Thursday, 11 March 2010

Excuses, excuses

Chronic insomnia is not an excuse for stupidity, but I'm going to try to use it anyway.
It's been a long, busy night. At 0500, you are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and are just getting hit by that end-of-night-shift-itis.
The patients, just for a change, have all, every single one of them, been in genuine need of an ambulance. You have treated some, stabilised some, resuscitated others, even transported them or travelled with them.
You've finally got back to base, and debate the pros of a cup of coffee in keeping you awake just until the end of the shift, and the cons of same-said coffee stopping you from sleeping when you finally get home.
The decision is made for you by the phone pinging its SMS Morse code sound, frighteningly similar to that of the SOS. The coffee will have to wait. The police have called for you this time, for an RTC. Possible arm injury. That's all the details you have, other than a general location.
As you approach the scene, there are several police cars with their lights illuminating the surroundings, the staccato of their lights reflecting off the buildings.
You park up behind the police cars, and walk to the front of the line, assuming that there might be a pedestrian on the ground in front of them with the arm at a funny angle. No one is there. Not even a police officer.
You look around, and see a couple of other cars a bit further up, but both seem to be parked rather than crashed. No sign of anything. You are confused. You are about to get on the radio and ask control to speak to the police and find out exactly where they, and the patient, are hiding.
And then you stop looking around, and for the first time in the 30 seconds (yes, all this in less than half a minute) since you arrived, you see it. The officers are on the other side of the road, by the block of flats.
The patient is standing talking to the officers. You guess he's the patient as he's standing there rubbing what must be a sore shoulder, and trying to move his arm. There is however, no car. There's a good reason for that too.
The RTC involved a truck.
A big truck.
One of those with 12 sets of wheels, 4 axles, 36 gears type of truck. Don't pick on me about the numbers - I've just made 'em up. Just take if from me, it was one of those huge delivery trucks, the ones you don't mess with on the roads, whether or not you have blue lights on the roof.
And it was parked in the side wall of the apartment block.
Rudely awakening the occupants of the ground floor flat as it appeared in their bedroom uninvited.
Chronic insomnia is not an excuse for stupidity, but if it was, it'd be the best excuse in the world!

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