Even before the pandemic, we all know how risky and crucial the job of an ambulance driver is. He transports seriously injured, ill, or dying persons to the hospital for medical attention. He bears the responsibility of making it to the hospital on time or else, the patient will die.
Such is the life of Jigger Benbinoto, who started as an ambulance driver in September 2018 after a friend who is working at the Municipal Disaster Relief and Rescue Operations (MDRRMO) invited him to apply. Jigger now works as an ambulance driver for Montalban/ Rodriguez LGU. (Read: 3 Simple Ways to Cope With Stress Due to Disaster Response)
“He knows that I drive ambulances at the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) at the same act as responder,” shares Jigger. “I chose this [job] so I can use all my training from PRC as a first aider and instructor.”
Most unforgettable experience
One of Jigger’s most unforgettable experiences as an ambulance driver was when they responded to a vehicular accident. Apparently, the patient-driver was under the influence of liquor.
“It was unforgettable because while we were treating him, he wanted to punch us, maybe because he’s too intoxicated. So, we told him, ‘If you don’t want to go to the hospital, we’ll just send you home. We’ll just let you sign a waiver indicating that you don’t want to go to the hospital,” shares Jigger. (Read: 5 Prayers for Volunteer Workers)
On their way to the patient’s house, the man suddenly jumped out of the ambulance. Luckily, the ambulance was moving slow.
“He screamed and said we were ganging upon him. He immediately caught the bystanders’ attention, so they started coming to us. So, we explained that we were only giving him first aid. Good thing, we were using a marked vehicle or else, we could be mistaken for kidnapping or salvaging him. It was nerve-wracking,” shares Jigger.
The patient was later turned over to the nearest barangay outpost. Although no one died or was injured during the accident, Jigger admitted that it was hard to rescue an intoxicated person.
Death, accidents do happen
Jigger also experienced transporting a patient who died before reaching the hospital.
“We showed the relatives that we did our best to revive the patient, but he’s already gone. For our part, we must accept his death. It’s part of our job,” he says. (Read: Prayers for Drivers and Safe Driving)
Jigger shared those accidents happen almost every day, which means, they must also conduct rescue and response operations every day. “When we get (un)lucky, we already have four response operations in the morning,” says Jigger.