Invisible Dogs

Ah, the glory of taking three days off to do absolutely nothing that I don't want to do. I mean, everyone else has a bank holiday, why shouldn't I…

Now, of course, I have a huge list of things to do. But first an ambulance story…

I could have sworn that I've already told this one, but I couldn't find it anywhere. If this is a repeat then just blame my crappy memory.

I've mentioned it before that if I have the chance to climb something or to climb through a window then I will – so when we got a job described as 'Child fell off seven foot tall fence', I was hoping that he was on the other side.

It was a good job he fell on the other side – he had a softer landing. I say softer, instead of landing on concrete he'd landed in a bush of nettles.

Climbing over the fence was no problem, landing on the other side was a little trickier as my knees are getting old.

The story that we had from the large number of friends that were present was that our patient had been chased by a 'big dog', and in order to get out of the way the boy had scaled the fence and fell over the other side.

We didn't believe him for a second. He'd been with friends (who smirked somewhat as he told his story) and the garden that he landed in belonged to a derelict house, the windows and door sealed with metal plates. I'm sure that I'm not the only person reading this who used to play on disused land.

The dog, obviously, was nowhere to be found.

I suggested that I could call the police to let them know that an aggressive dog was on the loose – the friends let me know that it wouldn't be necessary.

The trouble of course was that our patient was on the other side of a seven foot tall fence. He'd also injured his ankle and I suspected a fracture.

Did I mention that it was dark and we were surrounded by a dozen teenagers? As well as the fence which we would have to lift the patient over.

Actually his friends were as good as gold, they would help me out by holding torches and mobile phone lights on the patient and by keeping him occupied while I got his leg into a splint.

After I'd assessed him I noticed that he was wearing female socks (pink and sparkly). I find that sometimes the best form of distraction therapy is to mildly mock the patient. I asked him if he usually wore womens socks. Bless his friends as they tried to cover for him by telling me that they were the latest fashion.

His mother arrived on the other side of the fence and let us all know that he was wearing her socks because he didn't have a clean pair of his own. She then shouted over to (jokingly) ask if he was wearing a pair of her knickers as well.

We explained to the mother what had happened and she was really sensible and unworrying. Reminded me a bit of my mum actually – you hurt yourself, you obviously aren't dead or missing any important bits of your anatomy and so are fair game for those magic words, “I told you so…”.

To get our patient out we called out Trumpton The London Fire Service and they lashed some ladders together each side of the fence and one fireman came over to help me. I'd strapped our patient into our scoop and we would use that to get him out. Lets just say that lifting him to waist height was no problem. The 'jerk and lift' above our heads was a different matter (for me at least).

But after a bit of lifting and grunting (again, mainly on my part) we soon had our patient and his mother in the ambulance. Some further assessment and we were off to hospital where it turned out that the patient had only sprained his ankle rather than broken it.

A 'fun' job, no-one seriously injured but a bit of thinking needed on our part, a fun patient and a sensible mother. Could hardly ask for anything more.

8 thoughts on “Invisible Dogs”

  1. have started reading your book, passed to me by a friend and find it brilliant. i am english and female but live in France (can't be perfect) and do a similar job as yours. over here we're called 'pompier' and we do ambulance and fire so the job is excellent to say the least. i want to pass your book onto some colleages in the trade and would like to know if you have had the book translated into french. it would go down well. or to put it another way you could make some dosh! anyway i shall keep in touch and keep reading your blog whenever i am at a mates house because my computer is broken at the moment. just want add thanks for your humour and making me laugh. (french haven't the same sense of humour and i often find that my jokes go down like lead balloons) – i haven't the same experience as you yet but victims are the same the world over.

  2. not read it either, but love those jobs that get the grey cells working, enjoy the rest of your break….

  3. Ah those magic words – I will send this link to my friends who think that I'm a hard women because I tell my son (3 in July) to get up as he hasn't hurt himself… Typical nurse! No blood/broken bones, no sympathy!! I call it common sense…..

  4. I often find it helpful to mildly mock my crewmate, too. Particularly with regard to their driving style, bed head etc.

  5. Kids aren't the only ones with 'invisible dogs'. My father is a retired policeman, and he has often said that back in the 'old days' of policing in his area almost any damage to a patrol car was reportedly due to a 'dog running out and the police driver being forced to swerve to miss it'.It got about quite a bit, apparently, that dog, but of course had always run off afterwards…

  6. I think the owners of that dog must have moved to my area.That and you'd be surprised at the amount of damage that can occur to your ambulance while you are parked outside of someone's house…

  7. The owners really do get about don't they, I have had a similar incident involving said dog, looks like it enjoys hassling emergency service staff (anyone in the brigade had problems?) I know of one rather large incident involving trumpton the brigade round our way, but not sure if it was just the one dog or several!

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