Gardmed Ambulance Service
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Articles

04 Apr 2016

A day in the life of a Gardmed medic – Volume 1

Working in the Emergency Medical Service, we often get asked what our day involves and there are often a lot of misconceptions about what it is like. “A day in the life of a Gardmed Medic” is an ongoing series that we hope will create public awareness and encourage others who are thinking about working in this very rewarding industry.

Our day started at 6:30am when the crews start arriving for shift change. There is a minimum of 2 response cars and 5 ambulances on day shift every weekday at Gardmed. Before the shift change at 7am, the medics will restock the ambulances and check that all equipment is functioning as it should.

Each ambulance is assigned a location around Port Elizabeth where they will park waiting for calls. This helps us get to calls faster as we don’t need to drive from one side of town to the other. We can just send the nearest ambulance to the call. This morning we were parked at BP Mcdonalds in Cape Road.

The shift started off being very quiet and by 10:30 we had not done any calls. We made a quick shop stop around the corner from our location to buy some brunch. While we were shopping, an employee asked us for assistance with another employee who had collapsed. We were escorted into the back of the shop where we found the patient in a crouched position. After assessing the patient and asking a few questions, we concluded that she required hospitalisation. With her employer’s permission, we transported her to Livingstone hospital for further treatment.

Our next call was for a Hospital transfer from Grahamstown to Port Elizabeth.

While on route our crew came upon a motor vehicle accident that had just happened. Unfortunately, the only patient had passed away shortly after arrival and was declared dead on the scene.

While we were on route to Mercantile hospital, our crews responded to a serious accident involving a car and motorcycle in Walmer. After handing our patient over at the hospital, we went to assist the crews who had just arrived at Livingstone hospital, which is a short distance away.

The motorcyclist had sustained very serious injuries and despite the best efforts of the medics, nurses, and the doctor, he, unfortunately, passed away soon after arrival. Resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful. After leaving the hospital, we fuelled up and headed to our next assigned spot. This time, we were with our accident response unit. Our accident response units are equipped with most essential medical equipment and the medics driving them will treat any patients involved in an accident until an ambulance arrives. Our next call came in at 6:30pm for an elderly man who injured himself while working in his garden in Colleen Glen. Fortunately, he managed to crawl inside and phone an ambulance.

This call took a while to complete due to the fact that our patient was living alone and we needed to get a change of clothing together for him as well as locate his medical aid card etc. We departed St Georges hospital at 7:45pm and returned to hand over the ambulance to the night shift crew.