'We Get Verbally Abused And Threatened Every Day' Says Triple 0 Call Taker
Ambulance Australia's Chris Pollock, a call taker at the NSW Triple Zero Control Centre, reveals the emotional toll his job can take.
"People rip into you and expect an ambulance within two minutes of us answering the phone," Chris told ten daily.
"Obviously it may be a stressful scene to them, but it doesn’t give them the right to verbally abuse and threaten us."
The critical work Chris and his colleagues do is documented in Ambulance Australia, which premieres Tuesday, October 16 at 7.30pm on TEN.
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The series takes viewers through every step of a medical crisis: operators answering calls at the Control Centre, dispatchers managing the logistics of getting crews to patients and paramedics responding to emergencies.
Describing the vibe inside the Triple Zero Control Centre as "high-pressure" is an understatement, Chris explained.
"One moment you could be talking to the patient, the next moment you’ve got their family member doing CPR on them. You have to expect the unexpected."
Chris has worked for NSW Ambulance full-time the past nine months, in addition to volunteering with Marine Rescue NSW and NSW Rural Fire.
"I probably spend more time with the emergency services than with friends," he admitted.
"It can be tricky managing time, but when you have a strong support network around you it makes it easier."
When he does get the chance to unwind Chris jumps on his motorbike, goes for a surf or "chats things through" with his girlfriend and family.
"They help keep the reality of the hard jobs I deal with as they were and so my mind doesn’t take them out of context," he acknowledged.
Ambulance Australia premieres Tuesday, October 16 at 7.30pm on TEN.