Blaming The Inanimate



Old maps result in hour-long ambulance delay


It took ambulance staff nearly one hour to reach a man suffering from chest pains in southern Sweden because their maps were out of date.

You just can’t trust those old maps. No matter how much you beg, plead, cajole them, they insist on staying outdated.

The 34-year-old man called emergency services in Skåne, south Sweden, after experiencing breathing difficulties and chest pains.

But his address was not listed on either the paper or digital maps used by the ambulance services hired by the Skåne Regional Council (Region Skåne).

The incident happened in June 2012. The man managed to call for help but it took ambulance service personnel 10 minutes to respond as they were in a basement washroom with no reception.

So, the patient called 9-1-1 and gave them his address. Which wasn’t listed on either the paper map or the electronic one. That’s once the crew actually got the call because they were in a basement room with no radio reception. Who’s running this outfit, Harry Fishbine?

And so the blame game begins,

The council said the explanation for the Skåne ambulances using erroneous maps was that Falck Ambulans, the ambulance service company that the council currently hires, is using the same maps used by the previous company, Sirius.

“It is our responsibility to follow up on this matter,” Poul Kongstad, clinic head at the Skåne Regional Council Prehospital Care Centre, admitted to the local newspaper Skånska Dagbladet.

But he added that Sirius failed to update its maps despite several requests and that Falck has fallen short on its promises to update the maps.

“Falck has told us that they use updated maps. We have received an indication before that that was not the case. We pointed it out at the time and presumed that it was corrected,” said Kongstad.

So the old ambulance company used the outdated maps, which were passed on to the new ambulance company. Even worse, the government officials responsible for overseeing the private ambulance contractors didn’t bother to check to see if any one was actually updating the maps.

Well, Mr. Kongstad, you know what happens when you presume, don’t you? You end up explaining to the media and the public how you failed to do the job.

No doubt Mr. Kongstad is in line for a raise and a promotion.

In other Swedish ambulance news, there’s this,

Paramedics opt for shift change, patient dies

A heart patient died after ambulance drivers who received the high priority call just as their shift was ending decided to swing by the station to change drivers, delaying their arrival to the patient’s home.

As tempting as this is may be, and even if the delay didn’t change the outcome, You. Just. Can’t. Do. This.

Read the stories at the links and then click on some of the other stories on the pages.

Sweden is one weird place.

Garlic smuggling?


  1. Brandon, the merged company (Fishbine-Unity) had a much better logo.

    Interesting that Falck Ambulans has been pushing aggressively into some U.S. markets in the past year. Hopefully they keep that attitude on the other side of the Atlantic.

  2. It seems like all the smart and competent Swedes move to Minnesota, USA and started the Mayo Clinic.

Comments are closed.