A Good Job

Two am in the morning and we are standing on the side of the road waiting for the fire service to take the top off the car in front of us. The wind whistles across the flats making us all shiver despite our fleeces and our jackets.

Two cars have been involved in a high speed RTA, the parked car that was hit has been shunted forward leaving ten metres long skid marks. The cars aren't too damaged but the seats inside have shifted around, trapping the occupants.

There are seven ambulances here, four fire trucks, half a dozen police and three ambulance officers with clipboards. There are eight patients, all but one need cutting from the cars and collaring and boarding. The only woman involved is 'walking wounded'.

The reason that it is taking so long for our car to get it's lid removed by the fire service is because of the position of one of the patients inside. He looks rather unwell and the crew looking after him really would like to get to him.

Our ambulance was fourth on scene. When I arrived I spoke to a station-mate to see what he wanted us to do, who he wanted us to look after. Normally he is the station clown, now he's all serious and professional, no fake beards or silly glasses now.

Everyone gets checked over, all the ambulance crews are calm, it's serious but it doesn't look like anyone is about to die; more a case of being careful moving the patients 'just in case'.

The roof comes off the car and with the help of another crew and some firefighters we get our patient out safely and strapped to a board. He is freezing cold. Not wearing warm clothing, the delay in getting him out and the terrible weather has us concerned for his body temperature.

We are in a new ambulance, so the heater works and turning it up to full we are soon sweating ourselves as we assess the patient and prepare for transport.

I get on the radio to pre-alert the hospital – For some reason the radio isn't working properly and our Control can't hear me, so I use my emergency phone instead. Thankfully it works.

I travel a mile over high speedbumps to get to the hospital, there is no other route and every bump makes me aware of my patient in the back being jostled around. It's not the first time that I curse the council.

After all our patients are safe at the hospital we stand outside and laugh and joke. We reconstruct the accident, we talk about the more injured ones and we mock the driving skills of one of the officers.

We occasionally help people.

It's a good job sometimes.

13 thoughts on “A Good Job”

  1. Last night I dealt with 1 self harm, 2 overdoses (apparently 3 brufen is an overdose too!!) a drunken 13 year old, a person who fainted who was laughing and joking with ther friends by the time we got there, a girl who was making a meal out of a bump to the head to make her boyfriend feel bad as they were larking around when she did it, and an 84 year old man with a hernia that had popped out.That one man, and the laugh and joke we had in the back of the motor more than made up for the other calls, and once again I realised that as long as I don't take the innapropriate calls to seriously, as really there is bog all I can do about it and it isn't worth the raise in BP, then this (most of the time) quite a fun job. And where else do you get to tell people to open a car like a spam tin?? 🙂


    (never commented on a blog before, thought I would make you my first)

  2. Did you tell the brufen OD to try better next time? 3's not going to make the blind bit of difference! ;DGood to see you had an appropriate job for once, Tom. Hope all the people in the cars were OK.

  3. I dont want this to sound bad but I alwways come away from those kind of jobs feeling that I have actually earned my pay for the day, after hopefully having made a difference to somebody. Don't get me wrong, I don't look for these kind of jobs, but after the umpteenth crap job to hospital it makes me feel that at last that I have been able to use my skills for what they were intended rather than having to deal with the usual idiots that we get. Do others feel the same or is it just me?

  4. I dunno, the lengths people will go to for attention hey Tom!A 'good job' to me is where you are having to think – there aren't that many 'good jobs' around here!!!!

  5. Sounded like an interesting job. I would love to have a try with the Hydrolic tools that the fire service use. Maybe one day lol…

  6. Top post, Tom and in case you miss these two songshttp://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2007/03/28/doctors-get-even-more-vocal-about-mmc

  7. no its not just you, it does begin to wear you down when its the same old sh*t different day. But then you get a job, that to start with gets you going a bit as your not quite sure (purely because the other buggers have worn you down up to now) and then you really need your thinking cap on for a bit. And finally you walk away from it all an hour or so later, with them tucked up in A&E and you feel that you have made a difference.It makes this job worthwhile after all.

  8. I work on a FRU and unless I'm called to back up a crew tend to get jobs ages before a crew. I've been to two fatal RTCs in three days ,in both cases there was a seriously injured trapped casualty.The first took 40 mins. and the second 60mins. to get out,so much for Platinum 10 minutes and the”Golden Hour” I hate trauma, all you can do is give morphine and fluid and then wait untill others pull them out and spirit them away, It can be bloody frustrating! Then it is a quick restock and back out on standby and crap jobs. The days of talking over jobs with mates is fast disappearing, which is not good for our heads.

  9. Detrious, I took 2 x 400mg last night, is that an OD nowadays too? My legs were aching after a very long training run for the London Marathon and there was no way I'd have gotten to sleep without them!

  10. I am sorry, but yes. It is the black gritty milkshake for you my friend :-)And the fact that you are willing to run that distance without either a) Because the last tub of Ben & Jerrys is about to go or b) you are being chased by a pack of wolves proves that you have obvious psychological issues (although a cracking CV system)

    I think our lives would be easier and less stressful if they removed the number 9 from the phones of the terminally stupid

  11. Except when you get dispatched for that interesting sounding job “vehicle rollover down the bank” and get there to find either (a) no occupants in the car because they all walked to the nearest house and refuse transport or (b) the car absolutely trashed but the patient with not so much as a scratch, sitting on the side of the road, also refusing transport.As a cautionary story, though – we had a young bloke (30s) complaining of numbness in one side of his body, sudden onset. To cut a long story short, he was in a side impact RTA the day before. The car had hit the passenger side, and the passenger's head had hit him in the head/neck. He refused transport. Internal injuries had caused a clot which had eventually jogged loose and made its way to the brain the following day. He ended up crashing at the hospital and last I heard he was in ICU. It always pays to get checked out (although in reality it may not have helped this particular guy).

  12. You've just given one one the reasons why I came off the car – and it's getting worse rather than better (and will be the topic of my next 'moaning' post)

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