A medical professional ‘commandeered’ a bus for an unscheduled hospital stop on New Year’s Eve after one of the passengers fell ill.
Ryan Bardsley, managing director of Chester -based Regional Medical Services, was driving home with his partner about 7pm on Sunday, December 31, when he spotted the Stagecoach bus parked up in Blacon Avenue.
He got on board to find the driver and passengers concerned for the welfare of a woman in her 20s who was semi-conscious as though having a seizure.
Given the pressures on the ambulance service, it was decided not to move the patient but to convey her instead to the nearby Countess of Chester Hospital while still aboard the bus.
Ryan, 23, who lives in Blacon , explained: “As I approached there seemed to be a lot of people around one passenger including the driver so I went on and asked if everything was OK.
“A young lady was having what we thought was a seizure and vomited all over the bus and was unresponsive. A passenger on the bus had called for an ambulance. I identified myself as a off duty EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). When they called for an ambulance they were told it could take a while due to being New Year’s Eve.
“I assessed the young lady and then decided to call the ambulance service control room manager directly, as she was breathing and there was no immediate danger and the Countess being round the corner. I liaised with the control manager and advised them that we’d take her to A&E on the bus.
“The bus driver was happy to drive her, NWAS ( North West Ambulance Service ) were extremely happy with us doing so as there were no ambulances available which, if one did become available, it could be used elsewhere. So me, the bus driver and three passengers, who didn’t get off before we set off for the Countess, took this young lady to A&E on the bus.”
At the point when he handed the patient over to the care of hospital staff, Ryan said the woman had come round to some extent but he still ‘couldn’t get any sense out of her’.
In the meantime Ryan’s girlfriend had driven home in their car and was waiting for him when he returned.
He hopes the young woman is now feeling a lot better and said the incident was unusual one which had only delayed his New Year’s Eve celebrations by ‘half an hour’ and he was happy to help.
A spokesperson for North West Ambulance Service said: “I can see that we did receive a call at 19.45 on 31 December to Blacon Avenue to reports that a patient had taken ill on a bus. From the log I can see that a medical professional was on the bus at the time of the call and that the bus was taken to hospital with the patient on board, therefore the ambulance was cancelled.”