Saturday, 4 April 2009

Busy, busy, busy!!

What a busy day I had yesterday. It all started off at 12:50 am, with a call to NearbyTown for a gunshot wound to the chest. Hmm, seems rather futile, but, apparently, according to the HEMS desk that tasked me, he was still breathing and had a slightly reduced conscious state. So, out of bed, clothes on - you know the score by now. A couple of minutes in to the journey, the desk calls me and tells me that the HEMS crew are also on their way, in the car. I know that I will get there before them; the only question is whether or not the crew will wait for me. That is answered as I approach the scene, with an ambulance blue-lighting it in the opposite direction, closely followed by a paramedic fast response vehicle and 2 police cars. So, I turn around and start making my way back home, still well within sight of the blue lights of the departing vehicles. I call the desk - they tell me that the plan is for the ambulance to meet up with the HEMS crew about 5 miles away. Er, hello??!! I'm here!! No, says the desk, it's all sorted... BUT, can you follow, just in case they run into trouble, or the HEMS crew get stuck somewhere. So, I'm driving along on blues, behind 2 police cars, a paramedic and an ambulance, feeling like a chocolate teapot! I consider ringing direct to Ambulance Control, but am concerned that I will upset the desk, and that will just adversely affect future calls. So I carry on, until I can see the HEMS crew arriving in the other direction. Lights off and I wander off home and back to bed.

07:00 and I am called by my work. I am on annual leave, so this comes as some surprise. I am told that a patient from a very serious RTC has been brought in, and is about to be operated on - IN MY A&E DEPARTMENT!! For those of you across the pond, this may be common in your neck of the woods, but almost unheard of in the UK. And blunt trauma is not an indication to open someone's belly in the A&E. So, I chat to the team, but essentially it is too late - they have already started. And, unsurprisingly, they call it 10 minutes later.

The reason I mention this in this blog about BASICS is that the man had apparently been trapped for over an hour. Why wasn't I called to the scene? I phone through to Ambulance Control, only to be told that they have no record of this accident. And then it dawns on me: it's just outside "my" area. I border 2 Ambulance Services, and get called regularly by both. However, a third is not all that far away, and it was on this border that the accident happened. So, now I will need to contact a third Service, and make sure they call me if there is anything at the border... More work! So far I have not been able to find anyone in authority who will agree to me being called by their Control Room - I may well just run up there and have a chat.

12:00, and I am sent on a job near the hospital I AM ON ANNUAL LEAVE FROM, only to be stood down about 5 minutes later, as the trapped, unconscious patient I was going to had got himself out of the car and was enjoying a nice hot cup of tea!

And then, at about 5pm, while I am walking back from the park with about 15 children - remember, I am on annual leave - I get a call to a motorcyclist on the M25. Probably fatal, is the call. So, that means it is, when it's a motorcyclist. I do the necessary (ringing Mrs RRD to take over creche duties) and take off.

The journey was uneventful, apart from being smoked by a passing police car (the hard shoulder was so full of rubbish that it was flying up behind him, and I couldn't see a thing!) As I approach the tailback towards the incident, I get a call, telling me that the paramedics have stopped resuscitation, and therefore I am not needed. I look ahead, at the queues of cars in front, and imagining the next 4 or more hours that I will be stuck here. "I'm not all that far - are you sure they don't want me to attend, just to lend a hand with the paperwork?" Please, please, please... "Ok," comes back the reply. Phew!! I know it may sound callous, but I desperately wanted to get back home for Friday night supper. So, I was able to continue to the front and deal with the formalities at the scene. And then, off home? No, unfortunately not. I then had to wait for "Crash" to arrive and assess the scene, so that when the ambulance, the FRV and I all left we wouldn't destroy any evidence. Oh well, won't take too long, I'm sure. No, only an hour-and-a-half of standing around, shouting at drivers who were slowing down to look at the scene, and at a body that we covered with a couple of sheets, but was still unmistakably a body. And then "Crash" turn up, take a lot of details, and let us go. For me, it was to go home to my family, for the others, to continue their shift.


  1. Sounds like a bit of a busmans holiday!

  2. Yes, Mart, exactly. And, as my next post describes, it can only get worse...