Thursday, June 22

She hates me!!

Apologies for the delay once again. A few personal issues have kept me from blogging recently but hopefully things are now sorted and I can continue.

Every so often I will take a call and I get frustrated by it. This one call had me so frustrated it has taken a while for me to put it on here. It was a call in the early hours. A lady was driving home, to somewhere outside of our area, when she noticed a large flame coming from a field. So she rang 999 and told me the name of the road. This road happens to be one of the longest roads in our area, running from one side to the other. This is no problem, and the fact that she was unsure of the exact area was no problem. However, instead of attempting to provide me with more information so I could try and work out the area, she told me to look it up in the A-Z, she informed me that she had already given me all the information she could, which consisted of the road name and the fact that it was by a Sainsbury's Petrol Station.

Luckily I was aware of the area that she was referring to, but I was confused as to Petrol Station. Everything else fitted into place, but the petrol station threw me out a bit, so I asked her if the petrol station was part of a retail park, and if she could be mistaken as to the name of it. Well, she took exception to this and ending up screaming down the phone to me, something about only trying to help but if I couldn't be bothered to send a fire engine then it was my responsibility if someone died as a result of it! And then the phone went dead. As I didn't have a location, I had to call her back. I must admit, I was really beginning smile at this point as I knew she was going to hate this even more! Immediately she demanded to speak to my supervisor as she 'didn't like my attitude'. This is not something I was going to pass onto a supervisor, this was personal! Eventually I managed to get a better location out of her and mobilised a fire engine. She hated me. I didn't think that much of her either. But my local knowledge of the area helped as I was able to ask her questions based on the area, like 'have you passed the Ken Tucker Chicken place yet?'.

The fire engine went out, couldn't find anything and asked for us to recontact the caller for further information!! I felt I had pushed her as much as I could for information and wasn't in a rush to speak to her again. I explained to the crew and they were happy to put it back as a false alarm good intent.

It's funny because 'local knowledge' isn't seen to be important anymore (by the Government!) it is thought that computers will be able to mobilise fire engines without too much intervention from 'us'. A computer is only as good as the information entered into it. This lady did not know the area, post code or the name of a road that was nearby. I just don't understand how a computer could work out where she was better than I could.

I feel I am digressing. So I shall compose a whole new post on the issue of regionalisation. Available soon...........

6 comments:

caramaena said...

Welcome back :)

Tango-something said...

I work in the control room for the London Ambulance Service...and everything that you've just posted rings so many bells...

I kinda love the fact that i get paid for sometimes having a bit of a ruck over the phone with someone!

Beaker said...

I love it when the callers say "if they die it'll be all your fault". Wouldn't you love to say "well actually if you gave me a bloody decent address and which area of the f***ing country you were in without shouting at me maybe I could send some help. Telling me the person is in macdonalds in London is not actually going to get you an ambulance you twat. Why don't you use your pathetic little brain and ask one of the 2000 people standing trying to buy a cheeseburger where the shagging hell you are or even better let me speak to them coz you're about as useful as a wet fish."

Wonder whether I'd break any protocols with that conversation?

Miranda Shuttleworth said...

I love it!! You make me laugh Beaker! That is JUST what I want to say to most callers. I tend to just make them understand in the most obvious ways.... So you can see a fire, but you don't know where you are. Ok, do you know what area you are in? No, oh dear, so you don't know the name of the road OR the area. Oh right, so do you have any suggestions as to where I need to send the fire engine then? No, oh dear, what a pickle!! It usually gets them saying - I'm not much help really am I? Well, actually no, no youre not!!

I have always said that on my very last day I will say it as it is.... a long way off I feel, but it keeps me smiling!!

Donna said...

Lesson learned ... if I actually manage to become a SC, then first on the list is to get a map and learn my area ... either that or learn beaker's banter ;-)

Aucklandir said...

If every operator relied on the computer and not some local knowledge we would be in deep trouble! We had several experiences of that in NZ when they centralised the control rooms for the country. Wrong people turned out while local resourcs not used etc! Enuff said.