Ambulance Service is doing best it can

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As a relatively recently-retired ambulance technician, I feel I should explain some facts regarding the service at Hawick.

In a year, Hawick handles around 1,800 emergency calls – an average of five per 24-hour period – and also numerous non-emergency patient transfers.

Calls do not come in at regular intervals and there are peaks and troughs in demand 24 hours a day seven days a week, and on an average night shift, Hawick will handle only one emergency, and as patient transfers are few at night that is why Hawick, Berwickshire and Peeblesshire only have one ambulance each on duty overnight.

Galashiels has two but covers a much more populated area, and one of the two Kelso ambulances overnight is primarily there to cover Berwickshire when the sole overnight ambulance at Chirnside is out, say at a call at Eyemouth, and has to take a patient to Borders General Hospital which is
time-consuming given the distances involved and it can be tied up for up to three hour.

Frankly, I cannot see a time when the ambulance service will provide two ambulances overnight at Hawick and the money for such is just not there.

Regarding the 25 minutes it took a 999 crew from Galashiels to attend an emergency involving a young man who had fallen through a shop window on a Saturday evening, that is a first-class response time and the Ambulance Service is doing the best it can.

Brian Hill