A DRIVER was slapped with a parking fine while he was getting emergency care from paramedics after having a suspected heart attack.
Graham Lewis, 49, was handed a fixed penalty notice when he pulled his car over after developing pains under his arm whilst driving home to Leominster, Herefordshire.
He was told by an NHS call handler to stop driving as soon as possible, so he parked in Dishley Street car park while he waited for an ambulance to arrive.
However, while he was being treated by paramedics in the ambulance his car, which was parked next to the emergency vehicle, was slapped with a parking fine.
Mr Lewis said discovering that he was given the ticket sent his blood pressure “through the roof” before he was taken to Hereford County Hospital.
The 49-year-old window engineer said: “The ambulance came and got me in the back, they’d done the ECG and a few other tests and I was trying to phone the other half to say I had to go to hospital.
“The ambulance lady turns around and said I’d got a ticket.
“Rightfully enough there was a ticket on my screen.
“The ambulance was parked across the corner of the vehicle, there’s no way they couldn’t see the ambulance.”
Mr Lewis aruged that the parking warden should have checked the ambulance before dishing out the fine on August 31.
Despite the stressful situation, the 49-year-old did not suffer a heart attack.
He added: “I nearly passed out because I was that stressed in the ambulance and then my blood pressure went through the roof pure and simply because I’d seen a ticket on my car.
“I’m just not impressed by the ticket people just going around slapping tickets on vehicles – it’s ridiculous.”
A spokesperson for Herefordshire Council, which owns the car park, said: “Our parking enforcement officers saw no indication that the driver of this vehicle was inside the nearby ambulance, which had no lights on and its doors closed.
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“It would not be appropriate for an officer to knock on an ambulance door and potentially interrupt medical professionals.
“Cases such as these are the reason there is an appeals process in place, and we encourage anybody who has received a penalty charge notice as a result of a medical emergency to contact us through the appeals process.”
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