Ambulance driver sacked for speeding on 999 call


Ambulance driver sacked for speeding on 999 call

A volunteer first responder has been dismissed from duty after driving his ambulance car at 33mph in a 20mph zone.

64-year-old Godfrey Smith was responding to an emergency call-out after a man collapsed after suffering breathing difficulties.

However, following a complaint, South Central Ambulance Service bosses examined his car's GPS system and found that he had travelled at 33mph down Oxford High street, a 20mph zone.

He was also found to have driven on the wrong side of a bollard in an attempt to get past traffic.

Unfortunately Mr Smith, who had worked as a volunteer responder for 15 years, does not have the same right to break speed limits as fully-qualified ambulance driver and was dismissed for breaking road traffic laws.

The decision comes just three months after the ambulance service put out a plea for volunteer drivers, as numbers have dropped sharply.

Mr Smith commented: "I'm absolutely devastated. My life has revolved around volunteering and helping people when they most need it," reported the Daily Mail.

"It is soul-destroying being told I can no longer do it. I feel like my heart has been ripped out."

Explaining why he decided to drive the wrong way around the bollard, he continued: "If I thought it was dangerous, I wouldn't have done it. There was no traffic coming the other way; the lights were on red.

"There was no thanks whatsoever for my 15 years of service. I do not condone speeding but the punishment is brutal."

Hundreds of Oxford residents have now signed a petition calling for Mr Smith to be reinstated.

South Central Ambulance Service has yet to comment on the dismissal.