I don't like it when we get 'dropped calls', where someone has called for an ambulance, yet put the phone down (or been cut off) before all the details have been given. I don't like it because, without all the information in place it is hard to get a 'feel' for how dangerous the job might be.

I don't like being stabbed.

The call as we got it was 'child reporting mother cutting wrists', then the child hung up. This could run the whole spectrum of calls from a hoax to a psychotic woman running around with a kitchen knife. I've been to both types of call, and it's why I don't get too wound up by hoaxes…

We arrived to find the police already on scene, Control had called them in advance as they had realised that the scene may well be dangerous. The two police officers were standing outside the address, they had been unable to gain access and were contemplating kicking the door down.

“Is everything alright?”, a woman shouted down from the flat above our position.

We explained that we were looking for the woman of the house and asked if the neighbour had seen her.

“She left about ten minutes go, her and her husband got into a car and drove off”.

I used my finely tuned experience of watching CSI to note that there was no sign of blood in the area and drew my conclusion that the call had been a hoax.

“Hey!, ambulance man with his nose to the floor looking for pools of blood”, the neighbour shouted again, “her son is over there by your ambulance, maybe you can ask him”.

The police and I walked over to where we had parked, the child was talking to my crewmate who rolled his eyes as we approached.

“I'm sorry I called you”, the ten year old said, “My mum was angry at me, so she locked herself in the bathroom and told me that she was cutting her wrists. So I called for an ambulance, but she was only pretending. Then mum and dad threw me out of the house and they drove off in the car. I don't know where they went”.

One of the police officers asked the child if he had any relatives he could stay with. The child knew of no adults to lok after him.

“Sounds like a social problem”, I said to one of the police officers.


“Not a job for an ambulance”, I continued.

“Nope”, the police officer looked crestfallen with the amount of paperwork that he was going to have to do. I've read enough police blogs to realise that any job involving children is a huge pain, more so I would think if the child has been through the experience this one had been through.

“We'll be off then”, I said with only a little schadenfreude. I could trust the police to look after this situation.

Little was I to know that our next encounter would be with a stereotypical 'world's worst mother'.

To be continued…

28 thoughts on “Abandonment”

  1. I feel sorry for that kid, I hope they end up somewhere more stable and loving.On the other hand, I can't help but think there's some deep irony in a kid apologising for calling when they think someone is seriously in danger, and getting no thanks, or even abuse, from people who you can and do actually help, like those druggies and drunks

  2. To be continued? Noooo! I always miss the next episode somehow. Is this all a dream? Does Bobby come back in the shower?

  3. Sounds like a kid whose head is screwed on remarkably straight, but who is saddled with a narcissistic mom. It is a real shame any jackass can breed.

  4. I'm curious, Tom……Did the kid do the right thing in calling for the ambulance for what he believed to be wrist-cutting by his mum? Should he maybe have tried to ascertain if it was real before calling? Should he in fact have called the police first, who could then call you (well, a medical response person!), since this might fall under “self-harm” and therefore in an extreme case a sectioning under the Mental Health Act?Also, given the nature of what the child had experienced, do you have any knowledge on / opinion of whether it falls under any “abuse” category?Poor kid though………Oh – I did like your CSI reference – I watch that a lot here and have recently started buying the box sets. Which one are you? Grissom? Stokes? Warrick? Greg?! Heh…………Sidle? *runs*

  5. Now wait a sec, dyfferent. It's not the kid who's the problem. S/he shouldn't have those parents, rather than the jackasses not having that child. Admittedly, hard to put into practice.

  6. that a mother could say that to her ten-year-old child – he obviously believed it was true or he wouldn't have phoned an ambulance – beggars belief.But it also bugs me that the policeman seemed unhappy about taking responsibility. Surely the protection of children is a big part of the job?

  7. Like most ensemble shows each character is a personality trait in themselves. I like to think I'm geeky like Gris, but also a kid like erm… wossisname

  8. I'm more than happy the kid phoned us – in my eyes he did what any 10 year old would do.As for the police – Much like it's my job to pick drunks up off the street after they have puked over themselves, I don't massively have to like it. What this officer was forseeing was the hours of paperwork and hassle to sort out this problem. He'd do his job, but it wouldn't be as much 'fun' as some of the other things he could be doing.

    We are all human after all.

    (I don't find 'Chest Pain' particularly exciting and my heart sinks every time I get one, doesn't stop me doing my job though and being professional about it – same for this oficer)

  9. that's what I mean though – surely in police terms of protecting the innocent and all that, helping out this kid is more of a “real” job than herding drunks?But, I get that it's paperwork and wrangling with Social Services rather than something exciting like a raid or a riot.

    I guess this is why I'm an officebod type. I'd much sooner spend hours filling in forms than get beaten up or puked on.

  10. The Mother sounds like a real charmer…I bet the policeman couldn't wait to get out of there before she came back and started haranguing him for 'kidnapping' her kid…

  11. Or join the ambulance service and do it all………. Paper-pushing, form filling…… people puking, spitting, loss of bowel and bladder control, bleeding, ……. a few riots………lots of drunks and drug users…………and still maintain the constant urge to slap someone really hard……..(It's been a long day sorry for ranting ;0(……)

    I do love my job, honest, I do x

  12. you see this is why I admire people like you and Tom and the other ambulance staff here so much… I think about the job of an EMT and I pretty much think “sod that for a game of soldiers, not in a million years!”, as opposed to “hey, that's my ideal career!”Not that being safely tucked up in an office stopped me wanting to slap people on occasion, mind.

  13. Reynolds, you tease! Where's the rest of the post? I'm in training so I can't check your site 5x a day. That means I'll have to wait 'til tomorrow night before I find out the next exciting installment. No fair!

  14. Where do I got to raise a complaint about the “cliff hanger” ending ? Can I get any compensation for the mental trauma ?

  15. Poor little mite, maybe it's just me, but emotional abuse does untold, long-term damage. A child loves its parents unconditionally and for that to be rejected/manipulated…Aarghrgh! (Good job comments aren't audio or speakers would be blowing left,right and center)

  16. Absolutely, makes my blood boil too. I think you have to have a licence to have a dog, and if you abuse and neglect them you can be banned from having one. But you can carry on churning out kids and you might get them taken off you depending on financial constraints and availability of placements. There's quite a few arguements for castration and sterilisation out there, a bit harsh maybe, but not as harsh as the lives of the kids Reynolds was talking about

  17. Can't they bring it back because that must be how the nob next door got one and to be honest i would have queried him buying a hamster.

  18. Just to make Nel smile – our cat thinks it's a dog (raised with Alsatians) She follows us, sits guard at the door, miowls aggressively if anyone approaches,has tried to bite the postman's ankles and chases the kids when they're on their bikes. Her only feline behaviour is catching mice, which, however she only deigns to do out in the field. She then brings them back in, with only minor cuts and bruises (bit of retriever in there?), and gives them to us so that we can have the fun of catching them.Sorry for the irrelevant aside, Tom

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