I'm going to try and write this without swearing – honest.
Our first job was the now traditional 'drunken Eastern European', this time he was on a bus. He had a cut to the bridge of his nose and no ability to speak English. He had that immensely annoying way of pawing at us with his big blood-soaked hands. I think that he was trying to argue with us, it certainly sounded like it but you can never be sure with Russian (or Lithuanian, or whatever he was speaking). On more than one occasion we thought that we would have to get the police.
It's actually incorrect to say that he didn't speak any English, he could say “Eeeennglissshhh” and stick his middle finger up at us.
It would have been nice to leave him where we found him, but we'd only keep getting called back to him.
So far, so good – a slight annoyance, but nothing out of the usual.
Out next job however was a young man who was really rather close to dying (and will be the focus of a later blogpost), it took us a while on scene to basically save his life during which I was running back and forth to the ambulance.
When we loaded him in to go to the hospital I realised that in my rush I must have left the ambulance unlocked.
Some filthy thieving scumbag had stolen the Sat-nav screen and my crewmate's bag.
I informed Control and spent the next five minutes fuming as I drove the ambulance to the hospital. We were met by one of our managers who made sure that we were alright and sent us off for a replacement vehicle and a much-needed cup of tea.
Us ambulance folk work long 12 hour shifts in all weathers, at all times of the day. Because of working shifts our health and relationships suffer, our social life is a nightmare. I take home £10 ($20) for every hour that I work, whether that is two in the afternoon or three in the morning. We do a job that has us verbally abused, assaulted and spat at. We go into the worst parts of town and treat the lowest scum of humanity with dignity and respect. We put ourselves at risk of catching serious diseases like HIV, hepatitis and TB from rich and poor alike. We get used by the police to go to domestic assaults when there are no police units to send. We serve the community, always there when we are called, even if it is for the most minor of things, like the patient who had a 'Chinese burn'. This is what we do – when you hurt we help, when you are dying we provide comfort. We do all this and like oxygen, we are always there.
And this is how you repay us.
By stealing something that is of no use to you, by stealing the medical books that we use to treat you. By seeing that we are in a house treating someone and thinking not 'I hope the person they are seeing to are alright', but rather, 'They won't be back for a while I wonder what I can nick from that ambulance'.
Because of shift work I'm cutting my lifespan, I already have illnesses that are work related. When you get stabbed, I'll be the person to come and make sure that you don't die.
And this is what that sacrifice of every ambulance person is for? For worthless scum bastards like you?
Your actions have taken an ambulance off the road, in the morning there will be one less ambulance to go to people – maybe it will be your mother who is ill and will have to wait longer for the ambulance, maybe it will be someone who you don't know. Either way you have made our job that much more difficult and put peoples lives at risk.
I wish I knew who you were – I'd fight you to get our kit back.
And then, with no doubt, another ambulance would treat you.