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I am a paramedic on strike today. AMA

238 replies

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 16:29

Hi from the freezing cold picket line. Any questions related to the strike, the current state of the NHS or general paramedicing feel free to ask.

Disclaimer: obviously answers are based on my own opinions and experiences. They may not be the same for other paramedics/EMTs or in other trusts.

OP posts:
Crispynoodle · 23/01/2023 16:54

Solidarity all the way

Saunaandsteam · 23/01/2023 16:56

Totally support you all, keep warm!

bloodywhitecat · 23/01/2023 16:57

I have a mate who is ambulance crew, I see how broken she is day-on-day. Next time I am passing the picket line I will be dropping off snacks. The crew who came out to my DH after his stroke were wonderful but had driven from the next county and it took them an hour to get to us then they weren't sure which hospital to take him to. It shouldn't be that way.

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 16:58

Soubriquet · 23/01/2023 16:52

Christ I never thought your pay was that low.

I don’t agree with strikes tbh especially medical, but I guess I can see why you’re doing it.

I just wish the innocent wasn’t caught in the conflict

Bear in mind that I'm only in the middle of Band 5 because I was an EMT before. Direct entry paramedics start even lower.

There are no innocent people being caught up. Not every ambulance person is in a union and you have to be in a union to strike. Higher management aren't allowed to strike and many of them are clinicians and so can work on the front line. And we on the picket line are taking it in turns to leave it to provide care in genuine emergencies. We are providing life and limb cover, which means anyone who genuinely needs an ambulance is getting one. It's the people who call when they have other options that are being denied which in my honest opinion is how it should alway be.

My trust's response time to category 1 and 2 calls actually improved to above target level during the last 2 strikes. I think that says a lot about the use of the ambulance service.

OP posts:
ButterflyBitch · 23/01/2023 17:00

Totally support you, could never do your job, think you’re amazing. I’m just wondering and it’s probably been said somewhere and ive missed it. But what happens with emergency calls while you’re striking? If someone’s having a heart attack that can’t just be ignored surely? Like I say, I’ve probably missed it but wondering what’s happening about emergencies. Thanks muchly and hope you get to want you soon.

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 17:00

Climbles · 23/01/2023 16:52

Just wanted to say you deserve a decent living wage and better working conditions for the tough job you do.

Thank you. Luckily almost everyone apart from Rishi seems to share that opinion!

Perhaps he'll change his mind next time he's out and about without his seat belt on...

OP posts:
ButterflyBitch · 23/01/2023 17:00

Gah, get to warm up soon!

4thonthe4th · 23/01/2023 17:00

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 16:47

Yes. It would aid with staff retention which will get more ambulances on the road.

I have 2 questions, sorry!

  1. How do you think a pay rise would help with one of the main (and long-standing) issues facing the ambulance service which is bed blocking? If so, how much do you think you’d need to help crews not be left sat outside A&E waiting for available beds.
  2. Are you responding to any calls at all today? Is your trust striking as one today or are you staggering stations so as still to provide cover?
ButterflyBitch · 23/01/2023 17:01

Can see you’ve just answered a previous poster with my query. Thank you!

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 17:01

KnickerlessParsons · 23/01/2023 16:52

Do you think there's potentially a valid case for manslaughter against the ambulance service? Not saying that's what I think - I heard someone else ask the question and it got me thinking 🤔

No. As above, our response times actually improve during the strikes. People are dying unnecessarily on non strike days, which is part of the issue.

OP posts:
CleopatrasBeautifulNose · 23/01/2023 17:01

Totally support strike action. I hope your position as schrodingers staff (simultaneously too important to strike but not important enough to be remunerated properly 🙄) will be no more.

4thonthe4th · 23/01/2023 17:01

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 16:58

Bear in mind that I'm only in the middle of Band 5 because I was an EMT before. Direct entry paramedics start even lower.

There are no innocent people being caught up. Not every ambulance person is in a union and you have to be in a union to strike. Higher management aren't allowed to strike and many of them are clinicians and so can work on the front line. And we on the picket line are taking it in turns to leave it to provide care in genuine emergencies. We are providing life and limb cover, which means anyone who genuinely needs an ambulance is getting one. It's the people who call when they have other options that are being denied which in my honest opinion is how it should alway be.

My trust's response time to category 1 and 2 calls actually improved to above target level during the last 2 strikes. I think that says a lot about the use of the ambulance service.

Sorry OP, I’ve just seen you’ve already replied to my question 2 in a pp.

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 17:02

bloodywhitecat · 23/01/2023 16:57

I have a mate who is ambulance crew, I see how broken she is day-on-day. Next time I am passing the picket line I will be dropping off snacks. The crew who came out to my DH after his stroke were wonderful but had driven from the next county and it took them an hour to get to us then they weren't sure which hospital to take him to. It shouldn't be that way.

Thank you. I hope your DH is recovering well

OP posts:
Puppers · 23/01/2023 17:02

Solidarity! Stay warm out there.

My side of the family is largely public sector workers and it's been heartening to see so much support for the strikes. Very sad that it has to come to this in order to be heard but great that so many are behind you.

ChimbarasiKotapaxi · 23/01/2023 17:02

Solidarity and thanks

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 17:05

ButterflyBitch · 23/01/2023 17:00

Totally support you, could never do your job, think you’re amazing. I’m just wondering and it’s probably been said somewhere and ive missed it. But what happens with emergency calls while you’re striking? If someone’s having a heart attack that can’t just be ignored surely? Like I say, I’ve probably missed it but wondering what’s happening about emergencies. Thanks muchly and hope you get to want you soon.

I've just answered that, but your question came in as I was typing.

We are providing life and limb cover which definitely includes heart attacks. And as our response times are actually better on a strike day, its actually not a bad day to have one!

OP posts:
ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 17:05

CleopatrasBeautifulNose · 23/01/2023 17:01

Totally support strike action. I hope your position as schrodingers staff (simultaneously too important to strike but not important enough to be remunerated properly 🙄) will be no more.

Oooh Schrodingers staff! I'm nicking that!

OP posts:
ZiggZagg · 23/01/2023 17:06

No question but good on you all, I hope you all get what you deserve!

I have never had a bad experience with a paramedic (we met loads when my dad was very ill) you are fucking amazing!

With solidarity from all in the social care sector!

✊🏻✊🏻✊🏻

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 17:06

Puppers · 23/01/2023 17:02

Solidarity! Stay warm out there.

My side of the family is largely public sector workers and it's been heartening to see so much support for the strikes. Very sad that it has to come to this in order to be heard but great that so many are behind you.

The amount of support we have received along with our nursing and junior DR colleagues is just amazing. We are all very grateful

OP posts:
ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 17:07

ZiggZagg · 23/01/2023 17:06

No question but good on you all, I hope you all get what you deserve!

I have never had a bad experience with a paramedic (we met loads when my dad was very ill) you are fucking amazing!

With solidarity from all in the social care sector!

✊🏻✊🏻✊🏻

Oh mate, you guys are the real heroes! I could not work in care, no way.

OP posts:
RosesAndHellebores · 23/01/2023 17:08

Would your job be easier if the call handlers were allowed to go off their standard questions and algorithms and exercise a bit more common sense. On the occasions I have had to call an ambulance recently, once personal and once professional, it has been like speaking to a brick wall vis computah sez.

I appreciate the role you do but I don't think striking is the answer.

RedHelenB · 23/01/2023 17:10

No questions but you have my full support.

Ineedwinenow · 23/01/2023 17:11

I fully support the strikes you do an amazing job with high burnout rates but I just have one question really that may have been asked or you may not know the answer, UK paramedics are one of the worlds highest earners in that role ( and well deserved ) as of 2021 so not obviously taking into account current inflation but where do the ambulance service unions want to extra funding to come from do you know have they said?

We already pay high taxes and the cost of living crisis is really hitting hard and the government don’t have money trees in their offices so where do they see the extra money coming from have they said?

As I said I fully support strikes ( your incredible to do that role) but nurses/ambulances and lots of other public sectors are going on strike I’m just worried we are going to end up paying more in taxes to accommodate all these rises as no one in charge of the unions have come out to say how it’s to be paid and I earn a lot less than you do in the private sector

good luck! I’ll bring hot drinks and snacks if I see picket lines 👍

Perfect28 · 23/01/2023 17:12

Thank you for everything you do every day, and thank you for taking a stand.

Destiny123 · 23/01/2023 17:17

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 16:58

Bear in mind that I'm only in the middle of Band 5 because I was an EMT before. Direct entry paramedics start even lower.

There are no innocent people being caught up. Not every ambulance person is in a union and you have to be in a union to strike. Higher management aren't allowed to strike and many of them are clinicians and so can work on the front line. And we on the picket line are taking it in turns to leave it to provide care in genuine emergencies. We are providing life and limb cover, which means anyone who genuinely needs an ambulance is getting one. It's the people who call when they have other options that are being denied which in my honest opinion is how it should alway be.

My trust's response time to category 1 and 2 calls actually improved to above target level during the last 2 strikes. I think that says a lot about the use of the ambulance service.

Just FYI you don't have to be in a union to strike,but it's not a good idea to do so

Dr. Totally support you (we went and taught cpr and choking to all the local surestart centres and such like during the last Dr strike

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