'Be kind... be thoughtful' - Paramedic's plea for fuel calm goes viral

Student paramedic, Jennifer Ward (left), has called for people to "be kind, be caring, be thoughtful” in a viral post

Student paramedic, Jennifer Ward (left), has called for people to "be kind, be caring, be thoughtful” in a viral post - Credit: SUBMITTED

A student paramedic’s post calling for calmness amid panic-buying at filling stations has gone viral after attracting more than 130,000 shares on social media. 

Jennifer Ward, 21, of Long Stratton, is currently studying an apprenticeship and spends half of her hours working for the NHS and Medicare EMS Group. 

She shared the post via Facebook following a 12-hour shift on Friday, September 24, after struggling to find fuel for the entirety of the day. 

Miss Ward, who began her job three years ago, said: “The first thing I always do at the start of a shift is fill my tank up. Thankfully this time, the ambulance had already been filled. 

“We were advised to refuel if our tanks fell below halfway during our shift but by the time it had reached less than a quarter-full, we still had not found anywhere.” 

The start of the shift, which began at 10am, saw the pair travel more than 250 miles to treat patients as far away as Basildon and Southend, Essex, before returning to Norwich. 

She added: “So many ambulance stations used to have bulk fuel, but that’s not the case anymore. After travelling to five different petrol stations, we eventually managed to find diesel by using a lorry pump.” 

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Miss Ward also described how queuing traffic had made it “hard” when attending blue-light calls – the highest response to a 999 call. 

“People were queuing past traffic lights and round roundabouts. It was very hard to drive with those conditions affecting us. 

“It just makes me wonder – have we learnt nothing from Covid? 

“A lot of us don’t know if we’ll be able to get to work now. I’m due to work in Tottenham but I only have 50 miles of fuel left in my tank. It’s had such a knock-on effect."

The viral post shows the paramedics refuelling the ambulance. It reads: “Imagine having to go to five different petrol stations to get diesel for your ambulance. Do people forget we need to it to actually attend our emergencies? We’re already struggling enough as a service without the added pressure of not knowing where our next stop for fuel will be. Be kind, be caring, be thoughtful.”