8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Caveat Emptor. Or, Good But Could Have Been Better.,
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This review is from: You Can't Park There!: The Highs and Lows of an Air Ambulance Doctor (Paperback)
The pluses: An interesting read with lots of details about the incidents the air ambulance and it's team of doctors, paramedics and pilots are called to. Both stories where they were told 'You can't park there!' gave a real perspective on the respective incidents - the second being quite scary even for the reader, and outlining the vulnerabilities of the team, as does the story of the patient transfer in a storm. And the story of the golfers 'playing through' was enough to make me want to leap to the defence of the helicopter - and the unfortunate golfer it had gone to help.
The minuses: For me, the biggest disappointment of this book was the way that it was written portraying almost all the emergency services and other air ambulance teams as being inferior to their own team. Time and again the stories of the incidents are told with negative comments about other rescuers or medical staff.
It's understood that a HEMS aircraft carrying a consultant is going to be able to deal with more advanced life-saving requirements than an air ambulance crewed with paramedics and not doctors. But the book could have been far more supportive of other air ambulances working within different parameters and still doing very important work. The constant digging at other rescuers whether airbourne or on the ground is a real shame and it detracts from the very real, life-saving work that this team do on a daily basis.
There are also at least two occasions in the book where the aircraft and crew are put at completely unnecessary risk because the crew disregarded the instructions of trained personnel on the ground. This sense of 'always being right' (even when they clearly aren't) is threaded through the book. Obviously stressful situations will create some difficult and sometimes poor decision making, but this is rarely acknowledged in this book, except almost as a joke. (The Sierra Wicked on blue lights in fog comes to mind...)
Considering how professional all these people need to be in their respective roles, they are sometimes amazingly dis-respectful of other professionals - even those in the same field. The London HEMS incident borders on disgraceful. If two supposed 'professional' visitors turned up to see me in the state outlined in the book, apart from being offended, I would be highly dubious of their air ambulance's professional qualities. Surely the opposite effect to that desired.
In summary, it's a good, interesting read - but it could have been a lot better.
Would I recommend this? Yes, but 'caveat emptor'!