Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Ambos and Tea Spots


I was at a regular tea spot haunt the other night, having a quick drink and something greasy and unhealthy to eat. Most night shift workers will know the place - it's where Police Officers (often from different forces and areas), Ambulance Crews, RAC and AA Crews, Truck Drivers, and Cabbies all end up socialising as they wait for their sausage inna bun.

Whilst chatting to a couple of ambo boys, they told me a story that made me laugh out loud, but made my partner, Tom, recoil in horror and look at me funny. In retrospect it's probably both funny and horrific.
So I thought I'd pass it on.

Both of the ambo lads were paramedics, who usually work on the solo fast response cars.
One night shift in the very early hours of the morning, they had parked up by the river next to each other for a chat and a cup of tea, whilst waiting for the calls that never came.

Of course, warm drink, heaters on, both of them fell asleep.

As one of them described it "The next thing I know, a pissed wailing banshee is hammering on my window and screaming at me."
A very drunk female woke them both up, shouting that a man was hanging himself.

In front of them.

Surely enough, that was what had happened. Whilst the ambo crews had slept, a depressed and also very drunk young man had walked up, tied a rope off a post, and lowered himself on to it. The drunk lady had noticed from a distance and ran to the paramedics.

As the crews described it, they literally woke up in time to see the man drop in front of them. Makes waking up to an alarm clock suddenly seem so much more bearable.

Both paramedics obviously leapt out and dealt with it, and the male was taken to hospital, no serious injuries at all.

Now, obviously if the man had succeeded it would have been a tradgedy. But what made me giggle was the panic the ambos must have felt on A)waking up from an illicit sleep, B)having a screaming banshee hammering on their windows, and C)seeing a man with a noose around his neck lower himself in front of their still bleary eyes.

One of the paramedics told me later that as he was cutting the man down and working on him, the whole time he kept imagining waking up in the hazy dawn light with a corpse hanging in front of two fully marked ambulances.
Apparently they haven't had any more illicit snoozes in public places since then...

27 comments:

seasprite69 said...

Superb; made me laugh! I can just picture it.

Chris said...

I too am in the "that's funny" camp. How daft must the guy who hung himself be to do it directly in front of 2 ambulance vehicles (I doubt he knew they were asleep!)

Louise said...

Illict sleeping? Ambo crews? I don't believe a word of it!! I've just come off 4 12 hour nights and didn't sleep a wink............ meant I could see the pig flying by the window.

nooffencesdisclosed said...

I'll set up my stall in the 'that's funny camp'. Cheers for that!

Metcountymounty said...

I laughed. I've only thankfully succumbed to the illicit sleep once, although that's not to say I've grabbed a couple of minutes shut eye whilst oppo on route to a call or as a spare hand in the back of the van!!

Thomas said...

Definitely funny.

But only because the guy wasn't injured.

I have to say, it sounds like a cry for help rather than a serious attempt at suicide, doing it in front of two ambulances.... the irony that it could have gone so differently isn't lost on me.

Anonymous said...

One very cold February night my so called colleague told me that, as a probationer, I had to do a certain amount of foot patrol so he kicked me out of the car and drove off laughing. A couple of hours later, I was trudging through a heavy fall of snow when I chanced upon a car parked in a side street covetred in snow. Nothing strange in that you may say except that this had a little bulge on the roof, about the size and shape of a blue light. Using a nearby phone box (pre mobile phones you see) I arranged for a couple of other colleagues to park their cars directly in front of, and behind, the Police car. Once this was done, I requested immediate assistance by the local beat car (the one under the snow). When he woke up, realised what had happened with the weather, got out to clear the snow from the car and found himself blocked in it tested his ingenuity in explaining why he couldn't attend as requested. It was when he called up asking for two PNC checks (the cars blocking him in) and received the replies that he went ballistic! The video playback on the station TV set was a joy to behold - oh for something like Youtube in those days.
Plodnomore

XTP said...

Deffo funny! I have a couple of sleep stories. I'll put then on when I get a mo.

Anonymous said...

great stuff, I love your blogs, so personal and well written.
Made me laugh too, how fortunate for both the paramedics and the hangng man (or not depending on his circumstances!)

Anonymous said...

Sossageinnabun? T Pratchett I think!


Falling asleep on the job? Yes I have, apparently my snoring was awful.

Tony F

PCSO Bloggs said...

That memory will surely stay with them for ever.

thoughts running through my head.... said...

haha,I know where you mean-I even get down there sometimes!

dickiebo said...

We found that the only way we could guarantee not falling asleep was to play cards, so....I'm quite good at cards!!

Wendy said...

I'm laughing out loud and can't tell my small child why!

quixote said...

Did they ever thank the banshee? Can you imagine the headlines if she hadn't been there?

kingmagic said...

Some years ago a regular client of ours called us yet again saying that he was going to kill himself.

All the local area crews knew him...had all been out to him several times each over the years...he had a massive file on him at A/E.

He said he was going to hang himself. And so control despatched a crew...but all the local crews were busy so an out of area crew were sent...who did not know him...and did not know the exact address location.

So when the ambulance turned down the regulars street, on seeing the vehicle from behind his curtains he jumped up onto a chair and put a noose round his neck knowing full well that the crew would be at his side in seconds.

Only the crew drove on by as they could not locate the correct house number!

After a couple of three point turns in the street they found the right address and walked in on our regular dangling and still kicking from the ceiling!

He survived but never did that trick again! He even had the gall to try and put in a complaint about the response time!!!

Anonymous said...

A regular up this way was once told "just p*** off, stop pretending and go jump off the bridge". the bridge in question spans a very large river and was once the longest suspension bridge in the world. A few days later the crew got a call to a "male in the river". On arriving they found a man in the river. But not the river that the large suspension bridge crosses. Oh no, this muppet had jumped off a bridge fording a small river in the city. And the tide was out. And he was up to his knees in mud, waving at the crew, trumpton and all the local bystanders.

Bobbi said...

Very good! Jerk awake to screaming banshee, see what looks like a corpse hanging directly in front of you, run out and rescue the actually still alive corpse, get to AnE, have nervous breakdown, be asked why you've spent longer than 10 minutes handing your patient over. Continue nervous breakdown.

Hmmm. Clever lad-I think he might have wondered why the paramedics had their eyes closed and oddly blank looks on their faces...

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