The Bafta-winning series turns its attention to the North East Ambulance Service as the region struggles to bounce back after facing one of the toughest times in its history. The service covers a population of over 2.7 million.
The start of the day shift sees dispatcher Tom begin his seven-mile walk to work. He reflects on his career path from working in the mines, which have now closed, to the ambulance service.
As crews start to book on for the 12-hour shift, a call comes in for a patient with chest pain. Sophie and Jack are immediately dispatched, and they find that the patient and his family are refugees from Iraq and arrived on UK shores by boat just 17 days ago.
There is concern for both the male patient, who is suffering due to the impact of the trauma he has experienced, and also for his wife, who is seven months pregnant with twins.
In control, a new call is being answered every 17 seconds. Due to this heavy demand, a no-send policy is implemented across the service, meaning only the most acute medical emergencies will now get an ambulance. Crew mates and life partners Kyle and Alex are dispatched to their first patient of the day, a woman with chest pain.
The patient has been suffering with anxiety as she recently lost her mother. The case leaves Alex to contemplate how she has to cope with life without her close family by her side, as she left them behind in Cyprus.
The shift takes a dramatic turn when crewmates Gemma and Katie are dispatched to a road traffic collision. At the same time, multiple calls are coming in for a second traffic accident outside a school. A boy has been knocked down by a motorbike. He is unresponsive, and the crew fear his injuries could be traumatic.
Meanwhile, a call is received from a social worker who is concerned about the welfare of a male patient who is unwell and hasn’t eaten for three days. Kyle and Alex find that the patient hasn’t left his bed for four years. It’s evident by the state of his living conditions that both he and his wife are struggling to cope.
As the shift winds down, Sophie and Jack take the time to check in once again on the refugee family they cared for earlier in the shift.
These are the real human stories behind the sirens.
Ambulance returns Thursday 11th August on BBC One.