Posted by: medicblog999 | July 27, 2009

One way to annoy a paramedic!

angry-faceDispatched to a local large shopping centre for a 45 yr old female having chest pains. She is said to be located in the bus station, but I am given no idea as to where in this large, 2 section bus station she may be in.

This doesn’t bother me, because without fail, in almost 100% of the cases that we are called to, we will have a security guard frantically waiving his arms in the air, continuously, until we stop the vehicle right next to him and get out.

I am on the car for this shift, so within a couple of minutes, I am on scene. But something is wrong…..there are no security guards!!!

The main section of the bus station is a large glass building, so you can see right through it. The bus stands are staggered along both sides of it, so I slowly drive around looking into each bus stand, waiting for either someone to come out and approach me, a raised hand, or even just a collection of people huddled around my patient…..No one.

My back up crew arrives, so there is now one very yellow rapid response car, still with blue flashing L.E.Ds on, and one very yellow, really big ambulance driving slowly around the bus station.

Soon afterwards a security guard comes running out and starts waving his arms.

Hooray!, its almost like a comfort blanket.

Back to normality then, we head over to him.

M999: “Alright mate!, we have had a right job finding you today”

Security: “What are you here for? We havent called you”

M999: “45 yr old female with chest pain in the bus station?”

Security: “No, theres nothing going on in here, Ive been here all day and no one has asked for help or looked poorly”

Maybe the location has been given incorrectly, so I get on the radio to control and ask for them to ring the caller back. After a couple of minutes control come back onto the radio and inform me that the patient is in the bus station and states that she can see the ambulance.


Both myself and the crew get out and take our kit into the bus station and start looking for the patient. Just to clarify, the station isn’t busy. There are still plenty people in there but you can easily scan every one there.

Still no response, so we start walking, looking for potential patients.

Control get back on the radio and tell us that she is sitting in stand A.

As we approach stand A we see a lady sitting on a bench looking in her bags, she doesn’t look up, doesn’t make any sort of gesture or show any sign of interest in our presence. It cant possibly be her, can it?

Medic999: “Hello, did you call for an ambulance?”

Patient: “Oh….yes”


I wanted to say  – did you not see the 2 brightly coloured ambulance vehicles driving around in circles a mere 50 ft from where you are sitting? Did you not hear the security guard shouting if anyone had called for an ambulance? Did you not think to wave your hands or even lift one in the air?

Medic999: “Ok, what seems to be the problem?”


  1. Ah yes! The strange acts of our patients.
    I once attended a patient who was experiencing shortness of breath. When we arrived at the location the door was locked, a few knocks on the door later a lady answered and directed us to the bedroom at the top of the stairs, on the right. We happily obliged only to find the bedroom empty and the covers on the bed thrown back. The lady who answered the door then strolled past us and climbed in the vacant bed.
    “I’m not feeling great at all guys!”

    What can you do?!!!

  2. Be thankful she didnt berate you for not getting there quicker and then giving a long winded talking to about how she is a taxpayer and pays your wages……blah blah blah

  3. the metrocentre bus station sucks doesnt it, just be lucky she wasnt in the metro side of it as that apparently classes as the bus station aswell.

  4. Almost had a Darwin Award winner last week….kinda EMS related.
    Called for apartment fire with entrapment. Lady retreated into her bedroom to escape fire. Smoke coming under the door. Arrived on scene, make way to third floor apt., no smoke but can hear smoke alarm sounding. Door locked. Attempting to force door when door opens, smoke pours out followed by “entrapped” victim.
    Apparently had caught pot on stove on fire, emptied the extinguisher on it and INSTEAD of leaving the apt. via the door TEN feet away….she went to her bedroom and called 911 !
    Job security !

  5. It’s nothing like having been called to a home for a unconsious collapse. After trying the locked door you yell and knock trying to get someones attention, with out success. Seconds later you hear a click and as you enter through a door you see someone “unconscious” on the floor under a table…the only one in the appartment. Doh

  6. Glad to see this is a world wide condition.

    Probably did not want to dry attention or a crowd!!

  7. I was in the control room the other day just looking in on what the guys do. I didn’t realise that mobile phones presented such a problem to locating the caller. People just assume that the control staff know where they are calling from when in reality the controller has little idea where the caller is.

  8. Got a bramah today. 79-yo lady “on floor and confused”. The Warden & a neighbour were there, having been alerted by the blinds still being closed in the afternoon.

    I chatted to the patient as there seemed to be nothing immediately life-threatening. She told me that her legs sometimes go “wibbly-wobbly” and she feels confused.

    This happens most often at night when she’s had some gin! I sympathised, having had exactly the same experience myself.

    This time, no drink had been taken and she was indeed confused (? dementia), with no real idea as to how long she’d been on the floor.

    Off she went to A&E.

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