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.