The Unseen Side Of Ambulance's Unsung Heroes
Published: 31 May 2018
They save lives for a living, but as Ambulance’s penetrating insight into its emergency services workers so affectingly shows, that’s only half the story.
They Deal With Abuse From The Public Daily
After gaining an insight into the chaotic environment that is the London Ambulance control room, it’s eye-opening to see how much flack they cop from the public.
When call assessor Karen found herself on the receiving end of an aggressive call, she began sobbing, the verbal abuse taking its toll. Sadly, Karen was not the only one mistreated on this night, and she won’t be the last. These confronting scenes make our nine-to-five seem like a walk in the park.
Helping even one person is one of the main reasons paramedics get out of bed every day because let’s face it, those 20+ hour shifts don’t sound too appealing.
When paramedic Maya dealt with an alcoholic named Mark, it sparked a harrowing confession about her own drug-addicted mother. She expressed that “I do believe addiction is an illness. If someone had cancer you wouldn’t discriminate against them. You wouldn’t say oh well, I’m not going to help you because you’re a horrible person. You’d still try.”
Although Mark’s situation hit close to home, she selflessly supported him for over three hours, overlooking his drunken demeanour and using her life experience to help him on his way to better health.
They Help More Than Just The Patient
Many careers bring out one’s nurturing side, and this holds true for 71-year-old paramedic Mick. Softly spoken, gentle yet funny, he is exactly the type of person you would want looking after you if you ever fell ill.
We often forget that paramedics are frequently dealing with more than one casualty, but as Mick points out “often in an emergency, there are two patients - the actual patient and the near relative”. He demonstrated this when he supported a sick woman and her distressed husband, from their home right to the hospital.
They’re Skilled In The Art Of Having Patience
Imagine spending half your day repeating yourself to the same person. Sounds unbearable, right? They say patience is a virtue, and paramedics Matt and Ryan had their tolerance tested by an elderly man with possible dementia, who called for the third time that morning requesting a lift home.Frequent callers and time wasters have a huge impact on the industry, but Matt and Ryan repeatedly tend to the man until the issue was finally resolved.
They Have To Make Tough Decisions
A limited supply of ambulances and an increased demand for help means call assessors often find themselves in the difficult situation of having to prioritise one patient over the other.
Faye was visibly stressed when deciding which one of two serious cases would benefit from being airlifted to hospital, and admitted that “Logistically, it’s a real challenge, and I’ve potentially got someone’s life in my hands”. Even after the final decision is made, the “what ifs” would linger in the back of anyone’s mind.
They Aren't Afraid To Share A Laugh With Their Patients
While most of the docuseries exposes compelling situations, it’s not all doom and gloom. You can’t help but giggle when easy-on-the-eye Officer Conner finds himself the object of 81-year-old Thelma’s affection. If anything was unaffected by her fall, it was definitely her eyesight, which she proved when she declared “he’s beautiful, I’ll smack his arse”.
We couldn’t agree with Thelma more, and won’t be surprised if she requires more house calls in the future!