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The start of it

Posted Jan 01 2010 11:08am
Night shift: Five calls: One assisted-only; one false alarm; one by car and a two by ambulance.

Stats: 1 DOAB; 1 EP Fit; 1 Depressed actress (running call); 1 RTC; 1 Abdo pain


A female DOAB to start the busiest night of the year (6000+ calls) and a few minutes into my arrival on scene, she was off the bus but it took a few more minutes to get her to move on. This Scottish sleeper wanted to assert her right to kip wherever she liked.


The call number was heading into the mid-6000’s, mainly as a result of the spill-over from New Year’s Eve, when I was sent with a crew to an epileptic 11 year-old who was fitting. On arrival he was resting on the sofa with his foster carer on scene. He’d had a seizure but had recovered, so I left the crew with him because I simply added to the little crowd in the front room. As I stepped out into the freezing night, I was greeted by the sight of someone lying sprawled on the road in front of the ambulance and two women looking over her.

‘She’s cut her wrists very badly and she is suicidal’ said spokeswoman number one, who lived on the street and had witnessed this person ‘collapse’ conveniently two feet from the emergency vehicle. I looked at her wrists but the scars were old and she was a habitual self-harmer from the look of it, so I thanked the concerned MOPs, who had called another ambulance and the police for good measure, and attempted to get sense from the very drunken, unwilling-to-cooperate female on the ground. She slurred at me several times but I was unable to translate. Luckily the police knew her and when they turned up, they got down to the business of making her see sense.

The other crew arrived and I left it to them. Meanwhile, upstairs in the epileptic boy’s house, the first crew were completely unaware that a dramatic attention-seeking act had played out for their benefit.


It started to snow just after midnight and the first RTC casualty was an 84 year-old man who lost control of his car and crashed nearside into a lamp post, damaging the car on that side, bursting the tyre and deploying the airbags. I found him unscathed and sitting in the back of a police car – the patrol had been passing and were bemused to see him standing by the vehicle looking confused. It took less than a minute to establish that he remembered the entire collision (he’d seen a shadow on the road and swerved to avoid it) and that he was diabetic. A BM test revealed a low blood sugar level; not critical, just low enough to cause concentration problems, so I suggested he went to hospital for a proper check and to ensure that he’d come to no hidden physical harm as a result of what he describe as a '20 mph' impact.

This man told me of his wartime life and it cheered me to know that he was still independent and willing to take life’s knocks without blaming everyone else. ‘I’m an old soldier – I’ll survive’ he told me as he tried to convince me he could just go home. The police took care of his car and I drove him to A&E, where he tied his gown on around his neck instead of across the back of his shoulders – he looked as if he had a thin bow tie on. ‘I’m feeling better every minute’ he said as he trotted around his cubicle waiting impatiently for medical attention. I could tell he had other plans – his dinner date at the casino for example.


A late early-hours call for a French man with abdominal pain was a wasted journey because he was fit enough to walk over with his friends and be given directions to the nearest drink of water. He’d been drinking and thought something may have been put in it by someone else - but they all say that.

Be safe.
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