Monday, May 16, 2011

Underthinking Ambulances

This story is rather intriguing, apparently in an attempt to save some money a lot of people in Otago are registering their cars as ambulances.  Apparently Otago has 230 registered ambulances, compared to the 251 in Auckland, which has about 10 times the population.

The busy streets of Otago, always clogged full of ambulances.
Given these numbers this either means people are registering their cars as ambulances illegally, or there is a severe shortage of ambulances in Auckland.
I tend to believe it is the former, but why would people be doing this. Well it costs $60.00 a year to register an ambulance and 287.00 - 475.00 to register a private vehicle depending on the fuel type.

The nuclear powered Ford Nucleon would have bankrupt most countries to register 
The fine for being caught falsely registering your car as an ambulance, is $1000. So realistically you only have to get away for it twice for it to pay for itself. I am not advocating registering your car as an ambulance falsely, but just saying the penalty doesn't seem like much.
It also got me thinking though, what is the definition of an ambulance? I mean surely there is one, that you have to check off. And if I could met the criteria I could save myself some cash legally. Unfortunately navigating the NZTA website is like getting through the labyrinth.

NZTA media manager Andy Knackstedt
So I will just have to speculate, I presume to be an ambulance you only need two things.

1./ Medical supplies - $100

So presumabely since an ambulance takes people to the hospital you need some sort of medical supplies, I saw a pretty decent first aid kit on 1-day, the other week for like $30.

Should be enough to deal with cuts and lost limbs till you get to hospital
You maybe called out for cardiac problems to, so you might want to pick yourself up some good jumper cables just in case there are problems on route. Probably another $20.

I understand the chest part, but what is she doing with the red wire?
You also probably want some training to deal with seriously medical situations with your supplies, so probably suggest some one that is good at improvising.

Okay lesson 54: How to administer an enema
 2/. Take some one to hospital - free (maybe gas)
Also you probably need to be able to be called in case of emergency. Now given you are just doing this to save cash you probably don't want to be called every hour of everyday, so don't sign up to 111 service.

"What some one else needs picked up?? Seriously!!!"
But you probably do need to do one or two jobs a year, just to satisfy the authorities you actually are an ambulance. So just use word of mouth, that way you can probably limit the severity of injuries you have to deal with in your ambulance. Just taking your mate Fred to hospital with a suspected sprained ankle will probably satisfy the authorities.

"I will give you a lift Fred, I need to tick one off this year"
So there you go, for that initial $100 a year, you will have be saving yourself between $200- $400 a year, and be secure in the knowledge, you helped at least (probably at most) 1 person out as well.

If that doesn't sound like you, just be like this lady, who registered her car as a hearse and just carry around some frozen chickens, and you can legitimately say you are transporting dead bodies.

Poor, Chicky he was so young. We have opted to get him turned into a double down instead of burial.

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