Firefighters treated woman struck by bus while they waited for ambulance to arrive

Firefighters had to treat a woman who had been struck by a bus for 15 minutes while they waited for the nearest available ambulance to arrive.

The emergency vehicle which responded to the emergency in Elgin came from Keith after being called at 5.55pm on Wednesday when a pedestrian was struck by a Doig’s of Glasgow coach on Station Road.

The ambulance arrived at 6.10pm as paramedic crews from Elgin and Forres were tied up with other patients at the time.

The 46-year-old victim was not seriously injured, but ambulance staff yesterday claimed her ordeal demonstrates how badly stretched local crews are.

Last night, Unite the Union regional officer Tommy Campbell called for Scottish Ambulance Services (SAS) bosses to tackle the shortages.

Mr Campbell said: “This goes to show how quickly ambulance cover in Moray can evaporate if several calls come in at once.

“The incident took place very near the fire station, and it is fortunate that firefighters were able to respond so effectively.

“However, this highlights the recurring problem in Moray that overburdened ambulance crews aren’t able to reach casualties as quickly as they should.

“That boils down to a shortage of vehicles and fully trained staff, which is something the chief executive and her senior management team at the Scottish Ambulance Service must address immediately.”

Paramedics have argued that more staff and vehicles need to be deployed to Moray.

They say their worst fears were realised last year when 16-year-old Keiran McKandie was fatally injured while cycling outside Elgin and an ambulance took 27 minutes to reach him.

One anonymous employee added: “We are now more than a year on from that, and things are as bad as ever. Nothing has changed.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service maintains that measures have been put in place to ease the burden on Moray paramedics.

A spokesman would not go into detail on whether the latest incident would prompt further action.

He said: “Two crews were dispatched and our ambulance control centre was advised that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was in attendance from 5.58pm.

“The first crew arrived on scene at 6.10pm and one female patient was taken to Dr Gray’s Hospital.”