911 dispatchers banned from eating lollipops
Staff say they are being "micro-managed" to death — and not even allowed to eat lollipops at work
The Courier Mail
BRISBANE, Australia — They are entrusted with one of the most critical jobs in society but ambulance dispatchers aren't trusted to feed themselves or drink without spilling. Call centre workers have been banned from eating lollies at their desks and are being forced to drink only out of "sippy cups". The "micro-managing" has sparked claims that workers fear being burnt out as the busy flu season approaches
The Courier-Mail revealed on Saturday that communication failures and meal break issues contributed to the tardy response to a Brisbane man left to treat himself after crushing his leg under his own truck. Documents showed the man died of a heart attack last year after waiting almost 40 minutes for the right paramedics to arrive after a hungry dispatcher wrongly coded his case as non life-threatening before going on a break. At the same time, a key clinical supervisor was also in the mealroom.
QAS Commissioner Russell Bowles acknowledged there were systemic failures in the case of the man's death, but said they had been fixed. But workers say low morale in the communications centres was putting lives at risk.