As a Responder I have just started to make myself available overnight, and to be honest it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. It is not really disruptive to family life.
I have to organise myself, and have everything to step into in another room, ready for action. I want to be sure I can get in the car and go in a very short space of time.
The 999 control centre knows when I am available for a night call (because I tell them). If it is a cardiac arrest they can call me any time day or night. But generally we are not called out in the middle of the night. And if we are, then it’s for very good reason.
I have only done night cover twice now, and both times I did get a call but not until around 7am in the morning – hardly a night call.
One Tuesday was extreme. Both Matt (Responder and Operations Manager) and I had calls at around 7am. From then on it was continuous. I had 4 calls, Matt had 3. For Eastbourne Responders to attend 7 calls before 12 noon on one day is unusual, but that’s why we are here.
The emergency services know that they cannot plan for every eventuality, we cannot have an ambulance on every street corner, and I for one am pleased to help out when they need me.
The example above is extreme. On average we attend one call every 4-5 hours of booked on duty. To attend 7 calls in 9 hours of duty is unprecedented. At least we were there able to help, and that makes it all worthwhile. It’s why I do it...