Sunday 29 December 2013

A Force To Be Reckoned With

"41 year old male, hit by car, injuries unknown"

The traffic was already at a standstill so it took me a good few minutes to get to the scene of the crash. As I pulled up I could see some colleagues already doing CPR. I did not know it was this bad! I jumped out the car, grabbed some bags and headed over.

"Hello guys, what going on?"

"This guy has been hit by a car, he was unconscious but breathing when we arrived but stopped shortly after. We started CPR and ventilations."

"OK, you OK to carry on CPR?"

"Of course, not a problem."

"What do you want me to do?"

"Can you grab the spinal collars and the suction unit please?"

"Yep, no probs."

I set about attaching the pads to him. He wasn't in a rhythm that can be shocked so we continued working on him, best we could in the circumstances. The rain was absolutely bucketing it down, the three of us soaked through to the skin.

I suctioned his airway which was filling with blood, he wasn't in a good way. I needed to put in an airway but couldn't do it on my own.

"Can you suction here for me?"

"Yep, say when you want me to stop."

"Will do, give me one sec.......OK now."

I pushed the airway into his throat and started ventilating. It was a bubbly initially but air was going in. Unfortunately, the chest wasn't rising properly.

"You got any more gloves on you?! Mine are covered in blood!"

"In my back pocket! Take over CPR will you?!"

"Sure, thanks!"

Once gloved up again I got my cannula roll out and decompressed his chest. I got assistance securing them down and then moved onto the cannula. Amazingly at the next rhythm check we had a very faint pulse. That freed up another pair of hands at least.

"Let's get his legs raised, just use one of those bags. In fact, can you also grab some blankets, try and keep him warm and dry as much as possible. Well done guys, that's great stuff!"

It had only been 10 minutes since I had arrived but it had seemed like an age. Eventually, the ambulance arrived and between the 5 of us we got him onto the bed and rapidly off the to trauma centre. I don't know whether he'll live or not but he'd been given the best possible chance.

That chance came about not because I was there within 8 minutes of him being hit, and not because the ambulance came and we got him to hospital. He has that chance because 2 people had done an incredible job. An incredible job in extremely difficult circumstances. Those two people were police officers. They happened to come across the RTC within minutes of it happening. Not only were they there quickly but they treated him extremely well. They recognised he'd stopped breathing and started CPR early. They didn't have a Bag Valve Mask that we have. They had a micro thin face shield and blew air from their lungs into that of a stranger. They basically kept him alive until I arrived. Once I was there they acted as an ambulance for me. Irrelevant of uniform they did what they had to do to save the life of a member of the public. This is our police force.

This is the same police force facing cuts after cuts. The same police force that has lost tens of thousands of officers. The same police force having their pensions reduced. The same police force who get maligned on a daily basis by all of the gutter press. The same police force who are expected to work in the face of abuse and violence on a daily basis. The same police force we all rely on when the shit hits the fan. The same police force who's morale is at an all time low. 

I for one am fed up of reading the snippets of misinformation reported. We should be proud to have the best police service in the world and I'll be shouting from the rooftops at every given opportunity. We work alongside side them every single day. We rely on them for our safety. We rely on them to investigate crimes. We rely on them to do just about anything to keep the public safe. Well today I relied on them to keep a man alive and they did. We have an amazing police force. Let's not forget that, through all the politically motivated propaganda we are forced to read. 

I wonder of the Daily Mail will report on this. I shall be sending it to them!


  1. Excellent blog as always 😃 Our police colleagues do an amazing job and yet still say to us "i couldn't do what you do!". Well I for one couldn't do what they do.

  2. I'm proud to be police staff in MPS & agree the morale us at an all time low. You're right - best police service in the world.

  3. Here here Ella @martin_papworth

  4. Thanks Ella. (Not that anyone cares, at least anyone important).

  5. Thanks once again Ella (not that anyone cares. At least no one important) ;-)

  6. Thanks Ella. (Not that anyone cares, at least anyone important).

  7. Well said, as ex ambulance staff, I worked every shift alongside police officers and many times I was glad they were there, its not only them in a mess, the ambulance service isn't doing too well either, its a shame, great jobs, but politics just keep getting in the way!!

  8. We may moan about them sometimes but they're the first we call in a crisis! Brilliant thought provoking blog. Ty.

  9. Nice blog, the paramedics do a pretty fine job too.

  10. As a police constable I often wonder "Do the public really know what I do?".. and of course, they have no idea. They have no idea that I spend months working without a dinner break, I'm late off daily without overtime, my days off are constantly ruined by being called in - I'm not able to say no. Its nice to know that some of what I do is recognised. On an almost daily basis I come into contact with the ambulance service, and I have the uppermost respect for them, we are often dealing with the same difficult people, drunk, mental health, aggressive... Its rarely straightforward... the rules and the law never fully fit and jointly we always find a solution... I know that I am often relieved to see paramedics arrive, especially when I am on my own at a car crash, or when I'm lying on some elderly persons floor with an OAP who has collapsed after I have had to break in... and that's why when I hear of a call for assistance from ambulance I'm first to jump into my car and go...

  11. thanks Ella. needs saying more often - though of course it *shouldn't* need to be said.

  12. I have a question.
    ref the rain. When I read that you were getting soaked I had two thoughts on what to do if I was a by stander, could you please comment on them.

    1] Grab an umbrella and hold it at arms length over you guys (to be out your way). centered on the victim. More umbrellas over you guys if more available.

    2] Similar to first but if no umbrella.
    Garbing a jacket or tarp and getting other bystanders to hold the other side / corners and trying to give cover.

    Questions for these.
    a] Would this be acceptable, and what would be the bestway to anounce our intentions.
    b] Who or what is the highest priority to be covered and the descending order.
    c] How close would be getting in your way.

    1. Hi Kasper, from a police pov, I'd say the umbrella idea would be nice - centred over the patient, obviously. Jacket would get too awkward with 2 extra pairs of legs in the way... You could ask if we need anything doing.

  13. From the 'Me & the blog' page: "I am representing any particular ambulance service (I work for 3) or any professional body." You may wish to fix that.

    Otherwise, thanks for the blog, and *huge* thanks for doing what you do.

  14. As an ex "plod" and dad of a serving response officer, bugger the uniform blue light is family.

  15. I retired from the police force 12 years ago but always remember the help we received and gave to the other emergency services. No one other than those who have worked in or alongside emergency services has any real idea what it is like. As a police officer I always prayed that the ambulance were on scene first at any RTA. Not because I was sacred but because I knew they could do a far better job than me, because that what they were trained for. Just the same as I was trained to deal with other incidents. I know that I would have been unable mentally to deal with the work that ambulance crews nurses doctors and fire fighters have to deal with on a regular basis. But the one thing that always struck me about all our fellow workers and some members of the public when needed, everyone would do whatever they could to help the victims and their fellow emergency crews. It always amazed me and still does how human beings can on one hand be so caring for one another but on the other hand so often it is another human being who has caused the pain and grief in the first place that requires the help and hard work of all our emergency responders. Remember without the GOOD GUYS evil will overwhelm us. But as long as we care for each other the GOOD GUYS will always prevail.

  16. I don't normally agree with what you say on here Ella or the way in which you write things but i have to say this is by far the best thing I've read for a long time. Really


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