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Exceeding the highest record 40-degree heat in the UK. A perspective of an ambulance driver on the frontline.

 


The highest record was broken when temperatures exceeded 40 degrees on the 19th of July.


Many were affected by the heat wave nationally, leading to wildfires across the UK.


London Ambulance Services gave a written statement on the heatwave response update. London ambulance service took 6,800 calls on the 19th of July “by comparison, and prior to the pandemic, we would take 5,500 calls on a very busy day.”


Data showed a “ten-fold increase in incidents related to heat exposure and 8% increase in people fainting.”


According to the BBC, several fire services declared major incidents after a series of wildfires and many railways were cancelled.


According to Yorkshire Live, four firefighters were hospitalised due to heat exhaustion.


These events have sparked conversation on climate change and evaluating procedures that will prevent health and safety violations to the NHS and emergency services when the citizens need them the most.


Exclusive interview Southeast Coast Ambulance driver Miss M has given perspective on working frontlines on the record-highest hottest day.


“Nobody was hospitalised due to heat exhaustion; we did pretty well. The calls were as high as they normally are.”


Miss M says “As far as welfare goes, Southeast Coast Ambulance has learnt to give us breaks between jobs. We understand we have to look after patients, but we have to look after ourselves to carry on.”


She says the ambulance services do a pallet load of bottled water so the staff can take it with them when they are sent to attend patients to keep hydrated.


There are fridges and air conditioning in the ambulance cab to keep cool and store their food and water.


The southeast coast ambulance uniform is lighter and cool in the winter. They are given layers to keep warm.


On the 19th, it was a unique day in her career as an ambulance driver “it was like having a shower and putting your clothes on straight after.”


 


She says that while it is too early to determine any future changes regarding the heat, it has stimulated the change of updating ambulance cabs to better working fridges and air conditioning.


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Tags: #heatwave #climatechange #NHS #ambulance



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