A Day in the Life of Paramedic Pete

Pete the Paramedic05:15 - My alarm goes off. I have a nice hot shower to wake me up and then eat my cereal to set me up for what could be a busy morning.

06:15 - I leave my house. It's a lovely sunny morning so hopefully won't need my jacket today! I get to Preston Ambulance Station at 6:25am. I make a coffee before checking that the ambulance is ready to respond.

06:45 - We start our 12 hour shift at 6:45am and get an emergency call straight away. It's for an elderly female who has fallen. At this point we don't know if she has any injuries.

We arrive after only five minutes but the door is locked, there is no key safe so we have to wait for the mobile warden to arrive with a set of keys. Luckily the lady wasn't injured so we assisted her to her feet, quickly make her a cup of tea and then leave her safely at home.

13:00 - It's now our lunch break, phew! What a busy morning, we've been called out to four more patients since the elderly lady who'd fallen, but nothing too serious. As we've been on our feet all day, lunch is well deserved!

13:30 - We're straight out on another call after our 30 minute break. We arrive four minutes after the time of call to find an elderly man who has collapsed at the bottom of the stairs, he in cardiac arrest.

His wife has been instructed to carry out CPR by the Emergency Medical Dispatcher on the phone. We quickly assess the man and start to carry out advanced life support. We are giving chest compressions to keep the blood flowing around his heart. We shock him twice with a defibrillator, insert a cannula into his arm whilst reassuring his wife and gaining as much history as to what has happened as we can. His wife is distraught.

After a few minutes, the patient now has a pulse and is breathing but he is still unconscious. We transfer him to the ambulance and rush him to the hospital. Whilst we monitor his condition, we inform the hospital of our imminent arrival.

As we arrive at hospital, the man has started moving his arms but is still not responding to our voices. We hand over his care to the waiting doctors and nurses. There are other people who may need our help so we restock our ambulance and get ready for the next call.

14:30 - Our next emergency is for a male in his 30s who hurt his foot the night before. We arrive at the house to be greeted by him answering the door. He had hurt his foot whilst out drinking, managed to get home and slept till lunchtime, but it still hurt so he called 999.

I feel very frustrated that he has called 999 and hasn't tried to ring his GP, 111 or to get himself to hospital, especially after the previous call. What if somebody else has collapsed like our last patient? What if someone's life is on the line and we can't help them because we're here? After assessing the man, we leave him at home with advice and make ourselves available for the next person in need.

16:00 - We get our second rest break at 1600hrs, which lasts for 20 minutes. We don't know what's happened to the patients that we've taken to hospital today, but hope they're all doing ok.

19:00 - We've seen three more patients and it's over 12 hours since we started our shift today. We are both very tired, physically and emotionally, after today. Time to go home, relax and do it all again tomorrow!