On average, the Magpas Air Ambulance advanced medical team are called to 4 emergencies a day. Magpas Doctor Rishi and Critical Care Paramedic Ollie share their unique insights into the ‘above average’ days.
At the beginning of every 12 hour shift there’s a handover with the off-going team. Being a 24/7 service, the emergency call can come at any time. Rishi describes, “We always prioritise the patient, so it’s tough if we get called at this stage as we need to complete a rapid handover and get going. We get very limited information initially – sometimes just a grid reference – but even then we start responding and receive more details en route. You normally wish you’d had time for breakfast at that point!”
The team are often tasked to missions back to back. Ollie comments, “When you’re treating patients the adrenaline has kicked in. It’s not until the job’s over that you realise how hungry you are or how much you need the toilet! We try to grab food in between jobs, but if you get a call while you’re making or eating your meal, then you have to go. That’s why we have the all-important biscuit tin.”
The Magpas medical team are on duty between 7 – 7 (day and night), but their shifts regularly run over. “It doesn’t matter what time it is, if you’re at a job, you’re at a job.” Ollie continues, “It could be hours, but you just give your all and do your best for that patient. Afterwards, we travel back to base and replenish the kit for the next team. It’s not uncommon to finish four or five hours late…”
Rishi laughs, adding, “It’s always the day or night you make plans too!”
The day to day circumstances Magpas Air Ambulance medics find themselves in can be tough to deal with. Rishi explains, “In this profession you work so closely with each other, for such long periods of time, that you learn how to read your team members and support them the way they want. Personally though, we like to have a laugh and joke with each other – that’s what works for us.”