Wednesday, 29 April 2009


As I drive home, my car is filled with the smell of smoke; I can't get rid of it, despite the windows being open all the way. My jumpsuit smells of smoke, my clothes smell of smoke, even my hair smells of smoke. And the smell evokes visual flashes that I don't want, don't need:

The burnt out hulk of the car in the field;

The lifeless face staring up at me, a mute appeal for help that I cannot provide;

The child, her physical injuries so minor, yet her emotional scars already evident in her glazed look, her cries, her questions about her mother;

The passers by, who have tried so hard to help the dying woman and her child, who sit by the side of the road, stunned by how fast their everyday journeys home have been transformed into a nightmare of screams, sirens and CPR. And smoke.


  1. Nasty job - nuff said!

  2. There are two smells that I find evoke a stomach-churning response from me. Decomposition and burning flesh. In this case though it seems like you had to deal with more than just the physical. I feel for you.

    By the way, apparently lemon juice before you shower helps to get rid of the smell.

  3. I *so* know what you're talking about, and I'm sorry....

  4. Hi David
    having worked with you on many jobs now i would just like to pass on the thanks from the family involved in this incident. who are very good friends of ours. it was comfort to them knowing that all that could be done was done at the scene for there mum. the little girl is doing well nd her burns are healing nicely although her mental scars may take a little longer.
    nce again on behalf of the family thanks.
    paul davis
    duty op's manager
    hemel hempstead ambulance station