27 September 2021, 11:18 | Updated: 27 September 2021, 11:35
An ambulance driver has revealed the torrent of verbal abuse she suffered at the hands of angry motorists when she finally managed to find somewhere to fill up the vehicle so the team on board could respond to calls.
Becky Hough, 24, said she had been unable to fill up the ambulance for two days and when she finally managed to find a garage that let her fill up from their reserves, she was subjected to verbal abuse from passing motorists.
She posted on Twitter: “To everyone that panicked and went to fuel their cars when it wasn’t needed, well done. On shift on an emergency ambulance, low on fuel and struggling to find somewhere that isn’t sold out,” she posted on Friday night.
To everyone that panicked and went to fuel their cars when it wasn’t needed, well done👍🏻 on shift on an emergency ambulance, low on fuel and struggling to find somewhere that isn’t sold out😡 pic.twitter.com/mvZ31w46jn
— Becky (@beckylouh11) September 24, 2021
On Sunday she wrote: “FINALLY! A BP garage that has let us use the reserves. However whilst fuelling we received verbal abuse from the public driving past, horns being honked and many hand gestures.”
FINALLY! A BP garage that has let us use the reserves🙌🏻 However whilst fuelling we received verbal abuse from the public driving past, horns being honked and many hand gestures🤔
— Becky (@beckylouh11) September 26, 2021
One person responded: “What kind of sad, sad individual would abuse an ambulance crew? Beyond belief.”
Another posted: “That’s terrible. I’m so sorry, but I appreciate you and your colleagues. Thank you.”
A third said: “What is wrong with people, emergency services should be a priority in the first place, it’s madness.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice today called on motorists to stop “panic-buying” petrol and return to their normal pattern of purchasing.
Mr Eustice said there was not a shortage of fuel and blamed motorists for filling up when they did not need to for some petrol stations running dry.
“The most important thing is that people buy petrol as they normally would. There isn’t a shortage. There have been some shortages of HGV drivers getting petrol to forecourts but actually that is quite limited,” he told broadcasters today.
“The cause of these current problems is that panic-buying episode and the most important thing is for people to start buying petrol as they normally would.
“There does come a point – as we saw during a previous episode of panic-buying during the pandemic on food – where things settle down and people get used to it, and return to life as normal again.
“The sooner people do that the better. The only reason we don’t have petrol on the forecourts is that people are buying petrol they don’t need.”
Meanwhile a self-employed electrician said “idiots” panic-buying fuel have “directly taken food off the table” for his wife and son.
Roland McKibbin, 31, from Beckenham, London, said he was only able to reach one of his jobs on Monday having been forced to cancel the rest.
“I rely on fuel to travel to jobs, no fuel means I can’t drive, which means I can’t get to jobs with my tools.”
“So, basically, the panic-buying idiots have lost me income, and directly taken food off the table for my wife and five-year old son, because I can’t wire people’s houses from home unfortunately.
“I wasted about 15 miles of fuel looking, in the end I had to turn back as I was on fumes.”
Mr McKibbin said being unable to travel would cost him “at least £200 for the day” while he could also have to cancel jobs on Tuesday.
There are also warnings that GPs and other NHS workers won’t be able to get to work due to shortages sparked by panic buying. Schools are also warning teachers can’t get to work and deliveries may not arrive so pupils may have to return to home learning.