December 13 2013 Latest news:
by Tom Marshall
Thursday, September 12, 2013
A private ambulance driver has hit out at Camden Council after receiving a parking ticket while he was helping an injured woman.
Former NHS paramedic Garry Marriott insists the council should not hand fines to ambulance workers – even if they are working privately – because they are always there to help people.
He claims he left his marked ambulance car in a loading bay in Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, last week while rushing to the aid of a middle-aged woman who was taken unwell in a nearby street.
Mr Marriott provides first aid cover on film sets – including for blockbusters like The Da Vinci Code and Hot Fuzz – and says he was leaving an advert shoot at the Haverstock Hill restaurant Chez Bob when members of the public flagged him down.
The 55-year-old said: “It could be someone’s life, so I need to get there as quickly as I can and deal with that person and worry about everything else afterwards.
“In 15 years I have never heard of an ambulance getting ticketed and I have never been ticketed myself. We will just stop anywhere and deal with the patient – and worry about the car afterwards.”
He said the woman was feeling faint but quickly recovered and went on her way, after he advised her to visit her GP.
A parking warding issued the £130 fine after seeing that the ambulance car was parked in the loading bay for 22 minutes.
Camden Council says the officer checked that it was not an NHS vehicle before handing out the penalty.
But Mr Marriott said: “Ambulances are there for one thing, and that’s for the interest of people’s health.
“We’re on permanent 24-hour call if we’re in a marked vehicle. Anybody in the medical profession has a duty of care, so for them to say it wasn’t a 999 call is complete rubbish.
“I won’t be paying this fine and I look forward to seeing them in court.”
A spokesman for Camden Council said: “It’s not an ambulance belonging to the NHS and is therefore not an emergency vehicle.
“It was observed for 22 minutes – with no sign of loading or attending anything of an emergency nature.
“Camden doesn’t issue penalty charge notices to emergency vehicles being actively used.
“However, if there is evidence that a police vehicle, fire engine or ambulance is not being used for these purposes then it will be subject to enforcement.”