Poor Amsterdam ambulance response time triggers investigation
The Inspectorate Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) announced today that they will be doing an investigation into the working conditions at Ambulance Amsterdam. Police officers are also noticing the effects of the problems in Ambulance Amsterdam. Officers who call an ambulance for an emergency situation, are often told that no ambulance is available or that there will be a delay in its arrival. Ambulance employees have complained several times about the high workload, a shortage of ambulances and outdated equipment. The employees almost never have time to thoroughly clean the vehicles. According to police officers, response times of more than half an hour is no exception, especially at night and on weekends. Often ambulances have to come from other regions, such as Purmerend and Zaandam. Earlier this month union Abvakabo reported that the working conditions have led to response time increasing from an average of 9.5 minutes to 11.5 minutes in three years. The cardiac monitoring equipment, which is estimated to be about 15 years old, has still not been replaced. The stretchers are really too old to be used. Employees only manage to clean the ambulances once every two or three months. According to Ambulance Amsterdam: "Restricted anonymous observations are generalized." The police say that no conclusions can be drawn based on interviews with some officers.