We watched a few minutes of Emergency Bikers last night. It’s a programme that follows the work of the paramedics and police in Birmingham.
As they followed the paramedics there was an astonishing statistic put out by the narrator that of all the 999 calls the bikers are sent to deal with, only around 10% are actually real emergencies. The rest are from people who can’t take care of a bit of a problem or are deliberately hoaxing. I was very surprised, and a little dubious of the figures.
But there they were, being called out to all sorts of silly non-events and you could see how frustrating it was. But many of the call outs were not hoaxes, they were simply people who got into a bit of trouble not feeling so well and instead of being able to deal with it, they needed some “professional” to come and tell them what to do.
If 90% of calls are really of this nature, that surely tells us that far too many people can’t think for themselvres. They need someone to constantly spoon feed them information and tell them what to do.
Someone who had been a teacher for many years once told me he thought too many teachers were institutionalised in thought and behaviour. They go to nursery, then school, then collage or Uni and then school again, he pointed out. They never leave the institution. He believed that the best teachers he had worked with had all had other jobs at some point and had learned a different way of thinking.
Back in my psychi days I worked a long time on Rehab. This was a ward/unit where patients who had been very ill and stayed in hospital a long time (nearly all were sectioned under MHA), came to relearn how to look after themselves and take charge of their own lives. Our role was to help undo the institurionalisation of being in hospital for so long.
What on earth is happening to so many people that they can’t make simple deciosns for themselves on how to care for themselves or another person? Why do so many parents complain that their teenaged children – who in times past would be considered adults – can’t boil and egg or do their own washing? What has insitiutionalised all these people? Is it the system of nursery-school-college-uni?
You have to wonder.