Two’s Company

Another set of hands is always welcome.

When you’ve spent your whole (ambulance) career working for the same Trust you rather take it as ‘given’ that how ‘we’ do things is how they’re done elsewhere; of course that’s rubbish.

John Robertson @ I Like Curry, works as an EMT in the West Midlands. His recent post The Long Drive In opens with..

When a call comes in for a cardiac arrest, control do their best to send two ambulances, or at least one ambulance and a responder if we’re a bit stretched. Extra pairs of hands are very useful!

Damn right they’re useful. The more the merrier. Then I remembered that Tom Reynolds had mentioned much the same about London. In his post Thanks to a Bystander he writes…

It was about then that another ambulance and an Emergency Care Practitioner arrived.

Excellent, another three pairs of hands. And Nee Naw confirms the LAS practice in A Sad Suspended

This flagged the call as a Red 1, and already two ambulances and an FRU were on their way.

Now in my service you get one, repeat one, ambulance for a cardiac arrest, suspended, call it what you will. If you’re (very) lucky, they might actually send an RRV as well, but only if the ambulance won’t make it within the 8 minutes. And on occasion its not unknown to just send the RRV on its own. Believe me, trying to handle a cardiac arrest on your own, with attendant hysterical relatives, plus trying to get someone in Control to answer the f**king radio so that you can ‘scream‘ for back-up is a barrel-of-laughs.

The only time two vehicles will ever turn up is if the first is a double EMT crew and they specifically request paramedic back-up. Routinely sending two vehicles is NEVER an option.

I have no idea how my Trust’s survival-from-cardiac-arrest figures compare to other services, that kind of thing is a closely guarded secret from us plebs on the front-line. I’m sure they’re shite. I’ve only ever got two patients ‘back’ and neither of them made it out of hospital.

Oh, and by the way, I’ve only ever had to attend two (working) paediatric cardiac arrests. They’re extremely distressing and its impossible to do any advanced life support on a kiddie in the back of a moving motor without assistance; and on both occasions I was refused a second vehicle!

Thanks Control, I just hope its not your kid next time!

3 Responses to Two’s Company

  1. alex says:

    When someone died near me (heroin OD, a few months back), two ambulances turned up… This was in Brighton so it’d be Sussex Ambulance Service or SECAmb or whatever they’re called now.. Your trust must just be really tight :-p

  2. Rhys says:

    At least 3 people to every arrest is the policy in Wales, So either two ambulances or one amb and one RRV.

  3. Mart says:

    EMAS is generally one motor, and an frv if one is in the area. Control will send FRV as an extra pair of hands even if the crew is going to beat them by a minute or two, but they won’t go out of their way to get you assistance so it isn’t uncommon to be at an arrest with just a crew of 2

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