Boys and girls in green…I salute you…

From Ella Shaw and her fantastic blog

A special relationship……

“22 year old male. Unconscious and bleeding heavily”

A weekend in the city wouldn’t be the same without drink, drugs, violence, vomit, blood and blue lights. More often than not, all the above are on the first job of the night. Today was no different. We were on station but our shift hadn’t started yet. In a garage that holds 8 ambulances and 8 cars, our truck sat alone & being a Sunday night there was no management around and no admin staff. It was just us doing our VDI when the phone rang. We had already spoken to control to give our fleet number and skill level so they knew we were there so we had to answer! It was a begging phone call pleading for us to start early as there was a Cat A call and no other resources to send. Obviously we obliged, so not really knowing if we were missing anything we shot out the garage. It was only 3 miles we had to travel but doing that at 18:00 on the day of a Spurs vs Arsenal match and heading to Tottenham causes bit of a tricky drive. That aside, we arrived about 15 minutes later to a sea of blue lights. In the road was a guy lying on his back surrounded by police. As I stepped out the vehicle I could see a considerable amount of blood on the WPC’s hands. The closer I got, the more blood I could see on all of their hands. What a mess!

The guy had been stabbed numerous times in the leg and once in the stomach and he wasn’t in good way. He was pale, sweating and very drowsy. The police were applying fantastic pressure to the wounds so I took a moment to come up with a plan whilst listening to a vague handover. No one was exactly sure of what happened but what they did know was that a large crowd of ‘anti emergency service’ youths was gathering and were shouting abuse at us and the police. I called for HEMS back up or an FRU. In fact I believe I actually said “send me anything”. If ever there was a reply which summed up David Cameron’s reign of terror on front line services this was it:

“Sorry, we are spread thin. HEMS are tied up and there is nothing else available at the moment. We’ve got A & E support running from 13 miles away but until then you’ll have to make do. As soon as something comes up I’ll send them. Sorry guys”

Still think cuts to emergency services is wise? Hmmm! I wanted someone who could assist in major trauma. No disrespect to A & E support but they are not even allowed to do an ECG or give Calpol. They would be as useful as a chocolate teapot. It was us and the police. I started cutting the guys clothes off. He was panicking but we were far to pre-occupied with his life threatening injuries to be able to talk to him. Cue the police. Not only are their 12 officers trying to keep the crowd back, trying to protect us from some missiles that were being thrown but were applying pressure to wounds, opening dressing, passing us kit and constantly re-assuring our patient. No instructions needed. They just did it. The main source of bleeding was his groin. It was an arterial bleed and was taking all of my energy to apply the pressure needed to slow it down. My crew mate was placing orange cannulas (wide bore cannulas for trauma) in both his arms and drawing up fluids. It was a real mess.

I was aware of two things. Firstly, the crowd was becoming angrier by the minute and things were getting rather volatile between them and the officers who were now almost making a cordon around us. Secondly, our patient may well die where he lay if we didn’t move soon. Again, without prompting the trolley bed appeared. The police knew we had no hands to do it our self. Normally we’d use a scoop or sheet to lift someone but with the number of bodies we had at our disposal it was just a case of lift and run. We got him on board and put in the blue call to the trauma centre. As we were about to leave an FRU turned up. He dumped his car and at our request, drove the ambulance. In the back was me and my crew mate and three cops. The three who had saved our patients life. We arrived at hospital and bundled into resus. The guy was transferred and hospital staff took over from us. Off we went to the blood bath that was our truck. There was blood everywhere, everyone was saturated but it was a good job done by all.

This job itself would have stood up well as a blog in it’s own right but for me it was a great example of the special relationship between the ambulance service and the second best emergency service; the police! (sorry guys, couldn’t miss out on the banter). No matter what the job is, there is a respect and admiration between the two of us. We wave as we pass each other on the road (take note fire brigade) and there is always a welcoming look of relief when one of us arrives at the others scene. This was a perfect example of two public services working well together for one purpose. The police come under a lot of stick and put up with much more abuse and violence than we do and normally shrug it off as being part of the job but that isn’t good enough. They are a fantastic bunch of people who do the toughest job in the most difficult of circumstances. This country is lucky to have such an outstanding force and the sooner that is recognised by the mindless minority the better.

This guy WOULD have died, I have no doubt, if the police hadn’t done what they did but it won’t gain them any respect or thanks from the idiots who abuse them. It wasn’t their job. It was ours but they did what they had to do. I wrote a letter of thanks to their police station, only knowing their shoulder number. I hope it got to them. That’s the funny thing. There are so money different police and so many different ambulance crews, most of the time we are working along side officers we have never met yet the respect and professionalism never wavers. Time after time, we call them when there is even a hint of danger and they come running. I’ll always be in their debt and as such will always be more than willing to give my call sign, even on the ninth time of asking.
Bless ’em!

THANK you AMBO! We love you!


27 responses to “Boys and girls in green…I salute you…

  1. Some things stand alone and need no comment to give them credence.
    This happens every day, somewhere near you, and every day there are those who step forward and do that which needs to be done, then tomorrow the same persons are being asked to justify their actions by others who are never called and could never cope, and will never know.

    • Brief Encounter

      As per the much maligned Rat, remember you are never more than 6′ from some failed police policy. I quite like Rats.

  2. Well done guys, but you need to shout this kind of thing a bit louder – local press, for example?

  3. During the ambulance “strike” in the early 90’s I was first on the scene of a serious RTI and backup was a very long way off. My motorcycle didn’t carry any equipment to deal. Boy oh boy was I glad to see the “striking” ambulance service arrive shortly after. Their attitude is the same as ours.
    I shall not comment on the fire service!!!!!!!!!

    • Brief Encounter

      No you won’t but I will, I experienced fire fighters doing exactly what you describe on one of their strikes. Please dont have a pop at them, they do a job as well and in my mind they do it very well.

  4. A special relationship indeed and one I support absolutely. However, I see it being undermined and coming under some strain when every day we give up waiting for an ambo after an hour and take someone to A&E in the back of a van. It causes discontent and will drive a wedge between the services. Still, as long as the computer in the ambo control room says it’s not urgent.
    I feel for the ambulance service staff, we are in the very same boat. They are being shafted like we are, by budget cuts and poor management. They need and deserve our support.

  5. Oh god a village is missing its idiot

  6. By the way its sight not site.should have spent more time at school studying and less time wanking over the socialist worker

  7. LOL

    Yes, when someone’s bleeding to death in the street on a Friday night, the police should just stay away, even when we’re called. Leave him to bleed to death. And even if we do get there, and one of us is treating the victim, the rest of us should keep our distance. Let the drunk, baying crowd interfere. Because by attending and giving aid to the victim, all we’re doing is inflaming the crowd.

    That makes perfect sense.

    dghaslam9 – you are, Sir, truly, the most sensational Grade A, Class 1 Fuckmong, to the 10th decimal place, ever to have infested the world with your presence.

  8. Shij will delete that post as it’s the well known moron who calls himself Rehill/Macfarlane/Goggins/Broxted or whatever personality is winning today.
    Don’t ask where the incident was with the 18 year old girl,it was in his mind as he was looking out of the staring window at the asylum he lives in (sec 3 patient).

  9. Actually brought a lump to the throat. When ACPO and arseholes, Govt and Media are doing their best to bring this job down it is good to know that boys and girls at the coalface are still doing their best to provide Jo Public which the majority deserve. And how nice to know that those efforts are so well appreciated by Burke and Hare. Its funny to think that each of us is glad to see the other in varying circumstances. I am always glad to offload the drunken idiot who can barely stand to Ambo. 😉

  10. Respect to our ambo crew colleagues Your bosses and our bosses, are the problem.

  11. Brief Encounter

    I think that if the job carries on perfectly well without higher management at weekends and at night then frankly they are superfluous. I see that TW has adopted the Peelian Principles of Policing.

  12. Posting this on UK Cop Humour and UK Cop Matters. Brought to our attention by a fan. We salute you! Great article! 🙂

  13. I think all the services cannot be paid enough and that includes overtime!! But above all they must have our respect and gratitude!!! I am appalled that they are abused while doing their JOBS!!

  14. Having been a copper for thirty years I was used to working alongside the Ambulance Service. I am now 73 and have this year needed them on a more personal level (four times in two months) I have always respected them for the expertise but never as much as I do now! Thank you, and please stay safe.

  15. Furor Teutonicus

    Today/tonight it kicks off here. Kreuzberg/Neu-Kölln. 7,000 Police on duty from all over Germany. (escorted the convoy last night from Hamburg). Fire brigade as well. (Fire Brigade IS our ambulance service, for those who may not know).

    HOPEFULLY it will rain. But seeing the weather forecast….

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