Episode 1 Real Rescues


Episode 1

Series following the emergency services. We hear the 999 call made by a three-year-old which saves his mother's life and see RNLI lifeguards rescue a football team from the sea.


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Transcript


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Today on Real Rescues -

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she was just waiting at a roundabout, but in a split second, Penny's life was changed forever.

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Two men in a boat try to rescue a football team being swept out to sea

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-in a rip current.

-Quick, get in, mate.

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Just calm down, guys. We'll come and get you.

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And the three-year-old who makes two emergency calls to save Mum's life.

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Hello and welcome to Real Rescues.

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We've been given special access to Britain's emergency services.

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Today we're at one of the biggest police control centres

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in the country near Southampton.

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Right now, the staff here are taking 999 calls from people

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going through life-changing and life-threatening emergencies.

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The team in this one room handles over a quarter-of-a-million calls a year from people in distress.

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You can see those people sat around. Nev is a friend of the programme.

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We'll chat to Nev in a while.

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They're all paying attention to their screens and to the screens here,

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which are showing various things going on on our motorways.

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Various different tables, looking after different departments. That is the big control room.

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That is where all the big cheeses hang out.

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I'm looking for Lisa, over here, who we're going to chat with

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to find out how things have been going whilst we've been away.

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You had a big incident. Was it a bomb that they'd found?

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Yeah, it was a weekday.

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About 10.00 in the morning, we had a call from some builders

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who were working on a former World War II bomb site

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that had buildings on in the meantime that they'd re-dug up.

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There was about 12cm of what appeared to be a bomb,

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-which obviously caused a huge, large-scale operation.

-A huge area?

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Initially, we were looking at about 100 metres.

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Which you can appreciate, weekday in the middle of Southampton, was a vast amount of people.

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Businesses, cars, etc.

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Amazing, you had to contact all the different services, bomb squad?

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Bomb squads, council, police, fire brigade, everybody working on it.

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We discovered a gas mains halfway through, which meant it extended to 200 metres,

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which obviously made the incident even more of a huge scale.

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You never know what's going to come in here.

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And it's coming in all the time. Louise.

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Absolutely. Nev Johnson is here. He's a traffic cop.

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You don't know what is happening, either, every day?

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Every minute, sometimes, it can change.

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Really? And quite tough stuff, as well, actually.

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You were at the call-out we're about to see, and it's an unusual story of survival.

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Penny was waiting at a roundabout when another vehicle appeared

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out of the blue and smashed into the side of her car.

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It's late afternoon when PC Nev Johnson gets the call-out from control.

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Echo 23. The road is completely gridlocked with traffic, over.

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At the roundabout, he's faced with the devastating collision.

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Penny is trapped in her vehicle.

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The other driver has hit her with such force, her car has been shoved

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up and along the verge for several metres before smashing into the crash barrier.

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Two ambulances are already on the scene.

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Both vehicles are on the north pavement.

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Both female drivers are trapped in the vehicles, effectively.

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The other driver is not badly injured,

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but Penny and her car have absorbed the full impact of the collision.

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The side has been pushed right in.

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Penny is trapped by the door and by the foot pedals.

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At the moment, she's conscious.

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Ambulance technician Richard Garment has climbed into the car.

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Her vital signs are giving him serious cause for concern.

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It was very, very cramped in the car.

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She was asking what had happened.

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I told her she'd been involved in a collision,

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so she obviously had no memory of the event.

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I listened to her chest, and there wasn't a lot of movement in terms of air entry.

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Initially, I suspected that her lungs may have collapsed.

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Also, she was complaining of a lot of pain in her neck.

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And down her back and in her pelvis and legs.

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Again, the likelihood of a serious fracture or a life-threatening pelvis injury was quite high.

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The fire crews are on the scene to cut Penny out of her car.

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It's going to be a complex operation.

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They have to work with great care as quickly as possible.

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They can't risk further injury. Ian Gray is the fire incident commander.

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We had to take the roof off to get her out.

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So keep her straight and a neck collar on and not bend her body.

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We could have take the door off, taken her out sideways. We don't like to take casualties out sideways,

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especially when they've had

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an impact that can affect the spine and the neck.

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While the fire crews start work disentangling the cars,

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PC Nev has to keep the area safe and also talk to all the witnesses.

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This might result in a prosecution.

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No-one can quite believe what they've seen.

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Another driver was waiting behind Penny with her three-month-old baby in the car.

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The car just didn't stop.

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-It came straight up that junction.

-That one there, yeah?

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It went straight into the other car.

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It was so fast. It wasn't even...

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I don't know what happened to her. There was no attempt to slow down.

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-Where were you in relation to that?

-Here. I haven't moved my car.

-OK.

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Back inside the car, Richard is doing all he can to keep Penny stable.

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Initially, we immobilised her, because it's important to keep

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the back and the spine in alignment in case there are any breaks.

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We put her on oxygen, as her oxygen levels were falling, and we gave her some pain relief,

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because she was complaining of being a lot of pain.

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Nev has now got a clearer picture from the witnesses of how this freak collision happened.

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The lady in the Meriva was coming up north on the A3(M).

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She's come off and drifted across the carriageway onto the hard shoulder,

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over-corrected, would appear to have hit the kerb where the police bike is and effectively just shot across here

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and gone straight into the side of a car that was actually waiting to join the roundabout.

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She's obviously lost her control by hitting the kerb and gone into the side of it.

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There is no immediately apparent reason why the driver of the other car lost control.

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She's taken to an ambulance for further medical tests.

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Meanwhile, the extrication work continues.

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The emergency services know Penny's condition could deteriorate at any minute.

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Her breathing is very laboured.

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We suspected that at least one of her lungs had collapsed.

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We had to be careful about how we moved her, even though time was of the essence.

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The collision is so serious that Nev wants to get hold of Penny's husband, John, as soon as possible.

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Unfortunately, he's out of the country.

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Hello?

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Is that John?

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Hello, it's PC Johnson from the Road Police from down at Cosham.

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I've been asked to contact you - your wife's had a bump in her car

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and she's going to go to the hospital very shortly. She's OK.

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She's had another car hit her on the side. Don't panic yourself on it.

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I'll give you a call when I know more information.

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The crews have completed the first stage. They've disentangled the cars.

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But Penny's condition is deteriorating.

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She's beginning to drift in and out of consciousness.

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Initially, she didn't appear that distressed, apart from

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suffering from shock, obviously with a vehicle hitting you side-on.

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But during the extrication, that's when we noticed a difference in her condition. Her eyes were flickering.

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The heavy cutting gear will speed up this rescue.

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She's so close to freedom, but her condition is still very unstable.

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It's clear that Penny is in quite a bad way.

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You were making phone calls from the actual scene.

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We saw you make that call. How do you decide to make those calls?

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You try and notify, certainly in that situation, next of kin

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to let somebody know what's happened. In any event,

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her daughters had been contacted.

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I was trying to find a number for her husband to let him know what had happened.

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Is it a difficult judgment?

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When you're beside the road and somebody's in a car like that?

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Yes, we couldn't talk to her, because she wasn't responding to us anyway.

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She was on oxygen and trying to be cut from the car.

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It's difficult for us to get near to her to try and get information

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from her as to who she was and that sort of information.

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When you speak to somebody, how do you judge the phone call?

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Um... It's...

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On the phone, it's difficult to convey bad news in a sincere way.

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You try and avoid giving bad news on the phone unless you have to.

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I just told her husband that she'd been in a crash and so on

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and could he get back to the country as soon as possible.

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Without alarming him that it was as serious as it was.

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OK, thank you very much. Penny's condition is very serious.

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In fact, there's worse to come.

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As we'll see a little bit later, her life is in more danger than anyone realises. Nick.

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Thank you, Louise.

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As you can hear, it is abuzz in here with various calls being taken.

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It can be anything from the bomb disposal story that we heard earlier to road traffic control.

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All from different areas. This is Fareham and Gosport, over there we have Portsmouth.

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Sat nicely in the middle here for us is Sarah.

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One of the more worrying calls you can take is about a missing child.

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This story has a happy ending, isn't it?

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Yes, that's right. Yes.

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We took a call from a family who had just been on holiday.

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They got home, frantically unpacking, chaos everywhere.

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And Mum noticed that the little boy was missing,

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her little two-year-old son.

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After looking everywhere, she obviously had to call 999.

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We took the details from her, always get a description.

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-It was quite sweet. He was two years old, blonde and wearing a Batman costume.

-So, should be easy to spot?

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Yes, that is right. The call taker stayed on the phone, took all of the details, calmed Mum down.

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And then before we needed to attend, she said, "It's OK, we've found him."

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He'd climbed into one of the empty suitcases and hidden himself under the bed.

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So, they're the kind of results we want. Thank you very much.

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-We're not interrupting when we chat to you?

-No. You're fine.

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If Sarah is busy, as I come up to walk towards her,

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she'll put her hand up and so we can't talk to her.

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So we'll move on. On Real Rescues, we're able to hear some of those real life 999 calls

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that people like Sarah take from emergency control centres across Britain.

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These aren't reconstructions and many tell remarkable stories, as we're about to hear. Listen to this.

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It's first thing in the morning, and a family are following their regular routine.

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Dad has gone to work, leaving his wife at home

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with two young children and baby when Mum suddenly falls ill.

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It's left to the oldest child, who's only three years old, to dial 999.

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This is the actual call that came into the police control room.

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Isn't your heart in your mouth, listening to that?

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More on that dramatic call in a minute.

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We'll meet the wee one involved.

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Barbara was the operator on that call.

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You must be desperate to find information without scaring the child you're speaking to?

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Yes, definitely. Due to the young age of the child,

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as you hear, it's a little difficult to understand.

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It wasn't an easy task.

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And plainly, you need the information, and plainly, the child is doing his best.

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But not necessarily answering the questions you're asking?

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That's right. That is why we have to keep on prompting the child as well

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to answer the proper questions that we're asking.

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By this time, all you know is that you have a child

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somewhere in Scotland telling you that Mummy is sleeping or lying in the hallway.

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-In the hallway somewhere, yes.

-Let's have a listen.

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And this is the little boy that you heard, demonstrating that he is very much a little boy.

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You are a little boy, aren't you? Not a little girl at all?

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No. And mum Leanne.

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Extraordinary situation, there.

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So, tell me what you were doing at that stage.

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Jack, you were talking on the phone.

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What were you trying to do?

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Tell the police to understand what I was saying.

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Were you? And what were you trying to tell them?

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My mum was fitting in the hall.

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Right, and then they hung up the phone, and that phone stopped working so what did you do then?

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Get my dad's phone that was under the couch.

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What, you find another phone under the couch?

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And decided to... What did you do with that phone?

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Phoned 999 again.

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You did? For a second time

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with a different phone?

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Mum, he was saying a word that we couldn't understand,

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"etting" - what was he trying to tell us?

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He was just trying to say that I was fitting.

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He's been trained for a while how to use the phone when I'm fitting badly,

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so he knows what to say and how to go about doing it.

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At the time, he wasn't clear enough, saying it, because he was so little.

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And you were fitting because you have a condition...?

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I have epilepsy, strong epilepsy.

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This is interesting, you hung up the phone.

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Which seems an extraordinary thing to do to a child

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who is in that situation, but it's part of your routine.

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Yes. It's so if we can see if we can phone back to see if there is any adults in the house.

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-So they can answer and come and help.

-Yes.

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The difficulty was that the phone actually

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ran out of batteries so when you tried to ring back, no answer.

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However, as Jack very plainly explained to us,

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he then went off and, because it wasn't working, found another phone.

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-Where did you find it?

-Under the couch.

-Under the couch.

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And made a call, 999 again,

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and this is what came through.

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Jack, when the police came through the door,

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how did they come through the door?

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-They kicked it in.

-Did they?

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-The lock was coming down.

-And what were you doing when they came in?

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Trying to get my sisters out of the way.

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Were you? And were you looking after your mum, keeping her cool?

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I was trying to feed the baby and get the police in at the same time.

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Lots of things going on. Martin, you took the call.

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The call came back in, he was clever enough to ring.

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-And this is what saved his mum's life, yes?

-Yes.

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Because... Explain how using a different phone helped.

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Well, the phone had been used before to ring the police.

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So we did a quick search on the systems

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and we got an address from that telephone number

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so we went straight on the radio.

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Leanne, when you became conscious again, what did the police and the ambulance people tell you?

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The first person that told me anything was Jack.

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He was jumping up and down hyper, he was like, "I've saved your life."

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At the time I knew I'd had a seizure because I know the symptoms, and it wasn't until I fully came around

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that the police and paramedics said, "Jack is telling the truth."

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They talked me through what had actually happened,

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and I was quite amazed that Jack had actually done that

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for such a young age.

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Absolutely amazing. It's an extraordinary story.

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Can I get...can we do a high-five?

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Thank you very much. You really did save your mum's life.

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If you're going to teach your child to use a phone,

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use one that's registered to the house so they can send people straightaway to help.

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-A pleasure to meet you all, thank you.

-Thank you.

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Still to come on Real Rescues, the junior football team about to be swept out to sea.

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Guys, climb up here.

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Hurry up, guys.

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And an animal 999 call - yes, that's a bullock trapped down a well.

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Earlier we saw driver Penny trapped in her car.

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Paramedics urgently need to find a way to get her out of the car without putting her life at risk.

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The fire crews have been working painstakingly for almost 40 minutes.

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They are preparing to take the roof off.

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However, Penny's condition is beginning to deteriorate.

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The ambulance crew fear she has a collapsed lung and a smashed pelvis,

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which can result in dramatic blood loss.

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The firefighters have cut through the windscreen and are ready to start on the metalwork.

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Hydraulic cutters that they call the jaws of life.

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They cut through all the A, B, C and D posts on a vehicle quite easily.

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Penny is protected by a plastic shield as the powerful machine slices through the metal posts.

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Inside, Richard spots some alarming changes in her condition.

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Before we began the extrication, we noticed that Penny's level of consciousness was starting to drop.

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She was becoming unstable, and we needed to move quite quickly.

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The firefighters are trained and experienced in working under this sort of pressure.

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The lift-out would be carefully choreographed with the ambulance crew.

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Speed is everything, but nothing can be rushed.

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We had to ensure that everything was kept in line in case there was a neck or back fracture,

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because obviously that can then lead to quite a catastrophic injury, should something go wrong.

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Meanwhile, PC Nev Johnson is talking to the other driver in one of the ambulances.

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He's trying to discover how and why she lost control of her car.

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She has no memory of the collision. Nev suspects she may have blacked out at the wheel.

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All I would say is you were followed by a car who did notice you drifting

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in and out the carriageway a little bit of the hard shoulder.

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The ambulance crew carry out some routine tests, but their results are inconclusive.

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It's a distraction of some sort in the vehicle, either medical or some sort of distraction, certainly.

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The priority is freeing Penny - they just have to prise back the crushed door.

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Her ordeal is almost over.

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She's been freed from the mangled metal at her side.

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Now her rescuers are ready to slide her on to a spinal board.

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1, 2, 3, lift.

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SHE GROANS

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OK, Penny. Watch her legs.

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When we were removing Penny from the vehicle, it became apparent just how much pain she was actually in.

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She was moving her legs around and she didn't want to straighten her legs.

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She was complaining of a lot of pain around her pelvis area.

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At that point, I think we knew there was a real chance

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she had a pelvic injury, which can actually be quite serious.

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Penny's body has suffered a massive impact.

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They won't know the full extent of her internal injuries until she's at hospital.

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Richard's very concerned about the damage to her pelvis.

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In your pelvis, you have a network of blood vessels.

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If you break your pelvis, these become exposed, as with any laceration,

0:21:430:21:47

and you can potentially lose pretty much your blood volume, so you could bleed out completely.

0:21:470:21:53

It's not long now.

0:21:530:21:55

One final lift, and she'll be out and on the ambulance stretcher.

0:21:550:21:58

Thanks, guys, that's brilliant teamwork.

0:22:070:22:09

Richard will travel in the ambulance with Penny, monitoring her condition.

0:22:110:22:15

Now Nev and Ian can take a closer look at the wreckage.

0:22:170:22:20

It's amazing. The side impact has done really well.

0:22:200:22:24

Considering the car was lifted off the pavement, off the road around here.

0:22:240:22:28

Those barriers are brilliant.

0:22:280:22:30

That drop there as well. If it weren't for the barrier, that car could have gone right over there.

0:22:300:22:37

They discovered that only the crash barrier has stopped Penny's car

0:22:370:22:41

from dropping 80ft onto the busy motorway below.

0:22:410:22:44

Penny's on her way to A&E where the trauma team are standing by.

0:22:470:22:52

Meanwhile, her husband John is flying home to be at her side.

0:22:520:22:55

Penny, I know you don't remember much of that.

0:23:020:23:04

Graham, you do, because you were the doctor, the surgeon, on call that day.

0:23:040:23:08

You had a catalogue of injuries - what were they?

0:23:080:23:12

I'd ruptured my spleen

0:23:120:23:14

and also ruptured my diaphragm and had shattered my pelvis.

0:23:140:23:20

Which are very serious injuries. What did you do when you saw her?

0:23:200:23:24

I first met Penny in the resuscitation room of the emergency department,

0:23:240:23:28

and it was clear that she was very, very ill

0:23:280:23:30

and was bleeding internally excessively.

0:23:300:23:34

We had no choice, but to take her

0:23:340:23:36

to the operating theatre and we didn't know what we'd find.

0:23:360:23:39

We'd normally try to do a scan to try and find out

0:23:390:23:42

what the problems were, but it all came as a bit of a surprise.

0:23:420:23:45

Would you say they were kind of catastrophic injuries that she had then?

0:23:450:23:49

Those are the sort of injuries that most people don't survive.

0:23:490:23:52

Wow. So what makes her different?

0:23:520:23:54

Obviously, the skills of you and everybody else who was involved, what makes Penny special then?

0:23:540:23:58

Well, Penny's young and Penny's fit, which I hope she's pleased I say that.

0:23:580:24:02

Also, she got to our emergency room pretty quickly,

0:24:020:24:06

and we also didn't spend a long time thinking about what to do. We just got on and did it.

0:24:060:24:11

OK. So what made you think did it, Penny?

0:24:110:24:13

You play hockey, you are a pretty sporty person, do you think that made a difference to you?

0:24:130:24:17

Yes, I think that did make a huge difference.

0:24:170:24:20

I think all that's gone on in life before something like this makes a huge difference.

0:24:200:24:24

You play the clarinet. Did that make a difference to your lungs?

0:24:240:24:27

I think I'd got very good breath control.

0:24:270:24:29

So when I didn't have part of my lungs working,

0:24:290:24:34

I was able to control what I did have working, but I think

0:24:340:24:38

it's got to go down primarily to the skill of the people

0:24:380:24:41

who got me out of the car and the team in A&E.

0:24:410:24:43

-What would you say to all of them?

-An enormous thank you.

0:24:430:24:47

How are you now, how are you doing?

0:24:470:24:50

Yeah, I spend an awful lot of time in the physio gym with physio colleagues.

0:24:500:24:55

I've a lot to be grateful to them as well

0:24:550:24:58

for getting me on the road to recovery, but I'm getting there.

0:24:580:25:02

You're not skiing yet?

0:25:020:25:04

-No.

-Are you driving yet?

0:25:040:25:05

Yes, I'm driving - the desire to be independent far outweighed

0:25:050:25:09

the fear of getting back behind the wheel of a car again.

0:25:090:25:12

What's striking about you is you seem to me an immensely positive person.

0:25:120:25:16

-Does that make a difference to people's recovery as well?

-I'm sure it does, yes.

0:25:160:25:20

After that sort of injury, you have a lot of recovery to make,

0:25:200:25:24

even after you've left hospital, and Penny's done fantastically.

0:25:240:25:28

Brilliant. It's lovely to meet you, Penny, thank you.

0:25:280:25:30

-Thank you very much.

-Nick.

0:25:300:25:32

Police say that the driver of the Vauxhall

0:25:320:25:35

did have a blackout and she's been banned from driving for nine months.

0:25:350:25:38

The DVLA are investigating her medical condition to see if she can be allowed to return to the road.

0:25:380:25:44

Now, a bullock in a very, very small space.

0:25:440:25:47

When farmer Chris counts his cattle he discovers one steer is missing, but where is it?

0:25:470:25:52

Well, it's... Well, it's down a well.

0:25:520:25:55

And it'll take major engineering work to get to it.

0:25:550:25:59

The bullock is curled up at the bottom of a 12-foot deep well shaft.

0:26:010:26:07

-Chris couldn't take in what he was seeing.

-I was absolutely horrified.

0:26:070:26:11

I could not believe... This well has been there

0:26:110:26:13

for as long as I'd been farming here, 46-47 years, and we never had that problem before.

0:26:130:26:19

I was absolutely staggered. I'd never seen anything like it.

0:26:190:26:23

Chris had been checking his beef herd.

0:26:240:26:26

He raised the alarm when the numbers didn't add up.

0:26:260:26:30

I counted them, and there was one short, so I thought,

0:26:300:26:33

"My goodness me, there's one gone into the river."

0:26:330:26:36

'So I walked the river banks - no sign of any cattle.'

0:26:360:26:40

I came back, walked around them and, to my horror,

0:26:400:26:44

I saw this one steer in the well.

0:26:440:26:46

So, Chris got straight on to Shropshire Fire and Rescue.

0:26:460:26:50

And it's fallen in the well?

0:26:520:26:53

It's gone into the well.

0:26:530:26:55

It's about, I suppose, a three-foot diameter well.

0:26:550:26:59

He's wrapped up in the bottom, and it's quite deep.

0:26:590:27:02

Watch manager Paul Fulgoni and his team responded to the call.

0:27:020:27:07

I went down in Chris's 4x4 and just made sure that the track would take a fire appliance or two.

0:27:070:27:15

There's an area here...

0:27:150:27:16

Looking down into the well, two metres by about four metres deep,

0:27:180:27:22

and at the bottom, it was absolutely full of animal

0:27:220:27:24

with no space around it at all.

0:27:240:27:26

The lack of space is a real problem.

0:27:260:27:29

The dangers to the crew were, if we've got to put a firefighter down

0:27:290:27:32

in a confined space with an animal that's...

0:27:320:27:35

You can't tell whether it's going to thrash around

0:27:350:27:38

and injure a firefighter with its feet, head or whatever.

0:27:380:27:41

They have to find some way of creating space

0:27:410:27:45

around the bullock to save it and also to protect the firefighters.

0:27:450:27:49

Chris comes up with just the man to help - local digger driver Brian.

0:27:490:27:54

He starts digging down a few feet away to create a slipway to the well wall.

0:27:570:28:03

My concern was the fact that it was 12 foot deep, the trench is going to be 12 foot deep -

0:28:030:28:09

there's no way you'd want to dig a trench 12 foot deep with sheer sides.

0:28:090:28:13

So I had to taper the sides into the bottom.

0:28:130:28:16

There's a massive amount of soil to be removed before they even get to the well wall.

0:28:160:28:21

As he gets closer, there's concern that one wrong move

0:28:210:28:24

could mean serious injury to this valuable bullock.

0:28:240:28:27

But Chris never doubts his friend's skill.

0:28:270:28:31

He's just so accurate with the way that he swings that bucket around.

0:28:310:28:35

I would say he could put a cork in a bottle and not break it.

0:28:350:28:39

It's a noisy and potentially terrifying experience

0:28:420:28:45

for this young steer, but he's staying remarkably calm.

0:28:450:28:49

He was always very, very quiet all of the time that he was down there.

0:28:490:28:53

He's a very quiet steer, and it didn't seem to worry him at all.

0:28:530:28:57

They finally reach the brick walls of the well,

0:28:570:29:00

which will have to be dismantled, but without pushing them in onto the bullock.

0:29:000:29:04

I made sure I only took two rows at a time out.

0:29:040:29:07

Taking a large lump of brickwork out would weaken the structure, and my thought was that

0:29:070:29:14

the sides of the well would then collapse on the bullock.

0:29:140:29:17

So far, so good. But the animal has been trapped in this confined space for at least two hours.

0:29:170:29:23

They can't tell at this stage if it has any serious injuries.

0:29:230:29:27

The next part of the rescue will be critical.

0:29:270:29:31

Once we enlarged the trench, the front of the Bullock turned,

0:29:310:29:33

and we were able to see him elongated in the bottom of the trench.

0:29:330:29:37

We were hoping that he'd have strength to be able to stand.

0:29:370:29:40

That would have been the best scenario.

0:29:400:29:43

Unfortunately, he didn't have the strength in his legs.

0:29:430:29:45

They have to use the crane to lift him out,

0:29:450:29:47

but first they need to get the strops around him.

0:29:470:29:50

We have to be careful where we fix the strops around an animal.

0:29:510:29:54

We can't take them round the middle, because they've not got

0:29:540:29:57

the ability to take their own body weight in their stomach area.

0:29:570:30:01

So it's got to be under the front legs and at the rear, round the hindquarters, round the hips.

0:30:010:30:06

So it takes a little bit of time to fix those strops.

0:30:060:30:09

At last they're ready to start lifting.

0:30:090:30:13

Slowly, but surely, the bullock is brought to level ground.

0:30:170:30:22

An awesome sight, really, seeing the steer hanging in mid-air

0:30:220:30:25

with two straps around.

0:30:250:30:28

But he was OK, he never struggled.

0:30:280:30:30

He was very quiet.

0:30:300:30:32

But the bullock has been squeezed up in the well for so long that its legs just can't get going.

0:30:320:30:38

It's an anxious moment for everyone, especially Chris.

0:30:380:30:42

I thought initially he was going to stand,

0:30:420:30:44

but as they let the weight off very slowly, he collapsed, really.

0:30:440:30:50

The vet administers antibiotics and painkillers.

0:30:500:30:55

There's no sign of broken limbs, which was everyone's main concern, but it is possible

0:30:550:30:59

that the whole trauma could have been too much for him.

0:30:590:31:03

It's going to be a long night for Chris as he waits to see

0:31:030:31:06

if his bullock gets back on its feet.

0:31:060:31:08

And here they take calls about animals quite a lot.

0:31:080:31:11

Right now, they're dealing with two Jack Russells which are loose

0:31:110:31:14

on one of the motorways and are in danger of causing an accident.

0:31:140:31:18

Now, we've all travelled behind a lorry at some stage,

0:31:180:31:21

praying that its load is more secure than perhaps it looks.

0:31:210:31:24

Most are safe as houses, but every now and again, the worst happens.

0:31:240:31:29

A 999 call's just come in. Traffic cop Rob Brind is on his way to a car accident in a narrow country lane.

0:31:330:31:41

An HGV has shed part of its load

0:31:410:31:44

and it's hit another car,

0:31:440:31:47

so we're just going to assist.

0:31:470:31:50

Local units are already in attendance.

0:31:500:31:51

We'll just see what's going on.

0:31:510:31:53

The scene is filled with emergency vehicles.

0:31:550:31:59

A car has a smashed windscreen, but it's not been caused by a collision with another vehicle.

0:31:590:32:04

Dave and Linda Jones, the couple in the car,

0:32:040:32:07

have had an incredibly lucky escape after a pick-up truck shed its load.

0:32:070:32:12

We were just driving along, going that way, and a lorry

0:32:120:32:16

going that way round the bend had, like, fence posts on the back, and they all just tumbled off and hit us,

0:32:160:32:22

went through the windscreen and the front of the car.

0:32:220:32:25

Three or four of the fence posts flew onto the bonnet of their car, shooting up onto the windscreen.

0:32:250:32:32

Somehow, the posts were deflected by the wiper blades just inches away from the couple.

0:32:320:32:37

Yeah, hit the windscreen.

0:32:370:32:39

Dave was driving, but is adamant he's OK.

0:32:390:32:42

He seems to be fine. He's probably coping better than I am.

0:32:420:32:47

But ambulance technician Kevin Deverall needs to make sure

0:32:470:32:49

-Dave has no hidden injuries.

-I'm absolutely fine.

0:32:490:32:52

I've been walking up and down this road with the police for 20 minutes.

0:32:520:32:56

It doesn't mean a thing. People have got up and walked around,

0:32:560:32:59

and then, all of a sudden, their back starts to hurt.

0:32:590:33:02

Rob goes off to talk to the driver of the pick-up truck

0:33:040:33:07

as Dave and Linda try to come to terms about what's happened.

0:33:070:33:11

It was so quick. I hit the brakes, and that was that.

0:33:110:33:16

The car was a mess.

0:33:160:33:18

My wife's in total shock.

0:33:180:33:21

Well, if you saw three or four big fence posts coming towards you...

0:33:210:33:26

I think when the lorry braked, they flew off,

0:33:260:33:30

went straight through.

0:33:300:33:33

Luckily, it didn't come into the car, or...

0:33:330:33:36

We'll be all right.

0:33:360:33:38

The posts have smashed the car's windscreen, but thankfully, it didn't shatter.

0:33:400:33:45

All the same, Kevin would rather the couple were thoroughly checked over in hospital.

0:33:450:33:50

We've got a lady who's quite shocked, because, obviously, when the timbers

0:33:500:33:53

hit the windscreen, she thought they were going to come through.

0:33:530:33:56

So she slid down in her seat belt in the chair,

0:33:560:33:59

trying to avoid the wood coming through, and the gentleman's got

0:33:590:34:03

a little bit of discomfort where he was jolted in the seat,

0:34:030:34:07

and both of them are refusing to go to hospital at the moment.

0:34:070:34:10

But we're going to stay with them and make sure of their blood pressure level and their pulse settles down.

0:34:100:34:15

He's amazed that no-one has been more seriously hurt.

0:34:150:34:19

All of these fence panels have slid across the bonnet,

0:34:190:34:23

and, for some reason, they've not actually gone into the car.

0:34:230:34:25

If they'd gone into the car, we probably would have been looking at a double fatal.

0:34:250:34:31

So they're VERY lucky, and I think they both realise how lucky they are.

0:34:310:34:34

And it's just sinking into them now

0:34:340:34:37

that they had a very narrow escape.

0:34:370:34:39

Well, if we'd been going faster, I think it would have come straight through,

0:34:390:34:43

but we were only doing, like, 30mph when the logs hit us.

0:34:430:34:47

So we're all right. We'll be fine - I hope.

0:34:510:34:54

Meanwhile, Bob has been investigating how these fence posts managed

0:34:590:35:02

-to part company with the pick-up.

-I've spoken to the guys down there.

0:35:020:35:05

They've confirmed that they did shed a load, and it's all been put back and it's all secure now.

0:35:050:35:12

I've got to confirm that. Now, the way I've dealt with it is given them a fixed-penalty notice

0:35:120:35:17

for a dangerous load, effectively,

0:35:170:35:19

and that is a £60 fine, three points on a licence.

0:35:190:35:24

So, hopefully, it'll stop them from ever doing this again, and making sure that their load is secure.

0:35:240:35:30

The good thing is your car and your windscreen did what it's supposed to do, and that is protect you guys.

0:35:300:35:35

And so you've got to be pretty proud of that, to be honest with you,

0:35:350:35:39

that you're coming out of it pretty much injury-free.

0:35:390:35:42

It could have been far worse. I don't want to be doom and gloom, but that could be.

0:35:420:35:46

Kevin agrees luck was on their side today.

0:35:460:35:49

So, is it straight down and buy a lottery ticket?

0:35:490:35:52

I think you need to! Absolutely!

0:35:520:35:56

Shaken but not stirred.

0:35:560:35:59

Extraordinary. Make sure you secure your load

0:36:020:36:05

if you're tying things on the back of a van.

0:36:050:36:08

OK, moving on. Lifeguards on a beach are always on the lookout for rip currents.

0:36:080:36:12

They're particularly dangerous for swimmers,

0:36:120:36:13

who can be swept out to sea.

0:36:130:36:15

That's exactly what happened at Woolacombe beach in Devon.

0:36:150:36:18

The RNLI had to leap into action

0:36:180:36:20

when eight children and three adults, an entire football team,

0:36:200:36:23

were dragged out into deep water

0:36:230:36:24

and deep trouble, all captured on the lifeguard's helmet camera.

0:36:240:36:28

Luke and Sam are leaping into action.

0:36:330:36:37

They need to get the inflatable rescue boat out fast.

0:36:370:36:41

The rip tide is taking bathers way out to sea.

0:36:410:36:46

Seven of them are already tiring.

0:36:460:36:50

They're under-13s from the same football team.

0:36:500:36:53

Luke goes at full throttle.

0:36:530:36:55

With so many to rescue at once, there's not a second to lose.

0:36:550:37:01

When they get there, Luke throws out floats to the exhausted swimmers,

0:37:010:37:05

whilst Sam wastes no time pulling them on board.

0:37:050:37:08

Can you get in, mate?

0:37:080:37:10

Just calm down, guys, all right? We're coming to get you.

0:37:100:37:14

Cheers, mate. Back here.

0:37:140:37:16

Quick. Stay there.

0:37:180:37:21

You all right?

0:37:230:37:24

Give us the girl, buddy! The girl.

0:37:260:37:29

Are you all right for two minutes?

0:37:290:37:31

We'll come and get you. Do you want a life jacket, mate?

0:37:310:37:35

And this is Joe and Tommy, who were in the water.

0:37:380:37:41

That looked pretty scary.

0:37:410:37:42

Erm, yeah. You don't realise how scary it is until it's all over and you realise how lucky you are.

0:37:420:37:49

Was it frightening when you were in the water?

0:37:490:37:51

Yeah. It just takes you out of breath, really, and you can't swim, so you have to...

0:37:510:37:56

-You just have to hang on there!

-Yeah.

-Granddad's with them, as well.

0:37:560:37:59

We actually saw you float up alongside the boat there.

0:37:590:38:02

Why were you in the water

0:38:020:38:03

and why did you get into such trouble so quickly?

0:38:030:38:06

Well, we take the guys on a football tour at the end of the season

0:38:060:38:10

and we always take them for a swim.

0:38:100:38:12

And we went onto Woolacombe beach in between the flags,

0:38:120:38:14

where we were basically waist to chest height,

0:38:140:38:18

just swimming with them, and then, before you knew it, we were washed out to sea.

0:38:180:38:23

Just could not swim against the tide.

0:38:230:38:25

I've always called them "rip tides", but they're called "rip currents", I'm told.

0:38:250:38:28

What does it feel like when you get taken by one?

0:38:280:38:31

Er, you don't initially know, until you sort of look and realise how far

0:38:310:38:37

you are from the beach and you're actually going backwards.

0:38:370:38:40

You must have been terrified to see the kids going out with you.

0:38:400:38:43

Er, I can't say I was terrified, because... I'd obviously got my two grandchildren there.

0:38:430:38:48

We also take other children whose parents can't go and we look after them,

0:38:480:38:52

so you've got children in there, your own family and others...

0:38:520:38:56

I think I'd be terrified at that stage, especially with other people's kids.

0:38:560:38:59

Let's take a look how it developed.

0:38:590:39:01

Jump out that side, guys, now, quick.

0:39:010:39:03

Quick, quick, hurry up.

0:39:030:39:05

Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up.

0:39:060:39:08

They rushed back out for the rest of the swimmers.

0:39:130:39:15

Again they head for the youngest first.

0:39:150:39:17

Cheers, buddy.

0:39:200:39:21

Some surfers are helping out.

0:39:210:39:24

The children are clinging onto their boards.

0:39:240:39:27

Climb up here.

0:39:270:39:28

Mate, climb in, I'm not going to lift you all the way.

0:39:350:39:38

Hurry up, guys.

0:39:380:39:40

The boys are clearly relieved to get out of the water and get back to dry land to join the rest of their team.

0:39:420:39:48

After one more trip to pick up the adults, it's time for a head count.

0:39:490:39:52

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,

0:39:520:39:56

-nine, ten, eleven.

-All of the eleven are safe and well.

0:39:560:40:00

Yeah, no-one's swallowed any water?

0:40:000:40:01

No.

0:40:010:40:03

Yeah? You feeling all right? You're not feeling sick? As long as you're all good, eh?

0:40:030:40:06

All a very terrifying experience, but resolved very quickly,

0:40:090:40:12

thanks to Luke, who basically had the camera on there,

0:40:120:40:14

and his colleague in the boat.

0:40:140:40:16

-What's your colleague's name?

-Sam.

0:40:160:40:18

Sam, OK. Tell us what happened there.

0:40:180:40:19

Because you're on a beach between the flags, so it's presumably a safe swimming beach,

0:40:190:40:24

and yet suddenly you are all swept out to sea. How does that happen?

0:40:240:40:28

It is. We put the red and yellow flags

0:40:280:40:30

at the safest place at the time.

0:40:300:40:32

Throughout the day, we'll assess the conditions

0:40:320:40:34

and move them if need be.

0:40:340:40:35

But with sudden rip currents, they come out of nowhere,

0:40:350:40:38

and literally within minutes, they take people out if people are in the way.

0:40:380:40:42

There are two ways to deal with rip currents.

0:40:420:40:45

There's no point in trying to swim against it.

0:40:450:40:47

Absolutely not, no. That just wears you out.

0:40:470:40:49

You use a lot of energy and you get taken out anyway.

0:40:490:40:52

You're more in danger of drowning if you lose that energy. So conserve energy.

0:40:520:40:55

Conserve energy and stay nice and calm and raise your arm.

0:40:550:40:58

It's easier for the lifeguards to notice.

0:40:580:41:00

The guys did very well.

0:41:000:41:02

Given that they were swept out, Granddad and everybody did exactly the right thing.

0:41:020:41:05

They did extremely well, yup.

0:41:050:41:07

They realised they were in trouble,

0:41:070:41:08

but they stayed calm, reserved energy and put their arm in the air.

0:41:080:41:11

We already knew about it, but just the arm in the air makes it easier.

0:41:110:41:15

-Can you swim out of a rip tide?

-You can if you're a reasonable swimmer.

0:41:150:41:19

We always tell people to swim across or parallel to the beach.

0:41:190:41:22

-So don't try and swim against the current.

-Never try.

-Swim sideways.

0:41:220:41:25

Swim sideways into the surf line or into the waves where the waves are breaking.

0:41:250:41:29

If not, just let it take you out and stay nice and calm.

0:41:290:41:33

Cos that'll stop, and you'll get a chance to swim back in, or somebody will get you.

0:41:330:41:37

It will stop, and you can swim around it or wait for us to get you.

0:41:370:41:40

Bet you'll be pleased to be back on dry land, aren't you?

0:41:400:41:43

-Yeah.

-Yeah?

0:41:430:41:44

I thought you all did very well. Nice to talk to you, guys.

0:41:440:41:47

Thank you very much.

0:41:470:41:49

Just a quick update on those dogs. They think that they were abandoned.

0:41:520:41:56

They've had to close the whole motorway and they're still looking for them. They can't find them.

0:41:560:42:01

Oh, yes, and one other thing before we go today...

0:42:010:42:04

The bullock that had to be rescued from that 12-foot well...

0:42:050:42:10

two hours after his ordeal, he was up on his feet with nothing worse than a few bruises.

0:42:100:42:15

I was very relieved that it was OK. I thought he may have broken a limb,

0:42:150:42:19

and that would have been a big financial loss.

0:42:190:42:22

I was absolutely staggered when I saw that he was OK that evening at 9 o'clock.

0:42:220:42:28

-And he can't thank the firefighters enough.

-They were wonderful.

0:42:280:42:32

They brought a tender from Shrewsbury, and of course

0:42:320:42:35

a lifting gear tender from Wellington...

0:42:350:42:38

that was obviously instrumental in getting the steer out.

0:42:380:42:42

That was really interesting about rip currents.

0:42:470:42:49

So do you swim to the side?

0:42:490:42:50

Swim across and away from them. But we haven't got time for more.

0:42:500:42:54

-That's it for Real Rescues today. Join us again tomorrow.

-Bye-bye!

0:42:540:42:56

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:110:43:14

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:140:43:17

Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present dramatic events from the day-to-day work of the emergency services, going behind the scenes at one of Britain's biggest police control centres.

We hear the 999 call made by a three-year-old which saves his mother's life and see RNLI lifeguards rescue a boys football team from being swept out to sea by a rip current.


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