I work for the ambulance service, ask me anything! Watch

BlueLightDriver
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Do you have a question you've always wanted to ask someone who works on a frontline emergency ambulance? Well, now's your chance! Ask anything about treating patients, driving on blue lights, working 12 hour shifts - i'll even tell you what colour my socks are! (black, unfortunately)
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TheHopefulCynic
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Whats your favorite type of nee nawww
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BlueLightDriver
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(Original post by jimboi)
Whats your favorite type of nee nawww
Do you mean the siren noise? Or are you using this as some kind of slang?

Personally, I do love the traditional nee naww noise - but it's not available on most ambulances now as they have some weird kind of machine gun noise. The machine gun is probably best for getting people to notice you though.

I don't really have a favourite ambulance. Different services use slightly different truck specifications, but of the ones I've used they all have positives and negatives.
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weswart
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I am going to a TEAC interview for LAS bext week
what sort of interview and questions could there be?
Will my driving be tested on the day ?
any help would be appreciated
thanks
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zack2205
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[QUOTE=BlueLightDriver;68073454]Do you have a question you've always wanted to ask someone who works on a frontline emergency ambulance? Well, now's your chance! Ask anything about treating patients, driving on blue lights, working 12 hour shifts - i'll even tell you what colour my socks are! (black, unfortunatel





do u like your job
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Froppy
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is it stressful? i imagine there is probably no downtime to relax...always on your feet! :s
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Dental Monkey
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(Original post by BlueLightDriver)
Do you have a question you've always wanted to ask someone who works on a frontline emergency ambulance? Well, now's your chance! Ask anything about treating patients, driving on blue lights, working 12 hour shifts - i'll even tell you what colour my socks are! (black, unfortunately)
What are your exact thoughts when you attend a supposed emergency only for it to be a hoax?

I imagine you aren't impressed but what are your exact thoughts?
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BlueLightDriver
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(Original post by weswart)
I am going to a TEAC interview for LAS bext week
what sort of interview and questions could there be?
Will my driving be tested on the day ?
any help would be appreciated
thanks
Read the email you've been sent. It will have details of what assessments they will do.

(Original post by zack2205)
do u like your job
Yes.

As with anything, there are bad days, but overall the positives make it worth it.

(Original post by Dental Monkey)
What are your exact thoughts when you attend a supposed emergency only for it to be a hoax?

I imagine you aren't impressed but what are your exact thoughts?
Many hoax calls get found out before an ambulance is dispatched. I'm not sure how many hoax calls there are each day, but I've only personally ever been to one actual hoax. More often, we get exaggerated calls, so we might be going to something described as "severe haemorrhage" and it turns out to be a minor cut.

For me, the main feeling is disbelief. I'm always half expecting someone to jump out and shout "fooled you! the patient is really this way!". But it's a massive waste of time and resources, as we have to be sure it was a hoax and there isn't a patient somewhere hidden. This can mean that we need to call the police out to gain entry to a building.

(Original post by Froppy)
is it stressful? i imagine there is probably no downtime to relax...always on your feet! :s
It's not so much "always on your feet" as we drive to emergencies, so we get to sit down whilst driving. And for some jobs, you do need to kneel down. But you're right that there is no downtime. Ambulance Control can see everything we do (I don't mean they video us or have CCTV, but they have location trackers and status updates), so they know how long we spend driving to a job, how long we spend on scene, how long we spend at hospital etc. So if something is taking longer than usual they can call us over the radio and see what the delay is.

So yeah, it is stressful, and there's a high percentage of people who go off sick with work related stress or PTSD and similar.

But the "big jobs" are rare. I think the average is something like 2 cardiac arrests per year. So if you have a horrible stressful job, the chances are your next one won't be. Although these are just averages; I do know someone who had been to 6 cardiac arrests in as many shifts.
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PQ
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirens_(2011_TV_series)Accurate or OTT? (Or how much do you really hate the fire brigade?)
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username3444162
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(Original post by BlueLightDriver)
Do you have a question you've always wanted to ask someone who works on a frontline emergency ambulance? Well, now's your chance! Ask anything about treating patients, driving on blue lights, working 12 hour shifts - i'll even tell you what colour my socks are! (black, unfortunately)
How did you get to where you are now?
And what does a day in your shoes entail?
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BlueLightDriver
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(Original post by PQ)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirens_(2011_TV_series)Accurate or OTT? (Or how much do you really hate the fire brigade?)
I've not seen the show, but all TV programmes are to an extent inaccurate.

We make fun of the fire brigade. They're called "water fairies" (amongst other things). We make jokes about how they sleep all day. But with all the emergency services there's an undercurrent of respect, because we couldn't do what they do.

(Original post by Oneiropólos)
How did you get to where you are now?
And what does a day in your shoes entail?
I'm not a paramedic - I'm an ambulance technician. This essentially means we do the same thing, although we can't give as many drugs and there's a few skills we don't have. To the general public it's seen as the same, and it mostly is - although we get paid even less.

Because it's a 24/7 service, we work shifts. So a "typical day" can start anywhere from 6am to 10pm. This year, I'm working over Christmas and new year. So a typical day might actually be a night. But anyway, you get there early and figure out which vehicle you've been allocated, and who your crewmate is (I only work on ambulance trucks. If you have a car/bicycle/motorbike you don't get a crewmate). You then have to put all your personal kit on the vehicle - we have to carry a change of uniform, our stab vest, our lunch etc with us. Then we get 10 minutes to check over the vehicle to ensure that all equipment is present and working, and also that the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition and has fuel. Most people get in early to do this, because done properly it takes a lot longer than 10 minutes.
Then you discuss with your crewmate what you're doing that day. One person is the attendant, which means they sit in the passenger seat, and they do the paperwork and the main asking questions. The other person is the driver, which means they drive and carry all the equipment. Despite what the Daily Mail would like you to believe, there is no such thing as an "ambulance driver", so even the person driving is still a skilled clinician in their own right.
Then after your 10 minutes is up, you get sent on a job. You get told where you're going (the address), and a brief description of the injury/illness. This is often wrong. The driver drives to the job, and the attendant plays Candy Crush/helps with navigation.
Then you get there and treat the patient. Some patients need to go to hospital, and this can mean carrying them down stairs etc. Others can be left at home, and this means a lot of paperwork. If the patient does go to hospital we have to stay with them until they are onto a hospital bed/chair and the staff have taken responsibility, so with reducing bed numbers and increasing numbers of patients this can often mean long waits. I've waited over 5 hours for a bed before.
Once the patient is left at home or in hospital, we have to clean the ambulance and equipment and restock the bags. If we're lucky, there might be a few minutes to grab some food, bearing in mind the vehicles have trackers so you can't really go anywhere and so it's only what you brought with you.
Then when you're ready you go green available, and get another job and do it all again.

Some days, you might get a lunch break; I've had 3 this year. It is impossible to finish on time, but you always hope to not be too late. At the end of the shift you have to get back to station, unload your personal stuff from the ambulance, and leave it clean and tidy for the next crew. We're paid for 10 minutes at the end of shift for this, but this also takes longer than 10 minutes.
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Dental Monkey
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(Original post by BlueLightDriver)
Read the email you've been sent. It will have details of what assessments they will do.


Yes.

As with anything, there are bad days, but overall the positives make it worth it.


Many hoax calls get found out before an ambulance is dispatched. I'm not sure how many hoax calls there are each day, but I've only personally ever been to one actual hoax. More often, we get exaggerated calls, so we might be going to something described as "severe haemorrhage" and it turns out to be a minor cut.

For me, the main feeling is disbelief. I'm always half expecting someone to jump out and shout "fooled you! the patient is really this way!". But it's a massive waste of time and resources, as we have to be sure it was a hoax and there isn't a patient somewhere hidden. This can mean that we need to call the police out to gain entry to a building.



It's not so much "always on your feet" as we drive to emergencies, so we get to sit down whilst driving. And for some jobs, you do need to kneel down. But you're right that there is no downtime. Ambulance Control can see everything we do (I don't mean they video us or have CCTV, but they have location trackers and status updates), so they know how long we spend driving to a job, how long we spend on scene, how long we spend at hospital etc. So if something is taking longer than usual they can call us over the radio and see what the delay is.

So yeah, it is stressful, and there's a high percentage of people who go off sick with work related stress or PTSD and similar.

But the "big jobs" are rare. I think the average is something like 2 cardiac arrests per year. So if you have a horrible stressful job, the chances are your next one won't be. Although these are just averages; I do know someone who had been to 6 cardiac arrests in as many shifts.
I thought the paramedics don't need police assistance to force entry if someone has collapsed behind locked doors for example? :confused:
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Paralove
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Worst patient you've ever had?
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clouddbubbles
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what do you think about all these documentaries about ambulance services at the moment? e.g BBC’s Ambulance and Channel 4’s Life on The Frontline 999?

would you say they are an accurate representation?
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BlueLightDriver
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(Original post by Dental Monkey)
I thought the paramedics don't need police assistance to force entry if someone has collapsed behind locked doors for example? :confused:
It depends on the situation. If we're certain there's someone there that needs assistance then we can force entry, but in practise this means we need to be able to see them through a window or similar.

(Original post by Paralove)
Worst patient you've ever had?
I've been assaulted once, and held hostage once (so two separate patients) and they were my scariest experiences. I've also attended one of the London terror attacks.

I think the worst emotionally for me was a young baby in cardiac arrest. Even though I know I did all I could, I wish I could have done more.

But if you mean worst in terms of smelliest or most disgusting, I'm not sure. We get a lot of disgusting people.

(Original post by big ledba)
why would you choose such a disgusting job? and don't give me that "i wanna help other people" cos we all know thats horse dung. i'll happily help a granny cross the road but if i have to pull a remote control out of someones ass or something i aint involved
I wouldn't pull a remote control out of someone's ass. I'd leave that to the hospital :fyi:

(Original post by clouddbubbles)
what do you think about all these documentaries about ambulance services at the moment? e.g BBC’s Ambulance and Channel 4’s Life on The Frontline 999?

would you say they are an accurate representation?
They are accurate, but at the same time they aren't. People don't want to watch us going to the routine jobs, so they're always going to pick the ones that make the best viewing. I haven't seen the one on channel 4, and I have only seen some of the BBC programme, but from what I've seen/heard they are good. But on the other hand, I do know that one of the documentaries about another emergency service (I think the fire brigade but not 100%) did misrepresent an event that happened, to make out that a patient was a lot more serious than they were. So even though on a whole the series are good, there are still some parts that have been edited by the media.
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Dental Monkey
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(Original post by BlueLightDriver)
It depends on the situation. If we're certain there's someone there that needs assistance then we can force entry, but in practise this means we need to be able to see them through a window or similar.


I've been assaulted once, and held hostage once (so two separate patients) and they were my scariest experiences. I've also attended one of the London terror attacks.

I think the worst emotionally for me was a young baby in cardiac arrest. Even though I know I did all I could, I wish I could have done more.

But if you mean worst in terms of smelliest or most disgusting, I'm not sure. We get a lot of disgusting people.


I wouldn't pull a remote control out of someone's ass. I'd leave that to the hospital :fyi:


They are accurate, but at the same time they aren't. People don't want to watch us going to the routine jobs, so they're always going to pick the ones that make the best viewing. I haven't seen the one on channel 4, and I have only seen some of the BBC programme, but from what I've seen/heard they are good. But on the other hand, I do know that one of the documentaries about another emergency service (I think the fire brigade but not 100%) did misrepresent an event that happened, to make out that a patient was a lot more serious than they were. So even though on a whole the series are good, there are still some parts that have been edited by the media.
Held hostage?! :zomg: How was they preventing your escape, with a gun?!
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Trinculo
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How much of your job is picking up old people off the floor?
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BlueLightDriver
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(Original post by Dental Monkey)
Held hostage?! :zomg: How was they preventing your escape, with a gun?!
Not a gun, no, but they'd barricaded the door

(Original post by Trinculo)
How much of your job is picking up old people off the floor?
This really varies. In the area where I work we have a large elderly population, and have a lot of care homes with "no lift" policies. So I probably go to at least 1 elderly faller per day. In other areas there isn't such a high elderly population so they would go to a lot fewer.
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Dental Monkey
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(Original post by BlueLightDriver)
Not a gun, no, but they'd barricaded the door


This really varies. In the area where I work we have a large elderly population, and have a lot of care homes with "no lift" policies. So I probably go to at least 1 elderly faller per day. In other areas there isn't such a high elderly population so they would go to a lot fewer.
Have you ever attended any drowning incidents at say a leisure centre or a lake?
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BlueLightDriver
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(Original post by Dental Monkey)
Have you ever attended any drowning incidents at say a leisure centre or a lake?
Not personally, no. But someone I work with regularly has.
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