The question of ambulances: big cities and sparsely populated areas cannot be compared



The fact that ambulance staff are switching to new forms of working hours during the course of a day has caused great concern and frustration among the ambulance staff in Gäddede. Expressen took up the issue and interviewed paramedic Joakim Mikaelsson, who has to travel 18 kilometers to work and is worried about the change in working hours. It is not possible to compare working conditions in cities with sparsely populated areas.

There are disadvantages to working in the ambulance in sparsely populated areas, including the problem of recruiting new staff. In Gäddede there are big problems on this subject, and especially whether to switch to the new European rules on working hours.

On October 1, the new EU rules came into force in force which requires a 24-hour rest period in a number of activities in municipalities and regions, including care of the elderly and health care. But at the Gäddede ambulance, they have difficulty getting their saddles back on and therefore continue to work 24-hour shifts. Joakim Mikaelsson, interviewed by Expressen, says that it would be impossible to work if you are not allowed to continue working 24 hours a day. He mentions, among other things, the problems linked to long journeys from home instead of to work. In his case, it’s an 11-mile one-way trip, but the person with the longest commute to work has 40 miles to go.

Archive photo: Joakim Mikaelsson and his son. Stock photo:

Joakim emphasizes that we cannot compare working conditions in a city and those in sparsely populated areas. He takes Stockholm as an example, and then everyone understands that it is not possible to work 24 hours a day, with full occupancy 24 hours a day. It is different for us in sparsely populated areas where, if necessary, the situation is resolved, if additional reinforcements are necessary, other personnel are then called. In Gäddede there have never been any problems so far, but if you don’t get an exemption there will be problems.

Introducing 12-hour shifts would be Gäddede needs two additional employees and, if working hours change, four employees have signaled that they will leave the ambulance. Once again, it must be emphasized that the new rules are rigid and worrying for people who want to live in sparsely populated areas. To comb the whole of Sweden is quite presumptuous, especially in this area. Being governed by EU rules in all contexts cannot have a good effect, which is why all decision-makers must now contribute to ensuring that Gäddede’s ambulance is not threatened due to ignorance and of the disorienting conditions in different parts of the country.

Why change a good concept. Pike-dede is not comparable to big city life. Stock Photography Praying.

It now remains to request an exemption for the ambulance in Gäddede if you want to continue as now, with 24-hour shifts, but according to the Kommunalarbetaren union, the municipality has not yet done this. It says the next step for the union will be to determine whether it should act if the ambulance defies the rules. This turns out to be a difficult question, when you are in sparsely populated areas and where the same rules must apply as in big cities. Those who work at the Gäddede ambulance consider this completely unreasonable.

Text: Barbro Ericson