Night shift: Eleven calls; one arrested; five by ambulance; two by car.
Stats: 2 eTOH;1 fall with leg injury; 4 assaults with facial or head injuries; 1 sprained ankle; 1 hoax; 1 gone before arrival; 1 fast heart beat.
Straight away the West End gave up it’s miscreants before kick-off and I was sent to Soho for a man who was being pinned to the ground by three doormen. He’d got so drunk that he became violent and hit one the security guys. You don’t do that if you have any brains.
Luckily, he wasn’t hurt and I wasn’t required. The police were though and I could tell they were not pleased at being called to him a few minutes before England kicked the first ball of their tournament. I sympathised with their emotions but they were very professional and still managed to call the drunken man ‘sir’.
Of course London Town became strangely quiet of traffic and people when the match started but I was sent to a 67 year-old man who’d stumbled from a bus and cut his leg. I thought it would be a routine, not-needing-an-ambulance-response- type call but I was wrong.
When I got on the bus, the injured man walked towards me with a limp. I asked him to sit down and I had a look at his wound. The cut ran deep into his shin and when he moved it a squirt of blood jetted out onto the floor. He’d cut into his Tibial Artery.
I put a tight dressing on it and took him to hospital. He was stable with no pain and the bleeding was easily controlled – unlike the passengers who appeared from the top deck to get off the bus – they were trailing blood on their shoes before they knew it. I had warned them but they were in too much of a hurry to catch the next blood-free bus.
No sooner had the final whistle gone (1-1) than the onslaught of drunken calls began. A 25 year-old female had her head down the toilet and a complete stranger, who professed to being her new friend, sat with her in the ladies loo of a pub. She was very drunk and had to go to hospital. A 15 year-old in cardiac arrest was broadcast on the radio at the same time which means he’d get a delayed response. Someone else’s life is worth more than the trouble we go to for people who drink themselves stupid.
A 25 year-old Indian student was minding his own business on the escalator of an underground station when he was allegedly assaulted. When he challenged the man who’d punched the back of his head ‘for fun’, he was given a going over by the assailant and his mate. This was a typically nice touch demonstrating the violence and uncontrollable stupidity of certain individuals. A slap on the wrist is all they will get from the legal system (if they are ever caught) and that just isn’t good enough. The poor young victim was physically shaking after the attack and bled from a split above his eye, a split lip which carried on through to the inside of his mouth, and bruises. Shame on those who walk around after such an unprovoked assault.
A cancellation just as I landed on the next call, for an unconscious man (through drink). A crew was on scene and I was surplus, so I went to the next call, for a man who’d sustained a sprained ankle. I recognised the description of a known frequent flyer; I’ve known him for years (as have my colleagues) and he can be violent. Sure enough, he was sitting on a wall with two concerned MOPs standing by. I thanked them and attended to the patient. He did have a sprain but there were no vehicles available, so after a long wait and a lot of entonox, I took him in the car. What I didn’t know was that he had been banned from the hospital, so on my way to the next call, I saw him being wheeled right back out by security.
A hoax call for a 21 year-old that ‘didn’t have anywhere to live’. The call box was missing a caller and so I wrote it up as another waste of valuable resources.
This was followed rapidly by a 22 year-old panic attack woman who didn’t even bother to wait for my arrival. She left the scene and ignored all the call-backs being made by Control.
I watched two young Asian men square up to each other on the street as if they were in a gang meeting. One felt insulted by whatever the other had said and it looked like it could end with someone being badly hurt – this is what goes on all night in the West End on a night like this. Sometimes the atmosphere is great and people are having a good time but sometimes, like tonight, it seems like you are driving through Hell. So, my next call was no surprise – further up the road a 30 year-old man had received a kicking from four men when he got into a fight with one of them. He was punched until his face swelled up like a balloon; he had a nasty bump on his head and his torso was patterned with boot marks where the assailants had stamped on him. The poor guy was terrified after his ordeal, although he had enough energy left to demand that his mate ‘gets them’. He said that in front of the cops and that isn’t a good idea.
An assault on a young gay man was carried out by three or four others, leaving him with a busted mouth. He walked down the road and collapsed onto the ground, smashing his head when he landed. I was told the thud could be heard from across the street. A crowd of people gathered around him as I tried to find out what had happened to him and it all got a bit threatening. A witness told me of the alleged assault and I asked for police to attend. I also got a crew to help me out because I wanted to get the patient off the street and into the ambulance for safety’s sake – nobody was being nice tonight it seemed.
It took a while for the patient to open up and tell us what took place but all he could remember was being hit. He had a large bump to the back of his head and may have suffered a concussion – thus the loss of memory initially. I think he was also in some emotional shock after having been attacked without provocation. I know how that feels.
So-called ‘legal high’ drugs can cause health problems – stimulants designed to make you feel high can be detrimental for the heart, so the 23 year-old female who called us for a tachycardia she brought on herself by taking such a substance, looked sheepish when I arrived, followed soon after by an ambulance crew. Her heart rate wasn’t too bad though but she had chest pain with it, so she had to go. She lives in a very nice apartment building and obviously has intelligence but self-abuse like this permeates through every layer of society I guess. She will survive to do herself harm another day.
A fight broke out between three men and I was pulled back from my end-of-shift mission to deal with the aftermath. All three had been arrested and had minor skirmish wounds but one of them had a deep enough cut to his forehead to warrant a hospital trip. He told me he was a model and was very upset about the possibility that he might be scarred by the injury. It really wasn’t that bad but he cried all the way to hospital in the back of the police van, cuffed and secured. I felt a bit sorry for him to be honest, although he would probably not be given any photographic assignments for the next few weeks.