An angry neighbour left a note criticising paramedics’ parking as they fought to save the life of a critically ill man who later died.
The handwritten message, left on an ambulance windscreen, read: “You may be saving lives, but don’t park your van in a stupid place and block my drive.”
The note was left on their vehicle when West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) staff were responding to an emergency call in Birmingham.
The 42-year-old patient was vomiting blood and suffering major internal bleeding.
One of the paramedics, Tasha Starkey, who responded to the call, tweeted a picture of the note, and said to have shocked and saddened ambulance staff.
She wrote: “Crew alerted an extremely poorly patient to hospital… minimal on scene time, arrive at hospital to find this note… this patient was TIME-CRITICAL.”
In a statement posted on social media, WMAS said: “Sometimes we just don’t know quite what to say. This was the note left on one of ambulances today.
“At the time, the crew were helping a man who was extremely unwell after vomiting a lot of blood. They assessed his condition and immediately took him on blue lights to hospital where he was in a critical condition.
“Our staff will always try and park considerately, but sometimes, there just isn’t time.”
Sometimes we just don’t know what to say. This was the note left on an ambulance today. At the time, the crew were helping a man who was extremely unwell after vomiting blood. They took him on blue lights to hospital where he was in a critical condition. #patientscomefirst 🏥🚑💨 pic.twitter.com/RwCCVmZgrA
— WMAS (@OFFICIALWMAS) November 10, 2017
It added: “Patients come first.”
The ambulance was parked their for 30 minutes while its crew attended to the man, who fell ill at Livingstone House, a charity and rehabilitation centre for drug and alcohol addicts in the Small Heath area of the city.
Sam Grimson, a paramedic clinical team mentor for the ambulance service, said: “The crew were not on scene long due to how poorly the patient was.
“We always try to park appropriately but sometimes it it not possible.”
One of our crews encountered this delightful note after assisting a patient suffering a major internal bleed!
The crew were not on scene long due to how poorly the patient was.
We always try to park appropriately but sometimes it it not possible. pic.twitter.com/2eVC2CY04k
— Sam Grimson (@wmassamgrimson) November 10, 2017
On social media, the note has been shared thousands of time which prompted disbelief and condemnation.
One Twitter user said: “Unfortunately there are some very selfish people in this world if are more worried about their drives, than others lives.”
Another wrote: “Absolutely awful. Hope he/she never needs an ambulance.”
David Francis added: “[WMAS] do a brilliant job… At no point should they have to worry about idiots leaving notes on ambulances.”
Later, the service thanked people for the outpouring of support.
“We still can’t believe it, and it appears you can’t either,” it said. “Leaves us feeling really rather sad.”
In another separate incident, WMAS said a motorist had complained to another paramedic crew about their parking as they were treating a cardiac arrest patient.
It said: “Just heard from one of our staff that two crews were treating a cardiac arrest patient today — the most serious case we can attend — and someone banged on the side of the ambulance asking them to move as they couldn’t get their car out!
“Sorry, patients come first.”