After two days of struggling with people, it was nice to go back to the simple jobs that are a joy to do, it's also nice to see a sense of community.
In this case it was a little old lady who had tripped over a wobbly pavement in one of our local markets. She was surrounded by people of all backgrounds – there was a black market warden who had put cones over the offending paving stones. A Bangladeshi man was chatting to her and two Greek looking men met me at the ambulance and led me to the patient. A Sikh stall keeper also pointed me in the direction of the patient.
The patient herself was one of the dying breed of 'traditional' English East Londoner. Normally an extremely healthy eighty year old, she had a graze to her nose that refused to stop oozing blood. A real pleasure to talk to, we chatted about how the East of London has changed in her lifetime – and how she still enjoyed living here.
“I'm an ethnic minority now”, she told me, “but there are still a lot of people around who'll help you out”.
And she was right – as an ambulance person I tend only to see the worst of people. I go to the assaults and the arguments. I hear about the murders and the abuse, the neglect and the trouble. Just as this woman was, for me, an unusual patient in that she was a healthy eighty year old, so it was that I saw the 'unusual' event of people helping someone in distress.
One of those jobs that leaves you with a smile on your face for the rest of the day.