The call taker had typed “CHOPPED FINGER OFF” as the diagnosis, which seemed like more than enough reason for me to send an ambulance. Off one sped. The problem was that the call taker then didn’t type anything else, which made me suspicious. Why wasn’t she triaging the call and what had happened at midnight at a residential address to cause an amputated finger?

Picking up the phone to listen in, I soon discovered why the call wasn’t progressing. The poor call taker couldn’t get a word in edgeways as the injured man ranted and raved. For a change, he wasn’t ranting and raving about the ambulance service, he was ranting and raving about his girlfriend and how awful she was. Now, we are taught various techniques for taking control of the call and getting information out of a caller, and I happen to know the call taker in question is usually very good at that, but on this occasion even she was having no luck whatsoever.

I asked the radio operator to warn the ambulance crew not to enter until we said so as there seemed to be a little more to this call than met the eye.

Some minutes later, I pieced together the rants and worked it out. Finger Man had come home from the pub and his girlfriend had (his words) “started give him lip” and “getting on his nerves”. So he had picked up her widescreen TV in an attempt to throw it out the window to teach her a lesson. Unfortunately, widescreen TVs are rather too cumbersome to be easily thrown out of windows by one person and he’d dropped it squarely on his finger. It wasn’t amputated at all but it did sound rather broken. Broken fingers are of course not a good reason for having an ambulance, sent the crew to someone else and left CTA to deal. CTA no doubt recommended a taxi to the hospital and a session of marriage counselling.

Published Mar 12, 2009 - 17 Comments and counting

17 Comments on “Romance is Dead”
  1. Auntie Jane Says:

    ROFLOL… Good one. Serves the man right.

  2. wannabeparamedic Says:

    hiya
    i tried finding a post for 7/7 was wondering if you had made one, it would be interesting to know, what happend in control on that day,
    i realise it is probly a sensitive subject
    and i know what all the services done was an aswome job,
    well done

  3. Suzi Brent Says:

    Yes, there is. Two in fact! Here’s the links:

    http://www.neenaw.co.uk/index.php/ambulances/116/july-7th-2006/

    http://www.neenaw.co.uk/index.php/ambulances/4/the-london-bombs/

  4. Nick Says:

    Your a GIRL?! :-p

  5. Grammar Nazi Says:

    You’re!!!

  6. Nickopotamus Says:

    And I thought throwing widescreen TVs around was a perfectly good wooing technique?! Back to the drawing board…

  7. Auntie Em Says:

    Nick – I don’t think they let girls (or boys) control ambulances. I’m guessing Suzi is a fully grown woman.

  8. Matt Dinnery Says:

    Yes, Suzi is a woman!
    Shock! Horror!

    Anyway, she “came out”, and declared that she wasn’t Mark Myers after all:
    http://www.neenaw.co.uk/index.php/uncategorized/289/big-announcement/

  9. AJ Says:

    “CTA no doubt recommended a taxi to the hospital and a session of marriage counselling.”

    Buh? Thought you said (or he said) she was his girlfriend, not wife…

    Other than that, :-D

  10. Spike Says:

    Congratulations on the book deal mate. Just popped in after a long absence to discover you’ve been signed and outed yerself. You go girl!

  11. Erin Says:

    I was out doing the washing early one morning, hearing the dulcit arguing of my neighbours over the back fence having their usual Saturday morning hangover argument. Suddenly there was a loud crashing noise and I heard their son yell, ‘Not the TV Mum! Them was valuables!’
    Nice to know that people throw TVs on the other side of the world, too. It’s funny how it’s always the small injuries that are the hardest to triage because they won’t listen. Most of the hysterical\ranting callers I’ve had have always been about cut fingers or stubbed toes, but I’ve had someone slice the artery in their groin wide open and be calm as all hell. Maybe that was the blood loss though…

  12. Suzi Brent Says:

    AJ, I’m sure you can still have marriage guidance if you are not married. Admittedly they probably call it “relationship counselling” or something else instead.

  13. Stonehead Says:

    Some years ago, I lived in a particularly dodgy block of flats inhabited by a weird and wonderful menagerie of semi-functioning beings. (I lived there because it was very cheap and didn’t have full-time work at the time.)

    One morning there was a huge ruckus (not uncommon) followed by a brief scream and then a huge CRASH!

    Cautious investigation revealed that Annie and Dave on the third floor had been having a barney, Dave had picked up their rather large CRT TV and flung it over the balcony. Unfortunately, he was rather drunk and forgot to let go.

    The TV hit the ground and Dave landed on the TV. I’m tempted to say it was unfortunate it wasn’t the other way around.

    Dave was in a right mess, but rather than be helped he decided it was time for another drink and headed for the pub—where he collapsed and was retrieved by a long-suffering ambulance crew.

    As for Annie, she’d disappeared into the flat next door to watch her mate’s telly.

    Living there was certainly an education.

  14. mscrow Says:

    must admit not one of my best calls ! and if i remember correctly i was also training, lets just say the delightful young man was more upset about his £1000 plasma tv than his finger !

  15. Police Despatcher Says:

    Something I’ve noticed about a lot of our “domestic” calls – it’s always “s/he made me get angry and do it!” It would be nice if people took responsibility for their own actions occasionally. Wait, what?

    BTW do you know my dad? He reckons he knows you, but he never let on you were a woman!

  16. Suzi Brent Says:

    I don’t know – who is your dad? ;)

  17. Paddy Power Says:

    what a story. great read!

    Nee Naw
    Nee Naw was a blog about life in the London Ambulance Service control room. It was written by Suzi Brent from 2005 to 2010. The blog is no longer being updated, but the archives will remain here.
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