This is the question I pose when working with a colleague for the first shift, it means what role am I fulfilling for the first part of the shift (work 12 hrs normally and therefore you change role halfway with your colleague to give them / get a break).
I asked that question today and was told, "You are in the back first" = I am in the attendant seat and have responsibility of the patient care. So it started well, kettle on after the vehicle being checked stocked and made ready for the road. Settled down in the reclining leather (ish) chairs and waiting on the phone to go... and waited and waited and waited.... zzzzz Ring ring! SMM, Nee Naw station (cheers Nee Naw for the noise!) It was the Police looking for information in regards to a call a few days ago, unfortunately I was not able to help but gave him the number of someone who could (The EMDC :) ). 1000hrs and the phone goes again, it is the EMDC Dispatcher booking us off for our meal break... porridge for both of us for our breakfast.... zzzzz 1130hrs Ring ring, Hi I have an urgent call (this is a call where a Doctor has been out (normally) to see the patient and has placed a time scale on them being into hospital for their care). Finished this call and cleared now in Edinburgh in the Western Triangle (You always get caught for a call when you clear at the Western General Hospital) and we are given the RTB = Return To Base Station, just as we are pulling out ... Do do doop! Another urgent call this time to go to Stirling Royal Hospital with a patient who is unwell and needs to be in hospital within 1hr.
We collect the patient, get her settled into the Ambulance and off to the hospital, upon arrival in the unit we are met with what looks like a scene from Casualty with patients lying all over on trolleys, sitting in chairs and relatives walking about, we are eventually spoken to by the nurse in charge of the bed in the hospital and she advised that our patient has a bed in a ward, now you would think this is good news and it is but not for us, we have to because of the lack of trolleys request permission from our EMDC to take the patient to the ward. This is not policy and when we advise the nurse of this she has a lot to say about the policy, we listen and then take our patient to the ward, explaining to the family what is happening.
We clear and are now returned to station for our second meal break (now 1530hrs), just as we pull up outside the station door Do do doop! An emergency call for a female who, when we arrive it turns out has been unwell for 4 months and decided that she did not want to wait any longer for her Doctor to refer her to hospital for an out-patient review of her chronic condition. We clear (now 1645hrs) and back for our second attempt of our second meal break.
Back in the station on the recliner again and just relaxing when (1800hrs) Ring ring.. Hi I have a fire call with persons reported inside.. Off we go again lights and sirens going, we arrive and park behind the 3 Fire engines and 2 police cars and make our way to the patient, who is a female not wanting to travel, we check her out and she still refuses to travel so we clear. Back in the vehicle we think 1830hrs and still a chance to finish on time, just as we get out of the village Do do doop, the same address that we have just been at, we call the EMDC to confirm if we are still to attend, they advise that a second patient has been found, so around the round about and back again.
When we arrive we are told that there is now a male with difficulty breathing, we check him and offer to take him to hospital for a further follow up and with this we also offer the original female patient the same again, this time she agrees so with two patients on-board we set off to the hospital. We eventually arrived back at station 45 minutes late and our colleagues were out in the spare, oh well hope they have a better quieter night!