It’s OK, I’m protected!
Over the last month or so all front line staff have been issued with their own EPD (electronic personal dosemeter); another UPC with a TLA that’s a LOB* Training consisted of how to put the battery in and the fact that it will start beeping and flashing when I’m in a ‘hot’ zone. For the lucky ones you can even
nick request a swishy case to hang off your belt, otherwise you have to clip it on (which means it falls off every time you sit down). Personally I’d rather have a BP cuff that works, a thermometer or even a couple of new uniform shirts.
I’m reliably informed, by those that are supposed to know, that it has a wide coverage area of……well….. about a foot. So no advanced warning then. You know you’ve been nuked when the red light starts flashing and the machine starts beeping like a demented doorbell. Wonderful! So at least I’ll know that I have only 10 days to live which will be proceeded by my hair falling out and my skin glowing a sensuous shade of fluorescent green. On reflection I think it might be better not to know. Must make sure my will is sorted and the mortgage is up to date.
These things cost about £50 each so that’s roughly £50,000 to kit out my county and probably about £1.8 million (romswag**) to issue these to all frontline ambulance staff around the country. I’m sure Wat Tyler would be able to advise.
Presumably some bean-counters up in Whitehall have completed a cost-benefit study on these things and have concluded that, despite the lamentable state of finances in the NHS, the chances of me getting nuked whilst picking granny up off the floor are worth the cost of closing a hospital ward somewhere. Sadly, the ‘benefits‘ of having one of these things dangling off my belt all shift, have not been passed on to the managers responsible for issuing them. “What do I need one of these for?” is a common question. “In case you have to go into a radioactive zone.” is the helpful response. So, rather than identify the positive aspects of wearing these, a number of notices have gone up around the county along the lines of:
Now that all staff have been issued with their own EPD these will be worn at all times whilst on duty. Any member of staff found without their EPD will be disciplined.
Excellent. That really helps. More management by bullying.
Interestingly these things weigh only 4oz but when you undo the belt on your trousers the weight is enough to drag the belt out the loop and the ‘dozy’meter crashes to the floor. The girls on station have been speculating as to how long it will be before someone drops one down the loo!
*useless piece of crap with a three letter acronym that’s a load of bollox.
**romswag: rough order of magnitude, shitty wild ass guess