This blogpost is a little later than planned for reasons which are about to become apparent.
If you pay UK taxes, I’d like to take a moment to thank you. You have helped me out quite a bit.
We got a call as “Two people in collapsed state”, so we rattled around to the house only to find the two ‘patients’ having a nice (for them) drug trip. They were boyfriend and girlfriend and the ambulance had been called by the boy’s mother. She told me how they were both known to use drugs, and that her son had spent some time in a rehab unit trying to kick his drug and alcohol addiction.
We called for another ambulance as they were so far into their drugged state they were in a real danger of blocking their own airway and choking to death. There was no way we could transport both patients.
So I stayed downstairs with a male 6’2”, built like a brick outhouse apparent weightlifter while my crewmate looked after his girlfriend in the bedroom. Sometimes I draw the short straw…
Eventually another ambulance turned up (we were having a very busy night), and we started to move the patients into the ambulances.
Unfortunately for me, the male patient became just a bit agitated and started waving his arms about. He managed to string together a couple of naughty swear words just for my ears. As we got him into the ambulance he managed to punch my crewmate and kick the FRU driver who had arrived to help us out.
As I was trying to strap him down onto the bed he swung an arm at me and caught me in the face.
My glasses went flying off my head, bounced around the back of the ambulance and landed in pieces at my feet.
I’d just like to state that without my glasses I score a 9/10 on the Magoo Scale. This is about the level where you would pick up a skunk thinking that it was a pet cat.
We took both patients into the local hospital, where the young man decided to ‘kick off’ again. He tried biting a couple of us until the docs could dose him up with Haldol which *ahem* ‘calmed him down.
I then called Control on our radio and let them know that I was no longer able to work – I don’t have a spare pair of glasses, so there was no way I could continue.
Control sent one of our new Duty Station Officers (DSO’s) over for a chat – I’ve got to say I’m pretty impressed with him, he seems to have a pretty good idea of whats going on, and he talks a lot of sense. He also told me that each night around 10 ambulance crews are assaulted, which is a surprisingly huge number given the shortage of ambulances on the road each night.
He also told me that when I got new glasses I should give the receipt to him so that he can do battle with the finances department and then I can claim the money back. Asking him if the patient would be made to pay by the LAS, I was told that this wouldn’t be the case, and that the money would come out of our normal funding.
I was told not to buy any solid gold glasses.
I find this a bit ridiculous – here is a patient who has indulged in something illegal – he has assaulted a number of ambulance and hospital staff (thankfully no-one was seriously injured), he has wasted all our time and broken and essential bit of kit for the running of an ambulance. Because of him there was one less ambulance covering our area that night.
And he’s going to get away without losing a penny.
I can see why we don’t bother pressing criminal charges against him (I read enough police and magistrate blogs to understand a little something about the CPS), but you’d think that we could win some small civil action against him.
So – as it is, my new glasses are being provided by the tax payer.
I promise – no solid gold glasses.
I now have two pairs of glasses on order (a 2 for 1 special on frames for all you fans of reasonable NHS budgets), I also have some ultra stylish ones that cost me £9 plus lenses. Well…I think that they are stylish, and they were made in one hour, which is nice when you are otherwise as blind as a bat.