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Call the Ambulance! Paperback – 25 Nov 2010

31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (25 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552158534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552158534
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 423,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The touching, heartwarming memoir of an ambulance driver in 1970s Britain

From the Back Cover

Exploding pressure cookers, a thwarted wife's deadly revenge and transvestites in distress - manning an ambulance in the seventies kept you on your toes.

Having survived the rites of passage as a probationer, Les Pringle now has to face up to the reality of life as an ambulance man in seventies Britain. He does this with humour and fortitude - two qualities which are essential if he is to cope with cases ranging from the absurd to the heart rending.

From attending murder scenes to delivering babies ... it's quite a life for Les, and one that he and his shift mates tread with warmth and humour in equal measure.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Harvey on 4 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I got this book for Christmas after reading 'Blue Lights and Long Nights' and had finished reading it a couple of days later. Not bad going during the festivities! A superb read from start to finish, and being in the emergency services myself, can sympathise and empathise with some of the stories, in particular, one including a child, as a similar thing happened to myself on a job, and this was read with a lump in my throat due to the memory and Mr Pringle's writing style, which is like sitting around the mess table listening to his anecdotes first hand. Not an easy task, but Mr Pringle achieves this with aplomb. Even if you're not an 'emergency sevice book' fan, this is still a gripping read as it is a fantastic study of human nature. I sincerely hope there will be another book from Mr Pringle. Without a doubt, one of the best books I have read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rocker on 7 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've got/read Les's books, and, as I said in other reviews, I worked at "the Street" with Les. I also worked Coventry and South Birmingham for many years. The tales Les tells are true, and believe me, are repeated throughout the greater West Midlands area. I get an extra chuckle from Les's writing as I know WHO he really is writing about, and can see and hear them now. Ken, Lloydy, Malcolm, etc., all real life persons with different names in the book. I saw the wide range of emotions that Les writes about, every day. Anger, frustration, despair, (and that was just with the Management!). Helpless laughter at some of the lighter moments, including the many practical jokes played to help ease the burden of a heavy work load. (10 calls per shift wasn't unusual for me).
Les puts the people of the Metropolis into perspective, mostly good, some odd, but a few ... well, just scum I'm afraid to say.
The giant corporate conglomerate that is now central England's Ambulance Service is far too Centrally Managed, far too Politically Correct, far too obsessed with accelerated promotion, Graduate entry staff, Management Consultants and Image Consultants, to let the Staff be human and compassionate. Thus, in years to come, tales like Les's will not be told. So read this and laugh or cry, with one of the nicest blokes I've known telling a small part of life on the streets........
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alex. M on 23 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a retired Paramedic with 36years service. I sat and read this in a short time. Les you had me in tears with laughter and saddness. a great book. But,oh my how times have changed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve kettle on 16 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
With out poeple like you Les writing about their experiances in life in the Ambulance service many of us just see blue and to's and not think much of it.I have now read both of your books, first one being Blues Lights and Long Night which I have to say kept me awake untill the early hours just could'nt but it down. So when the second book came out I knew I was in for some late nights Both books just BRILLANT.A MUST READ
Thank you.
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By Velvet on 4 July 2011
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading about the weird and quirky things they have to put up with and in particularly the TV documentary. It made me look at ambulance shows in a different light. I work in a hotel and we often get asked to be on TV and I am so glad that my boss refuses every time. This fly on the wall TV in the hotel industry is often about making fun of the hotel and employees and fault finding.

From a road safety point of view I was interested in the pranks whilst drivers were driving and it makes me think, as more ambulances are having accidents, whether a prank was involved at the time. It was an eye opener.

I would like to have read about traffic congestion and how hard it is now for emergency services to get through with so many cars around. Sometimes I see them stuck in traffic for a long time whilst their blue lights are flashing, particularly in London. OUr local fire service had to move to the industrial estate because there was so much traffic blocking the entrance to the High St.

I got a bit bored with the maternity stories but I liked the rest.

I was shocked at the 'repeat patients', another eye opener.

As for the pranks, you wonder what the manager of the ambulance service was up to, as some of it sounds more like bullying than 'pranks'.

I think it would be interesting to read a book about what the ambulance service is like know. I wonder if anyone can recommend one. Must be a lot of changes and types of people ie nuisance binge drinkers after 18th and 21st birthday parties.

I liked the down to earth style, some of it was very funny. I was glued to the book. I'd recommend this book. I am now getting the Blue Lights book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By fizzyphys on 16 Mar. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
As a health care worker myself and now a teacher of future health workers, including paramedics, I am a bit of a sucker for this type of real life book. This one had me laughing, crying, shouting and cheering. The stories are sensitively told and from my own experiences very honest. After 27 years as a health prfessional I am left a little sad at what is happening with health care and how emergency services are frankly abused, but aside from that it is a very funny book.
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By Prof TBun on 6 Sept. 2014
Format: Audio Download
Les Pringle unfortunately lets himself down with his attitude towards patients with mental health problems. His attitude towards failed sucides in particular is very inappropriate and dangerous. I would otherwise have given the book 5 stars.

Otherwise this is fairly lighthearted collection of annecdotes, which is interesting to listen through. The audio version is very clearly read, if perhaps not by the most convincing voice.

The annectdotes cover Pringle's entire career from naive youth, to the senior man with over 30 years experience. All the action takes place from the same ambulance station in Birmingham.

Do not expect the drama of Casuality. Pringle is more concerned with recounting the widest variety of strange situations, than creating his own personal soap opera.

Overall a better than average biographical account, that I recomend to most listeners.
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