Sure I’ll drive the Ambulance

Karumba, QLD, Australia

Bar Manager: Greg, You’re sober right?

Greg (bartending): Uh, yeah?

Bar Manager: Right, you’re the only one so do you mind driving the ambulance to the hospital while the medic works on the patient?

Greg: uh…

Queensland Ambulance

Do I get to use the siren?

In the middle of the Australian outback, hundreds of miles from anywhere (about 466 miles to give you a ballpark) one has access to limited resources.  For example, say, emergency medical technicians.  Realistically, how many EMTs would you expect a town of 518 people to actually have?  They don’t have a hospital or even a doctor but what they do have is a clinic with a trained nurse, exactly one ambulance and 2 EMTs.  Since the 2 EMTs have to cover a 24 hour shift they each stand a 12 hour watch…alone.

Now what happens when a patient requires medical care during the hour drive to the nearest hospital?

Well, the duty EMT gets a volunteer to drive the ambulance while said EMT works in the back.  This leads us to the next relevant question in this situation:

Where does one find a sober person at an Australian bar?

As Greg found out, it pretty much comes down to the person being paid to stand behind it.

Life Achievement Unlocked

Ambulance Driver

…on the wrong side of the road no less!

(Granted, it’s not like Greg hasn’t done this kind of thing before but still, it’s cool!)

For more on the amazing people who make it their life’s mission to keep people alive in the vast, mindbogglingly remote and extremely lethal Australian Outback, check out our visit with the Royal Flying Doctors.


About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures.  If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out!

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