The episode joins the shift at 22:30 and so far this evening the team in dispatch have already allocated vehicles to nearly 250 incidents. Resource Manager, Saj, is overseeing the allocation of ambulances in Greater Manchester tonight and is confronted by a growing number of new 999 calls.
He is forced to make a split second decision over where to send his limited resources when he is confronted with the choice between a patient who could be in cardiac arrest at a house fire or a child who is choking.
Saj comments: “The ultimate responsibility lies with me making sure that every patient that is on that screen does get some sort of help”.
Ambulance crew, Alex and Sam are halfway through their shift when they are dispatched to a 103-year-old female who appears confused. The one thing she is sure of however is that she doesn’t want to go in to hospital.
Amanda and Nick are eight hours into their shift when they are sent to a 78-year-old male who is feeling faint and struggling to breathe. They soon learn that their patient is a disc jockey, and his health problems are impacting on his ability to do the job he loves.
Back on scene with their 103-year-old patient and Alex and Sam tell their patient that she has got her wish – she doesn’t need to go to hospital – and the news is met with joy.
It’s the start of the Monday morning shift and the team in control is gearing up for a busy day and that certainly seems to be the case when an emergency call is received from the police reporting that a body that has been seen floating in a river.
This triggers the immediate dispatch of multiple emergency service resources including the hazardous area response team and Advanced Paramedic, Luke who will manage the scene.
Amanda and Nick go to a 53-year-old male patient who has pain in his testicles, the job leads to a heated debate between the married crewmates – is testicular pain or birth pain the worst?
In control an emergency call is in progress for a patient who is well known to the ambulance service. The patient is one of nearly 2,000 frequent callers know to the service. The patient called 23 times for an ambulance yesterday alone. Advanced Paramedic, Luke is dispatched to see what he can do with the patient but it soon becomes clear she is reluctant to take him up on his offers of help.
Luke says: “The root of these problems is social isolation and loneliness. What’s happened is they have snowballed and we deal with them at the end point, it’s frustrating because if we dealt with the root cause we could save a lot of ambulance time”.
It is now eleven hours since the start of the shift and 1,125 people in Greater Manchester have called for an ambulance. In control, Saj is still juggling where to send the limited resources available.
The busy shift shows no signs of slowing when multiple 999 calls are received for a motorcycle accident. Advanced Paramedic, Luke is diverted away from a cardiac arrest in order to attend. When he arrives on scene his priority is to manage the scene and try to treat the patient who has suffered severe facial injuries.
With speed the essence, alongside his colleagues Luke helps rush the patient to the nearest major trauma unit.
As the shift draws to a close, Luke reflects on his role in the service: “When I have a moment to stop and think and actually process jobs, the things that we see and the frustrations, the biggest thing that comes out of it is how appreciative I am of what I have. For me no matter what happens I know I have got my family.”
Watch Ambulance on BBC One at 9pm on Thursday 4 July or on BBC iPlayer.