I had my first letter of thanks yesterday, the first one I have ever had.
It was a simple little job, one of those jobs that you tend to do a lot of. The call was to an elderly woman who had maybe collapsed behind her locked doors. The problem that faces us was that front doors are often locked and it's hard to gain entry. We never really know what to expect from this sort of job, sometimes the person is fine and they've just fallen over. Sometimes the person is seriously ill and this is the reason behind the collapse.
Occasionally the person will have died in the night.
The patient's sister, who was also elderly, had gone to the house and was unable to raise her sister. She'd then gone to the police station and they had contacted us.
We arrived to find the police already there, as the door was sturdy they were waiting for the officers who had the battering ram. The sister had also returned with one of the police officers.
The battering ram arrived and the door splintered inwards. The police officers entered the flat and we followed them in to listen and see who found her first.
Thankfully the patient was alive and well and lying on the bedroom floor.
She's a stick of a thing and well into her late eighties. We quickly check her over to make sure that she doesn't have any injuries, then pick her up and lay her in bed. What then follows is little more than a more extensive examination of her and a bit of the old 'chat'. We talk to her and her sister while checking her blood pressure and the like about such diverse subjects as dead husbands and playing 'knock down ginger', about how out patient hates doctor yet how kind her GP is.
It's nothing unusual, it's nothing that we don't do for all our patients in order to put them at ease. They will often refuse to go to hospital so, assuming nothing too obviously wrong with the patient, we arrange a GP to come and visit then leave and make ready for our next job.
But somehow a card of thanks makes it's way to us. The younger sister had walked up to the hospital and asked the ambulance crews parked outside to make sure that we got it.
So I return to work, look in my letter tray and find the card. It's a simple little thing, it just says 'thank you', but it means a lot to my crewmate and me.