Ambulance crew used disabled space for shopping

The ambulance parked at Cameron Toll Shopping Centre . Picture: contributed

The ambulance parked at Cameron Toll Shopping Centre . Picture: contributed

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AN ambulance crew has landed itself in hot water after they parked in a disabled space before going on a supermarket shopping trip.

Shopper complained to their bosses after the medicsleft their vehicle in a bay for blue-badge holders at Cameron Toll Shopping Centre.

The two paramedics hopped out of the ambulance to pop into Sainsbury’s shortly after 10am on Tuesday – and emerged ten minutes later clutching shopping bags.

Numerous free spaces were available at the time in the car park, which has space for 1200 vehicles.

One 42-year-old shopper, from Niddrie, who asked not to be named, said: “I came out the door and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The ambulance looked like it had been abandoned – it was then I realised it was parked in a disabled space as well.

“I appreciate the job they do but it can’t be one rule for them and another for the rest of us. They came back about ten minutes later carrying Sainsbury’s bags.”

It is understood that the on-duty paramedics were on a break at the time. But Scottish Patient Association chair Margaret Watt insisted there was “no excuse” for their behaviour.

She said: “These must be the two most selfish cads in Scotland. They have done a disabled person out of a space. If they had a disabled relative would they be OK with people doing this? A person using crutches, or in a wheelchair, may have come along to use that space while they went about their shopping.

“I hope that strong disciplinary action is taken against them – this is unacceptable and inexcusable behaviour.”

Cameron Toll manager Jim Riddell said: “It has been brought to our attention that an ambulance was parked in a disabled bay in the centre car park and we are looking into this.

“There are bays which are close to both entrances of the centre which are for the use of disabled or infirm customers and our staff monitor their use throughout the day.”

Earlier this month, Fife paramedic Victoria Arnott was cleared of misconduct after she stopped to pick up her own medicine while responding to an urgent call.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “Crews remain available to respond to emergency calls for their entire shift and often take the opportunity to purchase food products for consumption whilst on their break. They should always park with due consideration for others, whilst trying to minimise any delay in returning to the vehicle for response to a call should this be required. We will address this matter internally.”

david.oleary@edinburghnews.com