I Know It’s Raining

My phone keeps buzzing from the Twitters of my friends. The big topic of conversation is the hailing rain and the gales.

I know all about it, I'm dripping wet at the side of the road. Two cars have collided and I'm standing in the dark in an attempt to stop any bystanders from stealing something from the wrecked cars. It's a November night at that indeterminable time of the night that could be ten, or midnight, or 3 a.m.

The leaking oil is reflecting streetlights and it makes pretty patterns beneath my feet.

I'm waiting for the police, our Control has let us know that they have no units to send. It's a shame, but the police station is only a little way up the road. I can just about see the 'Police' sign through my water-covered glasses. My crewmate is in the ambulance dealing with the two people who only have minor injuries from the crash.

Then from up the road appears a police sergeant. He's walked up from the station to come and give us a hand.

It seems that the local police are a bit thin on the ground and the sergeant talks into his radio to call some police away from paperwork to help make the place safe. It's dark and the immobile cars are a hazard to traffic. We've already tried to push it out the way ourselves but some hidden bent bit of metal is making that impossible.

The officers arrive and we all turn our hands to pushing the cars out of the way, finally they start rolling and we soon have them on the side of the road.

I'm left standing in the rain as the back of the ambulance is getting a little crowded, patients and relatives – none with coats. As I'm the only one wearing something approaching weatherproof clothing I'm left standing outside.

My phone buzzes, more Twitters arrive. Apparently it's raining. I'd never have guessed.

Eventually more relatives of the two women who have been sheltering in our ambulance turn up. They shake our hands and thank us, then the people are away. No need for hospital and they have things that they need to do.

I climb into the cab.

I steam slightly. At least it's the end of the shift, actually it's past the end of the shift and I now have less than eleven hours before I have to do it all again.

A big drop of cold water runs down my back.

14 thoughts on “I Know It’s Raining”

  1. No, I still don't get it. What has the protection of a car's contents – whether north or south of the river – got to do with an ambulanceman?

  2. It's because… Well the people in the car were nice, some crowds were milling and, to be honest, there is a real chance of their property being stolen. Consider it just another part of our job, or even just something nice that we did for another human being.The sort of thing that has nothing to do with an eight minute target or will have people writing letters of thanks.

  3. How come your phone's buzzing with twitters? Are you paying for the text service?(I'm aware this isn't the main point of the story, and I did like the post, but the techy geeky part of me is intrigued!)

  4. It's because this story happened before they turned off the SMS updates (thus nearly crippling the service for me, and indeed crippling it for many others).Sometimes I delay posting a story in order to help protect anonymity, it this case it's a story that is about a year old.

  5. “As I'm the only one wearing something approaching weatherproof clothing I'm left standing outside.”Why not just sit in the cab?

  6. I suppose the answer is Alison that he was north of the river and the contents of the car were therefore at risk….had he been on the peaceful streets south of the Thames, he could have been cosy and warm in the cab sure in the knowledge that the cars would be un-touched….Sorry Tom….as a ex-pat South London boy couldn't resist that after your last post

  7. You are right – it was to stop people nicking things from the car.However – if it were South of the river then I wouldn't have minded so much as I could have been warming my hands by the burning remains of the car.

  8. Aaaah, I did wonder. Makes sense. I too don't use it anywhere near as much as I used to, but the text costs for the other services are huge. Sad.

  9. Mate……you wanna be grateful…….I waited an hour and ten minutes to get the police the other day……..whilst the situation slowly deteriorated until the scum outside jumped on, around and over the ambulance whilst I begged control to flash it up to get us help.We're rural it's true, but an hour and ten minutes……..and like you, I was overdue on shift, and had just ten hours to go before I got to play again.

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