Episode 3 Real Rescues


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Episode 3

Series following the emergency services. The fire service is called out to rescue families trapped by a collapsed concrete walkway and a walker who faces a long fall.


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Today, a 999 call alerts the fire service to an emergency at a block of flats.

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Firefighters arrive to find a high walkway has collapsed.

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Families are trapped and they can smell gas.

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There's only a flimsy tree root between him and a fall on to rocks,

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but this caller hangs on to his sense of humour.

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He might be making a joke, but he is in real danger.

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And a woman who ended up trapped in her car, hanging over a river, miles from help.

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It was quite scary for her and daunting for us, looking at the river below, thinking, "Oh, my God!"

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Hello and welcome to Real Rescues.

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This police control room near Southampton is one of the busiest

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and largest in the UK. Each area here has different responsibilities.

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This is the motorway desk. You can see the screens behind me.

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There's the command desk. Everything serious goes through there.

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Where Nick is, that's Eastleigh. They're in charge of the airports.

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At the back of the room is the new forensics desk.

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Later on, we'll talk to a forensic investigator about their work.

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Before we get started, I want to have a walk round.

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At the moment, we have a shift change.

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Bob, who's in charge, is handing over to Russ.

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We'll have a quick word with Russ and find out what's going on. What have you got for us today?

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At the moment, we're looking at a couple of incidents of note.

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One is a group of lads with guns,

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although it turns out it would appear to be BB guns.

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And we're also looking at a suspect package that has been delivered to the Isle of Wight

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which is taking up quite a few resources at the moment.

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-That's interesting. You said kids were running around... I presume a BB gun is like an air gun?

-Yeah.

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They think it's a bit of a laugh, but for the people around them...

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It's quite a concern, of course.

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Who's been called in on the suspect package?

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The suspect package... Several people have been informed on that one.

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-We always notify Special Branch if we have an incident such as a suspect package.

-Right.

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And also we've got a specialist dog unit who can identify what the suspect...what substance it is.

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-OK.

-If it's a white substance.

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But also we have the fire brigade and the ambulance crews which are also involved.

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OK, we'll keep up with that a bit later on, but quickly, I want to chat to Bob.

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You've got people coming in through the ports. Your area has two major ports in it.

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We have a group of people who seem to have entered the country illegally.

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We're searching for a group who have gone missing from the Dock Gate area.

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It appears that a group have come in in a lorry.

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Some have been detained and the UK Border Agency and Immigration are currently dealing with them.

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I'll come back to you later,

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but first, an emergency that's more common in earthquake zones than in the city centre.

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A man has just called 999, struggling to believe what he has seen and heard.

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Part of a block of flats has collapsed. This is how the call came in.

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And the caller wasn't kidding. It's an unbelievable sight.

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A large section of this block of flats has inexplicably collapsed.

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Crews from the Hightown Fire Station are dispatched to the scene.

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They've been told two families are trapped inside their flats.

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Their courtyard garden and the paths to the front doors have fallen away.

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Trying to get out would involve a dangerous drop on to unstable ground.

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There's also an ominous smell of gas in the air and a real fear of further explosion or collapse.

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Incident commander Mark Raven sets up an exclusion zone.

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My initial worries were I didn't understand

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whether this was a gas explosion

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or a collapse which had caused a gas leak, which was quite worrying.

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There was a huge amount of gas on the site.

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Our first action was to warn the families not to switch on or switch off anything electrical,

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then I detailed the crews to start effecting the rescues.

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They've set up on the side of the building away from the debris.

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There's a family of five trapped in one flat and six in the other.

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Firefighter Mark Caplen carefully takes little Harry out from the left-hand flat first.

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It's a parent's natural instinct

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to give you their children before they put themselves out for rescue.

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Harry was a little bit hysterical cos he was leaving his mum's arms. He didn't want to be with a stranger.

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I tried to reassure Harry that he would be fine.

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HARRY CRIES Harry, Harry, Harry...

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Look up there! You see your sister? Your sister's coming down now.

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Your sister's coming now. Harry, we'll go down there and see the nice policeman. You come with me.

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While Mark leads a reassured Harry away to safety, Steve Graham brings down his sister Rosina.

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It's always harder with children on the ladders. As they're quite small,

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you don't have a correct handling of the ladder, so you do the best you can whilst coming down.

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Mummy will be coming in a minute.

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As they continue to evacuate the family from the left-hand flat,

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another fire crew is preparing to rescue their neighbours -

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Diane and her four children who are waiting anxiously for their turn.

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I'm calming the children down, saying, "Don't worry, we'll just get ourselves ready,"

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trying to let them know we're going to be OK.

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"Just keep to the middle in case anything else shakes or moves.

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"If we all stay huddled up like in a circle, we'll be OK."

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Getting them out of this flat will be made more precarious

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as the drop is deeper and over a flight of steps.

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There's also a problem with the window.

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I know our windows don't open fully

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because I put them on a tilt and locked it,

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so that the children couldn't lean through the windows because there was a big drop at the front.

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I just put the keys well away,

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not thinking that something like this could happen and it would be our escape route.

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While Diane searches frantically for the key,

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next door, Michael, who made the original 999 call, is the last person to be removed.

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He will join the rest of his family at the local church hall

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which is providing shelter for the evacuated residents.

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They're all relieved to have escaped unharmed from such a devastating scene.

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There was a big bang and a shake. I thought my son had fallen out of bed.

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It wasn't that. My wife thought it was thunder.

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I looked outside my bedroom window and my whole courtyard's just gone. It fell down to the ground.

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But all I was worried about was people underneath. It was terrible, absolutely terrible.

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-There was a smell of strong gas.

-Yeah, smell of gas.

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I thought the whole house was going to cave in.

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The balcony had gone. I was so shaken up. I just wanted to get out and couldn't.

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But at least they are out.

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Diane hasn't been able to locate the window key, so the firefighters will have to break in.

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But it's not going to be easy.

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The irony in all this is that the building itself was fitted with safety glass on the outside pane

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and it was preventing us from getting in in a timely fashion.

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Take the single pane out. You'll never get that out.

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Normally, we'd use an electrical appliance to cut the glass.

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However, I couldn't introduce anything electrical into the scene because of the gas leak,

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so we had to go to hand tools and the best hand tool that we've got for this was a fireman's axe.

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With the cause of this destruction unknown, the fear of an explosion or further collapse is a real concern.

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The fire crew need to get this family out to safety as fast as they can.

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The next little girl they have to bring down is terrified

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and it gives the fire crews a problem as we'll see when we return to that rescue a bit later.

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John Bird here has quite a story.

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He lost his footing on a cliff walk and he ended up... It's impossible to explain. Show me.

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When I fell, I landed about 10 or 12 feet down.

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I was horizontal to the path above

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and I noticed there was a twig two feet long just a short way away

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and I inched my way along, got my leg over it and was holding the twig through my leg to keep myself still.

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-Not particularly comfortable?

-Not at all, but better than falling.

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When that happened, he didn't lose his cool, his sense of humour or his manners

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as he called the Coastguard for help.

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How were you making that phone call and holding on to the branch at the same time...

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-You called Margorie, your wife, first?

-I did. I keep my mobile phone on the hip,

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so while I was holding the twig like that, I could use the phone on my other hand to make the call.

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-Margorie, what did you think?

-As soon as I received the call, I thought he was joking.

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-He is a bit of a joker.

-Yes, he is a wicked joker.

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And as soon as I received the call, when he said, "I need help," I knew then it was a genuine call,

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so I alerted the emergency services and waited for them.

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-You realised if you could call Margorie, you could call the Coastguard?

-That's right.

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Let's see what happened when they were trying to locate you.

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At the end of that, you sound really concerned. You realise you'll have to wait a longer time.

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Yes, I realised that anybody coming out from Clevedon would take 20, 25 minutes to walk to me.

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They told me a helicopter was coming from Portland which would take the best part of half an hour.

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-You could hear the helicopter?

-Yes, and I could see the helicopter circling above the water in the bay.

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And that was the most distressing part of it all because I thought he had gone.

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I was trying to contact him on the telephone. I didn't realise it was engaged with the Coastguard.

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-Did you think you were going to lose him?

-Yes, I did.

-Oh, how horrible for you!

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-Very distressed.

-Absolutely. Absolutely. You must have been...

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There was no-one around who I could talk to.

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At that time, I was in the car park on my own.

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So the emergency services, of course, arrived and they were very reassuring.

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And really sincere thanks to them all.

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I know you haven't seen these photos, Margorie, and we've got footage of the helicopter as well

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which will give you a sense of what was going on.

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What was going through your mind? You would have known that she was worried as well.

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I was. I asked the Coastguard at Swansea to contact her by mobile phone and thanks to them for that.

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So here you were at this point halfway down the cliff.

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-It wasn't a cliff rescue. They came over the cliff to get you, didn't they?

-That's correct.

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One of the lads came over with the sling. Once we were both in it, then obviously, they pulled us up.

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Margorie, you were really upset at the time and you were concerned that you hadn't said goodbye to him.

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That's right.

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-I thought that he was in the water. And I didn't have a chance to say goodbye...

-Aw!

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-But he's all right.

-He's all right? He's better than that.

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-He's still a wicked joker, isn't he?

-Yes, he hasn't changed one bit.

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He's still walking along there several times a week.

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-But being more careful.

-Is he being more careful?

-Yes, he is.

-Slightly more careful.

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It's been a pleasure to speak to you. I'm glad you're safe and well and that you still joke! Nick?

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Before we leave John, I think that's the most polite victim I've ever heard.

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"I'm terribly sorry, I think I might fall to my death. I don't want to disturb anyone."

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How did you manage to stay so polite? I'd be screaming.

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My main thought all the time was, "Keep calm, keep calm, there's a big drop down there!"

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And right at the beginning, you say, "The name's Bird, B-I-R-D." And you were in a bush.

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-Did no-one say to you, "Bird in a bush?"

-I've had the mickey taken out of me, a poem written about me.

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-I'll never live it down.

-Lovely talking to you. Thanks, Louise.

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From useful twigs to useful trees. Hit a tree normally and you're in trouble in a car.

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However, in the next rescue, it prevented a far worse accident.

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A New Forest road has been closed

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as all three emergency services are working to free a woman driver who has hit ice.

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Her sports car has spun out of control at the base of a hill,

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crashed into a tree and has come to rest on its side, hanging over a river.

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Driver Linda is conscious, but trapped in her seat.

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Paramedic Shaun Prewitt has clambered in to keep her still and safe.

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Seeing the car in the precarious situation it was in

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and the damage to the car, we were expecting worse, but the patient was conscious. It was very reassuring.

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It became obvious that she was pinned in the car by means of the door intrusion

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which had trapped her legs against the centre console. She was pinned in that position.

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The fire crew's first job was securing the car, so it won't slip down into the water.

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But the only way to get Linda out is to pull the car back.

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It's an unusual decision to move a vehicle when a patient may have spinal injuries,

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but the medics have agreed it's safe to go ahead.

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Crew manager Steve Evans is in charge of the MRV -

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that's a multi-role vehicle.

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We're going to tow it up on to the road,

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so the position is the easiest to get her out and the safest for her.

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They've got to ensure the move is as smooth as possible.

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When they take the tension up on the winch, we remove the one off the back

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and we need to secure it on the front somewhere, so we do the front with this Tirfor

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and the winch will take the back of the vehicle.

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Shaun has noticed that the front airbag is intact.

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If it was set off now, it would make matters far worse for Linda.

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Had the airbag gone off, we would have been concerned about any damage to the C-spine for the patient,

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so they tied ropes around it to the front of the vehicle, just to make it more secure.

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The MRV gets into place, ready to start winching the car back.

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With careful teamwork, the car begins to move.

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We wanted the hand-operated Tirfor winch to ensure that the front of the vehicle stayed in line.

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There was a bit of concern when things started to move, the noise and the creaks.

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But Linda coped very well. I was in close communication with a firefighter on the outside.

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Any time that I would have said to stop the action, then that would have happened.

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-Rest there.

-They can now get access to both sides of the car.

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The damage to the roof shows what a massive impact the car and Linda have suffered.

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It's crushed right down close to her head.

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Very cramped situation. There's a lot of intrusion from the roof and the driver's door.

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Do we think we can get a ram in on that roof to take it away from her head?

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Tim O'Donnell gets the ram or hydraulic jack into place.

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OK, that's it. Leave it there.

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Now they can start to take off the door. It means using the powerful hydraulic spreaders next to Linda.

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Just watch for intrusion on the door there. That's the only thing.

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'The spreaders can manipulate metal effortlessly under complete control.'

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OK, the door should be released now.

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Linda's husband Paul has arrived at the scene.

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He watches on as the firefighters carefully and gently cut his wife out from the car.

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We need people either side to support the roof.

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'When it came to the roof having to be cut off,

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'that needed to be explained to Linda because there would be a lot of strange noises.

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'Grinding, cutting, glass that hasn't broken needs to be broken.'

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It also gets very dark in there because there's a lot of protection for the patient and myself.

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But she coped with it very well. Very calm.

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Now the roof is off, the team can see how best to get her out.

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Paramedic Mike Gregory has a plan.

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So if we were to put a KED there, that would be more supportive.

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A KED is an extrication device that's used primarily to lift people out of confined spaces.

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It's like a corset that goes around the patient, strapped to go round.

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It supports the head and C-spine and keeps everything in line.

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We'll need to support and help with the manual handling, all right?

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Linda's ready to be manoeuvred on to the long board.

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We'll just feed it hand over hand to 'em.

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She was in very good spirits for the time that she was sat in the car.

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It must have been scary for her to be sat there that length of time with those people milling around her

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and looking at the river, thinking, "Oh, my God!"

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It was quite scary for her and daunting for us,

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having this limited work space to try and get her out of the car.

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At last, Paul can get close to comfort his wife.

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Linda will be taken to A&E for X-rays to find out just what her injuries are.

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But things could have been a lot worse if the tree hadn't brought the car to a standstill.

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It was possible, had the tree not been there, that the lady may have ended up upside down in the river

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in a position where most people wouldn't have seen it from the road.

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And there's a word of warning for other motorists.

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In areas like this remote forest area, expect the unexpected.

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In the hollow, you can have a cold spot like we had here this morning

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where the roads on the tops were dry and clear,

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but in the hollow where the sun takes that much longer to get into,

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any ice or snow that may have formed overnight will take that much longer to dissipate.

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Linda suffered extensive and very painful bruising, but she's recovering well.

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I've wandered over to this side of the office to chat with Bob.

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When we came in, we were talking about the immigration issue.

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You must get a lot of people coming through the ports and people escaping and illegal immigrants.

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Yes, it's a common occurrence.

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We've got two major ports in Southampton and Portsmouth on the mainland.

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Today, we've got an incident where people appear to have come in on a lorry

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and cut their way through the curtain side of that lorry and tried to escape on to the mainland.

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-You've managed to pick up... Two were held...

-Two were held initially at the border...

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immediately in the dock, then within the dock area, a further six were detained,

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but we're still looking for others.

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-You say they cut into the side of the lorry, so the lorry driver might not necessarily be involved.

-No.

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Clearly, we've got to look into the circumstances of how they've got in

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and potentially, is the driver involved in this?

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-But it appears that they've cut their way out of the side of the lorry.

-Interesting. Thank you very much.

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Still to come on Real Rescues, teenager Sophie comes a cropper for the umpteenth time.

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She's been thrown from her horse and dragged along with her foot in the stirrup.

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-So, is it hurting round here?

-Oh, yeah. Aagh!

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That's no problem. You may have just put a little crack in it. OK?

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And car crash forensics - how a crack on a windscreen can reveal just how an accident happens.

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Now we return to that extraordinary collapse at a block of flats.

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It's left families trapped and worried that more of the building will fall down.

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With the heavy smell of gas in the air and the real worry of further collapse,

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firefighter Keith Burton has finally broken into the flat

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where Diane and her four children have been waiting to be rescued.

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The children were a little bit shaken and scared.

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The smell of the gas and what had happened was in their mind.

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Diane was doing a good job of keeping everybody calm. They just all wanted to get out as quickly as they could.

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Keith decides to get the youngest, five-year-old Tegan, out first, but she's not going to come easily.

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You'll be all right. Paul will look after you.

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Both Keith and her mum are trying to reassure her, but it's just all too frightening.

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Keith tries a different approach.

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We decided to try and turn Tegan around,

0:25:050:25:08

so that her back was facing the other firefighter on the ladder.

0:25:080:25:12

That seemed to work. It took her mind off of just looking around.

0:25:120:25:16

She had to concentrate on where she was placing her feet and her hands.

0:25:160:25:21

She calmed down pretty quickly.

0:25:210:25:23

Look how high you are! It's good, innit? You can see everything, all those fire engines there for you.

0:25:230:25:30

Right, hold on tight then. Hold on to this. That's it. Well done.

0:25:300:25:34

Diane knows that for her little girl, it must seem like a very long way down.

0:25:340:25:40

She's impressed how the firefighters have got her to go down the ladder so calmly.

0:25:400:25:45

The firefighters were lovely. From how they were talking to the children, it made me feel better.

0:25:450:25:51

-That's it. Good girl.

-'They made them feel comfortable and everything

0:25:510:25:56

'and I was just so proud of the children.'

0:25:560:25:59

The firefighters were just adorable.

0:25:590:26:01

We'll see if we can get them a bit warm for you. We'll put you over this way now, OK? Good girl.

0:26:040:26:11

Tegan's much calmer now she's in the arms of Andrew Stinton.

0:26:110:26:15

Shall we wait here for your mum and dad to come down? Is that your sister coming?

0:26:150:26:19

-Remarkably, Mia is finding the whole experience a lot more fun.

-Step together.

0:26:190:26:24

Are you enjoying this?

0:26:250:26:27

-Step together.

-Whee!

-Are you all right? There you go.

0:26:270:26:32

Put your feet down. Come this side.

0:26:320:26:34

Whee!

0:26:360:26:38

-That's two of you. How many more people are there in there?

-Three.

-Three more to come down?

0:26:380:26:44

The rest of the family are quickly brought out with Diane the last to leave.

0:26:440:26:50

Well, almost the last to leave.

0:26:510:26:55

There you go.

0:26:550:26:57

But Buddy the lovebird isn't the only animal that needs rescuing.

0:26:580:27:02

These bunnies were sitting happily in their hutches on the raised courtyard garden

0:27:020:27:08

when the ground gave way beneath them. They belong to Mark who earlier had to be rescued himself.

0:27:080:27:14

I've got 13 rabbits. They were on the courtyard, all bouncing around.

0:27:140:27:18

I don't know how many's left. I did have 13 rabbits, but we'll have to wait and see what's left.

0:27:180:27:24

Fortunately, it seems all of the rabbits have miraculously survived.

0:27:240:27:29

In fact, most appear happily oblivious as to how lucky they've been.

0:27:290:27:34

But retrieving the rabbits will have to wait.

0:27:350:27:38

There's still a heavy gas leak somewhere and with the causes unknown,

0:27:380:27:43

the firefighters need everybody to stay away until the building is inspected by experts.

0:27:430:27:49

We're waiting to find out whether the gas has caused the collapse

0:27:490:27:53

or whether it is just a structural problem and it's then ruptured a gas pipe of some sort.

0:27:530:27:59

The residents cannot return to their homes for a while,

0:27:590:28:03

but given the size and location of this collapse, it's amazing that nobody has been hurt.

0:28:030:28:09

We're lucky that this has happened in the early hours of a Sunday morning.

0:28:090:28:13

It is a busy walkway and it could have injured a lot of people,

0:28:130:28:17

so fate has it that it's happened at a quiet time.

0:28:170:28:21

What had happened was that walkway collapsed after a brick support pillar had given way.

0:28:210:28:27

Absolutely. Once all the people were safe, the firefighters gathered up the rabbits.

0:28:270:28:32

There they go. He's on a rope for his own safety. The rabbits...

0:28:320:28:37

It looks so uncomfortable when they carry them like that.

0:28:370:28:40

13 of them - can you imagine trying to find them all hopping round that Wendy house?

0:28:400:28:46

You say 13. There were 20 by the time they'd rescued them all(!)

0:28:460:28:50

All the families have been re-housed and so have all the rabbits.

0:28:500:28:54

-Shall we move on from rabbits to horses?

-Go on.

0:28:540:28:57

15-year-old Sophie has been riding horses since she was a tot,

0:28:570:29:01

but her 13 years on horseback have not been accident-free.

0:29:010:29:05

SIREN WAILS

0:29:050:29:07

We've got a 15-year-old that's come off a horse.

0:29:070:29:11

The information we've been given is that she's not in the road, she's in the woods nearby.

0:29:110:29:17

It'll give us some access problems, depending on how easy it is to get into the woods.

0:29:170:29:22

They get the ambulance as close as possible, but the accident has happened a little way from the road.

0:29:220:29:28

I'll go and have a quick look.

0:29:280:29:30

Some local boys seem to think it was a bad fall.

0:29:300:29:34

-When we found her, she was unconscious.

-Is she talking to you now?

-Yeah.

-That's good.

0:29:340:29:40

-She's sat, is she?

-Yeah.

0:29:400:29:42

-Her collarbone hurts.

-Her collarbone hurts, OK. Do we know her name?

-Sophie.

-Sophie.

0:29:420:29:48

200 metres down the track, they find a very distressed Sophie being comforted by Sue, a family friend,

0:29:480:29:55

and mum Amanda.

0:29:550:29:57

-Can you tell me what's happened?

-I think I just came off.

-You just came off.

0:29:570:30:02

A few things we want to just find out. When you breathe in and out, does it hurt?

0:30:020:30:07

-No. My collarbone really hurts.

-Which side?

-This side.

-On this side here.

0:30:070:30:13

OK, let's have a look at it. I'll have a quick look the best I can.

0:30:130:30:17

-So, is it hurting round here?

-Oh, yeah. Aagh!

0:30:170:30:20

You may have just put a little crack in it.

0:30:200:30:24

-OK? You weren't knocked out, were you?

-Well, they reckoned she was.

0:30:240:30:28

-Who took your helmet off?

-She didn't have one.

-You weren't wearing one.

0:30:280:30:32

Although Sophie has an obvious and painful injury to her collarbone,

0:30:320:30:36

the fact that she wasn't wearing a helmet means paramedic Dave Palmer is worried

0:30:360:30:41

there may be a more serious, but hidden injury to her head and neck.

0:30:410:30:45

-Any pains anywhere down your back?

-No.

-None at all?

-No.

0:30:450:30:49

Sophie had suffered a distracting injury.

0:30:490:30:52

What we mean by that

0:30:520:30:54

is I'm asking her when I look at areas down her back and neck.

0:30:540:30:58

'Unfortunately, she is focusing very much on the collarbone.'

0:30:580:31:02

-Up here on your neck, does that hurt?

-No. My collarbone's really hurting.

-Your collarbone's hurting.

0:31:020:31:09

It can seem unusual for the patient

0:31:090:31:12

because in their mind, they're very much, "I have a pain here, why are you not dealing with it?"

0:31:120:31:17

But we have to immediately go to the things that either threaten their life or their lifestyle.

0:31:170:31:23

Sophie was riding with Sue's granddaughter Paige who is also upset by the accident.

0:31:230:31:29

-Come here.

-It's my fault.

-No, it's not. It's nobody's fault.

-I should have listened to you though.

0:31:290:31:35

One of these days, somebody will listen to me.

0:31:350:31:38

Paige tells them that as well as falling off the horse, Sophie was dragged along the path

0:31:380:31:43

with her foot caught in the stirrups.

0:31:430:31:46

-Was she unconscious?

-Yeah, she was making noises.

0:31:460:31:49

Sophie's behaviour after her fall gives Dave even more reason to be concerned about a head injury.

0:31:490:31:56

-You felt a little bit dizzy?

-I still do.

-You still do.

0:31:560:32:00

If a person is not wearing a riding helmet, they have a greater risk of damage to the outside of the head

0:32:000:32:06

and it increases the likelihood of them having a brain injury.

0:32:060:32:11

-How high is the horse that you've come off?

-14.2.

-Can you put that into English for me?

0:32:110:32:16

-She's only little.

-About the same height as you?

-A bit smaller than me.

0:32:160:32:21

Head injuries can be very unpredictable. A person can appear to have no injuries at all,

0:32:210:32:27

then suddenly become quite unwell, which is why we're monitoring very closely her level of consciousness.

0:32:270:32:33

Sophie, open your eyes. Keep talking to me, my dear.

0:32:330:32:37

-I feel really dizzy.

-You feel really dizzy.

0:32:370:32:40

You have had quite a bang. I'll have a quick look at your head and see if I can see anything obvious.

0:32:400:32:46

Twig in forest!

0:32:460:32:48

There's no obvious bleeding. Let's have a look in your eyes.

0:32:480:32:52

Having checked as much as he can, Dave needs to get Sophie into hospital as soon as possible.

0:32:520:32:58

And this hospital trip is a pretty regular one for Sophie as we'll be finding out.

0:32:580:33:04

I want to talk to Mark about a really lucky escape.

0:33:040:33:07

-Look at this picture! I can see a car went into a house.

-Yeah.

0:33:070:33:11

A bit of a nasty one. We had a call from an ambulance.

0:33:110:33:15

They had had a call advising of a two-vehicle accident that had happened on the road.

0:33:150:33:20

We didn't know anything else and the extent of injuries, so our units arrived on the scene and found this.

0:33:200:33:27

-That's their sitting room where they could have been watching TV.

-Yeah, it was a bit of a lucky escape.

0:33:270:33:33

The person that owned this house was in London.

0:33:330:33:36

No-one was injured, not even the person driving the vehicle.

0:33:360:33:40

-The house has got a bit of repair work to do.

-Just a little bit(!)

0:33:400:33:44

That's a brilliant story. Thank you very much.

0:33:440:33:47

Rescuing and freeing people trapped and hurt in road accidents is one aspect of police work.

0:33:470:33:52

An accident can become a scene of crime and that work is handled by a special unit.

0:33:520:33:58

Nick is with one of their investigators.

0:33:580:34:01

I'm just chatting here to Tony Johnson who is from the...?

0:34:010:34:05

The Hampshire Constabulary's Forensic Collision Investigation Unit.

0:34:050:34:09

The easiest way to do this is for me to give you a couple of scenarios.

0:34:090:34:13

If I do that like that... We have a crash incident, we have a victim, we have a car driver.

0:34:130:34:19

The car driver says the person ran at speed out from the side.

0:34:190:34:23

The victim says, "I was standing still when he cleaned me up." What do you learn by looking at the car?

0:34:230:34:29

We've got a nice, clear mark across the bonnet made as the pedestrian went across the bonnet.

0:34:290:34:35

It is at an angle of about 45 degrees from the driver's side corner towards the passenger side.

0:34:350:34:41

This is indicative of a reasonably quick movement by the pedestrian travelling from the driver's side...

0:34:410:34:47

So you'd be more inclined to believe him that the pedestrian's run out?

0:34:470:34:52

Yes. Had the pedestrian been stationary, the mark would have been more in line with the vehicle.

0:34:520:34:58

Cracked windscreens, we talked about. There's damage on the bonnet, through the windscreen.

0:34:580:35:04

And there's damage across the roof. The driver says he's doing under 30mph when they collided.

0:35:040:35:10

-True or false?

-Unlikely to be true.

0:35:100:35:12

If you get significant damage on to the roof,

0:35:120:35:15

that is more indicative of a higher speed collision,

0:35:150:35:19

which is usually more than 30mph.

0:35:190:35:21

So, instantly, you pick information out from the marks. A polished car is a nightmare for you.

0:35:210:35:26

It is difficult. There are techniques we can use which sometimes pick the marks up -

0:35:260:35:32

the lighting techniques or using fingerprint dust, but a dirty car is a lot easier.

0:35:320:35:37

One thing you said was when you're driving near articulated lorries, you have to be particularly careful.

0:35:370:35:44

You've been to hundreds of crashes. In fact, Tony's been involved in a crash with an articulated lorry.

0:35:440:35:50

What's your advice as somebody who's been to so many accidents?

0:35:500:35:54

On motorways and dual carriageways, don't sit next to an artic.

0:35:540:35:58

If you can't overtake and get in front of it, you're better to sit just behind it.

0:35:580:36:03

On the offside of artics, there are a number of blind spots

0:36:030:36:07

and if you start to go past it and the artic moves to the right,

0:36:070:36:11

then you've got 38, 40 tonnes of lorry coming into your lane.

0:36:110:36:15

The same advice goes for cyclists going up the inside, so keep yourself away from artics.

0:36:150:36:20

It's nice to know there are people around who might find the truth

0:36:200:36:24

when two people don't have the same story on what's gone on. Back to you, Louise.

0:36:240:36:29

Let's take you back to Sophie. She's fallen from her horse and she's been dragged along the ground.

0:36:320:36:38

The ambulance crew are taking her to hospital and not for the first time after riding accidents.

0:36:380:36:44

Sophie has almost certainly broken her collarbone and that is causing her the most pain,

0:36:470:36:53

but the force of her fall means paramedic Dave Palmer is also concerned about the possibility

0:36:530:36:59

of other injuries to her head and neck.

0:36:590:37:02

We'll get her vertical, get the collar on her,

0:37:020:37:05

put the scoop in either side and we'll lay her back on to the scoop.

0:37:050:37:10

Sophie has other worries on her mind.

0:37:100:37:13

-I'm scared.

-Why are you scared?

-Because I don't like injections.

0:37:130:37:17

-Who's mentioned an injection?

-Hospitals usually do.

-Hospitals do.

0:37:170:37:22

Sophie, look at me.

0:37:220:37:25

I'm going to check a few things on you. I need yeses and I need noes.

0:37:250:37:29

You need to tell me what's going on.

0:37:290:37:32

Paige, a young friend, has taken Sophie's pony back home.

0:37:320:37:35

Getting the injured rider out of the woods will be more complicated.

0:37:350:37:40

If we get the collar on her while I'm in that position...

0:37:400:37:43

Sophie's neck and spine need to be kept as straight as possible to avoid aggravating any damage.

0:37:430:37:49

They fit a collar to keep her neck steady.

0:37:490:37:53

Mum Amanda is at her side.

0:37:530:37:55

What's hurting? Your collarbone? I'm just really scared.

0:37:550:37:59

She's got a pain threshold of about zero.

0:37:590:38:02

Sophie, listen to me.

0:38:020:38:04

There's no need for you to be scared.

0:38:040:38:08

They ease her gently down on to a stretcher.

0:38:080:38:11

-We'll give you some pain relief.

-It's not an injection?

-No, it'll be a gas.

0:38:110:38:16

On three. One, two, three...

0:38:160:38:19

Sophie's spirits have been raised by the arrival of her dad.

0:38:190:38:23

Her parents are having to get used to their daughter needing treatment.

0:38:230:38:27

This is her third horse-related injury in just six weeks.

0:38:270:38:31

-Are you sure he's your dad?

-LAUGHTER

0:38:390:38:42

-He's being nasty to you.

-< No, he'd know!

0:38:420:38:45

-Have you broken your collarbone, sir?

-Yeah, amongst many other things.

0:38:450:38:50

-You're a regular client of the NHS?

-I was until I stopped riding bikes.

-There you go.

0:38:500:38:56

She'll stay flat on her back until she can be fully examined at hospital.

0:38:560:39:01

Thanks very much, guys.

0:39:010:39:03

In the ambulance, Dave follows Sophie's "no injections" request

0:39:030:39:07

and gives her some gas and air to ease the pain. She finally seems to be responding more normally.

0:39:070:39:13

-Any questions?

-No, but my head and collarbone's killing me.

0:39:130:39:18

That's the first time in 13 years I've ridden without a hat.

0:39:180:39:22

I'm afraid I'm not a fan of horses myself.

0:39:220:39:26

Anything you can't put a handbrake on and leave at the side of the road, I've got problems with.

0:39:260:39:32

OK, Sophie. Open your eyes.

0:39:350:39:37

Sophie is taken to Portsmouth's Queen Alexandra Hospital. She is no stranger to this place

0:39:370:39:43

or to Dr Fiona Bintcliffe who treated Sophie for one of her previous horse-related injuries.

0:39:430:39:48

Hello, Sophie. I'm Fiona, one of the doctors. Yeah, I've met you before.

0:39:480:39:54

Your ankle last time.

0:39:540:39:56

-You're a bit accident-prone?

-You're working your way up, are you, kid?

0:39:560:40:00

Did you fall off your horse last time?

0:40:000:40:03

I was stood on by a horse.

0:40:030:40:06

Sophie gets frequent flyer miles.

0:40:060:40:08

The medical team carefully turn Sophie over,

0:40:080:40:12

so that Fiona can press down her spine to see if there is any pain or loss of sensation.

0:40:120:40:18

Is that all right down there?

0:40:180:40:20

Sophie still has serious pain in her shoulder, but there seems to be no other injury.

0:40:200:40:26

She'll be going for X-rays to see if she's broken her collarbone,

0:40:260:40:30

though after such a heavy fall, everybody is just relieved it wasn't any worse.

0:40:300:40:36

Sophie is here, also her mum Amanda.

0:40:370:40:40

-Sophie, how are you? Did you break your collarbone?

-I fractured it and I tore the muscles down here.

0:40:400:40:46

-And I understand you had another accident yesterday?

-Yes.

0:40:460:40:50

Launching myself over my horse's... the field, the fencing...

0:40:500:40:54

I launched myself over it, got my foot caught

0:40:540:40:57

and went flying into a lot of bushes.

0:40:570:40:59

-How many accidents have you had with the horse?

-Five this year so far.

-Five this year?!

0:40:590:41:05

-Is she accident-prone? What's going on?

-Yes, she is. Most of the family are.

0:41:050:41:10

She's just taking after her father.

0:41:100:41:12

-How many accidents has he had?

-Absolutely countless.

0:41:120:41:16

-He's broken most of the bones in his body.

-Are you going to take more care? Will that make any difference?

0:41:160:41:22

I don't think so. I'm quite cautious, but it doesn't work.

0:41:220:41:26

-You're a good rider. You've just passed an exam. What did you do?

-I did GCSE Showjumping.

0:41:260:41:31

-I had to jump a course of three-foot.

-How did you do?

0:41:310:41:35

-I'm the first person in Hampshire to get full marks.

-Fantastic.

0:41:350:41:39

Presumably, riding is something you want to do seriously.

0:41:390:41:43

-Are you going to give it up even if you've had accidents like this?

-No.

0:41:430:41:47

When I was doing my GCSE Riding, I came off and broke two ribs,

0:41:470:41:51

but I got straight back on and finished the course.

0:41:510:41:54

-Would you like her to give it up?

-Not at all. It keeps her away from the boys.

0:41:540:42:00

-That is really key! Thank you, both. It's lovely seeing you're OK for the moment.

-Yes. Thank you.

0:42:000:42:07

Fascinating, isn't it? What an extraordinary mix of calls we've had in here today!

0:42:070:42:12

The lads that were running around with the BB gun, the police have caught them,

0:42:120:42:17

told them they're scaring people and sent them off with a flea in their ear - verbal.

0:42:170:42:23

You're not allowed to flick a flea in the ear any more(!) They're still looking for the immigrants.

0:42:230:42:29

What else have we had? There she is. Louise has just come to join me.

0:42:290:42:33

We've had the investigation unit. It's fascinating what they get up to.

0:42:330:42:38

-All of this is going in through this room. It's amazing the amount of stuff that comes in here.

-It is.

0:42:380:42:44

The response they have is fantastic. And the teamwork...

0:42:440:42:48

Anything serious goes straight to the command desk.

0:42:480:42:51

-We'll have more of it for you tomorrow.

-Bye-bye.

-Bye.

0:42:510:42:55

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2010

0:43:100:43:14

Email [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.

The fire service is called out to rescue families trapped by a collapsed concrete walkway and a fallen walker who has just a half inch twig between him and a long fall down a cliff onto the rocks below.