01-09-09 Ambulance Update
It's been a couple of weeks since the Northern Times's front page article on ambulance staffing levels in the Kinlochbervie area and in that time we've received some interesting correspondence on the subject.

One correspondent writes of his experiences as a part-time relief ambulance technician at Kinlochbervie. He describes how his rota patterns were changed and he went from being ambulance crew at KLB to being posted to numerous other locations such as Wick, Nairn, Skye and Alness - often at very short notice. Concerns to line management went unactioned and the correspondent reluctantly resigned his post with the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Sounds like fire-fighting to me: shunting staff from one location to another in order to fill short emergency staffing problems instead committing to keep sufficient staff at each location, thereby encouraging long-term retention of staff instead of rapid turnover.
[Ambulance Issues in Kinlochbervie]
Having consulted the Scottish Ambulance Service website and finding no vacancies listed for Kinlochbervie or the northwest I myself emailed them directly and enquired of any vacant positions.
[Ambulance Issues in Kinlochbervie]Their initial response was less than positive; offering nothing in the way of current positions and enclosing an A4 flyer describing careers in the ambulance service. The flyer directed interested people to two websites where vacancies are advertised: the first was the Scottish Ambulance Service's own website and the second was to www.ReturnToScotland.com - a website that no longer exists. Hmmm...

In a further exchange of emails I explained why I was interested in any positions and referred to the Northern Times's article. Their reply referred me back to their website where they advised I would find vacancies for an Ambulance Care Assistant and Area Ambulance Assistant in the northwest.

So back to their website I went and lo! and behold there were indeed now vacancies advertised for these two positions - one in Thurso and the other in Inverness! Northwest indeed...
Sounds like the management of the Scottish Ambulance Service have a lot of questions to answer, not least of which is did any of them take Geography as a subject at Standard Grade?

How can a position based in Inverness be considered as northwest? Likewise the Thurso post?

When positions are advertised thus is it any wonder there are few, if any, applicants from our side of the country? Inverness is, after all, getting on towards a 3 hour drive from KLB.

I must stress, no criticism is implied or intended of the ambulance staff themselves. They turn-out come rain or shine - and on occasion when they're not actually supposed to be working - and provide us with a superb service! They're terrific and we really could use a few more of them.

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