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Book Review: Blue Lights and Long Nights by Les Pringle

I was attracted to this book as soon as I saw the cover. The image of Les sitting on the bonnet of that beautifully polished old Bedford with his dodgy 70’s barnet and uniform of blue shirt and trousers, I knew I had to add it to my collection. I have thoroughly enjoyed it; each chapter is wonderfully written and oozes Les’s compassion and wit throughout. As you make your way through the stories it is obvious that when Les joined the ambulance service on that fateful day back in 1977, on something of a whim, it was a career move that meant to be. Les describes how it was to be initiated in to the ambulance service back in the 70’s; a right of passage that was not for the faint hearted. It wasn’t long though before he was competently tackling the huge variety of call outs he faced. As I read, I felt transported in time and could easily picture each scenario and character he lovingly depicted.

What I noticed while reading about his adventures, is that while three decades may have passed; when it come to patients, very little changes. Even then, they were still calling 999 for a load of old nonsense and on their arrival, ambulance crews were still occasionally given a mouth full of abuse! However, there is one big difference I couldn‘t help but notice, they were ambulance men; more than half way through the book and I still haven’t detected a single female member of staff. This got me thinking what a tough cookie that first lady must have had to have been! On my ambulance station where there is at least 50% female staff it shows that in thirty years some things have changed quite a lot indeed!


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  1. [...] long nights” – an excellent book – one for the Christmas stockings anyone? Read my review here and see the book on here (note: the book has been reissued under the title ‘Dial [...]

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