I got a call at about 5:30 in the morning to a “Collapsed female” with “shouting in the background”, not normally a problem, so I took advantage of the empty streets and raced there.
I narrowly avoided crashing into the ambulance also coming to the job from another direction, and so we both arrived at the house at the same time.
The patient was a middle aged woman who had been drinking with her family, and then there had been some sort of argument, and she was feigning unconsciousness.
Nothing unusual there.
Remind me to someday tell you how we recognise when people are pretending to be unconscious.
Still no problem – that the family, while concerned, were happy to agree that the patient was actually 'faking it'.
I went out to my car to pick up a bit of kit, just in order to rule out anything medically wrong with the patient, and on the way back two men in a car parked outside asked me what was going on.
“Nothing serious”, I replied, and went back into the building.
It was then that the sole male of the house cried out, “Who's shouting outside my house”, and went outside.
I ignored him, and we finished checking over the patient as suspected there was nothing medically wrong with her.
Then the male came storming back into the house, grabbed two kitchen knives and ran outside again.
The ambulance crew and myself thought that this would be a good time to call for the police…
We sneaked out of the house, and stood by the ambulance – meanwhile the six women who had just left the house looked as if they were (a) arguing amongst themselves, and (b) about to tear the men in the car to pieces.
The final result of the arguing, holding people back, pushing and shoving, and shrieking at the top of their lungs, was that the car drove off at high speed, missing me by about half a yard. Meanwhile the argument continued between the sisters/cousins/whoever.
The police did turn up (and to their credit, turn up very quickly), and while they went about collecting statements there was various talk about samarai swords and the like being waved around (which isn't too surprsing in this particular part of East London). We left the police dealing with what seemed to be some form of family feud.
Returning to station, we were all stood down by the duty station officer, so that we could fill in the relevant paperwork.
On reflection three things spring to mind,
1) None of us were wearing our stab vests – and probably wouldn't have felt safe even if we had.
2) Why, when I had my own mobile phone, my FRU car phone, and my work emergency phone, did I use the household landline phone when calling the police?
3) And finally, is it wrong to think “With the paperwork we now need to do, this job'll see me to the end on my shift”?
The 'phone' thing was probably because my brain saw it there, and thought 'I can dial 999 on that', rather than taking longer on wondering which pocket of many my mobile phones are in. Thus my brain was able to concentrate on the whole 'not getting stabbed' thing.