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Ambulance Service staff unable to drive new vehicles due to height


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Dozens of staff at an ambulance trust claim they cannot drive its £54m fleet of new vehicles due to their height or body shape.

Documents reveal a string of problems with converted Fiats, which replaced the ageing Mercedes vans at the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST).

The vehicles are part of an NHS drive to standardise its fleet and are being adopted by trusts across the country.

An EEAST spokesperson said it had been working to address the issues.

The trust brought in a specialist to assess 160 staff members who, due to their height and body shape, had come forward having experienced a range of problems.

Ninety-four have now been identified as being unable to drive the vehicles.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-61847310

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Posted (edited)

Now put an average Italian behind the steering wheel of a Mercedes van; he'll probably feel claustrophobic!

:lol:

Edit:

Damn, that should have been 'agoraphobic'.

Edited by Abramelin
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I just took a look at the fiat ambulances and am wondering how tall these people are. I am 6’ tall, slim built and have driven a wide range of vehicles so not sure I understand the problem.

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4 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

I just took a look at the fiat ambulances and am wondering how tall these people are. I am 6’ tall, slim built and have driven a wide range of vehicles so not sure I understand the problem.

Complaints ranged from back pain, not being able to see out of the windscreen properly to knees and shins scraping the dashboard.

Other entries detail instances of:

  • The engine cutting out when driving over potholes and speed bumps, due to a vehicle safety feature which has since been improved. In one instance, a critically ill child's transfer to hospital was delayed while a replacement vehicle was called
  • Drivers in work boots finding pedals too close together, resulting in the accelerator being pressed instead of the brake
  • Hands and fingers becoming trapped in the sliding door, with one staff member breaking two fingers. Mandatory training on this has now been rolled out

One emergency medical technician told the BBC: "I was told that anyone over 5ft 9in (1.75m) would be unable to drive it as they would not be able to achieve a comfortable and safe driving position.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-61847310

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