A poll conducted by The Sun has revealed that the overwhelming majority of respondents do not think that a Yorkshire Ambulance Service crew were ‘in the wrong’ for making a short TikTok video during a rare break during a busy shift.
Published in an article with a headline that reads: ‘female paramedics face furious backlash over video showing them dancing in the back of ambulance’ the newspaper asked its readers: ‘do you think they were wrong to dance in the ambulance?’
30% responded with ‘Yes, it’s unprofessional’ whereas just under 66% responded with ‘No, they were on a break’.
Emergency ambulance crews around the country have faced an unprecedented workload over the last 18 months, with many medics and ambulance technicians suffering from poor mental health as a result.
Emergency ambulance crews rarely get a break during their shifts, and many people feel that activities such as making light-hearted videos during a rare break are a great way to let off some much-needed steam.
The videos also show the human side of the men and women who are willing to risk their own lives in order to save the lives of others.
And, judging by the Sun’s own poll, the vast majority of the general public feel the same.
The mainstream media often misread the feeling and general census of the public in this sort of situation, mainly because they underestimate the amount of love and respect the vast majority of decent-minded people have for our emergency services.
Whilst it is easy for a civilian news outlet to try and ridicule the emergency services from the safety of their offices, paramedics and ambulance technicians have faced unprecedented workloads.
As well as serving in the military and on the Lifeboats (RNLI), I have served in the Met Police on a 999 response team (as well as working a short stint at the NHS(BT).
I know too well what can happen if you do not let off some steam during a shift. In fact, being able to learn how to let off some steam is vital.
Indeed, I have lost a relative and a former colleague to suicide; and many of our readers who are in the emergency services have too.
And over the years, we have covered countless stories where colleagues have taken their own lives. Mental health is a serious thing and we each have our own way of ensuring that our mental health does not suffer owing to the job we do (or once did).
The emergency services deal with severe trauma on an hourly basis.
The sort of gut-wrenching trauma that most civilian journalists probably would not be able to cope with. The sort of trauma that comes back to haunt emergency workers long after they have retired from the front line.
I wonder how many civilian journalists – who write these sorts of stories about our colleagues – have dealt with an emergency call where a young person or child has lost their life?
So if our life-saving lads and lasses in the emergency services want to make a TikTok video during a (rare) break, then let them. Who are we to judge them?
Because we need the emergency services more than they need us and that means we also need them to be in a good state, mentally, if we are going to expect them to be able to deal with highly traumatic calls.
And most of us with a bit of common sense know that if an ‘R1’ call would have come out during their break, then the two wonderful medics in the TikTok video would have stopped what they were doing and responded to the call for help.
But what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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