negative feedback we receive, and cannot stress enough how important it is to continue providing this feedback to enable us to offer the best patient care possible.

If you’re unfortunate enough to require an emergency ambulance, rest assured that the person on the end of the phone is just that, a person, a person whom absolutely empathises with you, is determined to help and for the duration of your call will experience every emotion with you.

Stay safe out there.

KW x

The simple act of caring is heroic. — Edward Albert

1 The Journey Begins

Thank you for joining me!

Welcome to the personal blog of an Emergency Medical Dispatcher.

Follow my posts to experience the day to day trials and tribulations of working within a fast paced and unpredictable Ambulance Control Hub.

I hope to share with you the highs and lows of being a 999 Emergency Call Handler to highlight the pressures that we face as the first point of call for those experiencing an Medical emergency.

As well as sharing stories in relation to the job at hand, I also hope to shed light on the strong sense of community we have built to offer help and support to one another.

KW x

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton