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billmoseley
06-Jan-12, 20:04
I have just watched the news and see that they have rejected an offer of a 1 off payment of 1500 and 100 if their meal break is interrupted. I feel this a very generous offer and cannot see what more they can hope to get. I know we all like our meal breaks when we are working but in a job such as they do surely you must be prepared to forgo you lunch. i'm sure it doesn't happen that often. What do other Orgers think?

Maccy
06-Jan-12, 20:25
For that kind of money I would be hoping all calls come in during my break. They should not get anything extra for missing a tea break, just take it after the shout. What next our Soldiers refusing to fight because it's a tea break. If you dont like the heat dont go into the kitchen, get a job in a factory.
No wander the country is in the mess it is.

Kodiak
06-Jan-12, 20:27
For 25 years I was a Lighthouse Keeper. Not only did we look after the Light but the Fog Horn as well. We were also part of the Aux Coastguard.

If we were eating a Meal and fog came in the meal was left so we could start up the Kelvins to sound the Fog Horn. If we were called out by the coastguard then we dropped everything and away we went to where we were required.

The Job came first at all times. No matter if we were on or off Duty, Eating, sleeping or anything else. We were on call 24 hous a day. Many a time I was called out of bed after only had about 30 mintes sleep. It was all part of the job and emergencies came first. I never ever, heard of a Lightkeeper who refused to answer a call.

For the Ambulance personel to refuse to accept a call during a break is disgraceful and any who do, should hang their head in shame.

ywindythesecond
06-Jan-12, 20:35
I have just watched the news and see that they have rejected an offer of a 1 off payment of 1500 and 100 if their meal break is interrupted. I feel this a very generous offer and cannot see what more they can hope to get. I know we all like our meal breaks when we are working but in a job such as they do surely you must be prepared to forgo you lunch. i'm sure it doesn't happen that often. What do other Orgers think?

I think it is very demeaning to them for ambulance drivers to reject this offer. I also think it is demeaning to them that such monopoly money was ever offered or asked for. I do accept that reasonable compensation for loss of an earned and entitled privilege should be paid. However, if foregoing your lunch break in a real medical emergency is required I am appalled that payment is more important than action. One incident could be explained as an abnormality, but to plan for others is inexcusable.
Of course there should be a framework which ensures both reasonable reward and essential care. And also one which makes sure that this is not used as an excuse to bolster underfunding of services.
1500 up front is too much but the principle is right. I suggest 500. 100 per time is too much, but the principle is right. I suggest 25.
I am pretty disgusted with ambulance men over this. And very annoyed that my hard earned taxes are being offered around so liberally!

bluemafia
06-Jan-12, 20:36
Could you see the Fire and Rescue, Lifeboat, Coastguard etc doing the same thing? If it is a 999 call, surely a life is in danger and an emergency response is required, rather than "I'll be there after I've me brew"

PantsMAN
06-Jan-12, 20:42
I understand that, instead of having a 37.5 hour week with breaks unpaid, they would rather return to the previous situation where they were paid for 40 hours and callouts during breaks were covered.
Does anyone KNOW if the Fire service is paid or unpaid for meal breaks?

golach
06-Jan-12, 20:48
Could you see the Fire and Rescue, Lifeboat, Coastguard etc doing the same thing? If it is a 999 call, surely a life is in danger and an emergency response is required, rather than "I'll be there after I've me brew"
You cannot compare the Fire brigade, Coastguard , and the Ambulance service in the same paragraph as the RNLI, the first 3 are manned by paid personnel, the RNLI is manned by volunteers. Firemen sleep at night and get paid for it, Coastguards work shifts with paid breaks, why not the Ambulance service? If 24 hour coverage is needed then you have to pay for it.

PantsMAN
06-Jan-12, 20:57
It would appear from the details below, taken from the scheme of conditions of service on the FBU website, that fire service personnel are paid for a 42 hour week including meals.
There is a note in the details which states that account will be taken of interrupted meal breaks.

So, a comparison with the fire service seems invalid...

Section 4
3. Duty systems will need to meet the requirements of the fire and rescue authority’s Integrated Risk Management Plan. Any proposed system should be discussed with the recognised trade unions and be based on the following principles:
(1) Basic working hours should average forty-two per week (inclusive of three hours of meal breaks in every twenty-four hours) for full-time employees.
Hours of duty should be pro-rata for part-time employees.

The hours of duty of full-time employees on this system (Shift Duty system) shall be an average of forty-two per week. The hours of duty of part-time employees shall be pro-rata. The rota will be based on the following principles:
(1) Each period of twenty-four hours shall be divided into a day shift and a night shift.
(2) The night shift shall not be less than twelve hours.
(3) There shall be at least two complete periods of twenty-four hours free from duty each week.
(4) Leave days shall change week by week in a regular progressive manner.
(5) No rota system shall include continuous duty periods of twenty-four hours.
(6) Three hours shall be specified for meal breaks in every twenty-four hours. The timing of these periods is at the discretion of the authority. Account shall be taken of meal breaks interrupted by emergency calls.

TAFKAL
06-Jan-12, 21:13
I don't think the issue is they are rejecting the money. I believe the issue is that they want compensatory rest rather than the cash. Working extremely long shifts with no breaks is dangerous - it wouldnt be so if they were in a factory, but if you call out the ambulance you want paramedics that are fit for work, not exhausted.

And for what it's worth, the question is not about tea breaks, it is about lunch breaks. Tea breaks in the nhs are beinKg phased out to save money. To work 12+ hours without any break at all is simly not safe. You wouldn't see the nurses putting up with it...

All that being said there are professions that work much longer hours and also do so without guaranteed breaks.I don't think the ambulance service are being greedy, I just think they want working conditions that are safe for the people they are trying to help.

bekisman
06-Jan-12, 21:46
Well it's a few years ago, but when I was an operational Fire-Fighter, you got a salary and if the bells went down during a meal, you just responded, maybe other ex-fire-fighters on here can say more?

"Firemen sleep at night and get paid for it"..

Hmm you're right, we were paid for it - it was a 15 hour straight through night shift but it was very very unusual to go more than a few hours without a shout, so a statement indicating fire-Fighters sleep all night and get paid to do it? ...not quite..

But this is about the Ambulance service, so I'm keeping out of it...

Whitewater
06-Jan-12, 22:03
They are an emergency service, they should act accordingly and also be paid accordingly. I wonder what they would think of the fire brigade when there house was on fire, if the fire officers decided to finish their meal before attending. Somebody with a heart attack, stroke, or involved in a serious accident requires immediate attention. That is part of the job, they must respond as quickly as possible. There should be no argument or doubt. If they can't accept that then they should not have joined.

billmoseley
06-Jan-12, 22:11
This is what started the dispute.

Ambulance man chose not to attend nearby 999 callhttp://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/49752000/jpg/_49752741_mandymathieson_copyline_304.jpgMandy Mathieson died after falling ill on 16 October
An ambulance technician chose not to respond to a 999 call about a woman having what proved to be a fatal heart attack 800 yards from his depot in Moray because he was on a break.
The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) said the emergency in Tomintoul was instead answered by a crew based 21 minutes away in Grantown-on-Spey.
An air ambulance was also scrambled, but 33-year-old Mandy Mathieson, who had suffered a blood clot, died.
The technician has been suspended while an investigation is carried out.
Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-11673344#story_continues_1)“Start Quote
Our thoughts are first and foremost with the relatives of this woman at this difficult time”
Scottish government spokeswoman
Ms Mathieson's brother, Charles, said his family were shocked by how the emergency was dealt with.
He said: "I have worked in the fire service for 20 years and I can assure you that has never happened in the fire service.
"I just assumed, and the public at large assumed, that for a treble nine call the nearest ambulance will be despatched."
A spokesman for the SAS said the 999 call for a cardiac emergency was received at about midday on 16 October.
He said: "The ambulance technician on duty in Tomintoul was on a rest break and chose not to respond.
"An ambulance crew was dispatched from Grantown-on-Spey and arrived on scene within 21 minutes, followed by an air ambulance helicopter eight minutes later.
"Unfortunately the patient did not survive the cardiac arrest and our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time."
The spokesman added: "The Scottish Ambulance Service has asked the Health Professions Council to consider the ambulance technician's decision-making and has suspended the individual whilst this consideration takes place."
The Scottish government said it expected the investigation to examine whether procedures were properly followed and if there were any lessons to be learned.
A spokeswoman added: "Our thoughts are first and foremost with the relatives of this woman at this difficult time."

Maccy
06-Jan-12, 22:16
It's a shame if they miss a meal break to respond to a call out, but what are they doing when they return. Surely they are not always on the road. Have your break when you get back to base.

pumkin
06-Jan-12, 22:34
For 25 years I was a Lighthouse Keeper. Not only did we look after the Light but the Fog Horn as well. We were also part of the Aux Coastguard.

If we were eating a Meal and fog came in the meal was left so we could start up the Kelvins to sound the Fog Horn. If we were called out by the coastguard then we dropped everything and away we went to where we were required.

The Job came first at all times. No matter if we were on or off Duty, Eating, sleeping or anything else. We were on call 24 hous a day. Many a time I was called out of bed after only had about 30 mintes sleep. It was all part of the job and emergencies came first. I never ever, heard of a Lightkeeper who refused to answer a call.

For the Ambulance personel to refuse to accept a call during a break is disgraceful and any who do, should hang their head in shame.

This about sums it up for me. If your job relies on the life's & safety of others, then it's your DUTY to attend to the responsibilities that carries. Doctors take an oath as do Plumbers, if the public needs their services, you'll get a professional at any time of the day. Paramedics should not be treated any different.

It's sickening even thinking, that they think they're in a position here. Maybe they should be employed by Tesco's, their tea breaks are uninterrupted.

Phill
06-Jan-12, 23:41
They are an emergency service
It's not an emergency service! It's an essential service. :confused

robbain
06-Jan-12, 23:51
The Ambulance service, should not be given any extra money, no matter, they should answer any call for emergency no matter if they are on break or not, their main job is to dealt with emergencies as this is what they are trained to do and paid a salary for it. Its like the police and the fire service, can you see them saying sorry we won't be able to attend as we are on a break. The Ambulance service should be accountable for any callouts not telling us sorry we won't attend while on a break. The wonderful government should bring them in and say you this is part of your job even to be called out to attend or simply say right we will withdrawn your salary and give you a pay out fee each time you attend a callout. See if they like this option.

~~~Tides~~~
06-Jan-12, 23:59
For those saying that "if they weren't prepared to do the duty, they shouldn't have signed up in the first place" - I understand it that the change from a 40 hour week to a 30-whatever was a fairly recent UK wide cost-cutting move, a pill which was slightly sweetened by the fact the ambulance personnel were given guaranteed breaks (albeit not getting paid for them). So the case is that most ambulance folk did sign up and have indeed been working for years under a situation when they would respond at any time, but they were paid for it.

Therefor it does seem like a slap in the face if they got their hours cut, then had to work the extra anyway. As people have pointed out, their job is to answer calls. It is a job, a living, not voluntary nor a born duty, and as such they are entitled to fair treatment and not be mucked around by their employers.
As justification for rejecting the pay deal, the union has said that it is an issue of staffing and coverage not money, so perhaps they are forgoing the current offer to try and force the hand of the government to address the arguably more serious issue of understaffing generally (seem to remember several stories in the Groat stating that at various points there has been one or fewer ambulances in Caithness ready to attend a call, what with transfers to Inverness etc).

In the case of Mandy Matheson, the paramedic that was just down the road did not refuse to attend. He was not contacted by the control because they knew he down for a rest break. In all likelihood, in a place the size of Tomintoul, he probably knew the person, but there seems to be people inferring that he stubbornly didn’t leave his tea break when he knew there was someone dying a few houses away. That is an extremely serious allegation.

rogermellie
07-Jan-12, 00:41
there seems to be people inferring that he stubbornly didn’t leave his tea break when he knew there was someone dying a few houses away. That is an extremely serious allegation.

if this allegation wasn't true then surely the guy could sue for slander or something~?

every piece in the media following this case directly blamed the guy for refusing to respond, even when he knew the circumstances of the emergency

so who's telling the truth ?

Torvaig
07-Jan-12, 00:58
Well said Tides; at last someone comes out with the truth about the Mandy Matheson case; a very sad outcome which did not need any embellishment. It is such a shame that people are so willing to accept what is said in the media rather than listen to what really happened. A newspaper can screw any story around to arouse emotional response in the gullible public who then go on to make false accusations on basis of very few honest facts.

The ambulance service should be willing to pay to have enough ambulances and crew to cover large remote areas, many of which are rural with no street lights and farms that have no signs at the ends of their roads but expect a crew to find them in the dark.

How often have you heard "it took the ambulance an hour to get here" - "here" being in the middle of the county with no clear signage. Just think of the Caithness area alone; try asking the ambulance service how many vehicles are on call during the night hours and what size of patch is covered and how many crew are on call.

An ambulance technician or paramedic can be on 24 hour call, attend call-outs, some of which need to be taken to Inverness making that vehicle and crew unavailable for up to five hours. All it takes is one or two emergency call-outs and all vehicles and crew are tied up in an area such as Caithness and Sutherland.

Many of these vehicles and staff are taken up with not only genuine cases but also the selfish individuals who get stupified with drink, lie down on the pavement and insist on someone dialling 999. An ambulance and crew attend and miraculously the "patient" is able to get up and ask for a lift home as they are no longer feeling ill! This happens time and time again; total misuse of the Ambulance Service and their staff but perfectly ok for the waste of space idiots.

A crew can be called out in the middle of the night having been working all day, have to take a patient(s) to Inverness, stop on the way to deal with a crisis in the vehicle, return home and get the kettle on or lie down for a rest but the phone goes again and they have to attend yet another incident which is often fuelled by drink or idiotic driving.

It is not unknown for ambulance personnel to go without sleep and food for many hours but still be expected to work at optimum capacity and make life or death decisions.

Maybe it is time for the powers that be to look at the budget the Ambulance Service is allocated and how it is dispersed amongst staff such as the decision makers in their offices with their clean cut hours, the ambulance technicians, the paramedics, the part-time staff and the trainees, cleaners and mechanics etc.

Methinks the distribution of the allocated funds should be looked at seriously with enough budget for plenty of trained personnel on the ground to do the job they joined up for.

Sad that money is at the root of it all and governs how many personnel are on call and available 24 hours a day but the technicians and paramedics take all the flak with no right of redress to what is said in the media and just quietly go about their business.

And the public love it!

rogermellie
07-Jan-12, 01:19
trust me torvaig, the public don't love it

if a person is dying, wouldn't it be reasonable to interupt your break, attend the call and put your feet up at the next available opportunity?

i appreciate they have a busy and demanding job, but it's not the norm for paramedics to regularly go without sleep or food. (i also know a paramedic)
are they so disorientated by missing their break that they're not fit to make life or death decisions?

i still think if this guy is innocent of blame then he would be able to issue some statement to make us, the great and the gullible, aware of the facts

Torvaig
07-Jan-12, 01:26
Then trust me rogermellie; you don't know many of the public.

Do you not know of the ones known as ambulance chasers? They don't do so to help but to be the first one with the news! Hence the posts on here about "does anyone know where the ambulance/firebrigade was rushing to this morning at 9.15?"

"Does anyone know why there were blue lights on the road to Dunbeath today?"

Why does a member of the public rush to the scene of an accident then crawl under a lorry which had just run over another member of the public; not to help but to go around telling anyone who will listen what the injured looked like and what all was torn, bleeding etc

Dadie
07-Jan-12, 01:30
the emergency services shouuld provide a service to counteract the claims its a 24 hr service and as good as it gets no matter when its called into question!

Torvaig
07-Jan-12, 01:30
Believe it or not, the "guy" would not respond to media allegations as he is not allowed to. The ambulance service has a whole legal team/office who deal with these cases.

Why can't you accept that the "guy" did not know what or where the shout was?

Torvaig
07-Jan-12, 01:43
the emergency services shouuld provide a service to counteract the claims its a 24 hr service and as good as it gets no matter
when its called into question!

Yes Dadie, you are right, it is a 24 hour service and yes, there should be enough personnel to deal with any callouts but obviously there isn't enough money to provide that service. After all, those at the top have to get their slice first and they don't even work 12/24 hour shifts!

And as I said before, the service is very much abused sometimes leaving no cover for real emergencies. They have to respond to every call but how is it possible with only two shifts on duty over a large area?

Maybe some of the doubters on here will think twice next time before calling an ambulance to someone who has fallen and hurt their poor leg while coming out of a pub with a fill of drink. You would be amazed at how often that happens and it can take the crew a long time to deal with the abuse and the interference of the drunken idiots who surround them when they attend to false or real calls that they have to respond to. Sometimes is gets so bad that the police have to be sent for to enable the crew to help the injured.

joxville
07-Jan-12, 01:44
To all those saying "if you don't like the heat" etc., can I just ask you, would you be prepared to work 7 days on/ 7 days off, with the chance that any break you get could be interrupted? That's what the the personnel that man the ambulances do at the moment, and incidentally, after the Mandy Mathieson fiasco, when none of the bosses of the Scottish Ambulance Service, nor the Scottish Parliament, had the balls to stand up and take the blame for a flawed policy, Nicola Sturgeon then removed their right to a paid break. As always, there is more to a case than meets the eye; if you don't agree with how the service is run, and remember, it's YOUR service and YOUR taxes, then raise a petition with the ambulance service/local MSP.

rogermellie
07-Jan-12, 01:46
Then trust me rogermellie; you don't know many of the public.

Do you not know of the ones known as ambulance chasers? They don't do so to help but to be the first one with the news! Hence the posts on here about "does anyone know where the ambulance/firebrigade was rushing to this morning at 9.15?"

"Does anyone know why there were blue lights on the road to Dunbeath today?"

Why does a member of the public rush to the scene of an accident then crawl under a lorry which had just run over another member of the public; not to help but to go around telling anyone who will listen what the injured looked like and what all was torn, bleeding etc

you're going way off tangent now, the term 'ambulance chaser' describes a lawyer who will supposedly follow an ambulance (more likely to wait in a hospital) and act on behalf of a victim to try and sue the person at blame for an accident.

the term i used in the other thread is rubber neckers, they're the ghouls who come on here wanting to know the crack so they can spout off their first hand immediate information without a thought for who's involved, both scum in my opinion but not what were talking about here.

anyway, back on track, if this paramedic can't publicly defend his own integrity then i think there lies a further problem

rogermellie
07-Jan-12, 01:49
i'm a simple man with simple ideals and would like someone to simply explain and evidence this for me....

was the paramedic contacted and told the seriousness of the call ? (as alleged by all and sundry)

Torvaig
07-Jan-12, 01:54
you're going way off tangent now, the term 'ambulance chaser' describes a lawyer who will supposedly follow an ambulance (more likely to wait in a hospital) and act on behalf of a victim to try and sue the person at blame for an accident.

An "ambulance chaser" is also members of the public who literally do chase ambulances in their vehicles to see what they can see and be first with the news; believe me I have seen them; some of whom are well known to the service!

the term i used in the other thread is rubber neckers, they're the ghouls who come on here wanting to know the crack so they can spout off their first hand immediate information without a thought for who's involved, both scum in my opinion but not what were talking about here.

"Rubber neckers" are those too lazy to be an "ambulance chaser" or don't have a car!

anyway, back on track, if this paramedic can't publicly defend his own integrity then i think there lies a further problem

You are right, he is not permitted to publicly defend his integrity.

Torvaig
07-Jan-12, 01:57
[QUOTE=rogermellie;918246]i'm a simple man with simple ideals and would like someone to simply explain and evidence this for me....

was the paramedic contacted and told the seriousness of the call ? (as alleged by all and sundry)[/QUOTE


No, he was not. The call didn't even reach his telephone as central made the decision knowing he was on a break.

joxville
07-Jan-12, 02:01
i'm a simple man with simple ideals and would like someone to simply explain and evidence this for me....

was the paramedic contacted and told the seriousness of the call ? (as alleged by all and sundry)

The same case was discussed here on the Org last eyar, here is my post on the thread: http://forum.caithness.org/showthread.php?132087-Ambulance-chose-not-to-respond-.&p=805404#post805404

Torvaig
07-Jan-12, 02:01
I must sign off now; I'm tired.

Everything has been said about this case; some people have read the posts, others have just skimmed and taken the wrong meaning out of them. Basically, each takes their own meaning out of the situation.....

rogermellie
07-Jan-12, 02:03
thanks Torvaig for simply explaining this, it seems crazy that the paramedic has been made out to be the villain and he can't defend himself

back to the other highlighted bit, you've enlightened me to another scummy sector of society, i thought it was just lawyers

billmoseley
07-Jan-12, 14:47
the thread was about the pay offer not pointing the blame at anyone

scotsboy
07-Jan-12, 15:30
The Scottish Ambulance Service is a wonderful organization, they are worth every penny. I hope none of you require their service, but at some stage or other we all will. As someone who witnessed the fantastic work they do first hand not that long ago, I have nothing but praise for them.

TAFKAL
07-Jan-12, 15:48
the thread was about the pay offer not pointing the blame at anyoneThe pay offer was rejected. They don't want more money, they want enough staff for a guaranteed rest break. A full weekend on call which would mean no guaranteed rest period from lunch on the Friday until lunch on the Monday. It just isn't a safe working environment.

pat
07-Jan-12, 16:17
Proper scheduled uninterrupted breaks during their shifts are mentally and physically ESSENTIAL - not to be fuzzed around with later, later never comes when they are very busy.
Can lead to inaccurate work/thought leaving them open to solcitors/courts and who backs them up then - not their employers (the government) who roll out the rule book that they should then take their break.
Enough staff to cover the situation, does not matter if in city centres or rural areas - breaks require to be covered - back to the government to sort out properly this time.

Wick66
07-Jan-12, 17:08
The Ambulance service used to work a 40 hour week then the powers that be adopted the European Working Time regulations which meant that the working week had to be changed to a 37.5 hour week. The solution that the management came up with to reduce the hours was to make all staff have an unpaid meal break of 30 minutes for every 8 hours worked. Over 5 days this equated to 2.5 hours which fitted nicely to create a 37.5 hours working week. At the time of this the unions and staff said that this was unworkable as this would leave gaps in cover but this was ignored, mainly, it was felt, because that it would have minimal impact on the cities as there was pleanty of resources in these areas. Staff were then informed that they were not allowed to work during this 30 minutes as they would not be insured.
Ambulance authorities in England and Wales realised that there were going to be issues and offered their staff the option to be available during their breaks with an offer of around 1800 per year plus a disturbance allowance of up to 50. The Scottish crews were then offered 250 per year and 5 disturbance. The Ambulance staff that I know have rejected the current offer of a one off payment of 1500 and have said that all they want is to be treated like the Fire service and the Police both of which get paid for their meal breaks. They have no interest in the 100 disturbance payment.
It should also be noted that the Ambulance crews are not refusing to answer calls during their rest periods. They agreed to be contacted should the need arise until an agreement can be made.

TAFKAL
07-Jan-12, 17:50
The Ambulance service used to work a 40 hour week then the powers that be adopted the European Working Time regulations which meant that the working week had to be changed to a 37.5 hour week. The solution that the management came up with to reduce the hours was to make all staff have an unpaid meal break of 30 minutes for every 8 hours worked. Over 5 days this equated to 2.5 hours which fitted nicely to create a 37.5 hours working week. At the time of this the unions and staff said that this was unworkable as this would leave gaps in cover but this was ignored, mainly, it was felt, because that it would have minimal impact on the cities as there was pleanty of resources in these areas. Staff were then informed that they were not allowed to work during this 30 minutes as they would not be insured.But recently the nhs had decided that staff are no longer entitled to tea breaks, just half an hour unpaid lunch...

Torvaig
07-Jan-12, 19:17
But recently the nhs had decided that staff are no longer entitled to tea breaks, just half an hour unpaid lunch...

Don't think the NHS have anything to do with the ambulance service rules and regulations.

As far as I know, the Scottish Ambulance Service is a totally separate entity...

Para
17-Jan-12, 11:14
I found this thread through Google. I am a Paramedic with the SAS.


This about sums it up for me. If your job relies on the life's & safety of others, then it's your DUTY to attend to the responsibilities that carries. Doctors take an oath as do Plumbers, if the public needs their services, you'll get a professional at any time of the day. Paramedics should not be treated any different.

It's sickening even thinking, that they think they're in a position here. Maybe they should be employed by Tesco's, their tea breaks are uninterrupted.

I don't even know how to reply to many of the comments in this thread: they are so wide of the mark and made by people who don't have a clue.

In short:

Ambulance crews can be worked for the full 12+ hours of a shift. The only downtime we get are our UNPAID MEAL BREAKS (no such thing as a 'tea break'). You want us to respond to 999 calls during our break? Is that in addition to the seven 999 calls we did in the morning and the 6 we will do in the afternoon? Just when are we meant to eat/drink/go to the toilet?

Respond to the 999 and have the break later? Exactly when, later? Some days 999s are backed up and we go from one to another. There has to be a point when you HAVE to stop and rest. We have drugs and equipment which can save lives but also can kill very quickly if used incorrectly. Have you tried thinking clearly if you have worked for many hours without anything to eat or drink?

I work urban and we have a lot more jobs than rural but although rural can have fewer jobs, they can take many hours for each one.

Can anyone here work without a break or anything to eat or drink for 12+ hours? No? They why expect others to do it?

Para
17-Jan-12, 11:16
Don't think the NHS have anything to do with the ambulance service rules and regulations.

As far as I know, the Scottish Ambulance Service is a totally separate entity...

SAS is part of the NHS.

Torvaig
17-Jan-12, 13:38
SAS is part of the NHS.

My aplologies Para, as it has it's own headquarters in Edinburgh I presumed that they were in charge of their own rules and regulations. Thanks for putting me right.

And many thanks for coming in on this discussion; we the public just can't keep our noses out and spout our own take on things that, as you say quite rightly, we know nothing about.

Where would we all be without you.....

Para
17-Jan-12, 13:46
Google: Agenda for Change. This is where the problem happened (in about 2006) when the whole of the NHS went from 40 hours to 37.5 (unpaid rest breaks) and that included the ambulance service. This affects the whole of the UK and not just Scotland.

Southern-Gal
17-Jan-12, 17:31
Firefighters regularly have to leave their meals when a call comes in, I thought the nature of the job meant they expect to have to do it as part and parcel of it. Maybe if they want a 9 to 5 job with guaranteed breaks and other rights associated with having an office jb they should go and get an office job?
Sounds like they want the excitement, pay and prestige of being part of the emergency sevices but dont really want to deal with the emergency part very often.
I too would like to have the cake and eat it!

Para
17-Jan-12, 17:41
Firefighters regularly have to leave their meals when a call comes in, I thought the nature of the job meant they expect to have to do it as part and parcel of it. Maybe if they want a 9 to 5 job with guaranteed breaks and other rights associated with having an office jb they should go and get an office job?
Sounds like they want the excitement, pay and prestige of being part of the emergency sevices but dont really want to deal with the emergency part very often.
I too would like to have the cake and eat it!

Sorry, did you read my post at all? It would appear not.

Do Firefigthers go straight from one job to the next? No they don't. If they leave a meal, they will almost certainly return to station to finish it. Police have to be flexible but they will get their breaks. Ambulance crews could very easily work the whole 12+ hour shift without a single break, without eating or drinking anything for those 12+ hours if it wasn't for (UNPAID) meal breaks.

I ask again, does anyone here really want ambulance crews, using drugs and other equipment, driving under blue lights, to work 12+ hours without a single break?

PantsMAN
17-Jan-12, 18:17
Sorry, did you read my post at all? It would appear not.


Para, you will quickly realise that on this forum, for some members, thinking before typing is an alien concept which is often coupled with an inability to read a whole thread befoe contributing.

I agree with you, and tried to make the point earlier, that complex decisions etc are best made when the mind and body is fresh!

john w
17-Jan-12, 18:18
Another note, how many 999 call outs do fire fighters get in a shift, or indeed those who are retained, how many 999 calls do the Police answer in a shift? find out the figures from the appropriate authorities, then find out how many 999 calls a particular Ambulance crew will be expected to attend on a shift (not counting any "on call" working), I think you may be surprised at the numbers, and realise just how important a rest break is (not a tea break, or meal break) but a legal break for rest as applied by the Agenda for Change, even lorry drivers carrying dead fish require a break from their duties.

RecQuery
17-Jan-12, 18:38
They wanted the break not the money and their entitled to make that decision. Don't blame the drivers, blame the people in charge: the management, the local authority, the health boards. For a while the media tried to paint them as selfish for you know wanting reasonable working conditions. Anyone who says they would do it for the money should try emulating their working week for a while, see what you say then.

Blackbird
17-Jan-12, 19:04
Do Firefighters go straight from one job to the next? No they don't.

We do sometimes, though admittedly not as often as you paramedics or ambo crews.

Politics and the emergency services do not make happy bedfellows. The senior mamagement are too intent on saving money, cutbacks and trying to do things on the cheap, hence ambo crews having to literally down tools and have a break. In an ideal world there would be more than enough staff so that all firefighters, police and ambo/paramedics could have a break and another crew cover the shouts but it doesn't happen.

I can assure everyone that no-one in any of the emergency services would willingly ignore a 'call for help' from the public, it's the nature of the person our job attracts, we want to help people.

When you hear the tabloid stories of the ambulance crews not attending a shout as they were on a break it is because they weren't even aware, it is not that they are refusing to go, they are not called out by whoever decides these things, be it senior management or politicians.

Carole
17-Jan-12, 19:25
Hi Para, welcome to the Org!


...... Ambulance crews could very easily work the whole 12+ hour shift without a single break, .....

I'm curious - and hope you can explain - how the 12+ hour shifts are worked into the 37.5 hour week?

Thanks

Alice in Blunderland
17-Jan-12, 20:28
Hi Para, welcome to the Org!



I'm curious - and hope you can explain - how the 12+ hour shifts are worked into the 37.5 hour week?

Thanks

The same way as the nurses hours are worked out I would imagine. Many of them work a 37.5 hour week. Some weeks the nurses will work four twelve hour shifts or longer, others they work much less, if at all it all averages out over the length of the month.

grumpyhippo
17-Jan-12, 23:19
The same way as the nurses hours are worked out I would imagine. Many of them work a 37.5 hour week. Some weeks the nurses will work four twelve hour shifts or longer, others they work much less, if at all it all averages out over the length of the month.

The intention of Agenda For Change was that every one in the NHS would work the same hours ( pro rata for part time employees) so all NHS employees should have the the same terms and conditions what ever their job or where ever they worked.

bekisman
18-Jan-12, 00:27
Do Firefigthers go straight from one job to the next? No they don't
Oh yes they do...

Torvaig
18-Jan-12, 01:35
The same way as the nurses hours are worked out I would imagine. Many of them work a 37.5 hour week. Some weeks the nurses will work four twelve hour shifts or longer, others they work much less, if at all it all averages out over the length of the month.

Well said Alice; the job and its patients come first. I've yet to see ambulance personnel, nurses or firefighters look at their watch whilst in attendance at a shout and say, "Well, that's me finished for the day".

I have seen them get home exhausted after a particularly long or complicated shout, many hours after the end of their shift only to be called out again in the middle of a meal, just after they have gone to bed or even before they get home.

Instead of criticising the people on the front line, let the dissenters write to services' managers or anyone they think has a say in some of the questionable decisions made. Protest at the mistreatment of our emergency services so that they know the feeling and support of the general populace for these people who put their lives on the line whether out on a job or in close attendance and treatment of patients.

Also have a firm word with anyone you know who continually gets drunk, fall and injure themselves, think it's funny to dial 999 just to see the blue lights and then argue and impede the emergency people who turn out no matter what. I just hope that the people who continually misuse the services never have a real emergency some day and the service they need is attending a hoax call.......

Torvaig
18-Jan-12, 02:20
Firefighters regularly have to leave their meals when a call comes in, I thought the nature of the job meant they expect to have to do it as part and parcel of it. Maybe if they want a 9 to 5 job with guaranteed breaks and other rights associated with having an office jb they should go and get an office job?
Sounds like they want the excitement, pay and prestige of being part of the emergency sevices but dont really want to deal with the emergency part very often.
I too would like to have the cake and eat it!

That is such a sad opinion on Ambulance crews......:eek:

joxville
18-Jan-12, 03:20
Firefighters regularly have to leave their meals when a call comes in, I thought the nature of the job meant they expect to have to do it as part and parcel of it. Maybe if they want a 9 to 5 job with guaranteed breaks and other rights associated with having an office jb they should go and get an office job? Sounds like they want the excitement, pay and prestige of being part of the emergency sevices but dont really want to deal with the emergency part very often. I too would like to have the cake and eat it! Hmmm, I suggest you say that to my brother, an ex-fireman, who left the service to become an ambulance paramedic because he wasn't busy enough and was sick of the politics within the fire service in his area. Pay and prestige were furthest from his mind.

Blackbird
18-Jan-12, 08:05
Hi Para, welcome to the Org!



I'm curious - and hope you can explain - how the 12+ hour shifts are worked into the 37.5 hour week?

Thanks

Same way we do, it's averaged out over 12 months with rostered leave and rota/days off in between shifts. We work 48 hours in 4 days which averages out over 12 months to 42 hours a week with leave and rota days factored in.

gcmac
18-Jan-12, 17:33
once again on caithness.org people speaking about something they know nothing about,how many off you would miss breakfast dinner or tea none!!!!.half off you do nothing but sit on computer talking total rubbish prob filling your faces at the same time.as everyone with a brain knows if a 999 call would come in they would be on there way no matter as it happens they often get called out just as they have sat down for dinner even christmas day i could say alot more but not worth it as plenty here talk for sake off it even in something they know nothing about

billmoseley
18-Jan-12, 19:39
once again on caithness.org people speaking about something they know nothing about,how many off you would miss breakfast dinner or tea none!!!!.half off you do nothing but sit on computer talking total rubbish prob filling your faces at the same time.as everyone with a brain knows if a 999 call would come in they would be on there way no matter as it happens they often get called out just as they have sat down for dinner even christmas day i could say alot more but not worth it as plenty here talk for sake off it even in something they know nothing about
I started this thread and think it has had an excellent reply to it. But i do resent the way you have had a go at the orgers. We are all entitled to our opinions we might not agree with all we read but it's a free country with free speech. As i write this i see that the dispute has now been resolved which is great.

Fran
04-Feb-12, 01:02
[ Why does a member of the public rush to the scene of an accident then crawl under a lorry which had just run over another member of the


public; not to help but to go around telling anyone who will listen what the injured looked like and what all was torn, bleeding etc[/QUOTE]

Could it not be that the person who went under the lorry to the injured person, did it to help the victim who they knew and the accident happened outside their home and they had also called the ambulanceDo you not think this person went to help till the ambulance arrived not to be nosey.

Osbacky
04-Feb-12, 03:05
Well I think what happened to that poor woman in Tomitol was unforgivable and it rises the question that some people in the Scottish Ambulance Service only in the job for the wage at the end of the month and not to save life, saving life should be priority over everything else, my lunch is more important than saving a life what an idiot!

joxville
04-Feb-12, 12:56
I learned a couple of days ago that the Ambulance Control Operator in the Mandy Mathieson case has been promoted to Area Manager, even though he has no frontline experience, and was shown to have 'economised with the truth'. Trebles all round.

Torvaig
04-Feb-12, 17:17
[ Why does a member of the public rush to the scene of an accident then crawl under a lorry which had just run over another member of the


public; not to help but to go around telling anyone who will listen what the injured looked like and what all was torn, bleeding etc

Could it not be that the person who went under the lorry to the injured person, did it to help the victim who they knew and the accident happened outside their home and they had also called the ambulanceDo you not think this person went to help till the ambulance arrived not to be nosey.[/QUOTE]



No Fran, not at all. The ambulance personnel were already there dealing with the victim in a perfectly capable and professional manner. The member of the public was not needed to help, he was there out of sheer nosiness, not to lend a hand.

There are people who love to be the ones to first spread the news just for their own glory, not out of any willingness to actually help. Most times they just get in the way.

Ambulance chasers are just that and are ignorant, nosy pests and as bad as the reporters who click their cameras to get the best shots of somebody in distress or dying with the excuse that they are only doing a job and satisfying the publics need for gory details.

Which of course they are!

Fran
06-Feb-12, 01:39
We must be commenting on two different lorry accidents here. I take it you are a paramedic then?