Documentary on One

000 Ambulance

Irishman Les Dougan works in Australia - His job? A call taker working in the emergency services - we hear him trying to calm callers and resuscitate patients over the phone - An intense and confronting documentary

000 Ambulance

In Ireland, our number for the emergency services is 999. In Australia, it's 000 ('Triple zero').

Most people have never called for an ambulance.

It's difficult to imagine the terror and panic of finding your best friend not breathing and not conscious or your partner having a cardiac arrest.

It can be the most crucial time in someone's life and for a short period you are alone and in charge of the situation with nothing to help you but a voice on the end of a telephone.

"000" is an intense and confronting programme that takes us down the wires and across the airwaves of the Emergency Services Communications network.

As we hear 000 call takers trying to calm callers and resuscitate patients over the phone, dispatchers on the other side of the room have already located the nearest ambulance and communicated the job over the radio.

Callers are often still on the phone to 000 by the time the paramedics arrive.

The 000 call taker, Irishman, Les Dougan, guides us through this world and explores its unique perspective on the city of Melbourne and the ceaseless chaos of life.

Producer: Kyla Brettle for ABC Radio's "Radio Eye" (2008)

First RTE broadcast 19th March 2012.

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