Friday, September 09, 2005

A word on ambulances














Well yesterday i had the privillage/chance to ride on an ambulance because they needed a doctor to accompany a patient from our hospital in JB all the way to University Hospital, KL. On the ride, i got to chat a little with the driver En. Hafiz who has over four years of ambulance driving experience, and got to learn a few interesting things about these white vans with a red crescent that scream and wail past us every now and then:

1. Ambulances have no legal speed limit. It doesn't matter whether there's a patient on board or not, or whether it's an emergency or not. Say I'm an ambulance driver right, and i wanna go for a cuppa tea.. i just fly.

2. But you can't use the sirens when there's no patient on board. Duh, of course. But it was quite a disorientating experience, when after we dropped the patient off at UH, we were stuck on the Federal Highway, in the very same traffic jam that we parted like the red sea minutes earlier.

3. Ambulances don't have to pay toll, but it doesn't mean u just zoom through following the vehicle in front of you. U have to stop, let the toll person press some 'free' button or such, and wait for the bar to be raised again before u proceed. The driver told me the funny incident where his friend, still new to the business, crashed right through the toll bar. Hehe.. Our hospital had to pay for damages and the poor chap got a small cut to both his salary as well as his ego.

4. Where else can u drive right up behind a police patrol car on the fast lane, tailgate him, and flash him with your highlights if he wouldn't give way? On an ambulance of course. And let's not forget that we're cruising along the highway with the sirens off. The feeling? Indescribable.

5. What if an ambulance drives through a red light and then gets hit by a car who couldn't stop in time? Whose fault would it be? The ambulance driver's of course. He is allowed to crash red lights but only if the other cars see him and slow down to give way. Otherwise, like above, he gets another pay cut. Ouch.

6. At what speeds do ambulances actually go? Well on the north-south highway, we were cruising comfortably at 140kmph, sometimes hitting 150 and 160.

And that concludes the current word on ambulances and their drivers. Stay tuned for more hospital orientated postings. This is David Lim, LIVE, from Sultanah Aminah, JB.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Palmdoc said...

Very interesting!
Pointed out your article in the MMR
http://medicine.com.my/wp/?p=216

Life Feel said...

Try riding Koffer and Splinter model of KTV ambulance by System Strobel. They Rocks !

stndup said...

i just experienced a hair raising ride in my ambulance recently.sending a pt to lumut for hyperbaric tx.we were crusing along the plus high way at 160kmh when our rear left tire blew! we almost lost ctrl and i was busy stabilizing the ventilated pt. thank god we were able to stop by the curbe.

yyyap said...

i did an elective stint on ambulance services and followed many interesting rides. i got to go into pudu jail (when it was still had criminals in it) to attend to a ruptured mycotic aneurysm; so add to that - only ambulances get to enter the prison!

sadly, one driver i rode with was once smoking away while an asthmatic patient in the back was wheezing.

Anonymous said...

RED CROSS IN A SMALL TOWN IN EL SALVADOR IS IN A GREAT NEED OF AN AMBULANCE . DOES ANYONE HERE WOULD BE WILLING TO HELP? I WAS CONTACTED BY A VOLUNTEER MEMBER OF THE RED CROSS IN THIS SMALL TOWN CALLED METAPAN. WHEN THEY NEED TO TRANSPORT A CHILD, SENIOR TO THE EMERGENCY HOSPITAL THEY HAVE TO USE A PRIVATE VEHICLE. THE NEAREST EMERGENCY HOSPITAL IS 60 MILES DISTANCE. PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME HELP. ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. I CAN BE CONTACTED AT pacoimachamber@yahoo.com or my office 818-899-5550

thank you

Mario Matute
chamber of commerce