Vehicle Loading Lists     

Our ambulances and RRVs are kitted out to a set standard to ensure that every vehicle responds to every incident with the correct amount of equipment every time. The equipment is also intended to be located in the same position on ever vehicle of the same type to ensure that crews can go straight to it every time without searching for it or removing other kit to access it.

Despite best efforts, complaints are still coming in that when crews report for duty they are still finding additional items of equipment has been loaded onto their assigned vehicle and often to the point where the vehicle is overloaded and or equipment can be located. It has also been reported that some vehicles have been overloaded to the point where crews cannot remove the excess equipment because it has been jammed into place. All of this is worrying and not acceptable.

It has been agreed in the past, that where members of staff find the grab bag too heavy, they may decide to remove the oxygen CD cylinder from the grab bag,

and instead, respond with the stand alone oxygen carry bag instead. BUT, the onus is on the member of staff who removes the oxygen cylinder from the grab bag, to replace it at the end of the shift. This is also not being complied with, and as a result it is slowing down the VDI of the oncoming crew who are left to locate and replace the missing oxygen.

Instead of being rigidly prescriptive, the Trust has agreed to members of staff adapting the carrying configuration on their own assigned vehicle, one shift at a time, but it appears that the flexible approach is being abused by the few to the detriment of the many.

Additionally, it has come to light that for whatever reason, not all crews that are assigned to RRVs for their shifts, were aware that the central button on the rear stowage tray is there to allow the tray to be slid outwards from the vehicle, to facilitate the removal and re-stowing of equipment, which otherwise would necessitate the crew person leaning inwards in a bad posture. Every person who is assigned to work on an ambulance or an RRV must know where all the controls are and what they are for.

I have recently encountered numerous members of staff who did not know:

• The tail lift must be deployed as part of the vehicle daily inspection (VDI).
• What action to take if the tail lift failed to work or where the manual pump was located.
• How to slide the RRV rear shelf outwards and why the tray is designed to slide outwards

This should not be happening; but it is. If you do not know how to use a bit of kit: ASK someone.

Jeff Pittman

East of England Ambulance Service

Unison 20106

Branch Health & Safety Officer

22 January 2017