2:30am, and I find myself driving to GreenTown, to an RTC, persons trapped and unconscious. This is the sort where I can possibly be of most use - the patient is clearly very unwell, and the chance of a rapid trip to hospital is hindered by them not being easily accessible.
So, Sat Nav Sasha is telling me, in a nice loud voice, where I am to go. The indicated time of arrival is 2:55, but I know that, at this time of night, and at the speed I am travelling, I should be able to half the journey time, and get there in les than 15 minutes.
I pass rapidly through MyHospitalTown, and move into as yet unchartered pastures. "Turn left in 100 yards," suggests Sasha. Not one to argue with a woman, I indicate right, only to find a narrow track, bordered by high hedges. I glance at the on-screen map - sure enough, this looks like the road. Off I go, down this path. As it narrows further, and as my headlights reveal larger and larger potholes, just before I am jolted out of my seat, I slow my speed right down, and give thanks once again to Mrs RRD, this time for encouraging me to get the 4-wheel drive version.
Up ahead I can see the road widening, as I reach the end of the track. Phew!! Thanks, Sasha, I never doubted you...
Now on a tarmac'd road again, I let my speed increase, and as I race past houses to my left, my mind, as it so often does at times like these, wonders if anyone is lying awake, seeing the flash of blue reflected on their bedroom ceiling.
The road is a dead end.
Not totally - I can just about make out a tiny, path in front of me, one that makes the previous dirt track look as wide as the M25. I reluctantly call Ambulance Control, and utter those dreaded words: "I'm lost."
The despatcher is very understanding. She checks on her map, and tells me I need to continue Nrth, along the path, for another 1/2 mile or so, after which I will be almost there. She stays on the line with me (bluetooth!) as I endure another back-wrenching journey, bushes scraping both sides of my car at the same time. At one stage, I think I am going to get stuck, as a hole the diameter of a large dinner plate, and a depth you could have buried a large dog in (sorry, but that is how I am thinking) has to be navigated through.
I can now see blue lights ahead - I am there. I say goodbye to LovelyDespatcher and arrow towards the lights.
A line of police beacons and traffic cones block my way. No police, just the cones and beacons. I have to admit, I curse loudly, then get out of my car and, not very gently, rearrange the obstructions to allow my car through. about a 10 yards further on, I arrive. I glance at my clock: 02:55.
And the rude patient? Well, she is deeply "unconscious" on scene, not responding to painful stimulus at all, yet her eyelids twitch as I brush her lashes - drunk as a skunkm, to use the technical term. We fully expose her, as she has clearly had a significant injury, and rush her to MyHospital for further care. The next day I am told by the staff that when she woke up she was more abusive than anyone else they had had there (and for an A&E Department, that is saying something.) She threatened to sue the Trust, because we had cut her brassiere! There's thanks for you.
11 months ago