Thursday 9 May 2013

Sink or Swim

"RTC, Car in Lake, Fire and HART on way, injuries unknown"

I moan. Yes, I know, you can all hide the shock on your faces but I do. I moan more than I realised! I was moaning to my crewmate about how I never get the good jobs and its just the same drivel every day! The funny thing about this job is you do so much in a week, it can appear a lifetime ago that you did something worth while. In actual fact it's more than likely you did something worth while less than a week ago, you've just forgotten! I suppose it doesn't help that I can't remembers a job from 7 hours ago, let alone 7 days. You're enthusiasm for this job is only ever as good as your last patient!

He stopped me in my tracks and said:

"In the last month you've had 4 cardiac arrest, a shooting, a stabbing and at least 3 serious RTCs! What are you moaning about?!"

Good point. I'll shut up! Seriously though, the day was dragging and the last patient had been rude and obnoxious so my enthusiasm was particularly low!

Car in Lake?! Yes please!! Like Sonic the Hedgehog in Red Boots we sped off to the lake in question. I say lake in the loosest sense. Pond would be a better description! Actually fish pond to be precise! It would also be worth noting that the title to this blog is also a bit dramatic! The car had sunk to the bottom but had barely covered the wheels with water and it would be a case of wading more than swimming but still, the headline in my head was "Paramedic swims across shark infested lake to save drowning granny from sinking car".

Our patient was sitting in the car looking rather bashful! She wasn't injured or trapped, just scared. My crewmate looked at me with a grin and said "off you go!". Clearly chivalry is dead! I heard the sirens in the distance, no doubt from the fire brigade, police and HART team and I wasn't going to have them massage their inflated egos (police excluded) by diving into the rescue, so in I waded! All 3 steps worth! The back of the car was only 2 feet from the edge of the bank!

I checked her over, was happy there were no injuries and told her to wait until we could get her back to land.

"Nonsense, I just need someones hand to hold onto, my feet are already wet! I'm certainly not having someone carry me, how embarrassing."

She was so defiant and I certainly wasn't going to cross her, so at her request, I took her hand and stepped her onto the bank, just as the fire brigade came rushing over!

"It's OK guys, you just leave all the rescuing to us little ladies, you take it easy!"

They laughed but you see it had killed them not to be able to wade into the water! I hope the Daily Mail tell the public how we did indeed risk shark infested ponds to save people! Can't have health and safety getting in the way of good care now can we?! We sat in the ambulance for a few minutes checking her over and doing paperwork when there was a knock on the door from the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART). They had turned up late to the party as per usual despite me cancelling them once we had our patient on board. No doubt they hung around the fire brigade for a little while cursing about how irresponsible we had been! If you want to play in hazardous areas, get to the hazardous areas before anyone else!
Not the actual car or pond before some of you have kittens!

We took her to hospital for a check up and a cuppa! That's all she really wanted! In fact, she was quite put aback by the lack of biscuits in A & E! See, cut backs are not only causing ambulance delays, there are very real biscuit shortages too! It's an outrage!

"So, you gonna moan about never doing anything interesting or you gonna have a few hours off?"



  1. Love usual! My son's been offered a job with HART. Will he take it? What do you think?!

    1. Joining HART is the best move I ever made.

      Despite the narrowminded, undereducated and flippant generalisations that 'Ella' likes to make about us, we do not have inflated egos that need massaging. And funnily enough due to the fact that there are less HART operatives and HART vehicles than there are frontline vehicles and staff and the fact that we cover a larger area than most crews it's unavoidable that we are sometimes "Late to the party"

      It seems to me that the only ego being massaged is the blogger herself.

      Good luck to your Son Helen, the courses are all brilliant, the training very worthwhile and the job can be very rewarding.

    2. Ooh, hit a nerve there! Narrowminded, uneducated and flippant eh?! It's my opinion pal. In my opinion HART is a total waste of time, money and resources. I've done 30+ jobs where HART have arrived on scene and NEVER have they done anything. Any kind of rescue or dangerous area is entered by fire brigade or the crew who turns up first, just without a fancy suit. HART team friends of mine have told me its a jolly, lots of fun training courses but they never get to use the skills or equipment they are trained to do. There is a huge air of self importance and arrogance around them and your comment has echoes that. They are also totally I equipped to deal with banter, again as you have shown. Feel free to rant on about how super important you are. Just wait and see what happens when your grossly inflated funding is cut.

      Anyway, got to go and massage my ego before the next job. Maybe see you out there. No doubt we'll be leaving scene when you arrive. Chin chin!

    3. Yeah, you did touch a nerve ... you may have the opinion that we're a waste of time and money but that's just an opinion ... doesn't make it correct. In my experience we're not a waste of time, money or resources, in fact we are an extra resource, that was funded on top of the normal Ambulance budget that was planned for as long ago as 2003.

      I'm certainly not ill equipped to deal with banter, I love a bit o' banter, but your very public derogatory comments are not banter, they're just flippant generalisations based on an ill informed opinion.

      I don't rant about our super importance, we're no more important than any other member of the service, and if used properly can be a lot of help to you in the management and treatment of our patients. After all, we're all here for the patients right? I know I am, and I can use the extra training, skills and equipment to get to the ones you may struggle to get to, I've been to many patients who are very glad of our existence ... And I don't mean stepping into a large puddle to get to a wet driver, I'd be glad you did and saved me from getting wet feet.

      Don't forget that we didn't just pop out of the woodwork as ready made boil in the bag HART operatives, we are all experienced Paramedics and Technicians (Your colleagues) so if funding is cut, it's not the end of the world to us to go back to grass roots Paramedic-ing as much of a shame and waste as it would be.

    4. Ill informed opinion? What do you base that generalisation on?! Am I not well informed?! Have I not got friends on HART?! Did I not share an ambulance station with HART?! Did I not apply, interview and then turn down HART. YOU sir are ill informed. You say you don't have a superior attitude yet you PUBLICLY belittle the job we did as if its below you. YOU are the problem. Your ego is so inflated you cannot take a scrap of criticism. I would probably suggest you've forgotten what a patient is. I'd also predict the number of patients you've dealt with in 12 months can be counted on your digits. Get real pal. You're a publicity stunt. Bore off, not need your ego around here.

    5. And by the way John, in the blog the ego massaging was in reference to the fire brigade and the only other reference to HART was about turning up late. Get over yourself and lighten up. You've spent too long in a bio-suit.

    6. So let me get this straight ...

      You write a blog where you openly say that you welcome comments, good or bad, you encourage readers to respond whether we agree or disagree and say you intend to spark debate ...

      Yet, when you write something that one of your readers feels is belittling towards an agency within the very service you work for and you spark the debate you are after, you become aggressive in your replies and accuse me of the very traits that you seem to show yourself and create wild assumptions about the work I do or don't do! That's hardly very welcoming of the input you crave now is it?!

      Just to set the record straight, I DID NOT publically belittle the job you did as below us ... you, yourself were the one publically belittling HART ... Clearly it was a job where HART were not needed, and that's fine we get it a lot where an incident sounds a lot more drastic than it turns out to be and by the time we get there it's all done an dusted. Very often we may not receive the "Stand Down" message and so find ourselves there with nothing to do, it's the nature of the job.
      But better to have us running as it may have been a lake and it may have been to deep for you to wade to, so if HART hadn't been en route it would be a bit late to ask for them after you get there. As a friend of mine says "Better to have us and not need us, than need us and not have us"

      I would NEVER belittle the role of the front line crews no matter what qualification ... It's the grass roots, It's where I came from and spent 15 years before the HART opportunity came about and where I happily do my overtime and other non HART shifts as well of 30% of my HART shifts on response cars.

      Your wild assumption of how few jobs I've done in the last year is also way off, however that's a very childish type of debate I'd rather not get into. Probably best advice for you in future is if you're unaware of the facts, to not just make up something that suits made you look a bit silly there.

      And finally to address one of your other delightful comments:

      [Quote]"YOU are the problem. Your ego is so inflated you cannot take a scrap of criticism."[/Quote]

      You may need to take a little look inwards towards yourself...You invite criticism, debate and comments, yet become unnecessarily aggressive when you receive some. Hardly the rational way I would expect fellow healthcare professionals to behave in such a public manner.

      Boring off now "Pal"

      All the best.

    7. I wrote a blog. As you point out, I welcome comments and what to have discussions. It was some banter about HART team, like there is banter about Trumpton, like the police and ambulance banter. Your first comment led with...

      'Despite the narrowminded, undereducated and flippant generalisations'

      You started with the insults directed at me.

      I don't write to get patronising comments from people like you. I base what I say on what I read, what I see and what I'm told. The HART team here, who I share a station with are lucky to see 1 patient a shift, and if they do, they are normally second on scene and have minimal contact. I didn't look silly at all as you so patronisingly put it. I can take criticism, but that isn't what you gave. You insulted me, questioned my education and were aggressive from the outset. As such, I replied in kind.

    8. I started nothing, a while ago you wrote this:

      [Quote]""UPDATE: HART team on way"

      They can bugger right off! HART or Hazardous Area Response Team is by far the biggest waste of money the service has ever had. Always late to any incident in their fancy suits and equipment and they just sit and watch the fire service. They have lots of fancy kit that they never use and it's a classic old boys network full of wannabe firefighters."[/Quote]

      That's not banter ... that's insulting, a lack of professional courtesy, it is also inaccurate, untrue and a flagrant misrepresentation of what we do and why we exist.

      You also more recently stated this:

      [Quote]"No doubt they hung around the fire brigade for a little while cursing about how irresponsible we had been! If you want to play in hazardous areas, get to the hazardous areas before anyone else!"[/Quote]

      Which is just an assumption to start with and finishes with an unnecessary and implausible stipulation.

      I get that your statements are based on your opinion -which of course you are entitled to- and the thing with opinions is, they tend to be faced with other conflicting opinions ... like mine.

      So in the "who started it" debate ... That was you ...

      I merely responded (as invited) In Kind.

      Gone are the days of us in the Frontline Ambulance Service just being made up of Technicians and Paramedics I lived through that and most of the time it worked fine, however in the more modern Ambulance Service we need to rid ourselves of the old cynical "Canteen Culture" and look to ways we can improve.

      There are many tiers, skill sets and assets within the service who are in place to make sure we all do the best we can for OUR patients.
      Perhaps if you took time to embrace those assets and utilise them instead of taking a "well they can bugger off" attitude before they've even arrived, you may see a more positive side and not just with HART, but with all other new skill sets and agencies.

      After all ... we're in this together aren't we?!

    9. God, if only you could hear how bloody sanctimonious you sound! I embrace all agencies and skill sets when they provide benefit. Am yet to see any benefit to HART when the fire brigade can do it quicker, better and with more numbers. It is an old boys network, it's not open to anyone, you have to have mates in if you want to get there and its an ego fuelled pissing contest most of the time. When I do ONE job with HART where they are of any use perhaps I will change my tune. Until then, I stand by every word I've said. You should also probably go and look up what 'tongue in cheek' means. It'll save you a lot of stress.

    10. I always thought HART stood for Holidays And Recreation Team.

  2. Lol , good work Ella , and to your mate .

  3. Ha, sorry John but you proved the point well there. Think you'll need a lot of massage cream for an ego that size fella.

  4. Although even later to the party than HART, I have to agree with Ella. In the time before I left, I attended perhaps 15 jobs where HART turned up - late, natch - and were made to look comprehensively useless by Trumpton. I thoroughly agree that the time of 'one agency does it all' should be binned, but why waste time, money, resources and manpower training people to use biosuits and work in HAZMAT-type environments when, er Trumpton, are already trained for this?


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