Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Festive Tears

Today I was working as part of a double crew with a female Paramedic, well our day started out well, we had just finished out our tea and coffee and the phone went … it was the Dispatcher asking for us to go out and stand-by at a tactical deployment point (TDP). Now TDPs are designed to allow us to reach areas within a specific time scale, which, because of the distance from the station we would not normally be able to achieve if an emergency call were to come in.

So we arrive at the TDP and settle down, turning on the TV in the room and watching some daytime TV. The mobile rings and we are allocated onto an emergency call for a patient with chest pains, off we go, lights and sirens going. We arrive and handle the patient, carrying out a 12-lead ECG and making the patient more comfortable before heading into Accident and Emergency.

After clearing we are sent back to station, where we re-stock the equipment and drugs used and settle down to chat to some colleagues, the emergency phone rings again and we are off, this time for an elderly female who has fallen in the house. Upon our arrival we find the house secured and hunt to see if we can gain access to the property but to no avail. Just as we are about to request the Police arrive to assist in gaining entry a neighbour tells us that the patient has a key safe, which contains a spare front door key, we find the safe, get the code number from the patient (after shouting through the letter box again) and make our entry into the house. We are met by an elderly female, who is stuck on the floor with no obvious injuries, we check her for any pain / injury etc but after giving her a quick head to toe we assist her into a chair. We settle the lady down and make sure that she is happy to stay at home until her home help arrives and after getting the necessary paperwork completed we bid goodbye to the woman and return to our vehicle. We advise the EMDC that we are clear and they tell us to return for our lunch break (11am).

After our break we are allocated onto another emergency call and whilst en route the Dispatcher advises that this call is possibly for a child in cardiac arrest, we arrive within 3 minutes of the call being allocated to us and hear screams coming from the house that tells us this is not just a child who is fitting or has been holding their breath.

We are met by a distraught neighbour who tells us that her mum is a nurse in a Glasgow A&E department and that she is in the house with the mother and child, we walk in with all our equipment to be met by a hysterical female who is begging us to help her child, the child who is lying on the sofa, still and doll like, the neighbour’s mother is looking at us willing us to do something and we do, we take over from her, check the child and discover that this 2 year old boy is lifeless, not breathing and has unfortunately been dead for some time.

This is the worst part of the job, telling a relative that there is nothing we can do for their loved one. It is especially hard when it is a child who has died, now this is only my second death of a child and the last one was still viable; unfortunately this was not the case in this call.

Our focus of patient care moved from the child to the mother, the mother who is screaming and sobbing and begging for us to help, we comfort her and tell her that we unfortunately cannot help her child. My colleague is consoling the mother and I make my way to the vehicle to set in motion all the necessary support mechanisms (Police attendance, Family Doctor etc). The Police arrive soon after us and start with their procedures, by this stage the Gran and Great Gran-mother arrive and I meet them in the hallway of the house and break the news that they are not wanting to hear, they go and comfort their daughter / grand daughter.

My colleague and I console and comfort the three women, whilst maintaining a professional image, even although we both want to walk away and cry.

Some time passes and because of the nature of the call, we agree with the Police to transport the mother and deceased child to hospital (this is not normal but because the mother was not wanting to be separated from her child we gained authorisation from the Duty Manager in the EMDC). Upon our arrival a Doctor and Nurse met us at the doors to the Accident and Emergency unit and take the mother, deceased child and gran as a group to a relative room to allow them some time to come to terms with what is happening. We hand over the care of this group to the staff and went to our vehicle to sit and review what had just occurred over the last 90 minutes. We were comforted by two of our colleagues, who spoke to us in the vehicle and when we were returned to the station we were booked out of the system for a stress break. This is when it really hit us, my colleague and I went our separate ways and broke down, the release of emotion was overwhelming it turned us both into walking crying wrecks, we were consoled by our colleagues and station manager and given time to reflect and discuss the call.

I am sitting here, some 9hrs on still numb but I know that I will, over the next few days, cry whilst thinking about the call… I cannot imagine how the family are feeling just now and I don’t know that I would want to feel the emotions that they are experiencing.

All I can hope is that they know that we did everything we could for them. Unfortunately I know it was not enough.

God bless.



Well as you will know if you have read my blog, I am not a big fan of exams and I have recently completed my finals for my Technician qualification. So I can now put the prospect of exams to the back of my mind.... NO instead I decide to put myself through the stress of the Paramedic Pre Entry exams. Now these are two papers, one multiple choice (MCQ) and the other consisted of 5 short written answers, now these sound simple but they are in fact 5 questions with 2 or 3 sub questions in each and you have to answer all the questions within 2 hours.

I finish the MCQ with 30 minutes to spare and decide that I should not read over my answers but just submit and leave, then after 90 minutes in the short written I am once again finished and decide that I have done as much as I can. I wait for my colleagues who were also sitting the exams and chat then head away home thinking "Oh well if I fail I can sit it again in the future".

Now I get on station today for a day shift 7-7 and find a letter in my pigeon-hole telling me that I have in fact actually passed and that the next stage of the process will be in January and will involve me participating in practical assessments... so wish me well and keep your fingers crossed in January!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Festive Time

Well I have been given my shifts for the next two weeks and I am working night shift over Christmas and New Year, I do not mind working Christmas as I have no children and Kal is going North to his folks over the festive period so I will get time to spend Christmas with my folks (briefly between my nights) and then I am driving up to meet him at his parents. We are both then working New Year, Kal is volunteering with the British Red Cross at the Edinburgh Hogmanay street party whilst I am working 7-7 nights at my station so it will make for a logistic challenge to meet up.... (hint hint Kal).

I am looking forward to the shifts, yes I know this sounds strange, but the staff that are on will be fun to work with and as you can imagine it will be busy, but when you have a good bunch of people to work with it makes it slightly easier.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I've read your blog!

That was what I heard when I answered the phone the other evening at the station. I was working nights and the phone rang, my colleague answered it and said it was for me.

I took the phone and I was told by one of the EMDC Dispatchers "I have been reading your blog for the last 3 days, thanks for making it so interesting" Well I didn't know what to say, but thanks to the EMDC Dispatcher for being honest, I hope that you enjoy it and will continue to enjoy it, but you shouldn't sit still for that long, you might get a DVT!


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Nollaig chridheil huibh

Well it it getting close to that time of year, therefore I thought I would wish each and everyone "Nollaig chridheil huibh", "Nadolig Llawen", "een plesierige kerfees" or in plan simple terms......

Merry Christmas

I hope that you have a good one and a peaceful New Year.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Weekend Overtime

Well I was meant to be off over the weekend, but with nothing much planned and Kal being busy I decided to accept the offer of some extra shifts working with the SORT (Special Operations Response) Team. I roll into their base at 1855hrs on Friday night all flustered and flapping as I had been out Christmas shopping and then went to the cinema to see the new Harry Potter (Very very good). I am met by my colleague who looked slightly less stressed, but had spent nearly 90 minutes trying to get into work as well so we were both in a good mood...not, anyway I was made a coffee by one of the "Decontamination Operatives" and chilled out whilst checking the "Dog Van" (That's the name given to their small rapid response van which looks just like the police dog vehicles) equipment and booking on with the Dispatcher. We were chilling out watching some TV after checking the kit with PS who was my "Driver and Runner" for the evening (well until midnight when he then went on call) and discussing how I like to operate at calls etc when the phone rang and we were off, speeding our way down one of the main streets to a patient with chest pain. We arrived about 5 minutes after the call and a double-crewed Ambulance arrived at the same time, so we checked with them if they were happy to attend themselves and cleared.

Back at the station we settled down again to the TV and 15 minutes after our second coffee we were asked by my other colleague to deliver some new information to the EMDC and Divisional HQ for specific managers, so off we went again. We delivered the information and letters and collected some other equipment from the station around the corner and headed back to our base for our meal break (take away Chinese buffet! yum yum), having just finished the phone went again for a patient who was having a diabetic hypo in the street, when we arrived the patient was fitting and had an un-recordable blood sugar level, PS and myself started treating him and he was given a Glucagon injection to raise his blood sugars, although the first one did not raise the level enough so a second one was given. The patient started to respond to this one just as the crew arrived to back us up and he was handed over to their care.

Back at base again and 35 minutes before PS was due to finish the phone went again, this time for a 17 yr old who had "? drink spiked" off we went, lights flashing, arriving 6 minutes later we are met by a frantic mother, calm / stern looking father and a very sheepish 17 yr old sitting on the toilet seat after decorating the bathroom with vomit! The crew arrived 2 minutes after us and they took over the care of the patient and once again we were clear and started heading back to drop off PS for his finish time.

I was now a single crewed RRU and on a Friday night I expected to be busy.... and I was not wrong, getting sent and stood down to numerous calls, picking up drunks, holding hands of elderly and at one stage being driven by a very helpful police constable to the A&E department with a patient in the back seats of the "Dog van" because of the lack of ambulances and number of outstanding calls. After about my 4th call I was up at the EMDC having a well needed coffee and chat with some old EMDC colleagues, sitting in the EMDC made me realise that I did not miss that aspect of my career, but the people who work hard in the department.

Several calls later I eventually get the RTB (Return to Base) message from my Dispatcher that night and head back, fuelling the vehicle en route. At 7am I walk out the door and think to myself "MMMMM bed".... then I remember that I am still on call for the team until Sunday night at 7pm when I commence my next SORT shift.

Sunday night and I go in early to get fitted for some new equipment which is being issued to all operational staff, I have my coffee after the test (you are exposed to the same tastes as that of the stuff you put on your nails to stop biting them!) and head out, via the shop to the EMDC as it was my turn to take the biscuits up when I was dropping of mail. I meet my Dispatcher, who is relatively new to me, we chat and I explain that I hate sitting doing nothing, so I would be happy to attend anything that she needs help with, prior to me arriving in the EMDC she had sent me to a patient who had been assaulted and turned out to be a minor injury, therefore allowing the EMDC to down-grade the response of the ambulance to a "COLD" (not using lights and sirens) emergency call.

After coffee again, I am off to a 4 month with a non - blanching rash who is floppy, a male who does not know where he is except in the middle of Holyrood Park (A very large area, taking me 20 minutes driving around to discover nothing), I get back to the EMDC and he calls again, this time with better information and I eventually find him, once again no ambulances available so off we go with the "Dog van" to the A&E. I also get the chance that night to respond to a patient fitting in an area covered by Community First Responders, who I had previously been involved with their training, it was good to see the scheme in action and working so well. I was returned to the EMDC to give cover to that side of the town, as the resources for that side of the city were all dedicated, so I was it, at 0545hrs I head back to base, once again re-fuelling en route and topping up my caffeine levels once back at base.

7am Monday morning and our relief crew walk in, we chat and this time I think..."BED all mine and NO PAGER!!!"

Thursday, December 01, 2005

29B05 Traffic / Transportation Accident - Unknown Status

Well it was a fairly usual mid-week night shift; we had just cleared from a call and were heading back to station via the BP to fuel up. As we turned onto the final straight back to the station the radio sprang into action with its "do do doop" noise and there it was "Outside Jet Garage, Main Street... MY VILLAGE!!" My colleague asked what it was and I told him, so lights on and off we went. Further "Do do doops" tell us that the call that we are attending is a two car accident with the Police en route and then the radio starts ringing (indicating that the EMDC Dispatcher wants to speak with us... He tells us that they are being told that the car has rolled and that there are reports of persons trapped and requested an update ASAP... I advised that we would be on scene within the next 30 seconds and would update as soon as.

With this we swing around the corner and see a warning triangle in the middle of the road and beyond in the glow of the garage lights a car on its roof with other cars scattered around and people milling about. As we slow through the cones that were places to protect the scene (Thanks to the Jet garage for their supply!) We are flagged by a bystander who updates that everyone is out and have been taken into the garage. I jump out and my colleague goes to check the car for damage etc.

As I enter the garage I am met by what can only be described as a blood bath... which is coming from one of the 4 occupants of the car, there is blood pouring from his left arm and his hysterical girlfriend is waving her bleeding hand around. I update the EMDC Dispatcher and request a second vehicle. I got the two most seriously bleeding patients into the ambulance so I could check them out properly.

The lad had multiple lacerations to his left arm, which turned out to be the side that had came into contact with the road for the period of time the car had slid along. There was lots of glass fragments in his arm and hair, this was cleaned to the best of our ability. My colleague treated his girlfriend and she was complaining of neck pains, because of this we treated her as a possible spinal injury and she was placed on a rigid spinal board and a collar applied with head support blocks.

By this time the second ambulance had arrived and they began dealing with the other two patients (who had minor injuries) and one of the crew popped his head into our vehicle to see if we needed further help, his offer was declined and we started to get ready to leave.

Because of the nature of the incident, we could not take any of the patients to the local A&E and had to travel to the larger A&E centre in Edinburgh. We arrived there 22 minutes later and both patients were taken into the Immediate Care section of the department and handed over to the nursing staff. We then had the task of cleaning the vehicle, which to anyone passing would resemble a butchers shop with the amount of blood on the floor, walls and seats. 30 minutes later and a nice clean ambulance we were ready for another call... We got one; it was a voice call from the EMDC Dispatcher offering us our meal break.

Friday, November 18, 2005

What pattern is your Brain?

Well I picked this one, not sure if it is really me, I am sure friends will let me know if it is not true!

Your Brain's Pattern

Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.
You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.
You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.
You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


This is the Code that came through on Sunday afternoon. This was followed by a message "Two children hit by a car" so we were off, blue lights flashing and sirens wailing through the sleepy country roads filled with the drivers who for the first time this month check their mirrors as we come barrelling up behind them looking like what can only be described as "A Christmas tree on wheels"

As we arrive we see a car half up on the pavement outside a local shop, with a crowd of people standing about doing the usual shuffling from foot to foot. I get out the vehicle and grab the response bag and oxygen whilst my colleague informs the EMDC (Control room) that we are on scene. I quickly look around for the two children, but seeing nothing I look up and a member of staff speaks to me saying that the two children are in the back of the shop. Picking my way through the shop with my colleague following we arrive in the store area and are greeted with two snot/tear faced 6 year old children being comforted. The little boy's mother is there, unfortunately she is deaf and this makes it more difficult to communicate with her, but we manage eventually. The little girl is the niece of the mother and she is more upset and is being comforted by the boy's mother. I start to examine them and find that they have superficial injuries, the little girl has an abrasion on her back and an egg forming on the back of her head, but she is fully conscious and eventually chatting away after we dry the tears etc. Her little friend also has an abrasion to his back and a smaller one on his ankle, like his friend he is chatty and happy to give me all the information I need. A second crew arrive just as I have finished checking the children and they check the driver, who is shaken, but un-injured and does not wish to travel to hospital.

Both the children reel off their full names, home addresses and telephone numbers when asked. I eventually find out that they were crossing the road at the pedestrian crossing, but the button was faulty and therefore failed to active the light sequence, they carefully walked across the road hand in hand to go and buy some sweets (candy).... unfortunately they had not anticipated that the car coming down the road through the green light may actually hit them before they are safe across the road. The car clipped them both, even although the driver had attempted to try and avoid hitting them when he saw them and they were knocked to the pavement like skittles apparently still holding each others hands.

We transported them and the mother of the boy to the local hospital with the father following in his car. They were handed over to the care of the nursing and medical staff at the hospital to get checked out and were discharged shortly afterwards, sore but overall well.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Going Woo Woo, Nee Naw...........

I have just had the pleasure and privilege of attending only the 3rd session on Driving under Police Escort. Now in the Service you are trained to drive an Ambulance at high speed, safely and with consideration to your colleague, patient and other road users, but the one thing that is not covered is driving under escort. The Training Team working with the Police Traffic Unit and arranging a joint training day has now rectified this within my Division.

Basically we arrived at the Traffic Unit at Police HQ and were made welcome with coffee and scones and then we were introduced to the team and shown some presentational material and a training video. We were then split into groups and were taking through the practical aspects of driving at high speed. We looked at working with both Traffic Cars and Bikes and saw the difference between them. Travelling at high speed with blue lights and sirens is not all fun and games, there is a very serious side to it, which, if you make the wrong judgement not just you could suffer...

It was still good to see how well the Traffic Unit handled their vehicles at high speed and WOW those cars and bikes can really move when they need to... who needs a face life when you have traffic cars!!!

First Aid Camp

I have recently returned from a first aid camp, this was the first one I had organised and I have to say to all those involved, especially the Scottish Casualties Network a very very big thank you!

The camp started on Friday evening at 1900hrs and by 2030hrs everyone had arrived and the introductions were over so it was onto business.... we ran some small scenarios which were 4 patients all with the same injuries who had a team of first aiders responding to them and dealing with what they found. The teams were a mix of newly trained first aiders to people who had been doing first aid for many years. The evening flew in and it was time for the children to retreat to their dorms and allow the adults to relax and get to know each other better over a small drink :)

0715hrs on Saturday morning and Kal, A (from SCN) and myself were in the kitchen starting breakfast (well I didn't do much cooking.... but I was there to supervise). Breakfast was well received by everyone, the bacon was cooked, the eggs were scrambled and the sausages were sizzling (to which Dillon the search dog was sniffing out). The second day of camp was mixed between lectures and scenarios, to which everyone seemed to respond with a positive outlook. After lunch it was back outside to do more work, new teams with different skill mixes, radios were introduced and triage of patients was expected to be done on the patients they were now treating. The evening meal came around quickly and people who had been first aiders were given the chance to become casualties for the next scenario, after this finished the children were sent to their dorms again to relax and prepare for bed. At 2355hrs the adults were setting up for another scenario, which was going to stretch their skills to the limit....

The scenario was ready and at 0005hrs on Sunday morning the team were called to respond to a "Safe house" which had been raided and the occupants were beaten, tied up and left for dead. There was no lights, it was unsure if there were traps set to explode, after it was found to be safe, and working with torch light only we (the team of 8) were sent into a small 10" by 10" room to triage, treat, transport and deliver further care to the hostages. The scenario went on for an hour, with all the patients removed and treated successfully, with limited equipment, poor lighting and a massive emotional pressure to deal with everyone in a compassionate and caring manner. At 0130hrs everyone was exhausted, but high on adrenaline and after a well-deserved drink we all retreated to our dorms.

Sunday morning came too quickly for some and it was back to the three of us in the kitchen preparing another cooked breakfast, feeding the 20 people who were at the camp, and it was time to start the scenarios again, these passed quickly and it was time to pack up, clean up and go home.

Having spoken with a few people who attended the camp on Monday and Tuesday it was apparent that they enjoyed the camp, but felt mentally and physically exhausted....... I was glad it was not just me getting old!

Oh well not long till the next one :)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Life changing

Well I spoke to one of the nurses who looked after my patient with the head injury and it turns out that he will probably be left with permanent brain damage and speech problems and he is being transferred to a brain injuries unit for rehabilitation. It is such a shame that someone who goes out for a few drinks ends up having his life changed so dramatically.

A nice night for a spin

Well sitting in my Ambulance outside A&E after clearing from depositing our first patient of the evening (a female who had 3 seizures in a corner shop) I was on the phone to Kal and my colleague was using the facilities when our next call came in and it was to one of the two motorways in our area, albeit not the first one you would imagine we would be going to. So my colleague quickly hurries back to the vehicle and we start on our journey, now the heavens had decided it was a good time to release all the rain that was stored at once last night, therefore causing localised flooding on some of the roads and some patches of large puddles on the motorways. Now we are updated by the Dispatcher that we are backing up the Rapid Response Unit from the neighbouring area so as we turn onto the motorway we see the RRU just in front of us, accelerating away at a great speed into the rain and spray.

On our arrival at the scene (Lots of blue, red and orange flashing lights gives it away) we are met by a police officer who directs us to a car parked further up the hard shoulder, we pass the car involved in the incident, which is lying on its roof about 100ft up the embankment. We arrive at the second car and the three occupants of the car that has crashed start coming out, the female is covered in blood and resembling an extra from a horror movie. So there we are 3 ambulance personnel (RRU paramedic and my colleague and me) and 3 patients in the back of the ambulance, we pick a patient each and start to treat them, I get the mother, my colleague has the child initially and then helps the RRU paramedic with the father, who is complaining on neck pains. After cleaning up the mother and getting the father onto a spinal board and explaining to the son what is happening we start on our journey to Stirling A&E (As it's easier going there than turning back at the next junction and travelling further away to Edinburgh Royal which is the designated trauma centre for this type of incident). We provide a courtesy call to A&E to let them know that we are bringing in 3 patients so that they have rooms available for the patients. We eventually manage to hand over all three patients to the nursing staff and we start to clean our vehicle, which looks like someone has taken a bomb and set it off with the doors closed over to keep the mess inside!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

2 mid-week males!!

Well I am on nights at the minute and I have had an interesting shift. The workload was nothing to complain about, but two of the calls were ones that have stuck in my mind....

The first call was to a male who had been assaulted in a pub, it turned out that he had been struck across the head with a bar stool by a "Friend". When we arrived we were met by the barman who said "I think he might need a couple of stitches!”

Walking into the bar we were confronted with a male aged in his 30's lying on the floor with a bar towel being pressed firmly to the top of his head by one of the other staff, upon examining the wound it was approx 3cms in length but semi circular, the patient was responding but not fully aware of what had happened (GCS13 for those in the know), my colleague quickly handed me a large dressing to control the bleeding and went to get the chair, whilst she was away I carried out a quick head to toe survey and found no other injuries, speaking to the patient I noticed that he was still dazed and confused, having gotten him into the ambulance I was able to assess him further and found that he was showing a weakness to his right arm and leg. When we arrived at hospital, I handed him over to the staff and explained my findings and gave a provisional diagnosis...Male head injury? Bleed or injury to brain... 2 hours later he was transferred to a Neurological unit for surgery as his CT scan had shown that he had a fractured skull with small air pockets forming around his brain, I was tempted to go back to the bar and let the barman know that he needed more than stitches!

The second call was for a male, once again who was in his 30's and was feeling suicidal, when we arrived he was sitting in a bus shelter swallowing tablets by the handful, when speaking to him he said that he wanted to die, but couldn't manage to get to an area quite enough to hang himself. He was conscious and orientated, but just wanted to be left alone to die. Both my colleague and the two police officers who had turned up with us to find him were explaining that we were not going to just leave him in the street to die and that he was either going to hospital with us in out nice warm clean ambulance or he could travel in a police van, but one way or another he WAS going! Whilst all this was happening I was outside picking up the various packets of tablets and making a mental note of the quantities so that when I called ahead to the hospital they could run the tablets through the toxicology database and see what treatment he would need.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Which one are you?

Rafael. You're most like the ArchAngel of Healing.
You want people to shape up, and you nag. But
you mean well, and you're well loved despite
it. Or because of it. You bring the donuts
even as you tell people to eat more veggies.

Which ArchAngel are you most like?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, October 21, 2005

Classic comment

Having spent the last two evening with Kal I have been forced to blog about one of his comments.... (Yes he will get me back no doubt!)

We were sitting on Wednesday evening and I was feeling very much under the weather, but battling the onset of the cold with Hot Lemonade, Fresh Orange Juice and paracetamol to help control my temperature. Now the conversation was not the best, mainly grunts from me in response to Kal (He will say that is normal!) and the conversation got onto that fact that I had called him and he did not answer, to this he said "That is strange I didn't get a voice mail" to which I stated "That is because you don't have voice mail on your phone!" Kal then said "yeah it has been ever since I got this new phone, my voice mail seems to have stopped working" now for those of you who know Kal, you will know he is an intelligent, IT literate techno-guru which caused me to laugh out when he said that and between giggling I and said to him "No dear it is not your phone that is causing the problem, it is because you turned it off when you went to Belgium!" I just wish I had my camera with me to capture the expression on his face when he figured out what he had said and also remembered that yes he had de-activated his voice mail whilst away and had forgotten to re-activate it upon his return!

Oh how good it feels to be smarter than Kal for once!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Getting close!

Well I can honestly say that it feels like I am going back to school, I am sitting here listening to the washing machine doing my uniforms, making sure that they are all nice and freshly laundered and ready for pressing for me starting back work next week, my boots will get polished and my work bag will be re-packed, it feels like the only thing I am missing is the apple for my teacher!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Annual Leave

Well I have been on Annual leave for the last two weeks and have another week to go before I start back in my "Greens". This does not mean that I have not been in them whilst off though (NO No no I am not that kinky! and neither is Kal that good at begging!) I have been doing the odd overtime shift with SORT (Special Operations Response Team), these guys are great, they receive a lot of bad press internally within the Service as they are seen to sit and drink tea and eat digestives all day, but they don't (Well not all the time). I have done the odd shift with them before, mostly as an "On-call" team member, so I jumped at the chance to work a couple of shifts with them.

I can now honestly say that driving a 7 1/2 tonne truck with blue lights and sirens through sleepy East Lothian villages is one of the best things in the world... well I know there is probably better but it was GREAT!!!

Whilst working on the team I had the chance to get back into a chemical suit, set up the MDU (Mobile Decontamination Unit) and a CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) on the Monday, I was also poked and prodded by some visitors from Denmark who were over to see the set up and equipment which the SOR Team have available to them. I was also given my refresher on the oxygen system, vehicle tail lift, scene set up etc.

On the next couple of shifts I didn't really do anything other than refresher training on equipment, systems etc. I was lucky enough to get down to see the USAR (Urban Search And Rescue) training at the Fire College, we had just gotten kitted up in the extra protective equipment from the Fire Service and were ready to go into the "Building site" and our pagers went off to indicate we had a job, so quick change and into the vehicles and off we went with lights and sirens much interest of the locals within the villages of East Lothian seeing big white trucks with SPECIAL OPERATIONS sign written along the side (some people think its the bomb squad!) only to be stood down when we got onto the A1. I got back onto the station and some of the team were due to finish, and new staff were coming on (staff work 8 and 12 hrs shifts), so with my new partner we took a different vehicle (smaller version of the truck) and went of to fuel it and collect some paperwork. Whilst in the EMDC (Control Room) a call came in for a chemical incident and away we were again! Only to be stood down two hundred yards from the incident site, oh well back to base again!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

What's your name? I'm snooty bubble chunks!

We all need a little stress-reliever!
This only takes a minute.
Sometimes when you have a stressful day or week, you need some silliness to break up the day. And, if we are honest, we have a lot more stressful days than not.
Here is your dose of humour...

Follow the instructions to find your new name.

And don't go all adult - a senior manager is now known far and wide as Dorky Gizzardsniffer.

The following is excerpted from a children's book, Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants, by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...

1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine
your new first name:

a = snickle
b = doombah
c = goober
d = cheesey
e = crusty
f = greasy
g = dumbo
h = farcus
i = dorky
j = doofus
k = funky
l = boobie
m = sleezy
n = sloopy
o = fluffy
p = stinky
q = slimy
r = dorfus
s = snooty
t = tootsie
u = dipsy
v = sneezy
w = liver
x = skippy
y = dinky
z = zippy

2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine
the first half of your new last name:
a = dippin
b = feather
c = batty
d = burger
e = chicken
f = barffy
g = lizard
h = waffle
i = farkle
j = monkey
k = flippin
l = fricken
m = bubble
n = rhino
o = potty
p = hamster
q = buckle
r = gizzard
s = lickin
t = snickle
u = chuckle
v = pickle
w = hubble
x = dingle
y = gorilla
z = girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine
the second half of your new last name:

a = butt
b = boob
c = face
d = nose
e = hump
f = breath
g = pants
h = shorts
i = lips
j = honker
k = head
l = tush
m = chunks
n = dunkin
o = brains
p = biscuits
q = toes
r = doodle
s = fanny
t = sniffer
u = sprinkles
v = frack
w = squirt
x = humperdinck
y = hiney
z = juice

Thus, for example, George W. Bush's new name is: Fluffy

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Personal Space

This blog comes about after a discussion with Kal one evening, we were talking about driving and how that he found it easy to get used to the space needed to park and manoeuvre his truck (when he was out driver training). I said that it was because he was a man..........I got the feeling that I might be walking into a mine field considering I have several female friends and colleagues who drive and park their Ambulances better than some of their male associates. I felt that I needed to take this discussion further as to allay any possible fears that I was being chauvinistic.

I feel that men, in general, have more awareness of personal space and dimensions because of the fact that when you grow up as a boy, you are more likely to have to build and improvise toys (i.e. the Cardboard box turned into a tank/ship/fire truck) by either sitting in it and pretending you are somewhere else or running rope through some holes and using then to support the weight of the box so you can run around with it..... therefore learning that you can fit into a space or that if you turn quickly you may knock over something and feel the wrath of your mother because you have made a mess in the living room etc

Women on the other hand are used to playing predominantly in a rigid structure (Wendy house, etc) and are therefore more used to space being set for them and not having to manoeuvre something in confined spaces...........

Well dear readers, what do you think to my theory?


I can only apologise to all my, blog readers. I know I have not been bloging for a while but I have been busy with work and helping my boyfriend Kal get ready for his recruitment days, not that he really needed much help but a bit of guidance is always useful.

I will resume normal service in the near future!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Times 3

Isn't it strange that you can do days without using a piece of equipment and then suddenly you get a run of calls that need the same item each time, last night was like that, the first three calls of the evening were all lower limb trauma, all requiring pain relief (Entonox only)and stabilisation using a box splint. Now this may not seem too strange, but it meant that I spent most of the time at hospital trying to find replacements for the box splints (which at times proved interesting). Oh well only got two more shifts to go, wonder what it will be tonight?

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Well there we go I managed to survive working with G, we were kept busy but nothing too challenging. The night was fueled with Alcohol and was propelled along with feelings from the old firm game that had taken place earlier in the day. We had our usual run of the mill assaults, interspersed with patients fitting in the street and patients who were basically PAFO (Pissed And Fallen Over). I think both G and myself are not the bad luck when it comes to eventful calls, but our colleagues who we sometimes work with during our 16 week shift pattern. I have also managed to survive being on call for the SOR Team (Special Operations Response) and have been paid on call money for basically sitting watching TV and drinking lots of tea, coffee and red cola!

Oh well I am on 4 nights this week so will keep you all updated with anything of interest, think I might arrange for an observer or two to come out with me!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

He's gone and left me

Well for those of you who actually read this I have to let you know that Kal (my BF)has left me........... yes it finally happened on Thursday morning, but don't be too upset for me as he is only on holiday. I promised him that I would blog more to keep him up to date with what is happening whilst he is off eating chocolate and swigging buckets full of beer (and that is before breakfast I think!) Well unfortunately I have not done much to blog, therefore I can only appologise to him and you my readers as well. I will try and keep you informed if there is anything of interest over the next 48hrs (I am working tonight then on call for the Special Operations Response Team) so hopefully there will be something exciting!

Working with G

Well here we go, I am working with a colleague tonight who on the last two occassions I have worked with her we have been involved in some traumatic job or another, it always goes the same, I attend for the first period of the shift and she drives, we get the usual run of the mill calls, then when we swap over and she sits in the attendant seat all hell breaks loose. The last time we worked together we ended up with a car that had rolled whilst slowing from the reported 100mph (Police Traffic Sergent estimation) to 40mph to pass the speed camera and both occupants of the car were treated for potential spinal injuries and luckily walked out of hospital a few hours later.

Now tonight is the same shift that we worked (1800 - 0200hrs) and it is a full moon, so we will see what happens to us tonight.

Think I will drive first tonight!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The curse of the observer

Well I have been working the last two days at a different station and have had an observer out with us for both days (same person). Now any of you who know about observing will be bored with this bit, but for those of you who don't sit back and relax. Observing is when a third person rides along on the vehicle to gain either clinical experience or exposure in relation to pre hospital care. The observer we had with us had been out before on the RRU (Rapid Response Unit - single crewed Paramedic vehicle) but had limited experience on an AEU (Double crewed Accident and Emergency Unit Ambulance). Now observing shifts are one of two things, you are either sitting on stand by all day waiting on the phone/ radio to go or you are non stop with quality calls.

Well on the first day (I was attending = looking after the patients), we started our shift at 1500hrs and were due to finish at 0100hrs. We were dispatched to an urgent call (This means a Doctor has assessed the patient at home and allocated a timed response to get into hospital). En route to this call we were diverted to a Red call (Emergency response which has 8 minutes for us to get there), we arrived within 4 minutes of the call and treated the patient and transported him to hospital, and this is how it went for most of the evening, being sent to one call and getting diverted for a more serious call whilst en route. One of the more interesting calls was a call roll over in a busy city street, the car had struck two pedestrian's before ending up on its roof. When we turned up as the 3rd crew we were greeted with fire engines, police cars and two ambulances, our observer was amaizing (now she is a first aider so is used to dealing with patients, but not like these ones) my colleague and I would bark out our requests and she would go off and get what we needed. We eventually managed to get our first meal break at 2230hrs (supposed to have been at 1830hrs) We get our final call to the other end of the city at 2345 for a patient with difficulty in breathing, and are told that the RRU is also attending, when we arrive the RRU is as we were told in attendance and had stabilised the patient and we continued his treatment and transported him to the hospital.

The second shift started with much the same, check the vehicle, try and grab a thought of kettle on = phone ringing, and off we go again lights and sirens going for a patient fitting on a bus, now I am driving today so the observer is sitting up front with me as my partner quite happily sits in the back so that the observer can get a full rounded experience of going to calls and seeing the traffic issues faced by responding crews. Once again our observer slotted in well and was back and forward fetching equipment and setting things up etc, we passed a standby (Requested a resus team be waiting in the Emergency Department) to the hospital and set of with the patient and mother in the vehicle, lights and sirens going again. The rest of the shift was uneventful, but fairly steady and we managed to get finished again on time......very unusual for a 1am finish.

So all I can say is that the curse of the observer may not always be the case!

Friday, August 05, 2005

A nice evening for a walk

Picture the scene it is a a lovely summer night, the weather is mild and the moon is out. I had bought some red bull and chocolate to have when I get back and suddenly "Doodle-oot" the radio springs into life and my partner and I are responding to a 999 call for a "21YOM with Chest Pains" now this sounds like a normalish type of call considering that it is 0130hrs and the pubs are clubs are closing, so we weave our way through the night traffic with lights flashing and arrive on scene within 5 minutes. Upon our arrival the radio starts ringing and my colleague answers it to be told the Dispatcher that the patient is actually walking along a path about 5 minutes away from the original location and is in the woods!!!! Yeah so now picture the scene, One high powered torch, Two Ambulance Technician's and a wooded area that is used for skateboarding etc. Now this place has lots and lots of tracks leading into the deeper undergrowth which my colleague and I searched, we decided that it would be easier to split up, so with maglite in hand off I went. I eventually found a pile of clothing folded in some bushes and relayed this to my colleague, now we were told by the Dispatcher that the patient had gone quiet on the phone, so we were now more concerned. We were eventually joined by two of L&B's finest who helped us search and eventually find the patient (who was actually fully clothed). I went back to the Ambulance to bring it closer to the patient, who by this stage was exhausted as he had been walking around and around the various paths and roads trying to get from the club to his home. Now we had the patient safely in the vehicle, he was anxious, hyperventilating and still c/o chest pains. We transported him to A&E and he was monitored en route by my colleague, upon our arrival we handed him over to the nursing staff and we thought that would be it, no that was not the case however. Now this 21YOM needed to pee, and he was quite vocal in this, but unfortunately the staff were concerned that he would collapse if he stood up and there were no male staff in the department..........Yes you guessed it, I was asked by one of the nurses if I could stay with him as he used a bottle, now I have changed from SMM Ambulance Technician to SMM Clinical Support Worker. So there we are just the two of us standing me trying to calm him down (still hyperventilating and worried about his chest pain) and my patient talking about how he doesn't think anyone is listening to him and how he really needs to go.......... After about 5 minutes he is more calm, but still not able to pee, a hand pops through the screens and flicks the tap on...... Still not able to pee he gives up and sits back on the bed, thanking me for my help as he plonks down. I walk out the cubicle smile at the nurse and she tells me the coffee and chocolate is on her next time. Oh well back to my red bull, which I am now drinking some 12 hours late!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Well I have to apologise to my readers for not being a good blogger and keeping you up to date with things. I have been busy organising my 30th Birthday party, which went well (I think so anyway, but I was drinking pints of Smirnoff Ice by the end of the night). I would like to thank everyone who attended who reads this and for those of you who couldn't make it then you missed a good night.

I have not just been drinking all the time, I have been fairly busy studying for my BIG FINAL EXAMS, which were TODAY!!!!! I was nervous, worried, anxious etc etc about it and as someone said to me the other day "Don't worry it is only your career on the line!" Well as a result of the build up of nerves and anxiety I have been a bit of a shit to my friends and especially my b/f (Who I would like to just say "Sorry and Thank you so much") as I have been wrapped up a bit in my own little world.

Well the day arrived, I was on station at 0835hrs for a 0900hrs start, thinking I would have plenty time for a coffee and a final flick through my notes, but I got side tracked and at 0855hrs still hadn't finished my coffee and valium (only joking about the valium) and the Training Manager (Really Nice Man, but oh my God does he look scary on Finals Day!) was saying "shall we just start then?" Gulp! Ok. So it began, the first was a 30 minute multi choice paper, 10 minute break, then onto the two hour "short" written (god I would hate to see what a long written is like......two weeks??) exam of which I had to answer all sections. I was then given a further 10 minutes to get a coffee, go and cry, pee etc and back into the training room for practical assessments covering CPR, Defibrillation, Airway Management, then onto more scenario's from Child Birth to Drug Overdose to Diabetes to Seizures to finally questions regarding Paramedic airway management and drug protocols!!! I was told that I could then have a break for Lunch (by this stage now 1300hrs). After Lunch I was advised that we were going out for a driving assessment and further practical "real life" assessments if we get a call. We didn't get any calls, so I drove around my station area covering many road types and during this drive I was questioned about highway code, signals etc as well as some general discussion about Service development and personal development.

Final at 1600hrs I was told that I had passed and that the Training Manager had been confident that I would, based on the feedback that he had been receiving over the last few weeks.

So there we go, I am now a fully qualified Ambulance Technician who has been told to keep studying and make sure that I am ready for the Paramedic pre-entry exams next year!!

Yipee :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Getting old..........So I kept getting told

Well it is true, I am getting old! I will soon be 30! yes I know that is not old, but over the last few days some people who I believe to be friends are constantly telling me that I will be an old man. SO I need YOUR help, what do you think I should do for my 30th Birthday?

Answers on a postcard to SMM (Old Bloke), PO BOX 30 (Over the hill), Ancient or send me a comment!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Alcohol......and people!

It is a common fact that alcohol makes people act in a strange manner, but for some it is so powerful that it can cause them to do things that they would never normally do. Now I am not here to go on and on about how alcohol is bad for you or how it has ruined society and corrupted the youth of today, instead I am going to tell you how it changes my other half into the wild Orcadian (No I don't mean in that way!!!!) I am now using this change as a good indicator for how drunk he is. You see it all started some time ago when I noticed that as he drank more, the more he would return to his orcadian accent, this was re-enforced on Saturday evening when we were both out for a drink with some of my old colleagues from the EMDC (Control), now we were only intending to have a couple of drinks and then get something to eat, now my bf and I arrived at the pub around 8pm and after consuming several pints at a steady pace interjected with good conversation and "banter" we decided to call it a night. So at 1130pm we grabbed a cab and stopped at the local Indian restaurant for some food, in the taxi ride down, the odd orcadian word was now starting to trip off his tongue, by the time we were in the second cab going to his place, he was in full flow orcadian all the way, I chuckled and pulled his leg about it and he had to agree that he was now feeling drunk (which he had previously denied). I am sure that he will now have an interesting story about some of my recent comments in relation to my forthcoming Birthday discussions and the discussions in relation to our parents.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


It is strange that even although you are in a room full of people that you can feel totally alone, you can also feel like that when you are sitting working away on something and your phone beeps letting you know that you have a message and your heart then skips a beat thinking that you are hearing from a loved one, but instead it is only telling you that you have an email from some obscure sender trying to sell you something or other. I know that feeling well, the one where you think "Oh maybe it is....." but recently it has not been :(

I had a long chat with him the other night and cleared the air in regards to how I have been feeling recently. I do not think that we have finished talking, I have so much that I want to say, but at times I cannot articulate what is going on in my head into a normal conversation, it just seems to come out like "Blah blah blah, snort, cry snort, blahhhhh!" God I sound like I should be seeing a psychiatrist, but I am fine, just lots of feelings and emotions rushing around in my head because I have so much time on my hands at the minute. I will be fine once I am at work again and focused on helping others and not having to worry about me.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Why is it that you are going about your daily routine and suddenly you are hit with a brick wall of emotion? Is it just me?

I have just returned from what can only be described as a scary, but pleasant weekend with my man and his family (when I say family I mean the 30 other people who helped celebrate his gran's 80th Birthday), now the weekend was going so well and I was just about coping with all the people and names etc. I now find myself a total wreck of emotion, I was sitting today crying on Arthur Seat (Large dormant volcano) and I don't know why, I have tried to figure it out, was it because I saw my man with his gran (both of mine are dead), was it the fact that I spent a whole weekend with my man and then last night had to leave him or is it something totally stupid, something from the past that is creaping back into my mind because I have time to sit and think?

You will probably be saying to yourself that this guy is nuts, maybe I am, maybe I should see my doctor or maybe I just need to sit down with someone and talk, when I say talk I mean them just sitting there with the kleenex and me spouting out my soul to them. Even now as I sit here typing this, trying to work out things in my head I can feel the emotions rushing around in my body, trying to find a way of escaping from me and I don't know if I want that or if I could cope with it...... It is a scary thought that I cannot be in control

Sunday, March 27, 2005

British summertime

I like this time of year, it means that we are now officially into the start of the lighter evenings of summer, it is also a nice feeling to be sitting at work and suddenly seeing that you only now have 5 hours left to work because you have suddenly jumped an hour because at 1am this morning, it suddenly became 2am (well we had to move the clocks forward ourselves). I hate this when you are working day shift, as you loose an hour sleep, but on nights it is probably one of the best feelings you can have.

Friday, March 18, 2005


It is amazing to think that someone who is clinically dead can have a pulse and be making breathing efforts some 30 minutes after they collapse, this happened to me last night. I was working with a paramedic and we had a call for a female who was unconscious and having difficulty breathing, as we sped along the country roads with lights flashing and sirens sounding we were updated by the EMDC (Control room) that the patient was now in cardiac arrest and CPR was ongoing. (Now any of you who have red my blog will know I have a kill to save rate of 100% kill so you can imagine what is going through my head) Upon our arrival we are met by the patient's brother who is relatively calm for the situation, we are shown into the house to see the patient's husband bouncing up and down on her chest and blowing air into her mouth whilst talking to someone on the phone in the EMDC to receive further guidance (Telephone CPR instructions is a standard protocol within the EMDC and all staff are trained to give these types of instructions out as and when required). We quickly take over and do our checks, Airway? Clear, Breathing? No, Circulation...? No, I take over at the head and secure her airway with an OP airway and start breathing for the patient using a bag and mask (anyone who has seen ER and Casualty will know what I mean) and doing chest compressions whilst my colleagues connects up our defib, the machine shows PEA so I continue doing CPR whilst my paramedic colleague gains IV (Intra Venous) access for a drug route. We give the woman 1mg of Epinephrine and swap places, my colleague then secures the patient's airway with an ET tube and continues to ventilate the patient whilst I do CPR, I listen to make sure that he has placed the tube in the correct place and I hear bilateral breath sounds and I get him to stop for a moment, he looks at me with that "Oh shit I have not got the tube in correct" face, but I tell him it is in and I can also hear a heart beat, we check for a pulse and yes it is true there is one to be felt. I get the brother to help me collect some more equipment from the vehicle and go back into the house, we get the patient onto our stretcher, secure her and make sure the ET tube is well secured and begin our tricky exit (up a flight of stairs, along a dark path, up another steep hill incline to avoid the second set of tight steps and then into the Ambulance) all whilst breathing for the patient. Once we have her in the vehicle, we check the ET tube again to make sure it has not dislodged and prepare for moving off. The patient's husband and daughter are in the back of the vehicle with my colleague and I request the A&E department resuscitation team be standing by to accept the patient. We arrive and the family are shown the door to A&E for public, my colleague and I take the patient into the Resuscitation room where we are met by the team (2 Doctors, 1 Operating Department Practitioner , 2 Nurses and 1 Senior Nurse) who accept the patient into their care and take our handover. My colleague and I then return to our vehicle and start the task of clearing up and completing all the necessary paperwork. Once this is done we return to the station for our meal break and celebrate with Pepsi and chocolate bars (imagining them to be alcohol and expensive take aways!!!) We checked on the patient some 10 hours later and found out that she had been transferred to the ITU and was still making some efforts to breathe on her own.....

Death Nil Scotsmedicman and paramedic partner 1

Monday, March 07, 2005

British Justice

Well I was supposed to be attending a court case today as a witness (a guy tried to assault me and a colleague whilst we were dealing with a pregnant female in December), so as per normal instructions, I called the court to see if I was still required to attend, fully expecting them to say that I my delight I was told by the nice lady on the phone that I am not required as the person had pleaded guilty on Friday YIPEE!!!!!! now you may wonder why I am happy about this, but I was totally terrified about going to court, I don't really know why, but my b/f was very supportive and gave me lots of good advice last night when he could have just told me to relax. Oh well I suppose I had better get ready for some real work now!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


I woke at 4:30am this morning and looked out the window, it was damp outside, but clear, I thought to myself I have another hour in bed before I need to get ready for work. I got back up at 5:30am and got shaved, showered and dressed thinking to myself it would be a 5 minute drive to work at this time of the day.......Oh was I wrong!!!

I opened the door to be confronted by the blizzard which was blowing outside, the same blizzard that had covered my car with about 1/4 of a tonne of snow!!!

Now don't get me wrong, I like snow, I like walking in snow, I like the look of snow on the hills, but I bloody hate snow on roads that have not seen a gritter for days! It makes everyone drive like a blood idiot as well. The first job of the morning was a 30 yes 30 car accident on the M8, we (my colleague and I) were stood down as we were not required, but having arrived back on station and checked the vehicle we were taking for the day (we had taken a spare as our vehicle was not back for our start of shift) we were sent out to an emergency for a 72 year old female who had chest pains, now she lived about 7 minutes away from the station in normal driving conditions, but it took us nearly 25 minutes to get to her because the other drivers on the road did not understand that we could not magically orb past them and that they would have to give us some space in the snow bound roads.

Oh it is amazing how a bit of snow can cause so much chaos to the central belt of Scotland.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Valentine's Day

Well I unfortunately had to work on Valentine's day so I was not able to shower my man with the love and affection that he deserves. I will probably not get a chance to see him until later in the week, so I want to say publicly........

Kal,I LOVE YOU and you mean the world to me and I am so lucky to have you as a friend and lover.


The wonder of narcan!

Whilst working over the weekend I managed to see narcan being used after an overdose. I have dealt with two patients who have taken heroin and both been very close to the big white gates, however, my paramedic colleagues were able to administer the necessary dose of narcan and reverse the OD quickly. I even managed to avoid being vomited on (unlike my colleague who was standing in front of the patient at the time)

Friday, February 04, 2005

British workmen

Well it is getting close to that time when the gas man is coming to service the cooker, he is arriving on Friday, yes at last, we have only been waiting for 5 weeks with no oven......It may not sound that bad, but when you have a flat mate who bakes the most amaizing cakes in the world, then it is a "TRAGEDY" I am forever hopeful that the engineer (used in loose terms) will arrive on time and fix the cooker without too much hassle. He did arrive last week and after the usual sucking in deeply of breath, said that the cooker was older than he assumed and would not be able to fix it and would need a part, now how difficult is it to fix a cooker that was bought less than 1 year ago?????

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Daytime TV

Ok I have noticed that daytime TV, regardless of how many channels you have, is on the whole full of adverts for "Had an Accident that wasn't your fault.......Let's sue someone!" or "You have been really stupid with your credit cards, let us give you a loan for the next 50 years so that you can pay off you cards now!". Some of the programmes that are on as well are repeats of repeats, yes there are some which are classics, but on the whole I have decided that the TV producers must know that they have the captive audience of single mothers, the unemployed and elderly sitting at home all day so why should they bother with trying to create new programmes for anyone when there is a whole abundance of re-runs available to them!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Weekend life

Well you are supposed to relax and enjoy your weekend off, I however managed to get landed with being on call for work this weekend for the division which I have now technically left. This basically means that should something nasty happen to the people of Scotland I will be one of a specialized team of individuals to be called out to help get things sorted! I also managed to land the honour of being the TEAM LEADER!!!! for the whole weekend, so should anyone have any questions of queries about the team they contact me. I was planning to have a quiet relaxing weekend with a couple of friends (Mr R Bull and Mr P Smirnoff) but because of the "On-call" I couldn't, I did however manage to see my bf this weekend and it was lovely, we had a nice chinese take away, chilled out with my flat mate and her friend and spent a lovely relaxing Sunday afternoon going for walks and drives in the country and then finishing the day off with a lovely coffee and cake moment in a very nice, modern bar/restaurant/hotel. The only thing I hate about weekends is that they finish so quickly, especially a Sunday, it reminds me of being at school and thinking "Yes it is Friday, time to party", then suddenly wakening up and finding out it is Sunday and you have not done anything you had planned and were due back at school the next day and had not even looked at your books/homework etc etc Oh well at least I am on nights tomorrow so I get a longish lie in bed (unless the bloody mobile phone goes for a callout!)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Family Gatherings

Well there I was, stressing about my parents forthcoming 40th Wedding Anniversary as it was going to be the first time that my bf had met most of my extended family. Well the night before the party I was going out for a meal with my bf and some of his work colleagues, but prior to this I was to pick up some of my dad's side of the family and deposit them at my folks house. I collected my bf and then swung past the hotel where the relatives were staying and collected them, only to be met by this wee woman saying that she was expecting my father to have collected them and thought that both my parents would be going to the hotel for a drink, so they had just gone to the bar to buy a round of drinks...."Oh god" I thought I only have 25 minutes to get you to my parents house and then back into town with my bf to meet up with his colleagues. I explained that I was going to move the car so I was not blocking the entrance, came back out and said to my bf that there may be a slight delay and could we go in. After managing to get the relatives out of the bar we sped (keeping to the limit) to my parents house so that I could introduce my sister and her family to my bf along with my uncle and his wife who were already at my parents place. It was an interesting conversation en route to my folks house and then again once we had arrived. We said our hello's and hi's and then headed back into town and I promised to be back early the next day to collect my sister and auntie to help with the shopping and decorating of the hall for the party that evening. The meal with my bf and his colleagues was lovely, it was a nice little Thai restaurant just off cockburn street, everyone was pleasant and friendly and we all enjoyed ourselves.

The next morning the chaos started, I collected my sister and we went to pick up the cake, when we arrived it was still not ready, so we went and did some other shopping and then returned for the cake, we then swung past my aunt's and collected her and headed into the hall to look at what decorations were going to be required, once we had decided what we were doing in the hall we then had to go and track down the necessary decorations, which we eventually managed to do, only to find that once we had blown up the last balloon it said "Happy 60th Anniversary"....Unfortunately it was my parent's 40th Anniversary, so we all had a moment of blind panic checking all the other balloons, but it must have been a rogue balloon as the rest all had 40th on them to our relief. After we had finished decorating the hall (which was only scheduled to take 2hrs maximum) 4 1/2hrs later we headed back to my aunt's to drop her off and collect some of the other gifts for my parent's I then dropped my sister off so that she could start getting her 3 sons ready for the evening along with her husband, herself and both my parent's I was glad I was going home to get ready even if they do have two toilets in the house!!

I sped back to my flat to collect my kilt and then headed back to my bf's to meet him and get ready, this was nice, it was relaxed and calm in his house, I almost felt like I could fall asleep, but I knew I didn't have time, we were both ready in record time and kited out in our kilts headed out the door. Upon arrival at the hotel, which I had only left 90 minutes previously, I was slightly disappointed that my parent's had arrived before us, as I wanted to make sure that they sat in the correct place etc (which they had anyway). The hall slowly started filling up with family, friends and colleagues of my parent's and the place started to have more of an atmosphere, I introduced my bf to as many people as I could during the evening, making sure that I kept him updated with who is related to who etc etc, I think at one stage he was ready just to sit in a corner and cry as it was something like this: This is SH and S, they are the son and daughter of R and B, SH is going out with D and S is married to F, now D and SA are expected soon and they are the cousins of SH and S and me, their parent's are D and S, S is the sister of my mum and R, and R is only 3yrs older than L, you got that so far??? Good right now L is married to ST, and they have 3 sons called D, M and J and it went on. God only knows how he survived, but he did and I was so happy to see that he was getting on with the people that I thought he would and relaxing as the night went on, at one stage he even managed to get me to fall for a trick played by one of my nephew's.

The evening was in my opinion a success and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I just hope that the next lot of gatherings goes as well (of which there are a few this year, my 30th, my uncle's 50th, my Dad's 60th and my sister's 40th).

Oh how I love a good party! Especially if they play cha cha slide :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


It is amazing how a little bit of snow can suddenly cause so much chaos on the roads, I am sitting here listening to the radio road reports, and it seems that ever single road in and around Edinburgh is either heavily congested or blocked by the sudden change in weather conditions, as I look out on my kitchen window all I see is white, yes it has snowed quite heavily, but with some care and attention it should still be relatively easy to get around, but oh no, not the people of east central scotland, we only have to see snow and we panic, I was chatting to my bf this morning as he is preparing to go to work (I have the day off ha ha ha) and he was slightly worried about driving in, now he comes from the Highlands and he said that if there was snow like this in his village, then the higher ground would be thicker and deeper, making driving hazardous, but this is not the Highlands, in fact, I am higher up than his work so it should be easier for him to get to work, but the rest of the people out there will probably make his journey into Edinburgh interesting.

Childrens TV programmes......

I have just received an email from a friend, it was all about childrens tv programmes of the past, check out the site, especially if you remember Rainbow
Remember to have your sound on!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


I have just experienced two shifts with observers. It is common place that when you get an observer out with you the calls you attend are normally easy to handle, trivial and sometimes down right c**p.

Well this is not the case for me, on both shifts we were kept going constantly, on the second occasion with the observer, we had 10 calls in the space of 12 hrs, yes I know it is not a lot, but they were all jobs that required full focus on the patient and their situation. The night started out relatively slowly, but built up to an almost constant case of clearing and going for the next call. We were called to one of the local night clubs twice, back to back, it was interesting to see the observer becoming more confident and relaxed when arriving on scene at incidents. We then had the call that makes every observer think "YES this is the one for me" an RTA with 4 patients after a car left the road and rolled down an embankment. Upon our arrival, all 4 patients were out of the car and had relatively minor injuries compared to the mechanisms of the incident. I loved seeing the observers both thinking to themselves, wow, this is not how I imagined it would be in this division. I would be happy to have either of the two out with me observing again, especially if I am attending, as they may get to be more hands on!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Hogmanay 2004

I sit here recovering still from the Edinburgh street party. I am not long out of bed after celebrating my very own 2004 Hogmanay with one of my friends.

I was working on the 31st of December at the Street party with various other dedicated volunteers from St. Andrew's Ambulance, British Red Cross and even St. John Ambulance providing part of the event medical services to the people who had chosen to come to Edinburgh to celebrate the New Year. I had a pleasant evening in one of the 4 first aid posts for the event, and to make it even more special, I was working (not planned) with my BF (He had been designated the Social Work Vehicle First Aid Escort for my post). The evening started out quite slowly, but gradually the workload increased as did the amount of alcohol people were consuming on the streets, we had a few interesting patients, but the majority were under the influence of alcohol and suffering badly, some were even at the stage that they were found sitting in their own vomit..... :( Our job as first aiders that evening was to clean them up, patch them up and ship them out to either the event, home, hospital or pass on their care to Social Services. I often ask myself why I still volunteer when I work in the Ambulance Service, the answer is easy, I love the feeling of knowing that you have helped someone. If anyone is reading this and thinks that they could volunteer some time then go ahead and give some time, go on you will love it!

My trip North

Well I was working over Christmas, but on the 27th I was due to travel North to meet my boyfriend's parents. I made sure that the car was running ok and that I had packed enough clothes (including the emergency shirt, which my commented on) and my camera etc. I set out eventually at 12 mid day, expecting the roads to be quite bad because of the recent weather, I had an audio copy of the new Ian Rankin book to listen to whilst driving. I arrived 3 1/2 hrs later safely in Cromarty where I met my bf and his folks, now I had already met his mother, she is lovely and puts you at ease as soon as you meet here, but I was a bit worried about meeting his dad. I got out the car and thought to myself "I hope I am at the correct address" when two lads cycled passed and called out "Hi J" and I thought , yup I must be at the correct place as they think I am my bf (apparently we look quite similar....god help him!) I knocked on the door and felt my stomach twisting when it opened, I really just wanted to run away, but I missed my man so much as well. The door was answered by my bf and he invited me in and I spotted his mum immediately and strangely felt a bit more relaxed, then his dad came through and introduced himself, he is a really pleasant guy, I was not sure what I was expecting but I was made to feel at ease very quickly, The rest of the time up north I was "Dragged" around to meet various friends, some who I took to more than others. I enjoyed my time up north, it was a beautiful place to be, nice crisp weather, fresh air and stunning views, I did have a moment of panic however, we were visiting some of my bf's friends and they were discussing various things and I heard "Yeah but you would have to move back here, you couldn't do it in Edinburgh" I thought to myself "Oh my god I am loosing him already, we have not even had a fight and he is thinking about moving north and leaving me!!!!" Oh well I will have to wait and see if it comes true... I hope not :(