Four jobs into the shift and none had wanted to go to hospital, it was a mix of the uninjured and the ‘can’t be bothered’. This is not normally a problem, but in this case my crewmate really wanted to use the toilet.
“Two people stuck in a lift for two hours, one has collapsed. Fire service on scene”.
Great…this could take hours.
So we dutifully made our way to the train-station when the lift was stuck and, after traipsing around a bit carrying our kit, managed to find the affected lift. There were a couple of firefighters, some station staff and three lift engineers. It turned out that two teenage boys had been jumping around in the lift causing the emergency locks to jam, they had been stuck for two hours and were making a lot of noise. From the shouts of both of them it was obvious that neither of them had ‘collapsed’.
There was little for us to do while waiting for the engineers to free the lift apart from chat to the firefighters and watch a fireworks display going on across the river.
Twenty minutes later and the lift was freed and the two little hooligans rolled out.
“Who’s gonna take us to get McDonalds?”, were the first words out of one of the boy’s mouth.
No, “Thank you”, no, “Cheers for getting us out”, and definitely no, “Sorry to waste all your time”.
We told the boys to…ahem… ‘Go home’ and set about packing our gear away.
One of the firefighters turned to us, “Fancy a cup of tea back at our station?”.
My crewmate still needed to use the toilet so we agreed. A quick drive to their station to ‘use their facilities’ and a nice cup of warm tea. Excellent company as we put the world to rights and five minutes later we were back on the road ready to continue. It was handy of them to offer us the use of their station as it was a lot closer than our ambulance station, so we were back on the road quicker than we could have been otherwise.
I’m occasionally dismissive of the fire service (mainly because they don’t wave when we drive past each other), so it was really nice to be human to each other. And while I do take people as I find them, a simple cup of tea has meant that I can look at some of them in a much different light.
We should do it more often.
Actually I think that we should have rideouts between us, the fire service and the police – it’d only help to improve our working relationships (although us ambulance people and the police tend to get on well anyway due to us often attending the same sorts of jobs).