Cordoned Off

Just coming up to half past six in the morning.
I've just come into work and I'm brewing two cups of tea while my crewmate is making sure that the ambulance is fully stocked.

The clock clicks over to six-thirty and the activation phone rings.

There is a major incident at the local hospital and some of our workmates are involved. We are being sent to relieve another crew who are on standby to make sure that none of the firemen hurt themselves.

We drive there to discover a dozen fire vehicles (including command and control base vehicles) and the whole access road to the hospital blocked off.

We liaise with the officer in charge of the situation. He tells us that some men came into the hospital via ambulance and it was discover that there may be a chemical contaminant involved.

(I'm being deliberately vague with the details because all sorts of people are 'interested' in the events leading up to this)

There is a double cordon in place, our HART team are there (The HART team are Paramedics who are trained up to use breathing apparatus and can go into the 'hot zone' of a situation. I think that they also run into burning buildings…).

It's all quite calm, the policeman standing in front of the 'Police – Do Not Cross' tape has only had to have one argument with a woman who wants to walk through the center of the incident. The incredibly inventive Ordinal Malaprop reads my 'Twitter' on this and advised me that this is because the tape says 'Police – do Not Cross' as opposed to 'Public – Do Not Cross'.

We sit in our ambulance watching the sun come up while drinking our tea – it's a hard life sometimes. We are listening to the radio chatter on the posh new radio that we were given as we arrived.

Then it's all over – the patients have been treated, the hazardous materials people have goven the hospital the all clear, and I hear over the radio, “Incident over, everyone stand down, You in the ambulance, don't forget to bring our nice radio back”.

We have a little chat with the HART team as they pack up to leave and get the fiull story – and that everyone is fine. Then we make ourselves ready and head off for another ordinary day.

19 thoughts on “Cordoned Off”

  1. Cup holders in the ambulance ? Travel cups, or really, really careful driving with steaming mugs ?

  2. Just wanted to say hi, found your book by chance and got onto your blog thing. like it love it, keeps me going through my last few night shifts, thank you. anyway gotta go, monitor alarms going and no remote for it. be good and keep safeCaro

  3. Nice start to the day.No disrespect to the guys with the floppy hoses but at incidents where they are there before the ambulance (a rare thing I know) they are extremely competant at blocking the access and egress.

    I have concluded that they are taught this in their training and it's not due to being thoughtless jobsworths.

    Keep telling myself they are not jobsworths. Keep telling myself they are not jobsworths!

    In saying that though they get their own ambulances on standby just in case one of them injures themselves….

    I hear a hot Tea calling – time for my nice start to the day

  4. HART? What does that stand for?I blog hopped across to Ordinal Malaprop; got scared hopped back! :o)

    Tom.. Have you booked that holiday yet?

  5. “You in the ambulance, don't forget to bring our nice radio back”.Don't you have a nice radio in your ambulance then and have to rely on handouts? Or is it another case of the left hand no talking to the right?

    The driving instructor

  6. And woman. I will never forgive the cheese doughnut who took my oil-filled compass. OT. Soz.

  7. Debs,Please don't knock the fire service (I know it was tongue in cheek)

    Like the ambulance service (and police)

    they have easy days but by jolly, when sh*t happens

    they give their all.

    Glad this event turned out well Tom.

    Could have been much much worse.


  8. Funny you should mention this – a certain football manager suffered a similar incident this morning – I'll say no more – although quite what he would have been doing in your neck of the woods I don't know!

  9. I don't dispute when the plop hits the fan they give their all.I was highlighting (from experiences) that ambulance crews may be hindered to give their all, due to blocked access and egress from the fire appliances.

  10. I especially like the bit at the end: “you in the ambulance…”Reminds me of my high school orchestra days, when the teacher never bothered to learn my name – “saxophone” seemed to work just as well.

  11. Well I dunno, it's not like ER is it? I mean they'd have had at least an outbreak of smallpox, a maniac gunman and a bit of hanky on the side.Really, Tom this isn't good enough – more gore please!

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