Ring, ring; ring, ring; ring, ring. The 'phone's insistant blaring reaches through my sleeping mind and I fumble for the receiver. "Hello, it's Ambulance Control here." Like it's going to be anyone else at... I stare blearily at the hands of my watch ...2am. "We've got a job for you. An RTC on SmallRoad, FarAwayTown." I stumble out of bed
I pull on my clothes (despite what my friends might think I don't sleep in my orange jumpsuit) and kiss Mrs RRD goodbye. "Wha'? Where are you going?" I explain quietly, and she clings to me for a moment. "Please be careful," she whispers, but already my mind is shutting down, going into work mode: FarAwayTown will take me quite a while to get to, even at this time of day.
Down at my car, and I pop the boot. I stare in dismay at the mess revealed in the boot light. I can see my jumpsuit, buried under my Thomas Pack, but where the hell are my boots? Precious seconds wasted as I rummage to the back and pull out, first one then the other, boot.
I'm now in the car. I program the Sat Nav. I know where FarAwayTown is, and I'm pretty sure where SmallRoad is, too, but I can't leave anything to chance. I have to concentrate on the driving, not the directions. I reverse out the drive, switch the Blues and Twos on, and I'm off.
The SatNav says it will take over 20 minutes to get to SmallRoad, but I know I should be able to shave at least 5 minutes off that. I get a call through from Control with an update on the patient's condition. He has a serious leg injury. My mind flashes back to yesterday afternoon, when I had attended an ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) Update Day. One of the key changes was
the use of tourniquets for severe limb injury. "I must try and get one of those," was my thought. Was I going to have a problem at this scene, because of lack of equipment? I quickly come back to the job at hand: getting there. I update Control on my estimated travel time. "Ok, drive carefully," was her reply. Drive carefully?? No-one at Control has ever said that to me before...
I'm on the motorway. I check the outside temperature with my on-board thermometer: only just above freezing. Oh, oh. No, not that I hadn't dressed warmly enough (I hadn't). I was worried about ice on the road. I slow my speed to a more respectable 110 miles per hour and watch carefully for the tell-tell signs of ice on the road. Two patches reveal themselves as slight changes in the colour and reflectivity of the tarmac, and I adjust my speed accordingly.
Off the motorway, and up into FarAway Town. SmalRoad is only minutes away from the slip road, and I phone Control to let them know I am there. As I get out my car I make that last, all important call: "Hi, Mrs RRD. I'm safely here. Go back to sleep. "
As I run to the scene (the fire engine had been left right across the road, and I had to park MILES away!) I glance at my watch: 18 minutes have passed since the call.
To be continued...
11 months ago