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!