Aussies are relaxed, that includes the ambulance. Last night one of the girls in the hostel stumbled down a step and broke her ankle. We called 000 expecting to get quick help. The phone call took a long time and the operator was asking the same questions repeatedly (we had a native speaker on the phone so it certainly wasn’t a language problem). They even asked for directions as if they didn’t have a navigation system.

We were told it would take the ambulance about 30 minutes to get here. About 40 minutes later we were still waiting in front of the house when we saw an ambulance stopping at a backpackers a couple of hundred meters down the street. I ran down there asking if they were looking for a woman with a broken ankle. They were and I told them were they needed to go.

Once they had parked the car they were slowly gathering the gear and strolling down the driveway to the backyard. By that time poor Aude was already lying there for more than an hour in pain. The paramedics examined her and decided they’d need more gear. After some slow back and forth they finally had all they needed and prepared her for transport.

I remember how I called for an ambulance in Germany when a woman broke down in the streets. The call took about one minute and less than 10 minutes later the paramedics where on scene. Given that was in a big city but still, why does 000 has to ask for directions?

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