Paramedic Attacked in Station…!!!

March 21, 2009

nhs

This incident happened in London recently and involved a knife being used on the Paramedic. Luckily he suffered only minor knife wounds but still sustained a head injury after being hit with a fire extinguisher!

For the full story click here.

My thoughts are with him wishing him a full recovery. My other thoughts are that the bastards who did this get caught and receive a lengthy sentence. But somehow I don’t think that will happen in this once great country of ours! We are getting attacked more and more on a daily basis…it wont be long until one of us is killed!

I can see the day when we are routinely issued with TASERs and body armour just to go about our normal duties!!!


Dixon of Dock Green it aint…!

March 20, 2009

the-policeman

Before anyone tries to guess my age by the reference to Dixon of Dock Green I must inform you that I’ve only ever seen repeats of the programme…same as Z Cars…and Softly, Softly…honest…no really…honestly!

The following link will take you into the wonderful world of Ladybird books. I remember these from primary school…and junior school…and the thicko, bad lads in the lowerclass still had them in senior school! 

It was whilst perusing the blogs of other colleagues in public services that I chanced upon this little gem of a Ladybird book on ‘No Offences Disclosed’ blog. Please take your time in reading it and observe the gentleness that was once the hallmark of school reading books. I hope that a Ladybird book will come out on ‘The Ambulanceman/Paramedic/Technician/Driver/Stretcher Monkey sometime.

Enjoy… The Policeman


Madness…!!!

March 16, 2009

idiots

A woman lies dying in her house…

A Paramedic RRV is sent to the scene…

And is then attacked by dickheads with fireworks…

Result…the woman dies!

Will anything happen to the scumbags if they get caught?

What do you think…?!?!?


Going Home…!!!

March 8, 2009

Recently I’ve been in the thick of resuscitations. The 4 month old baby was the mega downer of them all. I seem to have been to a lot of kids in the past year and attended coroners inquests as a result. All very stressful but usually I am able to deal with it in my own time and in my own way. Some take longer to get over than others and some just lurk in the back of the sub-conscious and appear at the most unexpected moments. My temper is getting better now that I realise I’m not infallible. I hurt and cry just like anyone else.

In my last seven resuscitations (all within a five day shift) I’ve actually got four back. (When I say I that includes my crewmate at the time). All four people arrested and presented with VF. Using the new resus guidelines CPR and/or shocks were administered. The biggest driver of them all was ‘minimum time off the chest’. Keep the time between chest compressions and checking monitors/pulses etc short. And it works. Out of the four people resuscitated one died later in A/E, one ended up in ICU to undergo therapeutic induced hypothermia and the other two regained consciousness before arriving at the hospital. All three have been discharged from hospital with no neurological deficit.

To have so many successful outcomes in such a short space of time is bizarre. The survival to discharge of post cardiac arrest patients is very small. The survival to hospital admission is also very small. But since using the new guidelines and been aggressive in cardiac arrest management (not violent but thorough) we are starting to see a difference. And seeing all three patients with their families going home is the biggest buzz ever. So like I said I hurt and cry like anyone else, I also smile and laugh a lot just the same. And at the end of a shift I can go home too!

going-home


Highs and Very, Very Lows…!!!

February 17, 2009

 

The Pathway Back to Life...

The Pathway Back to Life...

The night shift started with our first job…‘male, unconscious, not breathing’. Two minutes after booking onto the shift we were heading towards one of the estates edging my patch. En route control updates us ‘CPR advice being given to the family, RRV arriving scene!’

My crew mate gives it a bit more leather on the accelerator. Blues and twos are helping us to wend our way through the evening traffic but still we come up against the occasional idiot who thinks he owns the road and will not yield. This makes us slow down having to circumnavigate the clown who gives us ‘the look’ as we pass him!

Soon we are at the top of the street but we are further slowed down because of the speed bumps. Eventually after scaling several of these tarmac hills we pull up outside the address. The RRV is parked outside and there are members of the family running around flapping…not a good sign.

We dash into the house and are met by two women consoling each other and pointing to a door…‘Hes in there!‘  Opening the door we find the RRV pilot doing CPR on a collapsed male. I can see that there is vomit everywhere around the head end. The RRV pilot is covered in it! Grabbing hold of the collapsed male we turn him onto his side and using the #1 suction unit (index finger) we sweep out the worst of the vomit from his mouth.

Getting him onto his back the RRV pilot recommences chest compressions and ‘bags’ the patient whilst we set up the defib/monitor. A quick look through the paddles of the defib shows VF (ventricular fibrilliation where the heart rattles and shakes like a bag of worms) and I shock him once telling the RRV pilot to crack on with a minutes worth of chest compressions straight after. Another look at the monitor and checking for pulses reveals that we have a good cardiac output. 

His heart is beating but he is still not breathing for himself. Whilst my crew mate inserts a line and sets up an IV, I intubate the patients airway first time and connect him to our automatic resuscitator. Although I have to ly in the patients vomit to do this I think that things are looking good. After less than a minute the patient  makes some attempt at respiratory effort.

We put the call into the A/E resus and we take our patient in ‘on the light’. Handing over to the team in A/E the prognosis for our patient seems to be getting better by the minute. It will be a matter of time to see if there is any neurological damage if he does regain consciousness…but the signs are good. The chain of survival has helped.

After cleaning our truck and equipment we grab some fluid replacement in the form of a cuppa and reflect on the job we have just done. It went well…it makes a change to get one back, to deny the reaper his quota for the day. Now its back to station for cover. A couple of minutes later after setting off for our base station the MDT squawks into life again. ’20 year old male, nosebleed’  Its back to normal then!

For the rest of the shift it is a relentless procession of inappropriate jobs that should be dealt with by GPs or even themselves. How hard is it to take a ‘Lemsip’ for a cold?  The nights darkness is tempered by the high spirits we are still in from our first job…plus the job we attend where the ‘patient’ thinks he is having a stroke makes us laugh. He has been asleep and woke up to use the toilet only to find his left arm would not work!  After a few tests and a couple of questions we find out why his arm went dead…hes been sleeping on it! Pins and needles…nothing more!

Coming towards the end of our night shift we are driving back through the city centre heading for base. Only half an hour to go…then its back home to snuggle up in a nice warm bed and sleep. My eyes are closing and my head is doing the bobbing thing as I momentarily dream of dreaming. I’m just glad its not my drive. My crew mate is just as knackered as I am but hes now ‘vehicle commander’ and has to get us both back safely.

‘Squawk, squawk f*****g b******d squawk!!!’ goes our MDT screen. ‘Bollocks! Bollocks! and b******d bollocks!’ go us. The dispatcher comes on the radio….‘I’m really sorry lads but you’re the nearest crew…and I’m really sorry but its a baby not breathing!’  The swearing stops and the complaining from us abates. We switch on and head out to the other side of the city hoping against hope that its a false alarm!  

Minutes later we are pulling up to the address. I can see through the front window a woman holding a baby in her arms and screaming! Another woman is out in the street running towards us! My heart sinks even further, its not a false alarm! All thought of sleep has vanished and the adrenaline is kicking in big time! I grab the resus bag from the truck and dive into the house.

Mum is stood there screaming at me to help and clutching the lifeless, grey baby its eyes surrounded by a bluish, reddish tinge. Trying to control mum and my own emotions I gently ease the baby out of mums arms and place the baby onto the settee. No pulse, no breathing…the baby is dead. But we still try…bagging the baby with our smallest face mask and using only finger tips or thumbs for chest compressions. Mum is falling apart, her other child is being comforted by grandma in the same room. I decide to run for it…the A/E is only minutes away.

Holding the baby with its head in my hand and its body laid along my arm we make our way to the truck. Continuing with the CPR we belt it to the hospital. During the short ride mum tells me that she had the baby in bed with her and found her unresponsive when she got up! That explains why the baby is still warm! Arriving at the A/E I still perform CPR whilst quickly negotiating the inappropriate ‘patients’ hanging around the entrance smoking their cigs.

The resus room is waiting and I hand over the baby to the doctors who carry on with the CPR. Relaying the history to the senior doc I then leave to complete the paperwork. As the adrenaline starts to wear off the tiredness floods in and I have to fight back the tears. The reaper has got one back! I remember thinking out loud…‘I don’t want to do this job anymore!’

life-and-death


TASER The Original…!

February 1, 2009

This is a repost but as most of the lads and lasses in Blue are going to get TASER then I thought you might like this. TASER is good…XREP is superb…but this is even better!!! Enjoy!


Windows of the Soul…!

January 30, 2009

Bintown Estate

Warning:contains scenes of a gruesome nature!

Night. Pitch black, cold and uninviting except to the occasional rat as it scurries across the waste ground in search of a discarded takeaway. The four figures in their black garb hunker down at the edge of the building facing the block of flats some 100 metres away from them. Silence hovers all around them…no voices  to be heard…no bodies to be seen. 3 am and all was quiet…so far. All four figures keep their ears and eyes open in scan mode just in case any night people are about. Night people tend to be skulking around seeking out an opportunistic mugging of a late reveller returning home or a quick house burglary through an open window.

A slow flurry of hand signals between the four shadow warriors sends two of them forward. Quietly they make their way to the block of flats unobserved. Using a ‘skeleton electronic key fob’ they move inside the foyer and wait inside the dark recess of the hallway. The foyer/hallway is bathed in a dull light not through using energy efficient tubes but due to the fact that most of the light fittings have been smashed. The CCTV in the corner has long gone and all that remains are the taped up wires and bolt holes. The all pervading smell of piss masked by cheap disinfectant permeats the cool, night air.

 The first figure in black takes up sentry looking out of the foyer for any possible interruption. The second figure carefully prises open the electrical fuse box inside the already open maintenance cupboard. Using a tiny red light from a pencil torch he scans the many fuses and circuit breakers in the open box. A quick reference to a wiring diagram in his hand and its done. The fuse is pulled out just enough to disrupt the circuit. Power to their targets flat has been cut off.  Quickly putting away the torch and diagram he moves back out into the hallway. A slow hand signal is given and within seconds the other two figures are inside.

Silently they make their way up the stairs to the top floor. Six flights of stairs take them through the middle of this block of flats in the centre of Bintown Estate. Most of the original tenants moved out years ago. Then it was seen as a breakthrough in modern, urban community housing. Now it was a dumping ground for all the misfits of society. Most were on benefits, some were on drugs and a few on both. The dealer of their escape from reality and provider of their despair lived here…on the top floor. Known as ‘Hawkeye’ due to his almost animal instinct for evading justice, he ruled the roost in this corner of Bintown.

Along the landing of the top floor three flats lay either side. Hawkeyes flat was the nearest to the stairwell. Covering the front door was a solid looking metal gate. A typical drug dealers door curtain. His own portcullis to defend himself against the intrusions of the Police or the attentions of other drug dealers. Moving towards the gate one of the figures inspected the heavy duty padlock. The others crouched down facing outwards and watched for any movement or noise from the landings or stairwell. Seconds later the padlock is safely opened and placed on the floor near to the door frame.

Reaching inside his black jacket the lock picker produces a small tube and quickly lubricates the hinges of the gate. Smoothing over the hinges so as to minimise detection of the lubricant at a later date, he takes hold of the bars and swings it open just enough to inspect the front door of the flat. It is the typical two windowed council door. The glass being frosted and wire meshed. Through intelligence gained from the Police the team know that this door is locked and double bolted. Still no words are exchanged between the figures in black…they know exactly what they are doing. Reaching once more into his jacket another small tube is produced. Carefully squeezing the contents around the beading and putty surrounding the glass, another of the team places a small suction handle onto the meshed window.

Thirty seconds later and the chemicals within the tube have dissolved the putty and loosened the tack nails. Carefully and with only the tiniest amount of splintering the beading is prised off one by one and placed next to the padlock on the floor. Gently pulling on the suction handle the glass window comes away from the door. One by one the team crawl through the gap into Hawkeyes domain. Knowing exactly where they are going and using their night vision goggles the team silently move to the first room on the right. Suddenly the room door flies open and Hawkeye is standing there. The team can see him..but he cannot see the team. Hawkeye flicks the light switch on and off, nothing happens. ‘Bastard lights!’ he mutters under his breath. It has not dawned on Hawkeye that he is not alone!

Hawkeye

Standing in the hallway of the flat the team are spread out along the wall. Hawkeye, a green spectral shape, in front of them. Without a word one of the team reaches out and spins Hawkeye round while another grabs him from behind and presses a chloroform soaked cloth against his face. Hawkeyes brief struggle lasts a few seconds until he sinks to the floor. More furtive hand signals are given. One member of the team crouches near the door and pulls the gate to. The others take hold of Hawkeyes arms and legs and lift him through into the living room. The last team member gently closes the living room door.

Moving over to the dark shape of the settee the team place Hawkeye there. An O/P airway is inserted into Hawkeyes mouth to prevent airway occlusion. The nearest figure in black holds his hands up and motions that they have ten minutes to complete their task and exfil. Taking hold of Hawkeyes head while the other pins his arms down just in case, a small glint of light bounces off the metal implement in his hand. Reaching over Hawkeyes forehead the syringe wielding figure in black pulls back his eyelids. Staring up at him are the top of Hawkeyes pupils. Quickly and carefully the figure in black jabs the syringe into Hawkeyes pupils and syringes a noxious substance into them. Hawkeye makes an involuntary movement, the chloroform is beginning to wear off.

Silently the team backtrack from the flat, first removing the O/P airway and replacing the mesh window and beading with fresh non smelling putty. The gate is closed and the padlock replaced. Moving silently down the stairs two of the team walk out of the building while the other two replace the fuses in the maintenance cupboard. Within a couple of minutes the team are hunkered down across the wasteground looking towards the block of flats. Its 0320 am. Its still pitch black and cold. SWAB Team 6 then dissolve into the night.

And thats when the screams begin!

Hawkeye has woken up. Blind and not knowing anything of what is happening, he thinks he is having a nightmare. It is going to be a long nightmare…and a long pitch black nightmare forever!


Too Close for Missiles I’m Switching to Guns…!

January 5, 2009

ae

Rocking up to the entrance to A/E we joined the rest of the ‘Ambulance Armada’ parked under the canopy. (We must have historical Naval connections as the press always say that ‘the patient was ferried to hospital!’) Unloading our newest customer on the stretcher we made our way towards the automatic doors. Even before we entered the ‘Temple of Doom’ the shouts from inside could be heard loud and clear.

As we step inside the A/E department we both take a double look to check that we are in the right building. There are Police everywhere. Two officers are wrestling with a ‘patient’ trying to get him to the floor. The ‘patient’ does not want to play and he is giving a good account of himself probably due to the copious amounts of alcohol and/or drugs in his system. Another ‘Two Can Van Damme’ merchant!

Further down the corridor four officers are waiting outside an examination room for the go ahead from officers already inside to enter and restrain another unhappy ‘patient’. There’s not much room in the cubicles so two officers have had to dart in and grab the reluctant participant of a normal life before he trashes the place. The doctors and nurses go about their duties as normal hardly giving a second glance.

To our far left another Police officer with a PCSO are in earnest negotiation with what is colloquially termed a ‘gobshite’! He is kicking off because the security guard had asked him not to smoke and could not believe that he had to abide by the hospital rules on smoking. In fact he could not believe that he had to abide by any rules at all!

Seeing a spare trolley we place our patient onto it. She is in her seventies and looking frail after a fall at home where she had laid on the cold floor for several hours until found by relatives. After checking her over and discovering the possibility that she had a fractured hip, we spent the rest of the time with her trying to allay her fears about going into hospital. Giving her bags of reassurance and explaining the routine process of these things put her mind greatly at ease.

To her left on another trolley is a scrawny woman with scrawny arms and legs. She stinks! The stink of ulcers and burst abscesses through too much IV drug abuse. At least she is quiet. On the right is a trolley containing the hulk of a man who has been battered in a fight in which he had come off worse. Both eyes were blackened, top lip split and his nose pointed the wrong way! He is getting more and more agitated as he believes he should be seen right now, this minute, he pays his taxes!

A scream goes up! Followed by the clattering of chairs and trolleys as the ‘reluctant one’ comes staggering out of the cubicle with various Police officers attached to him. ‘Just drop him!’ I think to myself. Meanwhile the tag team Police near the entrance have got their man on the floor at last and are now attempting to cuff him. He resists more forcefully and one officer goes for his CS spray. ‘No, not in the department!’shouts an observant receptionist. CS gas hangs around for ages in enclosed spaces. Option 2 then…forearm across the back of the neck and knee in the small of his back with good use of weight. His partner grabs the legs and fold them back whilst pulling hard enough to snap him like a Christmas cracker!

Suddenly more Police come through the other entrance and split up into two teams. Three go to the officer and PCSO who are trying to extract their ‘customer’ from under the metal and plastic seating. Two others run past us and wade into the trussed up Christmas cracker on the floor. For a couple of minutes all that can be heard are the scuffs of boots on floor as purchase and grip is sought to gain the upper hand. Muffled grunts and groans and heavy breathing can be heard reminiscent of some 1970s low budget porn film. (According to my dad!)

And in the middle of all this chaos there are still real patients, with real complaints and illnesses who look on thinking where the hell are they? What has happened to society to make A/E a regular battleground? There is a running theme in all these close quarter battles and that’s alcohol coupled with a big dose of serious attitude problems!

Diplomatic Enforcement And Tactical Healthcare

Diplomatic Enforcement And Tactical Healthcare

My solution…‘Go in hard, go in fast and dont take any crap!’  In an ideal world the hospital could contract SWAB Team 6 for a couple of lads to use their particular skills in Diplomatic Enforcement And Tactical Healthcare or ‘DEATH’ as it is known. Somehow I don’t think that will happen and these events will continue and get worse with someone eventually being killed in the department. And the doctors and nurses and us will carry on as its becoming the norm rather than the exception.


Whole Lotta Soul…!!!

January 3, 2009

Indulge me for a moment whilst I play one of my favourite tracks from my Northern Soul days.

The Snake by Al Wilson

And here’s a little introduction to the basics of Northern Soul dancing. I’m already digging out my Oxfords and getting my Loafers polished! Keep the Faith!

The genre of Northern Soul always brings a smile to my face…good memories of good music, good dancing, good mates and fantastic fashion sense!!!

I advocate that all Ambulance Services (and possibly Police forces) should arrive on scene and through the ‘medium of dance’  deal with patients (or criminals)! It would lead to a fitter service and encourage patients (or crims) to take up Northern Soul. It could one day take the place of wars and instead of heavy bombardments or invasions opposing countries could have a ‘Dance Off’ instead! Sorted! 

All over the UK

All over the UK

 

 

 

 


‘Get Off and Walk…!’

December 31, 2008
Gorilla minus overcoat

Gorilla minus overcoat

Just a little seasonal taster of the type of patients we come across from time to time. Its these ones who really need to be sorted out and taken to task by all levels of society…and that includes our management and the Police and the courts!

We had been called to an assault in the old part of the city centre. It was early evening, very cold and the streets were full of punters staggering between pubs having a nice time. As the truck slowly meandered its way through the narrow streets with the occasional happy/drunk person bouncing off the side, we eventually found our patient. Laid out in the middle of the street was the shape of a male. A big male. Looking not unlike a gorilla wearing an overcoat and big boots.

My crew mate for the night was a new larker. Fresh out of training school and keen to learn the ropes. I was going to let him attend most of the jobs tonight so he could get the ‘patient exposure’ required to gain experience quickly. I would only intervene if the job got complicated of required further skills or drug therapy. At the start of the shift I had given him the wisdom of my years in the job…‘Speak to patients how they speak to you, don’t show weakness, know your stuff never bluff and above all else never turn down a cup of tea!’

With the headlights of the truck illuminating our patient my crew mate went over and crouched carefully near him. ‘Always make sure you are out of punching and kicking range when assessing levels of consciousness initially’ something I’d learnt the hard way years ago. ‘Hello! Ambulance!’ Can you hear me?’ my crew mate called out. The gorilla in an overcoat stirred…turning onto his side and slowly rising from the floor like a thawed out mammoth awakening from its ice encased sleep.

He had  blood and snot smeared across his face where his nose had parted company with its normal position. He was also slightly unsteady on his feet. Great strands of combed hair that had once been gelled and teased into a fashionable style was now slapped to his forehead like a wet fish. Shaking his head to clear his mind he suddenly focuses on us. ‘What the f****** ell is going on?’ Its at times like this that you determine how the job should play out. You need to get a hold of the situation and control it before it controls you. ‘Ambulance…and were here to help you!’

Usually that’s enough to permeate through alcohol induced fogginess to place us firmly as unbiased, neutral non-combatants in the mind of the aggrieved or injured. Usually! ‘Oh. That’s okay then! My bastard nose hurts like f***!’ Wheres the c*** who did this?’ Senses regained he starts to look around the immediate area for his attacker. Grabbing him by the elbow and motioning towards the back of the truck I advise him to get inside so we can clean him up, get him out of public view and ascertain what properly happened. Luckily he digested this information, processed it and thought ‘Yeah! Good idea!’

My crew mate leads him into the back of the truck and sits him down to get a better look at his injuries and do some basic obs. Before I get chance to follow into the back I am called over by another male. ‘How is e?’ Another unsteady on his feet punter asks. ‘Who are you? Are you a friend? Did you see what happened?’ I ask in reply. After a couple of minutes conversation with his mate the history of the incident becomes clear. Gorilla in an overcoat had upset someones girlfriend and then dismissed the justifiable protestations of her boyfriend. The boyfriend had said his piece though and was leaving the nearby pub with his girlfriend when the Gorilla in an overcoat decided to pursue the argument.

After the boyfriend had tried to walk away for the second time the Gorilla in an overcoat grabbed him…and was surprised to get a cracker of a punch smack bang in the middle of his nose which dropped him to the floor. Someone had seen this and called 999 straight away for the Police who contacted us straight away and we duly arrived minutes later. In the back of the truck his obs seemed fine, no history of loss of consciousness, memory intact, no signs of concussion. But due to the presence of alcohol we advised a check up at A/E. To which he agreed.

All was going well on leaving scene. He seemed affable enough but gave the impression of being the type who was a school bully at one time due to his size. He was sat nearest the back doors and my crew mate was sat near to the cab bulkhead. Every now and then I checked the rear view mirror into the back and craned an ear to make sure my new learned colleague was saying and doing the right things. ‘You’re nought but a little shit!’ My ears prick up. ‘I could have you any day! Wanker!’ I switch the microphone on to hear better. ‘You ambulance drivers think your something don’t you?’ ‘Tossers!’

Slowly and carefully I pull the truck into the side of the road and get out and walk round to the back. On opening the back door I catch the tail end of another stream of abuse directed at my crew mate. ‘Whoa! Whats going on? Why the aggro mate? Its no good taking it out on us. Were here to help you and so far we’ve both looked after you haven’t we?’  The gorilla in an overcoat turns to me and spits full in my face ‘F*** off wanker!’ Having decided in a nano second after his spit hit my face that diplomacy was not going to work it was time for the ‘F plan’.

Without giving him a chance to get more ‘fleg’ up I jump onto the back step and grab him by his collar. Pulling him down and towards the open back door I use his weight and his falling momentum to ‘wing’ him out of the vehicle. ‘Me and my mate don’t get paid enough to take crap…so ‘bye bye’…so sad, too bad.’ Quickly I shut the doors and tell my mate to stay in the back as I get back in and drive off. I inform control and ask for the Police to attend. In my side mirrors I see the gorilla in an overcoat sat on the floor wondering whats happened.

This happens on a regular basis…and management on a regular basis will try and make out that it was your fault the patient turned aggressive. And the Police will eventually turn up and ask for an ambulance to take him to A/E. And if we try and pursue a prosecution it is written off as not being in the public interest. So the gorilla in an overcoat will be out again drinking and causing offence and getting away with it until someone gets well and truly hurt…when it may be too late! But through hard experience I do not take any shit on my truck!

An Ambulance is for Life not just for Christmas!

An Ambulance is for Life not just for Christmas!


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