Paramedics have called upon for paid lunch breaks, as they felt that unpaid breaks were risking the lives of people. Currently, if a 999 call is made and the nearest crew is eating lunch, a nearby vehicle happens to get the job.
Though, if a crew member foregoes their lunch, they are paid a compensation amount of £25 though they don't happen to receive the money if they are not asked to do the job. The breaks mean that paramedics are not available for providing emergency service for half-an-hour, during their shift.
The unpaid breaks are currently costing an additional 1,500 to the government, in contrast to, if they were paid for their lunch break and were called in, in case of an emergency. It needs to be reminded that paramedics are just as important as the police and fire department, so an immediate availability of medical services is important.
A recent incident highlighted the requirement of paramedics, when an ambulance technician was suspended after he failed to respond to 999 calls, during his break lunch. The technician's failure to respond to the calls resulted in the death of a woman.
While talking about the current system, a Branch Secretary with the North West Ambulance Service, Craig Wilde stated that he could not understand that how an emergency service could work on the basis of volunteering. He felt that immediate availability was the key to providing better services.