The Herald reports St John Ambulance is failing to improve response times for "P1" calls where life is in immediate danger. The target times are: Urban 8 minutes, local rural 12 minutes and remote 25 minutes. These times are becoming compromised for several reasons.
1 The service is becoming overloaded with societal problems and cellphones. 2 Road etiquette. 3 over inflated expectations.
With society indulging more in recreational drugs, binge drinking and the removal of personal responsibility the Ambulance service is being called to deal with incidents that a small degree of self care and care for mates would prevent or deal with. The advent of cellphones causes prompt alerts but often by people who take no time to assess need, just the rush to call it in, often with poor intel as to what and where. A problem with Fire service also. Many motorists with soundproof cars, stereos and little awareness of what is going on around them have a disconcerting ability to, on hearing a siren, stop on the middle of their lane, instead of maintaining their momentum and pulling over asap. Rising costs of basic medical treatment options results in 111 calls when a measured trip to a Dr or medical center is the better option albeit involving a cost, they forget that an account will come from the Ambo bean counters but I suspect recovery rates are abysmal.
Loss of consciousness, chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding, abdominal pain and big bone or multiple fractures are reason to call 111 whereas spilling your guts from over doing the booze, spraining your ankle or wrist, minor cuts and abrasions, dislocating your shoulder are not. Too many who call 111 do not think it through.
The man in the hot seat Jamie Wood claims more money is an answer and My heading indicates support for that but I should have ended with "NOT" as there is much the service could do with tweeking their protocols and asking people to use their transport and first aid kit while the trained people with their expensive equipment get back on station for a real emergency instead of transporting someone to ED when a trip to their Dr would suffice.
For us to do a "transport" can take our one truck out of "available" for up to 3 hours depending on how far towards ED we have to travel whereas a "leave the Patient to sort themselves out" would take on average less than one hour and many less than 30 minutes, if we even responded at all.
So More money although an easy answer for the shineys, would make no difference at our coal face, though a New Truck would be nice to replace the 11 year old Toyota Panel Van with no Turbo and with all our remote calls requiring a climb to the Summit Rd which will take all our alloted 25 minutes without the subsequent 15 to 20 to reach an outer bay settlement.
I wonder what the expenditure for SAR, SLS, Coast guard and police to deal with stupids over the holidays has been, we desperately need some enforceable cost recovery systems to bring home the Financial Repercussion costs for stupids, now there is a thought.