Ghost in the system

We were sat outside a busy Emergency Department on a cold winter night. It was closer to around three in the morning and we had nearly four hours to go. The emergency care assistant had just got in the attendants seat with our coffees when the MDT flashed to life.

CAT 3 – Concern for Welfare

I turned the key in the ignition and we set off towards the address we were given. On the way we were chatting about various things and then came onto guessing what this could be:

Me: “I think this will be the classic job where we turn up, let ourselves in and find the patient asleep in bed”

I was referring to the types of jobs I hate. You enter the property searching room to room. Enter the patients bedroom and find them fast asleep. The tension of the unknown is unbearable – as is the jump scare you get when the patient wakes up. Usually, they are confused as to why your there and explain that it was their medi-alert bracelet that has been pressed accidentally. Ultimately, you end up checking they are ok and leaving.

ECA: “ I reckon this will be a simple fall”

We were both wrong.

The property we were attending was above a boarded up shop. We grabbed our kit and headed towards the front door. We both took torches as it was down a dark alley to the side of the shop. The torch light casting eerie shadows as we approached.

Bang. Bang. Bang. We hammered on the door, hoping someone would answer and my theory would be proven. No answer.

“BG1 to control”

Go ahead”

“No contact made, can you send fire to assist?”

With fire on the way my ECA tried the door. It was an old door with an old lock, it gave a little just turning the handle.

We called control back to advise that we thought we could gain entry by breaking the door. Control said they had no contact so as it was a call from the flat, confirmed by the care company we could gain entry.

In order to make a call using the care alarm system. Usually, you would either pull a cable or press a button. It took a physical action.

Bang. Bang. Crash. The door flew open.

We shone our torches in. A murky hallway came into light. The hallway was bare of any decoration and piles of post and takeaway menus were on the floor under our feet as we walked in. The doors in front and to our sides were closed.

One by one we opened the doors and shone our torches. All of the lights were either broken or there was no electricity. Each room we went into was empty. Bare. There was no furniture.

From the other room the ECA called me. “No one lives here! False alarm!”

That’s weird I thought. I turned to leave, and that’s when I saw it. The red alarm cable was swinging. It had been pulled.

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