I’ve got my third shift on the car coming up tonight and strangely enough, I’m looking forward to it. However, there are some apprehensions.
This being my third shift has meant there’s been a second shift . . . which was yesterday. This was an eclectic collection of typical jobs ranging from young drunks collapsed in the street to COPD patients with difficulty in breathing (DIB). But it wasn’t the jobs that made the evening ‘interesting’ . . . no, it was more my ability to break things.
Shortly after midnight I noticed the fuel tank on the car was less than a quarter full so I decided to fill it up. I was about nineteen litres in when I suddenly remembered that this car was diesel yet I was filling it with unleaded.
“Oh . . . bollox!” I threw the nozzle back in it the pump as if it was poisonous to touch. And, jumping in the car like a naughty school kid I reversed back out the way as if the pump itself were about to explode.
I’d now switched the engine on AND moved the car with unleaded in it. With a wince and a yelp I snatched the keys out and threw them at the passenger door as if they were on fire.
“Double bollox! Fuckety fuck fuck bugger bugger bugger bugger frig bugger bollox!”
After calming down somewhat I finally admitted my little mishap to Control – who, after taking the piss, arranged for a truck to come over and take me and the car to the fitters where I’d try and find another vehicle.
En route we came across quite a surreal sight. One ‘Shoreditch Trendy’ type person lay sprawled across his single speed bike whilst another slightly less looking ‘Shoreditch Trendy’ type person stood over him berating him for something. Beside them the window of a cafe was completely smashed in giving the impression a car had driven through it. People – in the typical Samaritan fashion of London – were gathering round laughing and trying to capture the incident on their camera phones.
My shoulders dropped and my eyes glazed over, “Oh dear,” I sighed, “best go and see what’s up”.
As I stood beside the two trendies listening and watching them point blame at each other for something that appeared to be nothing more than an episode of bike rage I quickly deduced that there were no injuries. This was slightly odd seeing that one of them had been pushed through the window of a cafe on his bike.
However, the two trendies appeared hell bent on starting a fight with each other and the general public seemed happy filming this ensuing escapade with the sole purpose of publishing on YouTube.
No one seemed at all interested in my presence so I slowly retreated back to the truck asking anyone in general, “Anyone hurt? Any chest pain? Anyone want treatment from my ambulance car?” I pointed to my broken car sat on the back of the truck, “No? Good! Fine!”
My voice petered out in the chaos so, sitting back in the truck I radioed for the police to let them deal with it.
I did eventually get another car and was able to do a few more jobs – mainly drunks – until nearing 4am I noticed smoke bellowing from the bonnet.
“Oh dear . . . ” It smelled like water from the radiator. And, after checking under the car and finding a small puddle gathering, my fears were confirmed – there was a water leak – from somewhere. I RTS’d (Request To Speak) Control.
“Hiya Red Base, this is G850*. . . . um . . . I think there’s something wrong with this car now”
“What now?” They didn’t sound so amused as before. But after my brief explanation they allowed me to limp back to station where I remained until my shift finished.
So, second shift in, two cars down. I’m doing well – and can’t wait to see what tonight holds in store for me.
And as for the barrage of abuse that I’m most likely to get? Well, very much deserved but I’ve had worse.
*not the real call sign of course