Wednesday 28 March 2012

That's a Wrap

"26 year old male, stabbed in the stomach"

When you first come out on the road, it's quite daunting working with lots of different people; people with different experiences, different personalities, different genders, different ages, different attitudes and different ways of doing things. I've probably worked with at least 300 different people over a 4 year period, most have been great, some haven't been, but on the whole it's been good. 12 hours is a long time to spend with someone in a confined, high stress environment and getting on makes it a whole lot easier. As I've said before, working the relief rota is tough. You don't know who you will be working with, your shift patterns and shift times change daily and you could be working anywhere. The long term goal of all staff is to be given a permanent line on a rota with a permanent crew mate. Sadly, I am not there yet and probably have a number of years until I am, but in the meantime there are occasional opportunities to ghost a line. For the best part of a year that is what I've been doing. 

Due to the fact that you are with that person day in day out, 12 hours a day & up to 5 times a week you have to be able to get on. You spend more time with them than your friends and family. As such, as much as I get on with near enough everyone I work with, there are not many I would be happy to work with all the time. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with one of the few and what a blast it has been. It has by far been the best months of my career; not just because I was at my local station, on a regular pattern, with plenty of weekends off and fewer nights; but because I had such a good time doing it. I learned a lot from him and take a lot away from the experience. Obviously I had to put up with his verbal abuse and constant stream of insults, but that's him! What he also did was get me blogging. It was his idea. Maybe he suggested it in the hope that I'd moan somewhere else! Well that didn't happen! We work in a very similar way, we have the same ethos and the same views on health care. A large proportion of my posts have been inspired by his rants so it'll be interesting to see if the tone changes after we are finished! We often moan about the stuff we go to. The 'good jobs' seemed very few and far between yet the LOB seemed to be constant. It seemed to be a running theme!

After months of laughs, good music, crap food and smutty jokes, the dream team drew to a close. @diagnosisLOB & @secondonscene were no more! We have shared a lot together and as a crew have been in some pretty hairy situations. Coming into work knowing that I can rely on him to have my back in the face of violence and abuse is comforting. I trust him implicitly and that makes the rest of the job easy. Although he was the paramedic, all decisions were discussed as a crew. He respected my opinion as I did his. There was no rank pulling or worry about the level of patient care being given. The most important thing with a crew mate is having someone who is not going to lose you your job. That's what it comes down to. That is a security you don't have as a relief.

We arrived at work for our last shift together in what was a rather sombre affair. We are not the types to cry and hug, but we both knew there would not be as many laughs in the months to come. We managed to get a vehicle with a CD player and off we went. It was  a hugely uneventful shift, the dream of a traumatic cardiac arrest to sign off on was fading fast. We managed our statutory McDonalds dinner at about midnight and then the dross continued. We finished up at hospital, cleared down the back of the truck and started heading back to station. We were reminiscing about the good times, the bad times and some of the utter crap we had been to. We debated what had been the best job, the worst job and the best shift. There were a lot, but what sticks in my mind was a job from a previous blog 'She's Gonna Blow'. We still laugh about it 6 months on! Half way through our nostalgic 'remember when' conversation the radio went off.

"General Broadcast, all units, ambulance required for 26 year old male, stabbed once in stomach, please press green mobile or priority to assist"

We had finished work but no discussion was needed. We were 1/2 mile away from the job, we would be the first there, HEMS were on route, as were police, this was our time to shine. This was the one we wanted.

"Red base, we'll take that, we are just round the corner"

Details were given, stab vests donned and we headed round. We were first on scene, shortly followed by an officer and 3 police cars. We knocked on the door. No answer. We knocked again. No answer. On the third knock the door opened. An angry looking middle aged woman was stood in her dressing gown. Clearly the address was wrong. We made our apologies and scuttled off. We called in for a location update. As we did the HEMS car arrived, as did 3 more police cars and another ambulance. They were all on another job; a bottling further up the high street. A bit of investigation from the police showed it was the same phone number that had called them in. They got an updated address further up the road so the 5 police cars, the HEMS car, the officer and the 2 ambulances drove to the new location. The house was in darkness; again there was no answer. This was just another Saturday night hoax. The caller was probably watching us all chasing our tales and laughing. We had to laugh! Not because a hoax is funny but it summed up our time together. We got back in the truck and let Frank Sinatra's That's Life blare out one last time. We sat and listened as we drove back to station enjoying the moment. That was our theme song and its sentiment is mirrored in our outlook on the job. 

We put our crap in our lockers, signed all the drugs back in and signed out. We touched fists and walked to our cars. He turned to me and said:

"It's been emotional"

And it has been. Without wanting to give him a big head, I've enjoyed every minute we've been together and I will miss working with him. This is the point he'd normally look me up and down, snarl slightly and call me pathetic! That's a wrap! 


  1. You had me worried there - I thought you were giving up blogging!

  2. Awe man, awesome blog. @marksonofwil

  3. I know how ya feel..When I left my crewmate of 5 years to go onto the car I was gutted...


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