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Ambulance: Episode 3 / BBC One 26 Aug 2021

Picture Ambulance Episode 3

Ambulance: Episode 3

The staff of North West Ambulance Service care for the 1.4 million people of Merseyside during the most deadly phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The morning shift begins with a 999 call regarding a patient who has fallen 20 feet from a ladder. Advanced paramedic Naomi is immediately dispatched. Crewmates Jack and Jack are dispatched to a patient who is struggling to breathe. A week into the new year lockdown, Covid infections are at their peak: one in four calls to the service concern suspected cases of the virus. In control the calls are flooding in, but it isn’t just cries for help from their own patch that the call handlers of North West Ambulance Service have to deal with. In London, a major incident has been declared, and they need call handlers from other regions to help answer their calls. As the pressure builds in control, over 135 patients are waiting for an ambulance.

Emily and Jo are dispatched to their third Covid job of the day, a patient who is 20 weeks pregnant. On arrival, their concerns are heightened when it is revealed that the patient hasn’t felt her baby move since she first began to feel ill. Emily and Jo make the decision to immediately transfer the patient to hospital, but the pressure to care for the city of Liverpool is unrelenting, and Emily, Jo and their pregnant patient must join the 56 ambulances waiting to hand over patients at the hospital. The hospital wants to avoid another Covid admission, so a midwife visits the ambulance to investigate further.

Later, Emily and Jo are dispatched to a category one call for a patient who is not breathing. When they arrive to scene, it is obvious that the patient cannot be helped, and he had previously made clear that he didn’t wish to be resuscitated, so all Emily and Jo can do is comfort his grief-stricken daughter.

Ambulance is an observational documentary series that brings an unprecedented insight into Britain’s largest ambulance service, the London Ambulance Service. They need to be ready to help the 8.6 million people of London because when the most serious emergencies strike, they have only eight minutes to respond.

With calls doubling in number over the past 10 years, the nerve centre of the service takes over 5000 calls a day and has to work out who needs an ambulance quickest, or whether they need one at all.

With unprecedented access to the high pressured control room, as well as the crews out on the streets, each episode provides an honest 360 degree snapshot of the service, which was last year put into special measures. This takes the series beyond the flashing blue light stories, to reveal for the first time the dilemmas faced by those who allocate the ambulance – with only 400 ambulance crews on shift – as they have to bump patients down the queue to prioritise the sickest; the very real impact of time-wasters and frequent callers; and the ever-present threat that a major incident with multiple casualties is just a single 999 call away.

Season 7 Episode 3
Runtime: 60 minutes
Time: 21:00
Airdate: 26 Aug 2021
Network: BBC One

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