Reason reports on this story I missed when it first came out from the UK, where paramedics fighting to save a nine year old road accident v ictim were told that union regulations meant the closest crew could not be called upon for backup for another 20 minutes.

The Daily Echo reported that:

"Lifesavers at a crash scene in Upton were told they would have to wait for a crew nearly 20 minutes away because paramedics in Poole still had a few minutes left on their break.

A paramedic, who asked not be named, said: “It’s the way things are going. Things are happening just down the road and they are not sending the nearest crew.

“There is not one member of the ambulance service who would not go, but we have to be given two 30-minute meal breaks and we can’t be interrupted. It’s just a joke.”

Of course, bureaucrats defended their deal with unions and refusing to send help, saying:

"In line with national guidelines negotiated and agreed by Unison, which must be adhered to by all ambulance trusts nationally under the Agenda for Change scheme, it is important that all staff have dedicated 30 minute rest breaks, which cannot be interrupted"

It’s just mind-boggling. It really is.