A Typical Call-out

Picture9Living in Redditch I know that as soon as it starts to snow, some of the main roads will start to deteriorate quickly. Most of these roads are fairly steep with roundabouts at the top, recipe for  disaster… My own close is on a 30 degree incline and is un-drivable for a normal car. So you can understand the chaos once the white stuff starts to set.

Watching the weather forecasts closely I start to prepare for the first phone-call. Fill-up the car with fuel, check lights, antifreeze, windscreen wash and of course the essential kit: High Viz coat, gloves, waterproof trousers, boots, snow shovel, grid, all ready to go. I always tend to have some food in the car, especially high energy stuff like mars/snickers bars and plenty of water.

Having the phone next to the bed on the loudest ring-tone, together with pen and paper (don’t forget!) it’s 5AM-ish when I’m woken by what seems the loudest wake-up call ever. Our controller Tracy is very apologetic for waking me so early, but hey, that’s why we joined in the first place, right?! Half awake I write down her instructions; a few nurses are stuck in Bromsgrove & Kidderminster area and need to be at the Alex hospital by 7AM to start their shift. Also the people on the night shift want to go home but the car-park is snowed under. Fortunately all my clothes are ready so 5 mins later I’m dressed and ready to go. Well… add 5 more minutes to make a flask of coffee as looking out of the window it’s going to be a busy day…

When I get to the main road to Bromsgrove a nice police officer advises me that the road is closed due to an RTC, great… back roads it is then. Managed to get to Kidderminster perfectly on time to pick up the first nurse, it’s back to Bromsgrove to pick up the other two. One thing I always do is to phone ahead to the person you are collecting to give them an ETA, so it is also a way to confirm to the person that the job is accepted and that you are on your way. The benefit is also that they can let you know if the pickup is no longer required, especially if conditions start to improve. Another thing to check is, when the job is assigned to you, that they also arranged a pickup at the end of their shift as this is not always the case!

I delivered the nurses safe to the Alex and then wait at the entrance for the nurses to take home. Tracy calls again to check if I’m available from 9AM onwards to take the midwives on their rounds to see patients. This could be a longer job as they need to visit various patients. Sure no problem…

On my way back to the Alex, I get another call to tell me that one of the midwives I’m supposed to meet at the Alex is stuck at home and I’m asked to pick her up on my way. Arriving there the midwives were very happy to see me, as in previous years they have struggled to get transport and immediately get spoiled with coffee and biscuits while they sort out their patient list for the day. It soon becomes clear that this job will not finish till at least 3PM, so a quick message back to  our controller Tracy to keep her up to date…

The patient rounds themselves are quite good actually; usually they are not too far away from each other and while they are with the patient I have a coffee break and fill in the mileage form. They then come with a nice surprise that the last few patients are in Birmingham, Feckenham and Beoley, so at least we get to do some further trips as well. Finally home for dinner that night, exhausted but very pleased with myself about all the jobs I managed to do, on time, safe and without getting stuck.

Time to get the kit ready for the next morning as the first job starts again at 6AM…

Ron, GR63