Ambulance Crew, A life and Death Situation on Hand.

1101 Views Kampala, Uganda
Ambulances are meant for emergency medical rescue. The sirens and the tension signal a life and death situation. But for ambulance crew driver, Joseph Bukenya,, the challenge and weight of responsibility has become a lifestyle. From the time the engine starts, feelings are obvious. Cue in: i squeeching tires emergency horn.. Cue out: ##emergency horn fades outi Am taking a ride in an ambulance from Nsambya clinic with Joseph Bukenya simulating an emergency situation. We head down Gaba road and less than a kilometer Am feeling like a patient in critical condition. And its obvious that the on lookers share the same feeling. There is a mixture of sadness and pity while others are curious to peep inside and have a look at what is taking place inside the ambulance. Shop keepers and shoppers along Kabalaga market take a short break from their business to stare at the ambulance which has just sent pedestrians scampering all over the road. some pedestrians want to see the inside of this fast and screaming machine but the windows are blinded. According to Bukenya, this is the kind of attention all ambulance drivers get daily. The noise from the emergency horn is irritably loud to alert all drivers to give way for the ambulance. Emergency vehicles have a right of way but some motorists simply don't care. This makes driving an emergency vehicle truly nerve wrecking. For Bukenya and others, the challenge is also physiological because it is a matter of life and death for their passengers. Their skill is not your ordinary taxi driver's maneuvers. Cue in: \i my job is very hectic ## Cue out:##..right of wayi// We are at the Muyenga road round about, and are now heading back to Nsambya clinic. My head has already hit the dash board and back to the head rest in a split second. Bukenya did not break before turning at the round about. He manouvres around at speed 80 never mind the fact that Kansanga road is always busy. He is now driving on the shoulders because other motorists do not seem to notice that there is a siren behind them. Cue in: iit's the only#. Cue out:#diseases from patientsi// And back at the Nsambya clinic and the causality reception is on stand by with their stretchers ready to help the patient inside the ambulance. The drill is choreographed like a formula one pit-stop. Quickly open the doors, except on this occasion, it is a curious journalist not a usual patient. The medical staff at Nsambya Clinic need are readied by the sound of the sirens. As Bukenya steps out of this mission his mind is already preparing for the next assignment. Nsambya Clinic has a normal ambulance unlike most local government ambulances which are open body pick up vehicles. According to Dr Lulume Bayega, those pick-up ambulances are not only uncomfortable, but can aggravate the patient's problems. Cue in: i if you got a fracture#.. Cue out:## raptured uterusi// All ambulance drivers are high risk workers because of road accidents high speeds and the emergency conditions they are under. They try to reach destination through traffic jams and sometimes get exposed to contagious diseases from patients. Chemicals used like anesthetic gases administered to patients, excessive use of rinsing, cleaning, and disinfecting agents also affect them. But the ambulance driver's worst enemy is the Ugandan driver with an i#I don't care attitudei even in emergency situation.


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