As the ambulance service reflects on a busy Christmas and New Year period, Sharon Spencer, a paramedic at Cheshunt ambulance station who has worked in the ambulance service for nearly eight years, discusses what winter means for her.
“The winter that springs to mind was last year’s, 2011. I couldn’t get to work from my home in Stevenage due to the thick snow so I managed to reach Hertford station to pick up an ambulance, then made my way to Cheshunt.”
“One incident I remember was to two men under the influence of alcohol who were standing on the roof of a car in the middle of the River Lee. It was unclear how they got there, and both were suffering with hypothermia but were smiling throughout their rescue via a police boat that was called in to rescue them!”
“During the bad weather we do see an increase in falls, especially in the elderly. Broken wrists and hip fractures are quite common during this time. But the biggest challenge is the snow. It’s very frustrating when you can’t get to calls due to the treacherous conditions on the roads.”
“If I could give one message to the public I would say please only call 999 in an emergency. If you suspect someone to be having a stroke, a cardiac arrest or they are unconscious, please call 999 immediately. Over the festive period we are very busy indeed and if you have a minor injury or ailment, please consider other care pathways like out of hour departments, your general practitioner or walk in centres.”