A New Job Title?

I should have a new title added after my name. 'Professional waker-upper'.
Two calls in the space of one shift to people who are sleeping in a public place.

One person fell asleep in a magistrate's court, waiting for his friend to be finished in one of the courts. His friend must have been so excited not to receive a custodial sentence that he left his friend behind.

Smelling slightly of alcohol he'd bedded himself down and fell asleep. We were called by one of the security officers, no-one seemed too happy to shake him awake.

One application of slight pain from the nice ambulance man and the patient woke up, thanked me n his own language and walked off home.

The second patient was asleep on a bus, he'd had a bit more to drink and needed a bit more… ahem… stimulation to wake up.

No thanks from this patient, but at least he didn't make good his threat to punch me. And we didn't need to call the police on him either. A good result all round really.

It's strange that some people seem to think that you need an ambulance in order to wake someone up. I've even been called to nursing homes when one of their patients has been asleep at 3am in the morning.

In fact the whole shift was like that, fourteen jobs in twelve hours with only five of them travelling to hospital.

Ho-hum. Easy money I suppose.

13 thoughts on “A New Job Title?”

  1. As you said 14 jobs in a 12 hour shift with only 5 needing transport,this adds to the evidence from Ambulance management saying FRUs being more useful and less 2 manned AEUs. Not an outcome I would welcome but an Orcon buster,so a favourite for any Ambo Service methinks.

  2. I hear you Tom, there is also an emerging trend I am experiencing here….waking up patients in bed after being called by their partners/family….like the other night shift called out at 3am to an 86 YO male chest pain, severe respiratory distress with an extensive cardiac hx. So with our defibrillator, oxygen-resus bag and drug kit in tow (about 30-40kg in all), we were met by the concerned wife and we trooped into the bedroom to find the most well perfused, sleeping (snoring actually) 86 YO male. And wasn't it a surprise for him when I woke him up from his deep slumber. Thankfully the case wasn't quite as stated and he had only experienced some chronic abdo pain earlier in the night before bed. I also noticed on the bed side table the paperwork left at 4am a couple of night shifts before from the crew called to the patient ? not breathing………..clearly he was when they also arrived to wake him up.

  3. As a squaddy I be told that , to be woken up roughly by a member of the non/commissioned leaders, and thee retaliated with one hand to the his[ no hers then] kisser, would not get thee hauled up in front of the CO and get the normal KP or jankers but you would get put on top of the list to be the first to get the nicest! work!! for the day in an unofficially way as they could not get official backing for a normal Bollocking.In other words waking up a sleeping body could result in some unpleasant violent activity.

  4. It's called buck passing. If someone smells of alcohol, it's a wise move to find a way to pass the waking up procedure onto someone else.There isn't a fire, they haven't committed a crime, so there's only one source left that will respond to a 999 call.

  5. Incidentally. Do you recall 'Father Ted' and what happened when they tried to wake Father Jack?

  6. Personally, I am fed up to the back teeth with these people: security guards, bus drivers, underground staff, PCSOs and – indeed – some police officers. Before going on the good old “interpersonal skills” course, and the “diversity awareness” course, I would send them on a “using common sense” course. If someone is asleep, smells of alcohol, has beer cans etc nearby, the probability is they are SLEEPING and have been DRINKING. Even if these informants are reluctant to “shake and shout” the patient, they could at least shout from a safe distance. They even tell us that they “didn't want to get involved” – Sorry?? – you're a SECURITY guard; it's your JOB to get involved.Frankly, I believe the problem is largely the lack of English as a first language. More often than not, security guards at shopping centres etc have only the vaguest grasp of English, and this is now the case with many bus drivers. Calls to people “collapsed” on buses frequently have little or no information, because the bus controller tells us that the driver “does not speak English”.

    Even these much-vaunted PCSOs seem to use little in the way of common sense. I had recently to explain to one at a supermarket in east London, that a female on the floor intermittently shaking and going rigid, was NOT in cardiac arrest but was fitting, and his attempts at CPR were at best a waste of time.

    Strangely, when the patient stopped fitting, and started to come around, he seemed to think he had saved her life.

    Rant Over.

  7. Why stop at Police Officers? let's try… GPs!A lad fell asleep on the chairs at the surgery.

    The Doc went in. He did not respond to his whisper. He had reception call 999. We turned up. We woke him. He was bleary-eyed for a mo. He gathered his things together and headed for the library. He didn't even want to see a doc but the GP didn't wanna see him either. Not knowing the GP had seen him i spoke with the doc via the internal surgery phone and we both agreed that calling us was a waste of ambulance resources. It was a few minutes later that i discovered that reception had made the call on HIS instructions.

    Ye Gods! Give me strength.

    As you say, Tom, easy job. Kills a few minutes in the day

  8. commonsense is less and less appreciated in court, unfortunately.It isn't a matter of “none of my business” anymore, rather “I want someone else to be sued/appear in Beeb news etc…”.

    Imagine the headlines “rude treatment by Police of a ethil-impaired person…”


  9. Where I volunteer, police accompany us on every call we go to, for both safety and legality sake.Also, because of the town that I live in, about 50% of our calls are either directly related to alcohol abuse or indirectly (fell and is now bleeding, due to intox) and the majority of these people don't speak English. Sometimes they just need a place to spend the night and will call complaining of “chest pain”. Good times.

  10. You seem to generalise a lot. I'm a PCSO and my medical training is limited (as are most Police Officers) so sometimes I may call on a person who is more qualified than myself. Sorry if this disturbs you. We're all stretched to the limit so please direct your rants upwards to your bosses, my bosses and the government who constantly try and get more work out of us for less money.We've all got a job to do and I attend many incidents with ambulance crews, most are glad to see me and when I've had to call them out they've been happy to help.

    My rant over.

  11. I think the LAS should charge bus company's for waking up their passengers. It simply isn't your job and quite frankly I think my taxes can be put to better use treating those who do require emergency care.

  12. Let me tell you something: if you are caught drunk on the job, you won't be send to an alcohol rehab center, you will probably get fired if you are lucky and maybe even a lawsuit if your luck has taken a knock.

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