The other night I was working with a friend of mine, he's built like the proverbial out-house, is a martial arts master and looks scary. While I'm not an expert fighter I tend to have no fear.
That night we earned our name as the 'Danger Bus'.
It must have been that the police had fewer numbers than normal as job after job was us being sent to 'Fight'. No injuries reported, just that there had been a fight (or that a fight was in progress). Sometimes we would get more details, sometimes it would just be that word.
There are two ways of dealing with a job like this. 'Officially' we are supposed to hold back from the scene of violence until we are either sure that it is safe, or we have a police escort. What often happens in real life is that we will 'take a look', we tend to know when a scene is dangerous and often don't want to bother the police who are as overworked as ourselves. Sometimes something in the description of the call will give us cause to want the police there.
This job was one of them. It was given as 'Russians fighting in house'.
If you work with Russians in an emergency setting you will be nodding your head and agreeing with me that this situation was too dangerous for us to enter.
You see… I like Russians, they are fun, normally polite and tend not to make a fuss. However, when they have been drinking and fighting… well… Lets just say that when they fight they tend to play for keeps. I've seen 'friends' beating each other over the head with planks of wood – then refusing to go to hospital as the inch long gashes in their scalp were 'nothing to worry about'. Being between two fighting Russians is not a safe place to be.
So we waited for the police to arrive which didn't take too long – then we advanced using the police as a shield. It doesn't look too good to need police to go into the job, especially when they are both female and are half the size of us. But you know what – I'm no sexist so I know that they are more than capable of handling pretty much anything. While it might not look good, I felt a lot safer.
The patient had a rather large split to the lip that would require an operation in a specialist unit, nothing life threatening but nasty nevertheless.
The next 'Fight' we went to was in a DLR train station. The police had arrived before us and were told, to quote the officer we met, “You can go lads, it was two teenagers and one of them gave the other a slap – I told them to stop being silly”. We could see the two teenagers slinking off into the night.
If people were nicer to each other I might be able to get a cup of tea once in a while.