Friday turned out to be an interesting day around here.

When I got up there was a dusting of fresh snow on the ground. As I drove into work, I was hearing reports of further snow falls but when I got to Cardiff, there wasn’t a huge amount on the ground. We got to work sorting out a few servers since I was leaving early for a doctor’s appointment and more to the point, I was going to be away for a week on this driver training course.

By 1100, the situation had gotten interesting. The M4 was closed in West Wales, other major routes were being marked as too dangerous to travel on[1], and public transport was advertising that they would not be able to guarantee a service beyond lunchtime. By 1200, many offices in Cardiff had shut down, and we closed the Cardiff office to those who needed to travel.

I headed off myself and after my errands, I headed up to base – we’d gone back on Standby with the ambulance service again. This time, things were more serious. We’d been running a full service with two vehicles since 1100, so by the time Mal and I got there at about 1700, things were well into action.

I manned the radios for a few hours until about 2300 when I swapped out with a very tired crew. Calls were winding down though, and I eventually headed off to bed at about 0200, with further snow promised between 0200 and 1000. At 0330 the pagers went off, with a message telling us that Ambulance control had stood us down, which was fine. Only thing was that they called for help at about 0400, so we jumped out. By this time, I was the only driver left in base, so we had a non-response drive (i.e. driving just like a normal road vehicle instead of with blue lights and sirens) to the incident. We transported the patient to Prince Charles before heading back to base.

I called Ambulance control to inform them that we were back and to have a conversation with the duty officer about the situation, and she immediately said “Oh, well, actually, I have a red call for you now…”. Off we went again.

Eventually by 0900, it was clear that the latest predicted batch of snow wasn’t going to materialise, so Ambulance control stood us down again and we made to pack up base. Of course I should have known that wasn’t going to be the last of it, because by about 1000, just as we were finishing the kit checks, log books and tidying up, Huw phoned with a message that Ambulance control needed assistance to transport a dialysis patient to hospital.

Off we went again, and dropped the chap off in the Heath. I quickly popped over to pick Jon up and headed back to base, where Jon helped me load the car. After a night like that, I needed some Sean-time. Aberystwyth was our next stop, where I quite happily collapsed into a nice warm bed. And boy did I sleep.

Note: I know this is a bit late, sorry. I’ve got my driving course this week, so I’ll post today’s update on the course tomorrow.

[1] Yes, I know Elaine, that this is nothing like your snow. However, we’re not used to it, it happens 2 days out of the year if that, so yeah, this country does slow down a lot when it snows.

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