Home Rescue News Ambulance ‘sent to pick up cake’

Ambulance ‘sent to pick up cake’


An ambulance controller sent an emergency vehicle to pick up a birthday cake for him, a tribunal has been told. And another 999 vehicle was sent to deliver a spare set of keys to the flatmate of an ambulance service worker who was locked out of home.

These disturbing incidents were revealed at a Glasgow employment tribunal, where three ambulance controllers are claiming unfair dismissal.

They were sacked after an ambulance was sent to a Glasgow nightclub to take one of them home when she was sick during a works night out.

A response to a 999 call was delayed as the crew took Denise MacDonald home.

The tribunal earlier heard the call-out wasn’t recorded in the system by the duty operator and was concealed from the control room manager.

Mrs MacDonald and colleagues Margaret Conner and Margaret Gokce were dismissed after the ambulance was sent to Cleopatra’s nightclub in August 2003.

At yesterday’s hearing Mrs Conner was asked whether ambulances were ever used for anything other than transporting patients.

She said this did happen and told of the time a dispatcher at the control room had an ambulance pick up a birthday cake and bring it to work.

Margaret Gokce, 49, who sent the ambulance to the nightclub, denied any wrongdoing because the vehicle was already on a non-emergency “domestic” call – delivering keys to the locked-out flatmate.

Mrs Gokce said she was passed the call from Mrs Conner, which had not been put through the 999 system but on another line which staff used for various purposes, including calling out ambulances.

The tribunal earlier heard the ambulance crew considered Mrs MacDonald intoxicated.

But MacDonald said she thought her drink had been spiked or she had suffered an adverse reaction to the Atkins Diet.

Mrs Gokce, of Crichton Place, Glasgow, wants her job back.

Mrs MacDonald of Duntocher Road, Bearsden, and Mrs Conner, of Riversdale Lane, Scotstoun, Glasgow, want compensation.

The hearing continues.

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