Tuesday 29 December 2009

Christmas In Review

Well, my Christmas shifts have come and gone.
Fun they were not, and I have a sneaking suspicion that my division wasn't too dissimalar to Stressed Cop's.

During my Christmas Day shift alone, I did or dealt with the following:

I went to a serious sexual assault, assisted with a short pursuit, was involved in three foot chases, kicked down a door, had a Christmas hug from three Ambulance girls, got involved in a large scale fight resulting in Officers calling for Urgent Assistance, handcuffed my reluctant partner during said fight, went to and chased off a number of gang fights, got kicked out of refs breaks twice, stopped and searched a few ne'er do wells and played thumbsy wars with an Ambulance Crew to decide a course of action for our call...

The thumbsy was probably my favourite moment. Not least because during said thumbsy war, our Section Sergeant arrived in time to witness my defeat at the hands of a five foot three petite Ambulance Girl. And then sigh before walking away from me muttering. I'm sure he misses me on our rest days.

I have to admit to a slight feeling of ennui before arriving at work on Christmas Day. In fact, I was pissed off and dreading it. My previous shameful post, an exercise in feeling sorry for myself, may well have indicated that.

The shift was all I expected and more. It was full of crap from parade onwards. What was great however, was the morale. A shift that none of us wanted to be parading for, understaffed and overworked - but determined to have a laugh. This went also for all the other emergency service and shift workers I met through the shift.

So thank you boys and girls for helping make my Christmas Day actually bearable. Please don't take it personally though when I say that I'd prefer not to spend it with you next year.

Thursday 24 December 2009

Happy Christmas

Well, this may be more of a moan than a proper post. But hey, it's my blog - and you can't say I didn't warn you.
It's also link heavy. Tough.

So Merry Christmas. Here's to another Christmas working, the ninth year in a row that I won't be seeing my family, drinking and catching up with my siblings, laughing with loved ones or opening presents on the day I'm supposed to.

Here's to another 'festive' day of gang fights and alcohol fuelled violence.

Here's to another day of trying to keep chipper whilst waiting to start a ten hour night duty, another day of trying to remain sober and interested with the foreboding presence of the upcoming night shift looming large in my mind.

Here's to yet another day of taking a moment to stand watching the street, desolate apart from happy families going on Christmas walks and couples in love enjoying the cold before heading in to warm up. And another feeling of embarrassment as I smile towards them to show I'm part of their day; before the rush of heat in the head as I realise I'm not part of their day at all, they don't know me, and won't be seeing me unless their Christmas goes badly wrong.

Here's to another day of trying to comfort distraught weeping Burglary victims, and being unable to answer the question "but what about the kid's presents?"

Here's to praying not to have to deal with another RTA that leaves blood on my uniform and a destroyed, bereft family. Here's to the prayer being answered, and not having to knock on an unsuspecting family's door with a heavy thud and a heavier heart.

Here's to another Christmas Eve night by myself with nothing but a bottle with a percentage mark on it for company. Here's to answering cheery phone calls from friends and family and trying to keep the blackness out for the length of the phone call for their benefit.

Here's to another long shift, after a day trying not to think of the coming descent into an uncaring night, with no one but the LAS to wave to. Here's to another end of a Christmas shift, coming home to an empty lonely home and a cold unfriendly bed.

This year I will be thinking again of the men and women that will never have to share another Christmas like this again.
I'll also be thinking of the boys and girls that can't be home for Christmas at all, and the ones that will never be coming home for Christmas.

Merry Christmas readers.

Friday 18 December 2009

Saturday 12 December 2009

Beano Down The Trousers

You'll be happy to know that I was thoroughly put in my place and given a good old-fashioned bollocking recently.

Driving my patrol car about, I'd been searching for a wanted male who was a named suspect on the PNC (Police National Computer). He had returned to his ex partner's house and made off on seeing the Police arrive into a patch of grassy land nearby, desolate apart from the odd burnt out car and used drugs paraphenalia.
I had enthusiastically joined the chase, and in doing so had got a puncture whilst attempting to drive along a gravel driveway.

Our exploits had taken us close to another force area, and knowing their nick was closest I limped the car there to survey the damage.
The tyre had a serious puncture and the car was going nowhere with it in place. So, I used my intiative (a bi-yearly event), borrowed some tools from the neighbouring force's garage hand, and then replaced the tyre with the space saver. After five minutes work, I radioed my Sergeant and told him what I was doing, then I drove the car to Kwik-fit and replaced the orginal tyre.

Sorted, and back on the road in less than an hour.

Oh no. I was then told not to take any calls, and instead to return immediately to my nick. Where I was given a bollocking by a Sergeant for changing the tyre myself. What I should have done was parked the car up at the side of the road, then called out VT to attend. I have done this before. It takes about two hours at least.
And of course, they don't carry tyres either. All they do is replace the puncture with a space saver, then let me drive to Kwik-fit to get the original replaced.

I was bollocked good and proper, and told to think about the consequences if I had injured myself whilst changing the tyre.
The fact that I used Non-Met tools in a Non-Met nick was apparently even worse, and the Sergeant (not from my team incidentally) mentioned that he was considering an action plan for me because of what I had done. I was too shocked to argue, and left the office thoroughly chastened.

It's why stories like this one from Inspector Gadget don't surprise me in the slightest.