South Wales Guardian Opinion
6:30am Wednesday 27th June 2012 in News
INCOMPREHENSIBLE, unjustifiable and unacceptable. That has to be the reaction to the news it took an ambulance more than an hour to reach an elderly gentleman who suffered a nasty fall in the centre of Ammanford last week.
While we are loathe to criticise paramedics who provide such an essential service, questions as to why this particular crew took so long to get to the scene have not been answered satisfactorily.
And almost as troubling are claims that once the ambulance finally arrived in town – having been dispatched all the way from Lampeter, it is alleged – more precious minutes were lost while the crew tried to pinpoint the exact location of the emergency they were attending.
Nor was this an isolated case.
Regular readers will recall how last month we ran a story on how an ambulance (apparently sent from the other side of Brecon) took 55 minutes to reach a man who had collapsed in a Llandovery street.
On that occasion – as in last week’s unfortunate incident in Ammanford – passers-by were on hand to help and comfort the victim. Yet it is simply indefensible that they had to wait so long for medical assistance.
And the Welsh Ambulance Service’s explanation that there was considerable demand at the time of the Ammanford call-out just won’t wash.
These days, so many of us in all walks of life have grown accustomed to performing tasks above and beyond the call of duty.
The difference is, of course, that not many of us quite literally have the lives of others in our hands.