An ambulance driver who was forced to rush between five different fuel stations desperate to fill up her emergency truck has urged other drivers to be more thoughtful.
Jennifer Ward claims her regular trip to the pumps gave her 'unneeded anxiety' on Friday when she spent an hour and a half struggling to fill up her ambulance
The 21-year-old was left angered by large queues she tried to dodge and opted to vent her frustration on Facebook, urging people to 'be thoughtful' and consider if they really need to fill up or not rather than hogging fuel.
Luckily Jennifer and colleague Gary Dury began their shift from Norwich, Norfolk, with a full tank, but travelling more than 250 miles to see patients as far away as Basildon and Southend, Essex, left them needing a refill.
Her post includes a photo of her and 31-year-old Gary sarcastically celebrating finally filling up their emergency vehicle at around 7pm in Chelmsford, Essex at a lorry pump.
Image:Kennedy News and Media)
Jennifer questioned if panic buyers 'forget medics need to attend emergencies', and it's since gone viral with more than 11,000 reactions and 170,000 shares.
Angered users have joined the apprentice paramedic to slam those pictured filling jerry cans as 'selfish' for 'only considering themselves' and they agreed her struggle is 'sad' and 'not right'.
Jennifer, Norwich, Norfolk, said: "We work a stressful job and we don't need any added anxiety.
"People need to look out for others and realise if they don't need it, let's try not to get it and prioritise other people. We should only be getting fuel when we need it.
"It's ambulance courtesy if your vehicle is low to leave it full for the next day. We had about a quarter of a tank left after our lunch break and we'd been hearing all day about the shortage so we decided to refill.
"We've now got to try and plan our day around where they'll accept blue lights as a priority. It angers you when you see the photos of people panic buying,
"We went to five different petrol stations. It took us about an hour and a half to find somewhere to fill up. We were still available for call-outs the whole time so if something came up we'd have to abandon our queue.
"It was annoying, but we were lucky that we didn't get a call during that time. It's an added anxiety on top of our day that we just don't need.
Image:Kennedy News and Media)
"We don't do this job for social media presence and I didn't write the post for attention. I did it because it's an important issue and we need to take it seriously."
Jennifer works for Medicare EMS Group UK Limited, an independent emergency care provider specialising in events, and so they use public petrol pumps which she says fuels their ambulances for around a shift and a half.
A Medicare EMS Group UK spokeswoman said: "Our experience over the last few dates is that our workers have had significant issues getting to work.
"With some even having to stand down as they are not able to get to their place of work at all; due to fuel shortages and the lack of ability to refuel.
"Medicare has received robust support from its NHS partners so there is no issue with operational ambulances, but personal cars do not necessarily get the priorities at refilling stations that emergency vehicles do and there is an impact, no doubt across the industry."
Jennifer added that anyone who needs an ambulance should still call for one and she's pleased her struggle for fuel didn't impact her ability to treat anyone.
Jennifer's post said: "Imagine having to go to five different petrol stations to get diesel for your ambulance. Do people forget we need it to actually attend our emergencies or?
"We're already struggling enough as a service without the added pressure of not knowing where our next stop for fuel will be. Be kind, be caring, be thoughtful."Read More Read More