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AMA

Ex ambulance call taker/dispatcher

39 replies

CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 09/05/2019 23:32

I didn’t want to hijack the other police dispatcher/call taker thread.
AMA

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Needcoffeeimmediatley · 09/05/2019 23:33

What's the weirdest call you ever took?

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 09/05/2019 23:40

Erm, lots, I worked there for over 12 years...

One that sticks to my mind was a gent lost, he believed I cold track him and get him home, I couldn’t 😂 he got mad.

They gent that had problems below and stuck a candle up his bottom as google told him to.

We took multiple calls where situations panned out in front of our ears, stabbing shootings etc...

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Sonicknuckles · 11/05/2019 21:10

Would you recommend the job?

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ThisIsM · 11/05/2019 21:20

Did you ever help to deliver any babies Grin

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Foodtheif · 11/05/2019 21:22

What’s the most ridiculous call out you’ve had?

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AmazingGrace16 · 11/05/2019 21:25

Do you always find out what has happened to patients once the ambulance has reached them?

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AmazingGrace16 · 11/05/2019 21:26

Have you ever taken a call from a child?

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AmazingGrace16 · 11/05/2019 21:27

Have you ever taken a call where the caller has coughed or tapped because they couldn't talk?

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Ginfizplease · 11/05/2019 21:27

Have any calls had a life changing effect on you?

Have you ever taken a call from someone you know?

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MrsFoxPlus4 · 11/05/2019 21:32

What made you want to be a call handler? I cry at everything I’d be shit

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Ju5tAgirlstandinginfrontofaboy · 11/05/2019 21:45

Did there ever come a time that you were desensitised to traumatic calls?

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:10

Would you recommend the job?

Yes I would. The shift were hard going, the pay wasn’t all that but it was a great team to work with.

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:16

Did you ever help to deliver any babies grin

Yes, lots! One in a DIY shop, she was buying paint for the babies room, one in the car park of the hospital, two most memorable - one couple driving to hospital in thick snow and got lost, no clue where they were. In between contractions she kept telling him off for getting lost, she had the baby as the crew arrived.

One lady on the way to hospital and got stuck in a traffic jam due to a nasty accident up ahead. I asked the man to remove her underwear and see if he could see the babies head he said “fuck off love, I’m the cab driver”

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:19

What’s the most ridiculous call out you’ve had?

I wouldn’t say any call was ridiculous. People panic when dealing with the unknown and just need another voice to calm them down. Lots of calls would be get here quick and as you got in to the call it would be nothing serious and we could stand down.

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:20

Do you always find out what has happened to patients once the ambulance has reached them?

No, not all the time. If the crew were local and popped in for a break we would ask and I’ve asked crews to let me know if they got feedback but it was so, so busy you just had to move on to the next one.

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:23

Have you ever taken a call from a child?

Yes, there are some very brave children out there. I also found children to be calmer because they didn’t have the ability to understand what the emergency was.
If mummywouldnt wake up and mummy had told them to call 999 if she ever couldn’t wake up then they were just doing what mummy had told them to do.

DV cases were often called through by a child.

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:25

Have you ever taken a call where the caller has coughed or tapped because they couldn't talk?

None that really spring to mind. If someone is dying there will be some sort of noise, even if they fall unconscious on the phone.

If someone was unsafe they would whisper and we took it from there.

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:30

Have any calls had a life changing effect on you?

Yes, it certainly got harder to switch off once I started having my own family, I found it much more difficult then. I used to be fine with SID calls but I found them much harder to put aside outside of work.

Have you ever taken a call from someone you know?

No, but I have seen it happen so I’m glad I didn’t have to go through it myself.

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:34

What made you want to be a call handler? I cry at everything I’d be shit

I saw an advert and thought I’d give it a go, it was as simple as that. The interview was the hardest one I’ve ever had and the training was hard, learning all the station short codes etc.

You didn’t have time to cry, for every call you were on there would be another one waiting unless it was a quiet spot where we would order Chinese, read magazines and then your headset would make you jump with a call!

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:39

Did there ever come a time that you were desensitised to traumatic calls?

No, there are some nasty people out there and some very unlucky ones we took pride in being able to be there and it not being a first (when you first started taking your own calls we would keep a tally - first stabbing, drowning, choking, hanging etc)

Having a dark sense of humour and the ability to not take anything personally always helped. It was always a respectable environment, we looked after each other when the really nasty calls took place, everyone really cared about the calls we were taking and if we knew someone was taking a call that was a bit too close to home for any reason we could take over for them.

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allworthwhile · 12/05/2019 16:44

Do you know and socialise with the ambulance crew?

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allworthwhile · 12/05/2019 16:44

Not socialise as in going out for drinks as such, more do you meet them and know who they all are?

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 16:54

Do you know and socialise with the ambulance crew?

Less so as a call taker but once on dispatch you build up a repour with some and the crews coming in to the nearest hospital would pop in for a chat/cup of tea if they had time.

Then there would be leaving/celebration parties where you might get to put a face to the voice. Although some would have to be on shift so the rest could party!

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AhCheeses · 12/05/2019 17:12

Really interesting thread.
I'm trying to think of an actual question but for now... did you watch the Casualty episode where Ian was working as a call handler?
Would you have been able to get away with the stuff he did? Like, getting the little girl to video call with him...

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CheekyFuckersDontGetPastMe · 12/05/2019 17:23

Casualty has always been one of my favourite programmes.

As call handlers we wouldn’t deviating from the script. We are trained as emergency medical dispatchers with no further medical training like Techs and Paras.

The shift manager was always a trained paramedic, they would sometimes advise away from protocol.

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