The streets were dark and silent except for the rumbling of our Ambulance tyres on the cobbles. It was still three hours from sun up and another five before the end of our shift. As we slowed down the blue light strobes seemed to catapult their radiance from the wet cobblestones onto the many windows either side of us.
“There!” shouts my crew mate and points towards our target, number ’36 Surgical Stocking Street’ in the older part of ‘Crinkleyville’. The call had been sent to our mobile data screen detailing us to our next customer: ‘Mrs. Gutbucket’ 75 year old female…query if injured or ill…call terminated before details could be acquired.
Pulling up outside the address I sorted out the kit to take in with us and headed for the front door. It was in the middle of a whole row of terraced houses built around the 1930s. The houses here mainly consisted of two up/two downs with the front door leading straight onto the pavement and the back door leading into a small backyard.
Using a ‘belt & braces’ approach I rang the doorbell, knocked the door knocker and rattled the letterbox. No answer or noise came from within the house, although as always happens lights came on a dozen houses away either side to see what the commotion was! Looking through the window at the side of the door we could see nothing. Curtains firmly closed and no tell tale chinks of light betraying an occupant.
To the far left of the terraced houses we spied a passage. We made our way around the back of the property to see if we could get a reply at the back door. Stumbling in the dark and knocking over all manner of rubbish and scaring off the local tomcats we eventually arrived at the backyard door. ‘Bollocks!’ it was bolted!
Using our experience and skills from numerous similar jobs we trundled a nearby wheelie bin over to the back gate. With the agility of a ‘one legged elephant pissed in the dark’ my crew mate clambered onto the lid and leaned over the gate and undid the bolt. We were in the outer cordon now! More knocking and banging ensued upon the back door and more looking through windows trying to see if there was life around.
Still no answer and things did not bode well for the 75 year old occupant. Luckily the downstairs window was slightly ajar which looked to be a good opportunity to gain access to the house. Before going in I rang control to see if they had managed to recontact the caller?…no reply, the caller had obviously dropped the telephone whilst talking to one of our colleagues in the great ‘Puzzle Palace’ control room.
‘Right I’m going in!….Cover me!’ my crew mate just stands there fed up with hearing the same line every-time we have to gain entry to a building. ‘Ged on wi it!’ he scowls and re lights his roll up that he had extinguished prior to getting this call. ‘I’ll get in and open the back door if I can, you just keep shining that torch so I can see where I’m going!’
And with that he suddenly shines the torch full in my face as I’m halfway through the kitchen window! Everything goes in slow motion as I vaguely recall tripping on the sink taps and clattering to the kitchen floor bringing down the curtains and blinds with me! Regaining my composure and remembering my training from Ambulance Ninja school, I bounce deftly onto my feet and trip over the cats basket as I lumber towards the back door!
Quickly I let my crew mate in…not to assist in the search for our caller but so that I can call him a ‘stupid twat’ to his face! He feigns total innocence and exclaims ‘Whaaaat? I aint done owt!’ Looking like Alf Ventress out of ‘Heartbeat’ my crew mate stands there with half a roll up dangling from his mouth. Shaking my head and taking some of the kit we venture deeper into the house.
Through the kitchen door we enter the main living room and everything looks quiet, nothing out of place. Switching the light on we both notice the phone still on its receiver. ‘I’ll give comms another ring and get a heads up on whats happening!’ Picking the receiver up I dial into our control centre and tell them that we cant find anything so far.
A pause ensues from the other end of the line….‘That’s odd then because we’re talking to the caller right now, shes managed to pick her self up after falling over!’…..’Are you sure you’re at the right address?’
And as the realisation starts to dawn on us that we’ve broken into the wrong house a sound is heard from upstairs….followed by movement….followed by footsteps on the stairs….followed by the appearance of one very irate man holding a golf club in a far from welcoming manner!
‘Sorry we’ve got the wrong address mate!’
And with the speed that would possibly qualify us both for the next Olympics we pick our kit up and leg it! Hurried radio messages are passed to our control to let them know we may have woken someone up and that a supervisor skilled in the arts of diplomacy and negotiation maybe required. Then shortly after we have regained our normal breathing rate the front door of the address we were called to opens and a voice calls out…‘I don’t need an Ambulance now thank you boys! My son is coming to take me to the hospital!’
I Hate Nights…!!!