Still Waiting……and waiting


“Last night my frail, frightened 95 yr old grandfather needed an ambulance. He was told one would get there but it may take hours. AV did a call back & he was advised to make his own way to hospital if he was still concerned. He is septic with a chest infection, his COPD is much worse & it isn’t helping his rapid AF of 130. I am at a loss. I work for a service that is disgraceful. My grandfather served this country bravely back in the day. He isn’t one to call for help if it isn’t necessary. Last night AV failed to help another member of our communities. I just don’t know what else to do.”

These were the comments of a paramedic last week, the poor old fella wont make the news, so apparently no one gives a toss, and Ambulance Victoria seem to regard this sort of thing as “Collateral Damage”. I can think of no other way to rationalize it.

It is far from an unusual situation, and for the large part no one seems to care. Not the media, not the government or Ambulance Victoria.

The patients and their families certainly do, and from experience it can be quite soul destroying to on road paramedics.

Here are some of their replies to that post. all deidentified to reduce the chances of “repercussions”.

I find it astounding that individual paramedics feel the need to apologize for AV, but AV cannot or will not see there is a problem.

“And he was very sick and cant get an ambulance this is just not right.. I hope he is feeling better?”

“Disgrace, I’m sure the crews were tied up with younger patients with gastro for 2hrs or traumatic injuries non recent SoB. When will AV & Government do something about saying NO to people that do not need an ambulance then we can help those that do. Hope he is feeling better.”

“Absolutely disgraceful, to ring back and say make your way to hospital when we get sent to utter crap that doesn’t need an ambulance without them making a call back.”

“Just got nauseated reading this. Disgraceful plus plus.”

“That is a terrible reminder of what a disgrace our service is. How many times do we sit at RVs for ages waiting for police to arrive, or attend ridiculous code 1s that make you furious at the resource wastage. It makes me even sadder that we hear of these cases frequently, and bit is never the young people who are told to drive themselves, always the elderly who won’t fight back.”

“Its disappointing a 25yo drunk gets a priority 0 for altered consciousness and your poor pop didn’t get one… just shows how stupid the questioning is.”

“These are the stories that the public need to know and should be made aware of. It is an utter disgrace that this occurred l would also be complaining to the “officer in charge” whoever the hell that is now, watch them all duck for cover if this gets in to the media, there will be some pathetic excuse about crews being tied up on more “urgent” cases or some other absolute garbage excuse. This should have had the highest of priorities in my opinion. Someone having a panic attack gets 2 ambulances lights and sirens, yet this poor man can’t even get one. Shame Davis/ Napthine and Ambulance Victoria, shame on you all.”


“Disgusting! Hope he is ok.”

“Your poor grandfather. I hope that he is comfortable and getting better in hospital now. Just disgraceful”

“AV are failing all too often lately and it’s disgraceful!
The same thing happened to my 80yr old grandma a few weeks back, who was dehydrated with a uti they told my 85yr old pop to drive her, lucky they called me and I took her stayed in hospital for 5 days!. Something is terribly wrong with AV when they don’t realise these vulnerable ppl in our community deserve an ambulance more than your drunk/drug affected dickheads we see day in and day out!!!”

“Don’t even know what to say to that.”

“The service is disgusting!!!! I hope your pops ok”

“Every paramedic reading this, cringes at the details. The public need to know the real story. Too many BS code 1’s and 0’s, yet the little Nanna/pop who doesn’t ‘play up’ their symptoms get told to get themselves to hospital. Is this why we are no longer called a service???”

“So embarrassing and just heart breaking hope ur pop is recovering. I would be lodging a formal complaint”

“I’m embarrassed to say that I work for a service that operates like this. I’m so sad for your grandad and glad he is doing well and I really hope you and your family take it further. That is just unacceptable.”

“I am embarrassed to work for a service that allows this to happen. to have left a nursing profession that I was dedicated to, where I actually got to care for inspirational people like your grandfather to now where I spend 60% of my time going code 1 to 30 year old acopic individuals that have vomited x1 or 15 year olds with pain after a belly button piercing. A ‘service’ in crisis and I hope your grandfather has a speedy recovery and is cared for well xx”

“How bad do things have to get before government funds this service properly. Yesterday I wrote to Abc 774 with my own experience of waiting for AV. I gave them these Stats. Victoria Police do 810000 emergency call outs per year with 12000 police on the ground. AV does 851000 Emerg cases with 3100 paramedics. I know police do more than respond but that seems ludicrous to me. We should be under Dept of Justice. Hope your Grandad is ok. Take care.”

“RefCOMM has not helped either (at least rurally anyway). All that happens is the cases come back as NetCOMM suitable within 4 hours. NetCOMM at 1am in the morning rurally???? Bahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahah………..”

“Sorry your Grandfather was yet another victim of a poorly run service. I wish him a speedy recovery and thank him from myself and young girls for his services “back in the day”. Xx”

“This makes me sick to my stomach. Just one example of what I’m sure is out of a pool of hundreds. The community need to be informed and educated now!!! Crisis!”

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One Response to Still Waiting……and waiting

  1. MCCOY 8064 says:

    The sad reality, is this poor man’s LACK of Newsworthiness! The Public have heard it so often.
    I truly shudder to think, what it’ll be like when I reach my frail years??
    This debacle was a predictable an outcome as could be.
    Throw Everything, at Anything, to be Correct 99.9% of a Computer’s time!
    Then change the Parameters of both Acceptable & Successful, and the Report to The Minister can be as encouraging and placating simultaneously!

    I still remember The Legends of the Old Control Rooms:” You ARE NOT, GETTING AN AMBULANCE, FOR THAT!!!!!! ”

    They got it right 98.9% of the time too.

    I plan to decline in a country, where I am extremely privileged on my ESSS Pension….. I can bribe someone for anything I need.

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