Paramedic calls out Insulate Britain 'idiots' blocking ambulances on 999 calls

Essential workers have said the eco-activists are risking lives as emergency vehicles are stuck in traffic caused by road blockages.

10/27/2021 10:00:00 PM

Essential workers have said the eco-activists are risking lives as emergency vehicles are stuck in traffic caused by road blockages.

Essential workers have said the eco-activists are risking lives as emergency vehicles are stuck in traffic caused by road blockages.

The experienced paramedic, who is based outside of London, told there was no way the group could mitigate the wider impacts of shutting down roads at busy times of day.The source said: ‘We generate the carbon in a year that China and India generate in a week, so why don’t they try to block the roads over there?

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‘It’s serious. They let through an ambulance when they blockaded the Blackwall Tunnel but there was another on the approach to the tunnel, which was near the Sun in the Sands interchange, heading to an emergency call in Charlton, that got caught up in the traffic.

‘The problem is the knock-on effects. While these idiots might be glued to the road there are miles of tailbacks, there are side roads, roundabouts and box junctions they have no control over.’A large queue of traffic on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach after activists blocked part of the key route (Picture: George Cracknell Wright/LNP)

Insulate Britain activists block the road in North Acton, London, as the group resumes its protests on October 27 (Picture: Insulate Britain/SWNS)An Insulate Britain protester who had ink squirted in his face while taking part in a protest in London (Picture: Greatest Hits Radio London News)

Another veteran paramedic, who works for London Ambulance Service (LAS), struck a more conciliatory note. The person, also speaking in a personal capacity, told that Insulate Britain is alienating people, including in the NHS, by bringing highways to a standstill.

However, the essential worker said if confronted with a blockade her approach would be to try and reason with the demonstrators, who have declared the M25 ‘a place of non-violent civil resistance to stop our government committing crimes against humanity’.

A new ‘super injunction’ was granted to National Highways on Monday, which bans Insulate Britain from interfering with traffic on any part of the strategic road network in England.It is one of four temporary injunctions granted to the government agency and Transport for London in recent weeks.

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But the group, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, has ignored the government’s attempts to clamp down on the movement, with its members saying they are prepared to go to prison.They want the government to introduce a national programme to insulate homes in order to reduce carbon emissions, saying a failure to act will result in ‘genocide’.

Police officers remove an Insulate Britain protester who was part of a demonstration blocking Upper Thames Street in London on October 25 (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)Police attempt to remove Insulate Britain activists from the southern entrance to the Blackwell Tunnel (Picture: George Cracknell Wright/LNP)

While the paramedic agrees with the campaigners’ wider aims, she said that their actions are self-defeating and could delay an emergency call.The responder said: ‘I do broadly agree with their aims and objectives but the problem is that when you block a road you don’t win many friends.

‘We want to save the planet as much as they do, but their tactics are only going to alienate people from the cause they are trying to promote, especially when they block an ambulance or a fire engine.‘One ambulance not getting through might not endanger loads of people, but it does put lives at risk.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser thatsupports HTML5 video‘If you work in the health service and you go on strike or take action you also risk alienating people, but when we’ve taken action in the past we’ve always said we will deal with emergency calls, so when it’s life-threatening, we will go out and deal with the real emergency. I have mixed feelings.’

The paramedic said her colleagues did not support the group’s tactics due to reports of ambulances being blocked and NHS workers being delayed travelling to work.But she has previously appealed to people’s human nature while on duty in the city and would use the same tactic again if confronted with a blockade.

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She said: ‘If I found our ambulance being blocked I would get out and I would talk to them, I would just say, “we support you wholeheartedly but let us through because we’ve got a very sick person in the back and we’re on an emergency”. I would appeal to that side of them.

An Insulate Britain activist blocks a road in front of a police officer during a protest in London on October 25 (Picture: Reuters/Henry Nicholls)A City of London Police officer speaks to Insulate Britain protesters blocking a road near Southwark Bridge on October 25 (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

‘I would say it might be you or one of your relatives we have got in the ambulance or being called out to. It reminds me of a protest I went to where someone was on hunger strike.‘I had to go and check him over and I had a really long chat about whether he thought possibly dying would change anything, although I couldn’t persuade him stop.’

Both paramedics asked to remain anonymous as they were speaking in a personal capacity and had not been authorised to talk publicly. Read more: Metro »

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