“I stare at the form in front of me and sigh heavily. I cannot believe I’m having to write these words once again.
‘Reason for report: Assaulted on Duty’
It has come to the point where writing those words is familiar to me. A part of professional life. As familiar as the other duties I carry out.
- Wash my vehicle.
- Restock my vehicle.
- Write those words.
I had only been in Magistrates Court two days previous, giving evidence against another miscreant who had seen fit to use unlawful force against myself.
But why had they done it? What had I said? What offence had I caused them? What crime had I committed that warranted their attacks upon myself?
Had I attacked them? Had I spat at them? Had I punched or kicked them?
No, none of those.
My crime: I answered their call for help. I hauled their intoxicated being off the wet, windswept pavement, and into the back of an ambulance. I afforded them all the dignity which they had cast aside in the bars and clubs, and I treated them with the same non-judgemental and caring attitude that I afford to all who make the call.
I checked their vital signs and basic observations, explaining everything as I went. They didn’t like that. I tried to obtain some history. They didn’t like that. I searched for his ID just so I could find a name. They certainly didn’t like that.
Apparently I was ‘taking the f***** piss’ now and so he aimed, and spat. Then came the fists. And with that I found myself, once more, fighting with a person whom I had only come to help. Fighting to protect myself and fighting to protect my crewmate, hoping that the police for once won’t be struggling for cover tonight and will be at our side quickly as I urgently plead with Dispatch to get us help.
They are, by some divine miracle, soon at our defence and with the offender/patient safely on their way to a less comfortable bed behind a locked door I am free to update Dispatch. They as if we are ok and send us back to Station. I know what comes next. Those words. On that form.
Every time this happens I find myself questioning my own actions, looking for a moment in our encounter where I may have triggered such a response from my patient. I never find any, yet I still question. Maybe I simply cannot fathom that someone would show such disrespect to those whose only job is to help?
Occasionally I am injured and seek treatment for myself. Those injuries heal but the anxiety doesn’t. I never know who is going to be like this and I find myself dreading every similar call. I don’t like that.
They don’t realise that the consequences of what they have done are much more broad than a criminal charge for them or the injuries to myself.
Each time this happens we get taken out of service and sent back to station to complete our reports etc.
This means one ambulance less to provide care to those we need us. And one ambulance less means increased pressure on the other crews, at a time when pressure is already high. That one ambulance less could mean an hour extra wait for the elderly lady on the floor. That one ambulance less could mean that there is nobody available to respond to the cardiac arrest that has just come in. One ambulance less could mean one family now without a father, mother, son or daughter. Just one ambulance less.
This is what bothers me the most. I’m not bothered about whether the Crown Prosecution Service decides to charge the offender. I’m not bothered if they walk out of court with a ‘slap on the wrist’. I’m used to being let down by them anyway. I’m bothered by the one ambulance less.
You can all help keep that ambulance on the road and responding. –
- Think before you drink.
- Treat us the way we treat you: with dignity and respect.
- Remember we are here to help.
- Call only in an emergency. Help us to help you.”
We are not going to stop reporting on the disgusting and vile attacks which are inflicted upon our emergency services colleagues. We won’t stop, until the assaults stop.
NO member of the emergency services or NHS, should be made to feel anxious about attending a call, or looking after a patient, because they are worried about being assaulted.
Every single Admin of Emergency Services Humour has served in one of the emergency services. We don’t just report on the assaults, we have witnessed and experienced them ourselves.
There is a Bill (Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill 2017-19) that is currently making its way through parliament, that seems set to make a specific offence of assaulting a member of the emergency services. And it has our FULL support.
The fact that we seem to have arrived at a stage whereby assaults on our emergency services colleagues seem to be becoming the ‘norm’ is a sad, sad reflection of the society that we currently find ourselves in.
And we write about this subject, as a Police colleague currently fights for their life in a coma, having been one of the first responders to the nerve agent attack on the two Russian nationals in Wiltshire.
We MUST do more to look after the legions of brave men and women in the emergency services. We, as a society, MUST condemn ANY attack, whether verbal or physical, on our emergency services.
We won’t stop, until the assaults stop.
Comment written by one of the many admins of Emergency Services Humour, who is also a regular contributor to our popular satirical fortnightly newsletter that is emailed straight to your inbox.