We’d only managed four jobs the other day. Most folk would say we were slacking but three of the jobs meant we were off the road cleaning the ambulance and changing our uniform.
The one that got us the most happened at about 1am. We were called to an assault – male bleeding profusely.
We arrived to see chaos . . . A man in his late twenties was laying in the middle of the road, a large pool of blood lay congealing into jelly around his head. Police were frantically trying to move the traffic past in both directions as the apathetic drivers slowed to take photos on their phones.
It turns out our patient had “randomly” attacked a girl at a bus stop, punching her to the ground. The girl’s friend had intervened and the two men wrestled to the floor where the girl’s friend promptly suffered a dislocated shoulder. At that point a group of eager young adults decided they would interpose. And, as modest vigilantes, escorted the original attacker to the middle of the road where the procedure of physical retribution was administered post-haste. Or as one policeman described it, “they kicked the shit out of him”.
The patient was upset. And the main cause of his bleeding was from his nose – now spread like the map of the Himalayas across his face. Otherwise he’d come off lightly.
After the preliminary checks we helped him onto the ambulance and onto the the bed. After stripping him down to his waist to check for puncture wounds we proceeded with cleaning him. At this point his distress turned to anger and then to aggression.
He threw the cleaning bowl we were using across the ambulance and attempted to get up and leave.
We carefully put him back.
He attempted to get up again. This time starting to scream.
We carefully put him back again.
This time he went mad. Fists starting punching and feet started kicking as the patient spat and screamed into a rage.
I managed to lock onto one fist and hold his head down but the award for the most craziest offensive-defence had to go to my crew mate as she locked her entire body round his leading arm.
In those few seconds I didn’t know who to worry for the most – my crew mate or the patient. It looked a cross between an animal devouring its prey and a dog humping someone’s leg.
It didn’t matter, because in that instant about four hundred police stormed the ambulance from every door, window, cupboard and crack. I stepped back, safe in the knowledge that my part, for now, was superfluous. However, still tucked in amongst the sea of police was a green uniform completely engulfing the patient’s right arm.
Eventually they had pinned the patient down and had one arm in cuffs behind his back. The patient was held down calming somewhat and most of the officers had stepped back. There was an embarrassed silence as everyone looked at the strange woman still wrestling with the patient’s arm. Even the patient was starting to show fear and looked about desperately for help.
“Um . . . you can let go now” I whispered to my colleague tapping her on the shoulder. She opened her eyes and looked around. Seeing her audience staring back she relaxed and allowed the police to take over.
Composing herself brilliantly she sat down crossing her legs and grabbing her paperwork. Blowing some hair out of her eyes she looked up at the patient and smiled slowly. When she spoke she did so with a voice so sweet it could cut butter – with a blast radius of a thousand yards (it was alarmingly like Queenie from Blackadder).
“Now that wasn’t very nice now was it”
There was a psychotic edge to her sweetness. Even the police were unnerved.
“I do hope you are going to behave yourself now as we are only trying to help you”
“I’m sorry . . . I’m really sorry” He looked . . . defeated.
It suddenly became apparent to everyone that folk music was playing in the background from one of our CDs. The police eyed each other and started turning their noses up at it. I raised an eyebrow and piped up . . .
“I’ve got some Prodigy if you prefer”
There was a murmur of approval from all the officers. Without looking up from her paperwork, my crew mate retorted with an angelic voice capable of decimating entire civilisations.
“I’m attending tonight . . . therefore we will have soothing music in my ambulance. All my patient’s prefer to have soothing music . . . don’t you”
She aimed the last words at the patient smiling psychotically and blowing another piece of hair out of her face. Terrified, he nodded back.
I shrugged my shoulders at the police who in turn lowered their heads and went silent.
After conveying the patient to the hospital we surveyed the chaos left in the ambulance. When he’d lashed out his nose had bled again. And, as if it had a sprinkler attachment, the entire ambulance was sprayed with blood. Looking at each other we noticed that our uniforms were also covered.
I got on the radio . . .
“Hello Red Base, This is G802*. Can you show us returning to base for change of uniform and cleaning the truck”
“No problem G802, start heading back now”
There were two other jobs that night that required us off the road to clean – but I’ll mention them another time.
*not our real call sign