Ambulance drivers are set to get more lessons after first aiders racked up a£400,000 repair bill.
East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is set to fork out over £400,000 in repairs due to bumbling ambulance drivers. The total is a cumulative cost following a number of incidents ranging from clipped wing mirrors to more serious crashes, which take the much-needed emergency vehicles out of action for significant periods of time. The spate of accidents has prompted EMAS to give East Midlands ambulance drivers will get refresher driving lessons.
Administrators are keen to reduce both the number of accidents and the length of time the vehicles cannot be used, and have decided to fund refresher courses for their ambulance drivers – to the tune of £100,000.
EMAS worker Nicky Fothergill told The Mirror, “Our staff drive in high-risk situations and accidents are not always their fault. When people see blue lights and hear a siren they can react unpredictably and in ways our staff can’t always anticipate.”
Generally, EMAS has been praised for offering the training. Institute of Advanced Motorists’ (IAM) Chief Examiner, Peter Rodger, said: “We highly encourage all drivers to avoid complacency and make the effort to improve whether that’s taking the IAM course, booking a motorway lesson or even just spending an evening reading through The Highway Code.”
It is hoped the refresher courses will remind ambulance drivers how best to avoid collisions, though we do wonder how many of these collisions, particularly minor ones, are caused through tiredness rather than a lack of skill or knowledge.
Meanwhile, John O’Connell, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, is more concerned about the cost. Despite the lesson costing a quarter of the collision amount, O’Connell says, “It’s crucial we have fully trained ambulance drivers to get to emergencies safely but too much money is being wasted here.”
What do you think? Do you agree with the use of taxpayers’ money to refresh 999 drivers? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.