Paramedics have told of their anger after they returned to an ambulance during a 999 call to find they had been blocked in by “inconsiderate drivers”.
The West Midlands Ambulance service paramedics were unable to load their patient into the ambulance on a stretcher after a red Nissan was parked very close behind it.
Paramedic Simon Wong said passers-by helped track down the motorist who eventually came to move their car but “didn’t understand what the problem was parking so close to the back of the ambulance”.
Another vehicle had also blocked the ambulance in at the front during the 999 call in Birmingham on Tuesday.
His tweets about the inconsiderate parking sparked anger with people calling for those responsible to be punished.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “Attended a 999 call. When returning to [the ambulance] with [patient] to go to [hospital], cars had blocked us in front and back – despite us parking on double yellows with our rear light flashing.
“Unable to get stretcher on or off. #inconsiderateparking. It says ‘keep clear’ on the [ambulance] for a reason.”
The patient, an elderly man, was eventually taken for treatment to Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “It is hugely disappointing that members of the public think it is acceptable to park so close to an ambulance, so that we are unable to load patients on to the vehicle when they need transporting to hospital.
“We would hope it would be common sense to people to avoid parking so close because it has the potential, as was the case in this situation, to delay the patient getting to hospital.
“All of our ambulances have ‘keep clear’ messages clearly visible on the back of them.
“Before deciding to park so close to our ambulances we urge people to stop and think how they would feel if it was their family member delayed getting to hospital in an emergency because someone had blocked one of our vehicles in.”
It provoked fury on social media, with many demanding those involved be punished.
One wrote: “I think this is when we call the police and get them to tow it 30 metres down the road!”
Another, Stuart Henley, wrote: “Disgraceful way to leave the car. More and more in society are out for themselves instead of the community nowadays.
“Hope the car was towed away with a hefty fine for blocking an emergency vehicle.”