See you on the next job

Young-drunk-man-in-a-suit continued to hold his cracked, soon-to-be-dead phone up to my face.  In his drunken sway, with eyes barely focussed, his demeanour switched suddenly from startlingly desperate to that of a damp and pathetic dog.

“You see . . .” he snivelled, “I love her.  I know I’ve only known her for one date, but, she’s . . . she’s . . . I love her -”

And, before I could Judo-chop myself away to safety, young-drunk-man-in-a-suit flopped his head forward onto my chest and started to cry.

With hundreds of drunken revellers staggering about me in various states of inebriation, I continued to stand there, handset radio held to my ear waiting for a response from the police . . .

his cracked, soon-to-be-dead phone up to my face

The more I do the JRU shifts, the more I like them.  They’re such a different way of working than is normal in the Ambulance Service.  Sometimes the shifts are quiet, sometimes they’re sporadically quick paced, manic and . . . well, just different.  This night’s JRU was a “pay day night” so was particularly busy and manic.  And out of that manicness I’ll just be describing one job of it.

Having the police radio meant I was able to hear all the commotion before my Control even got wind of it.  Three people had been assaulted as part of group.

Arriving on scene I was presented with the general mayhem that befalls a Shoreditch night out– hundreds and hundreds of people staggering about in various forms of inebriation.  However, my concern was for the three patients that had been attacked.  One was stood on his own.  A little chap with eyes half closed grasping a near empty bottle of bear to his torn shirt.  He was sporting a cut lip and above his eye was a small lump.  To my left were the other two – both stood with prospective partners whilst the police attempted to get statements and work out what was going on.

At the same time, hordes of other revellers still wishing to go about their busy night intermingled and made the task for the police to get information that bit harder.

I quickly scanned the three patients for a quick time triage.  They all seemed to have similar superficial injuries.  Little man to my right seemed content enough to stand with his beer.  But the two to my left were attempting to quieten down one of the girls who had taken it upon herself to judge the world – the police, the ambulance service, everyone – that nothing was being done for “such a terrible injustice”.

“I want to make a complaint!  You f-f-f . . . I PAY YOUR TAXES . . .  I MEAN WAGES!” Spying me, she screamed louder, “QUICK!  Don’t just stand there!  He’s dying!  Do something!  For fucks sake!  You should be doing something!  You’re all fucking crap – I want to make a complaint!”

And on and on she went, all the while the person she reckoned was dying, continued in his attempt to calm her down by telling her to “shut the fuck up”.

I turned to the little chap to my right to check he was ok – he nodded drunkenly and took a swig from his bottle and continued to stare straight ahead uninterestingly.

I then went to have a chat with the other two.  They seemed more concerned about a) “getting the fucker who did this” and b) shutting the girlfriend up – who continued to shout foul play to everything that wasn’t being done for her.

In mild exasperation I caught the eye of one of the police officers standing by to watch the scene – their thousand yard stare and barely visibly eye roll said it all!

I then turned to check little chap again . . . only to find him in the throes of being beaten up by a man twice his size.  Bless – even though he was being thrown about he still had the beer clasped to his torn shirt and a dazed distant stare.  But someone had clearly taken offence to him just standing there and was about to knock little chap out.

“Wo! Wo! Wo! Calm down dude!” I said as I jumped in between them.  Hoping my bright (yet dirty) yellow LAS jacket would offer me some form of immunity from sudden death I dragged the little man away to the rest of his friends.  The police filled the gap behind me and kindly offered the perpetrator to “sling his hook”.

I was about to ask them all how they were when a random bottle came flying past my head and smashed on the road behind me.  Over the raucous joviality of the surrounding crowd came a distant but distinct taunt of “POLICE CUNTS”.

I wiped a bit of beer from my cheek and went to ask the patients again.  This time there was resounding shout from one of them . . .

“THERE HE IS!  THERE’S THE WANKER!  OVER THERE!  POLICE!  OVER THERE!  LET’S GET HIM!!!

And just like that, the entire group ran off across the road, in hot pursuit of the alleged attacker.  The police, as one, ran after them, leaving me alone in the crowd.  Sighing deeply I picked up my gear, double checked that my car was locked, and casually went to walk across the road to where I last saw them all.  A rather irate driver taking offence at my plan, wound down his window and shared his final decree . . .

“MOVE! Ya fat fucking twat!”

I love Shoreditch.

At the point where I last saw the police I dropped my kit, held the handset radio to my ear (so I could hear updates) and sighed.  Around me were a multitude of drunken revellers.  To my left, where I’d come from, cars were beeping their horns and attempting to subtly run people over.  A young woman was spread over my FRU bonnet whilst a hungry gentleman attempted to taste the entire contents of her mouth . . . I did approve of what appeared to be a Jiu-Jitsu guard she was performing on him though.

In front of me were folk attempting to get in and out of a night club whilst others stood chatting – one throwing up.  To my right, several other crowds ventured about between clubs – one rather buxom lass was in the throes of pulling her top up and showing off her quadruple double D boobs to some random group of drunk males, all of which took it upon themselves to immortalise the moment on their phones.

At that moment, a young man in a suit stepped up to me and showed me his phone.  On the screen was an X-ray of a broken arm.

“Can you help me?  I mean, if you’re not busy that is . . .”

“Well, actually I. . . .”

“I’ve just received this text from my girlfriend”

He thrust the phone closer to my face.

“Ok.”

“Well, she’s not my girlfriend par-say.  We only had our first date the other day”

He swayed about attempting to keep his balance.  His shirt was partly undone and his tie loosened – the classic “end of night out” look.

“She’s just sent me this picture.  It’s happened tonight.  Do you know what hospital she’d have gone to?”

“Are you kidding me?”

“No – no man.  I need to know.  I need to get to her”

“Why would I know what hospital she’s at?”

In an over theatrically slow fashion, young-drunk-man-in-a-suit motioned at my attire.  There was a pause.

“It happened in Chelmsford.  She’s from Chelmsford.  Do you know what hospital that will be?”

“Seriously?!  I don’t even know where Chelmsford is!”

“Please!  You’ve got to help me.  My phone’s nearly dead.  I’m nearly out of battery. I’ve got to help her”

“Where do you live?”

“Romford”

“Well, why don’t you just go home?  Get your phone charged a bit.  Have a cup of tea.  Re think things and take it from there.”

“Yeh . . . yeh.  I could do that.  But you see, I must help her . . .”

Young-drunk-man-in-a-suit continued to hold his cracked, soon-to-be-dead phone up to my face.  In his drunken sway, with eyes barely focussed, his demeanour switched suddenly from startlingly desperate to that of a damp and pathetic dog.

“You see . . .” he snivelled, “I love her.  I know I’ve only known her for one date, but, she’s . . . she’s . . . I love her -”

And, before I could Judo-chop myself away to safety, young-drunk-man-in-a-suit flopped his head forward onto my chest and started to cry.

With hundreds of drunken revellers staggering about me in various states of inebriation, I continued to stand there, handset radio held to my ear waiting for a response from the police . . .

I sighed.

“I love her!”  He sobbed.

“I’m sure you do” I replied with eyes barely open.  And then, in my ear, as if perfectly timed to save me . . .

GD MEDIC!  GD MEDIC!  ARE YOU STILL AVAILABLE TO COME AND LOOK AT THOSE ASSAULT VICTIMS?

I clicked the mic, “Yes I am!”

Pulling young-drunk-man-in-a-suit away from me I pointed at the handset.

“Sorry my friend, gotta go save some lives”

Leaving young-drunk-man-in-a-suit to wipe his dribbling snot from his nose I walked to my car, shooed the love-makers off my bonnet, dumped the stuff in the back and drove the 200 yards round the corner to where the police were waiting.

It was almost identical to the original scene of when I first arrived.  Accept this time, little chap was currently sat crying by one of the portable urinals (whilst people pissed in them) whilst off to my left, the perpetrator of the whole incident was currently being off-loaded into a meat wagon.  In front of me were the same group with the female member of the group STILL moaning and groaning.

Before I could check up on them another random man came past and asked the anarchist woman for a light for his cigarette.  Somewhere along the conversation, it turned nasty and before long he was about to have a fight with all of them.  The police stepped in and pulled him to one side to calm him down.  Anarchist woman continued to shout abuse, at both the police and me, even though her friends were desperately trying to hold her back.

On my radio, the rest of GD were already asking if I was available for another call.  But before I could respond, and out of nowhere, young-drunk-man-in-a-suit stepped in front of me and thrust his almost dead phone into my face.

“Can you help me?  I mean, if you’re not busy that is . . .”

“For fuck sake, really?!”

I turned to the three patients . . .

“Look.  Guys.  Get yourselves checked out at A&E, but just grab yourselves a taxi yeh.  You won’t be getting an ambulance soon.  Alright?”

Mouthy woman went to strike her disgust at everything I’d just said but was silenced by the rest of the group.

“Sorry guys, you’re not dead or dying.  And I’ve got to go to another call.  See ya”

“And you – “ I said, turning to young-drunk-man-in-a-suit, “go home!”

Everyone walked off – cigarette lighter man to abuse someone else, the group to flag down a taxi and young-drunk-man-in-a-suit to sort his life out – leaving me with the remaining police.  There was a moment’s silence, broken only by the background drone of someone urinating into the portable loos.

I took a deep breath and slowly shook my head.

“How you guys do this every night is a fucking miracle.  I really don’t know now you manage it.  Massive kudos to you hey.”

The officers shrugged nonchalantly, “See you on the next job yeh?”

“Yeh,” I said, “see you on the next one”

And off we went – to continue the night.

Binder

 

 

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2 thoughts on “See you on the next job

  1. brilliant read, just discovered this blog binder. three weeks to go before i start my ECA course and was looking for a realistic view of the job…… well job jobbed cant wait to start.

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