Some jobs stick around for a while; this was one of them.
It was a night shift; probably around 11pm. I was on my own on a Fast Response Vehicle; something I dont like doing at night – my imagination can be a bit wild (and so can the locals).
I was sat watching something mindless on Netflix at one of our standby points. My MDT (Mobile Data Terminal) suddenly came to life with an incident just around the corner; an unresponsive male.
I turned the lights on and turned into the road; activating my lights and sirens, my radio came to life with the dispatchers updating me with what was happening on the phone to 999 as I was responding as the call was still in progress.
“You are being dispatched to a male who is in Cardiac Arrest, CPR is in progress. We are trying to find you some backup, will update you when we allocate someone”
Sadly; this isn’t uncommon, however with full faith in our controllers – I knew it wouldn’t be far behind me.
I pulled into the residential street and could see up the road someone flagging me down – a human windmill as we refer to them in the ambulance service.
I was only just coming to a stop; pressing the “at scene” button and grabbing some gloves when my driver side door was pulled open.
“You better f***king hurry up! We have been waiting four minutes and he’s dead! Come with me quick!”
I was used to people panicking – but not used to being pulled towards a scene. I forcefully pulled myself back.
” I will come – I need to grab my equipment”
With that I went to the boot.
“Your taking the p***, my mate is dying and you won’t come in and help him!”
At this, I took a deep breath and headed towards the door.
Once inside I noticed a couple of things immediately – firstly, the smell of alcohol. It hit me. I then noticed a fire escape sign and a notice board – this was no normal residential address; but a half-way house for recent released offenders.
I was led to the living room; where a very large man laid on the floor. The manager of the institution was doing CPR, and was doing it well. As I was on my own, i said to him:
“Can you carry on; your doing a great job, and I need to get some equipment out”
With this, he stopped. Great.
“I can’t, you have to f***ing help him!”
I quickly grabbed my radio “Confirmed Cardiac Arrest, Priority backup required”
With that I put my radio down and took position by the patients head. I started compressions and waited for someone anyone who would come and give me a hand.
I am used to Cardiac Arrests; what made this different was the hostility of everyone around me. At that point I felt it. I felt alone.