Stuff reports Turangi man (ahem), Adrian Selwyn Otimi 35 called for an ambulance for chest pain.
Now that is a bit of a red flag callout as it can be nothing or sometimes it is the early warning for a heart attack. Therefore we don't delay and Glen Blackford responded from Taumaranui. On arrival at Otimi's place the Piece Of Shit entered the truck and forced Blackford to drive him to Rotorua. Some 35 kms out of Turangi Blackford managed to escape his truck and call Police resulting in Otimi's arrest.
A few things here really have me exercised:
I will assume that this has happened to an Ambulance being single crewed, I don't know this but if it was, it is as a direct result of the precarious funding situation St John Ambulance service is in.
The most serious problem here apart from the danger to Blackford is the fact that while that truck is on a false alarm call and my geographical knowledge tells me it would have been off station for possibly 3,4 or even 5 hours leaving the community that in all probability largely funds their service seriously exposed. The truck would have also traveled to Turangi under Lights and Siren which naturally heightens the potential of danger for other road users on a popular tourist road that was not the greatest last time I drove it.
The trend to single crewing albeit better than no truck at all is a very dangerous practice and will inevitably end up costing the still largely volunteer service hugely.
The POS perpetrator who has been remanded in custody, thankyou judge, for a mental health report will in all probability be dealt with under simple law covering threatening behavior, conversion of the truck or some other BS charge when in fact he placed god knows how many people in serious jeopardy, something that constantly lies in the back of the mind of all of us in stations with little backup and due to population constraints under serviced, not to mention the danger to other road users.
As for me I would let the vetinarian deal next time Mr Otimi calls us and suggest he/she takes the humane bolt.
His ultimate punishment will inevitably be seen by most as entirely innappropriate.