Hot Response

‘Hot response’ is a term used to describe a blue light response drive to an emergency. There is a ‘cold response’ which is normal road speed for low priority and urgent cases needing routine admission.

I like the term ‘hot response’, I think it just sounds cool.

The only thing is, we are requested to have a hot response to almost bloody EVERYTHING!!

Lets play a game…

“[callsign] thank you, I have an emergency for you please in the city; 21 year old male hearing voices…”

“Emergency please for an 84 year old male with breathing problems…”

“Thanks [callsign], further emergency for you for a 72 year old female, rolled out of bed and found by carers who got her up and believe she is uninjured…”

Which one of those would you think would require a blue lights and sirens response?

The answer??

All of them. Every single one of those radio transmissions from our control ended with the words “hot response”.

They may be coded at different priorities, but all of those are prime examples of what we blue light to.

I was sent an ’emergency’ yesterday for a lady who’d had shoulder pain for a week and may be aggressive. I don’t understand why that needs me to barge my way through traffic, putting myself and other road users at risk, and making everyone else’s journey more stressful because they need to move out of my way!? What will those extra minutes gain me?

In the case of someone who is not breathing, extra seconds will make the difference between life and death, but when someone has had something for over 24 hours (with some exceptions), what will it achieve?

More ambulance crash when driving under emergency conditions. When driving, we claim exemptions for certain road laws such as speed limits. How could I justify claiming exemption if I crashed and injured someone, for a person who when they phoned 999, said they weren’t hurt?!

Here’s my closing statement in the interest of safety.

If you see an ambulance on blue lights, pull to the left and stop somewhere sensible (not a blind bend if you can help it). Don’t read this post and think “oh, it’s probably just a painful knee they’re off to”, it could be something truly life threatening.

Also, a lot of calls are not as they first appear. If someone rings 999 for an achey arm, it could be a heart attack. If someone calls because they’re dizzy, it may be a brain haemorrhage – we never fully judge a call until we get there!

But, just have a look next time you hear sirens, I bet it’s an Ambulance. Wave if you see me 🙂

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