There we were, driving towards station at 3am in the morning. We'd been having a nice shift so far – nothing too serious, no heavy lifting and no-one had tried to punch me.
We were just passing a local nightclub (well known locally for being a bit… 'dodgy') when a man jumped out in front of us to catch our attention. Here is a suggestion – don't be jumping out in front of a moving ambulance during a night shift. Sometimes we are sometime quite tired while driving…
I hopped out of the ambulance and looked at the patient the man was pointing at. He looked drunk, he also had a cut above his eye. He was lying on the floor and as I approached he tried to get up.
Staggering with his friends holding him up I tried to get a look at his wound. The patient wasn't interested in talking to me though, he just wanted to walk off.
Then I heard shouting from up the street and I saw why.
About 200 yards up the road two groups of men were fighting, proper fighting. I saw one man take a hell of a punch to the jaw knocking him to the ground. Two others then decided to kick him while he was down.
There was nothing that I could do – I'm not daft enough to wade into a group of fifteen people fighting, for someone who I don't know. Also I may have mentioned that a fair few people carry knives in this part of town. It's a part of town where there are no banks, they all closed down because they kept getting robbed on a regular basis.
So I called up for urgent police assistance – I had no idea what the mob would do once they finished hitting the bloke on the floor, would they suddenly take a dislike to men in green?
I love the police.
I really mean it – I think that they are superb.
I don't think they get paid much more than me, they get lied to by the government, they are everybody's scapegoat and they get called in when everything goes horribly wrong.
So two officers jumping out of a response car against a mob of fifteen people, any of whom might be armed with knives or guns, takes a courage that I don't think I have.
The crowd dispersed as more police arrived – the man who'd been kicked on the floor ran like a gazelle, two police in chase. They managed to catch him and slap some handcuffs on him.
I mentioned the other victim, the man who we'd been flagged down for, he'd also disappeared as soon as the police arrived. So, with a copper in the back of the ambulance we went to find him.
We met up with him further down the road. He'd made a lovely recovery and refused to be seen by us. He also refused to talk to the police. His friend, who was the man that had been chased and handcuffed also refused to talk to the police.
The CCTV footage was so poor that it was worthless as evidence, so the man was 'de-arrested' and they went on their merry way home.
I spoke to the Inspector who come out with the troops – they told me that they'd been alerted to the fight by the CCTV operator, but then our call for assistance had come over their radio so they'd put their foot down a bit more.
I love the police.
(Even when they use us to get rid of drunks).
Luckily, neither of the patients who refused treatment went on to die.