Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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hypochondriac taxi service

  [vote for,

Each taxi is a repurposed ambulance .

Patrons pay extra for EMT type loading and unloading handling. Additional fees are charged for actual or pretend medical treatments. Patrons pay an additional fee for activated flashing lights or sirens.

vfrackis, Dec 04 2014

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       More people are killed by taxis every year...
4and20, Dec 04 2014

       That's potentially a lot more EMT trained drivers. On second thought, excellent idea.
4and20, Dec 04 2014

       Here's an idea: use ambulances as taxis when they aren't needed for emergencies, and the crew isn't doing Ambulance maintenance tasks. Per this idea, maybe passengers who pay extra can lie down in the back etc. Most of the time the passenger would just ride in one of the seats. In the event of a medical emergency nearby, the passenger sits tight until they arrive at the emergency. They don't pay for that ride and get a small monetary compensation (or the regular fare is slightly cheaper since there's a chance that they will be delayed). They have the option of riding to the hospital since they may prefer to wait for a new taxi there than in the neighborhood where the emergency was.   

       If there are enough EMTs and ambulances to almost always have one available when someone has an emergency, then the EMTs will have a lot of down time. By using them as taxis, their time is better utilized, making ambulance service cheaper. Currently it seems to be common practice to have an EMT on for a 24 hour shift in which time they normally sleep unless woken up for an emergency. By doing taxi work in between, this would enable EMTs to work more normal shifts and reduce the possibility of getting no sleep on a shift if there are too many emergencies. That might reduce burnout which is a problem with EMTs.   

       Both Taxis drivers and EMTs need to know the streets really well, so that works well.   

       There will be more wear and tear on the ambulance, but that can be managed with proper maintenance and rebuild schedules.   

       Apparently there is a problem with people abusing ambulances for non-emergency purposes. Some of these are because someone is lonely. While one solution suggested was to start a business dispatching people to talk to lonely people, the lonely people might not expect such a service to have high quality people to talk to. On the other hand, grandma expects that an EMT will be a good and interesting person to talk to. If the EMTs worked as taxi drivers, a person who might previously have abused 911 calls can now call a taxi, request to wait for the next available ambulance, and pay a reasonable taxi fare while chatting with them on the front porch or getting a ride to the grocery store. And such a person shouldn't mind the fact that these nice EMTs might have to leave in a hurry in case of an actual emergency.
scad mientist, Dec 04 2014

       Scad you're right on track
vfrackis, Dec 05 2014

       GROG like [+]
Grogster, Dec 05 2014

       "Can I get a taxi please, Bellfield road down to the station?"   

       "We'd love to, but 2 of the cabs have engine warning lights on and the other just sits there with its hazard warning lights flashing"   

       "huh, don't you repair them"   

       "took 'em all to the garage last week mate, they're ok for a day after a full service then it all starts again... I think they just like mechanics"
bs0u0155, Dec 05 2014

       A better hypochondriac taxi would have a sterile needle poking out from a crack in the back seat, so the then hypochondria induced person will have to be taken to the hospital by the driver who will only answer "i think that's how so and so died".
rcarty, Dec 05 2014

       Suggestion: Flashing lights and sirens are illegal in a nonemergency service. To avoid paying exorbitant bribes the sound can be played on internal speakers transformed to sound as if coming from outside. LED's can be used internally to the same effect.   

       Speaking of needles could a saline drip (with artificial color) be classified as acupuncture?
Voice, Dec 05 2014

       Sweet +
blissmiss, Dec 06 2014


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