Day shift: Four calls: Two by car; Two by ambulance.
Stats: 2 RTC; 1 Faint; 1 Abdo pain.
The Christmas tree on Trafalgar Square is leaning worryingly to the right – it will only take a decent wind to push it over I think. They’ve put 500 white lights on it and it still looks bereft of character compared to other trees in the neighbourhood. Still, it’s free.
A RTC in the grey, rainy rush hour involving a white van and a foreign pedestrian who stepped out from between buses on a busy road kicked off the morning. Her scarf was trapped under the wheel of the van but she got away with a knock to the leg that was going to put her in hospital for about 10 minutes. She was lucky and the poor old van driver was shaking like a leaf when I left the scene – not that he should be because it wasn’t his fault (according to witnesses) but the shock of it left him reeling a bit.
The rain stops for a while and I am sent to the aid of a 25 year-old female who has fainted on the tube. This is a very common occurrence and she is in the correct gender and age group for it. So, I don’t need an ambulance and I go through the routine as usual – her obs are fine and she has recovered. She gets a copy of the PRF because she’d rather not go to A&E and promises to get herself checked out after work and I drop her off, as a courtesy, near her workplace.
Minor RTC’s shouldn’t really tie me up for long but because the police were being so thorough with the motorcyclist who collided with a taxi, I waited for almost an hour before taking the patient to hospital. He only had an injured wrist and a cut lip, hardly worth the trip but he would probably need an assessment to appease his insurance company.
A certain supermarket chain needs to sort its first aid cover and the attitude of those trained to be first aiders out before they have a major problem. A staff member with abdominal pain and a history of Ovarian Cyst collapsed in agony and one of her colleagues was on hand to call an ambulance. When I arrived, not only did I have to find my way to the Customer Services desk because nobody was outside to guide me but when another member of staff was asked to show me where the poor woman was, she said ‘No, you show him’, as if I was a visitor looking for the loo. This kind of disgraceful behaviour is unacceptable and makes the company look shoddy and uncaring. We are an emergency service and that means you let us know where we are needed; don’t call us and then wander off so that we can find our own way around your store.
When I finally managed to get someone to guide me to the patient, the 31 year-old lady told me that the first aiders in the store ‘didn’t care’ and wouldn’t attend her. This is their duty – that’s why they train to be so-called qualified first aiders.
I spoke to the store manager about this and he was genuinely shocked that nobody had even told him that a staff member was ill. She would have been taken to hospital, disappeared from work and he wouldn’t be any the wiser. Poor show I think.
An ambulance arrived to take her away, despite my calling in and advising Control that I didn’t need one.
The rest of my day was taken up with the FRU Co-ordinator’s conference – an annual(ish) event held primarily to discuss concerns over issues that have arisen among the fast response pilots all over London. There was also an opportunity to do some training and updating. It was a fruitful meeting and things should change for the better, in terms of how we are despatched, the vehicles we use and the way we are utilised, in the near future. And I got a free lunch and they say there's no such thing...