“Our eyes met across a crowded room”
One of the things that Peter Bradley, the boss of all the London Ambulance Service, does is to occasionally come out on the road and do a shift working on an ambulance. Last night he was in our area teamed up with a team leader, running an extra FRU car. Whenever he has been around I've not been working, however last night I was working at the same time…
We were called to a 37 year old man who was 'suspended', not breathing and with no pulse. Control told us that there was a hysterical woman on scene and that it was a child who had called us. We rushed around there and saw that we had been called by a passing teenager. Hopping out of the ambulance and I saw a FRU pull up behind us. In it a team leader…and the Boss.
My crewmate and I ran into the room and found the man dead – there was nothing that we were going to be able to do for him. Sticking out of one leg was a needle and on a nearby workbench there was some citric acid, a spoon, a lighter and other drug paraphernalia. It looked like he had overdosed.
There was nothing that we could do except for wait for the police, the team leader and the Boss looked after the distraught wife and the man's young daughter, while my crewmate and I made sure that no-one altered what could be a crime scene. It's very sad to see someone so young dead, and to leave behind such a young child is terrible. We try to rationalise this by saying to each other that perhaps she is better off without a drug user in the house, but… I just don't know.
The Boss and Team Leader came back in with the police to show them the body and I bid farewell to the Boss with a cheerful, “Welcome to Newham sir”.
The team leader seemed very eager to get him away from me, I have no idea why. This is a shame as I would have liked to have asked him how crap it felt to be screwed over by the government so much.
Actually, I think that may have been why the Team Leader was so eager to get him away.