Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present dramatic events from the work of the emergency services. Includes how a nightclub fire years ago changed the way people are rescued now.
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Fire at a packed night club! Hundreds of clubbers attempt to escape,
but one of their exits is blocked by a wall of flames.
I realised it's at the top of the fire escape
and that's a great concern, because the worst-case scenario was
that somebody had tried to come out that way and been caught in the flames.
And the horse that led itself to water,
but is now stuck down a well, and unless she's freed,
is in danger of drowning.
She was starting to shake because she'd been in for some time
by the looks of things. At this time, we had no idea
how deep the water was or how deep the well was, or what she was actually stood on.
Hello and welcome to Real Rescues. We're at the heart
of a 999 emergency operation. This is the police control centre
near Southampton. If a 999 call comes in here,
the team are trained to answer, analyse, then act.
Their expertise can make the difference between life and death.
Even in the daytime on a weekday, it's still very busy.
It is. Let's speak to Inspector Dave Ryan, who's in charge today.
-Are you OK to talk, Dave?
-I want to talk about something
that happened recently - 1:30 AM, people in Portsmouth
could hear somebody shouting, and thought he was in the water.
We had a number of calls in the early hours
to a male believed to be in the harbour down in Portsmouth.
He was in serious distress and he had to be rescued from the water.
-How did you find him? It was dark.
-Because of the lack of lighting,
the best thing to do was call our air-support unit.
Our plane was launched with a thermal-imaging camera
that could identify a heat source in the water.
The chap was half in and half out of the water, hanging on to a boat
that was moored. We could direct the Solent coastguard in.
They picked him up, gave him immediate medical attention, and he made a full recovery.
-Excellent work. Everybody coordinating together. Thank you.
-No problem at all. Thanks.
A city-centre night club is having a busy night.
The dance floor is packed with hundreds of people.
Then smoke is spotted pouring through a fire exit,
effectively blocking that way out, and the alarm is raised.
It's two o'clock on a Sunday morning,
and White Watch have been called to a fire in a popular night club
in Southampton city centre.
-We got a job. Going out.
It's the busiest night of the week,
and more than 200 people could be inside.
The firefighters are well aware of what they could be facing.
Adrenaline starts pumping, and you start thinking what you can do,
what you can't, and all the rest of it, so you are in an alert state.
They arrive to see flames lighting up the night sky.
We need these cars moved!
The police have set up a cordon.
Young clubbers are all over the street,
just where the firefighters need to park their trucks.
The fire is round the back of the building.
Martin Bone and Guy Buxton head down a side lane
while the hoses are fed through to them.
The fire has started in potentially the most devastating place.
It was at the top of the fire escape, and that's a great concern.
The worst case scenario was that someone had tried to come out
that way, and been caught in the smoke and the flames.
The fire has been going for some time on the steel fire escape.
It's very hot, and the crews can only do so much from here to stop the flames.
The main danger for us was, because it was set above ground level -
there was a small metal staircase going up -
and it had been going for quite some time, so it got hold
as a fully developed fire, and on our initial approach with the hoser,
it just wasn't enough. We stopped the fire,
but we couldn't put it out. It was still very hot.
We were forced to our knees. There was thick black smoke.
But we was making progress, so we could work our way in - on our knees, unfortunately.
At the front, club manager Carl confirms to Shaun
that everyone's out. He acted quickly
after the disco lights and music suddenly stopped inside the club.
As I approached my doorman, who was standing by these double doors,
I, um... I thought I could smell smoke.
I went through the doors into the ladies' toilet area,
and we've got, like, an inside fire exit
which leads out onto the outside fire exit.
Once I opened that door, smoke just come billowing out,
and I just slammed the door shut and put on the radio that we were evacuating.
We've got a fire and we need to evacuate.
With smoke pouring in through the fire exit upstairs,
Carl and his staff calmly led more than 200 clubbers to safety
via the ground floor.
There was no major panic. There was no-one running.
It was just lucky that not a lot of people, I don't think,
apart from the girls that were in the toilet when I opened the door
and had seen the smoke, and probably a few people had smelt it,
but I don't think many people, like, knew there was a fire.
The clubbers are safe, but there are people in the adjoining building
unaware of the danger creeping up on them.
There is an entrance to a flat right next to the burning fire escape.
I just saw some flats to the left of the fire escape,
and as we arrived and they started to fight the fire,
the flat door opened and we saw someone inside.
So it was immediately, "Get him out as soon as we can."
Scott was just about to go to bed when his dog raised the alarm.
I sort of noticed this big orange glow.
So from there I went to open the door,
and it wasn't light. It was flames coming straight across the door,
and there's a fire crew at the front gate
shouting, "Get out, get out, get out!"
First thing, run out with the dog. The missus obviously came out.
There's people outside the front of the club, police officers,
fire department... There was a lot of emotion, and commotion as well.
It was quite hectic.
The flat's been evacuated, but thick black smoke
is billowing out of the roof. The fire is still alight.
Shaun has got to send his crews in to stop the blaze spreading
throughout the terrace.
Obviously, going into a night club, if all the lights are out,
and you've got all different staircases going all over the place,
mirrored walls and that sort of thing that can throw your eye,
and also we didn't know what sort of damage the fire had caused.
The construction of the Rhino club, it's a very old club,
and it's got wooden floors, so for all we knew,
we could have had weakened floors, weakened ceiling joists,
roofs coming down, that sort of thing.
Shaun sends in one crew through the front door of the club
to see how far the fire has spread along the first floor.
Although there are fire-escape doors, they're heavy doors
and had held the fire back, so we didn't have much damage in the club.
It had all been... At that point, we thought it had all been held
just outside in the back.
The club may be untouched, but above in the roof space,
more and more smoke is pouring out from under the eaves.
OK, it's broken through into the roof.
We need to get access from external first
while crews enter from the front and go up into the loft space, try and get it from there.
Two more fire engines arrive. They'll need plenty of manpower
if they're going to win this battle to save the terrace.
They have to get the dangerous gases out of the roof
before anything catches alight.
This was massive when we got here, along this ridge,
so we've knocked it down quite a lot, but if it's in the roof, we've got an issue.
As you can see, the firefighters' job is fraught with danger,
and there are inflammable chemicals and live power cables
to be contended with. Louise.
What is it with animals and wells?
Recently we saw a bullock stuck down one.
Here's the amazing sight of him curled up at the bottom,
and they had to demolish the whole well to get him out.
Well, that's one bullock saved. Now, this time it's a horse.
This is the incredible sight which meets a team of firefighters
when they're called to rescue a 23-year-old horse from an old well
at the edge of her enclosure. Azali is completely stuck in the water,
and all they can see are her twitching ears.
And there's no easy way of getting her out.
She didn't look to be in much distress,
but she was shaking because she'd been in there for some time,
by the looks of things, and the water level was up round her waist.
At this time we didn't have any idea how deep the water was
or how deep the well was, and what she was actually stood on.
Using buckets, they empty out as much water as they can by hand.
We didn't want to scare it or make the situation any worse.
Vet Mike Barrott has to go down the well
to assess what condition Azali is in.
But checking out a horse in such a confined space,
with no easy escape route, could put Mike in real danger
should Azali suddenly start to panic.
We put bales of hay down into the cistern
to restrict the movement of the horse,
and it gave her something else to concentrate on - food, you know.
Keep the horse happy. So we pinched her between the bales of hay
and the ladder to stop her moving and damaging herself.
No-one knows how she ended up down the hole or when it happened.
When I first looked at her down in the well,
I remember her being quite cold.
She was quiet and calm. Sometimes it's quite hard to decide
whether they're just very calm and quiet
or they've been there a very long time,
so I gave her a low dose of sedative.
The amount of sedative is critical.
Mike can't risk making her too sleepy.
I was quite concerned that, if I sedated her too much,
she would then drop her head and drop it into the water,
and that, if she had been down in the water for a long period,
she could collapse at any stage.
We didn't know how exhausted she was.
It's dark and stagnant inside the well,
but the only way of getting Azali out is to pull her out.
It means the firefighters have to go down to put wide straps
around her chest and belly in preparation for a lift.
Her only chance of getting out of this is the firefighters' crane,
which could haul her clear. But there's a massive problem.
This well actually wasn't a well. It was a cistern,
shaped like an old-fashioned milk bottle, maybe.
We decided to break the top open
so we could actually lift the horse out.
It's easy, the horse going in, but to get it out in one piece,
we had to break something. And we wanted to break the cistern and not the horse.
They're going to have to make the entrance to the well bigger,
all the time ensuring that Azali is not harmed in the process.
So we painstakingly broke individual bricks
out of the top of the cistern and removed those to a safe distance.
And it was a long, arduous task!
They have to take care that chunks of brick don't drop down onto the horse.
This could take hours, and all the time Azali is getting colder
and more tired. If she can no longer stand up,
she'll just slip below the water. But vet Mike comes up with a plan.
My dad runs a plant-hire business,
has lots of diggers and excavators.
And he's only 20 minutes away from where we were,
and he's always quite helpful if an emergency arises.
And he happened to be around, put a machine on a lorry,
and came straight up.
With great care, the soil is dug away from the side of the well
until all the brickwork is exposed
and the firefighters can continue dismantling it.
And finally the hole is big enough to attempt the evacuation.
Azali's a sorry sight,
wet through and covered in brick dust.
But she's calm, and she's even nibbling at the hay bale.
If this was an inanimate load, getting it out with a crane
would be no problem, but Azali is a living animal,
already exhausted. One wrong move could mean the end for her.
I always try and keep control of the head -
that way you've got more control over the rest of the horse -
so the fire brigade could work around the horse,
and when she came out, I could help steer her in the right direction.
Azali's back above ground in fresh air again.
And, against all the odds, as her feet touch the ground,
it's all looking good.
We don't know until they're actually standing
how well they're going to bear weight,
whether they've got muscle pain or a lameness
or an injury we couldn't have seen before she came out of the water.
When she got out of the well, her supports were dropped
and she just stood quite well on all four legs.
There were no obvious major injuries.
She stood quite well and calmly.
And for the firefighters, it's another successful job.
We're always happy when a job goes well.
The way she came out, the way she stood up,
and her whole demeanour was fantastic,
and it was a well worked job.
Good one for us and a good one for the animal.
-All's well that ends well.
-Oh, very good! See what you did there!
-Bit of work there!
-Animals get stuck in some pretty bizarre places.
-We'll show you more later.
-Can't wait for that,
and the puns that go with it. Come over this way.
I want to introduce you to Jo, to talk about hoax calls,
because, being a call centre here, they also get to take...
-Are you on a call?
-You're free? Thank you.
Let me squeeze in. We're talking about hoax calls.
-You had a particularly dramatic one recently.
I had a young girl call me on 999, very much out of breath,
very scared, saying she was being chased by a murderer.
Trying to get information out of her was very hard.
So out of breath, very convinced there was possibly something wrong.
She then said that she was being stabbed.
-Whilst on the phone.
I said, "At this moment in time?" She said yes,
then started making death noises, like she was dying, gurgly noises.
At that point I realised that it was possibly a hoax call.
She then went on to put on an American accent,
just saying American phrases from movies.
What sort of person does this?
Yeah. We have regular callers, as well.
-Who think it's funny?
-Seriously, if you do that,
-you're blocking people from getting through.
-Yes, you are.
-Can you be prosecuted for that?
-Are you prosecuting?
-Yes, a lot more now than we have done previously.
So be warned - it's not funny, it's not big and it's not clever.
Still to come on Real Rescues - firefighters have to tear apart
a night club's roof to stop a fire spreading to an entire city block.
The fire's in the roof. We'll push through the ceiling,
pull the plasterboard down and fight the fire from underneath,
try and get up into the roof.
And it's a dash from playground to hospital for Harley
after he's hit on the head with a golf club.
I'm going to say one thing for sure - you're a tough fella!
That's a big strong bat, that is.
Swimmers, sailors, surfers and bodyboarders,
all fighting for space. Welcome to the British seaside on a hot day.
When they come together, it can be disastrous.
A jet skier has slammed into the side of a speedboat head first.
A sunny Saturday on the South Coast.
Coastguard rescue helicopter 106 has been scrambled to a man
who's injured himself on a jet ski.
On board, pilots Len Stracey and Captain Mike Roughton,
winch man Pat Holder and winch operator Tony Campbell.
The accident's happened just off the famous Sandbanks peninsula,
one of the most exclusive places to live in the world.
The jet skier has come off worst after a collision with a speedboat.
Another boat, called the Cat's Whiskers, saw it happen
and came to the man's aid.
Up ahead, they get their first sighting of the boat
and the damaged jet ski.
-OK, prepare to winch when you're ready.
Winch man paramedic Pat is lowered down
to the waiting boat and the jet ski.
Pat's safely aboard. To reduce noise and draughts,
they pull up and away from the speedboat.
Now it's easier for him to treat Roy, the wounded man.
I could see Roy had a fair bit of swelling to his right cheekbone
and round the socket of his eye,
but if he's fractured his cheek or his eye socket,
that needs treatment, and he needs to go to hospital and get X-rayed.
Pat dresses the wound on Roy's cheek, then signals to the crew
that they'll both come up together in a double harness.
Roy's face has taken the brunt of the accident.
He hit the boat face first. After such a bang to his head,
the fear is that he's suffered more serious internal injuries.
Roy only has a hazy recollection of the accident.
'I was jet-skiing. I slowed down to turn round
'and go back to my mates. That was the... I ended up like this.
'It was my first time on it today, and it's been smashed up!'
The helicopter lands in the open space of Poole Park.
Roy will be taken by ambulance to the hospital nearby for X-rays.
Being put back on dry land in such a dramatic fashion
has allowed Roy to wallow in a bit of nostalgia.
It's brought back the army days, that.
I was driving the helicopter in the army, so it's all right.
Roy's egg-sized lump went down, and his cut was glued together at hospital.
He's since made a full recovery, but hasn't been back on a jet ski.
Parents can expect their children to get the odd cut and scrape
while they're playing, but for one boy,
a bit of rough and tumble with a plastic golf club
left him feeling a little under par.
When an ambulance is called to a young child with a head injury,
it's always a matter of urgency.
Dave Palmer is on blue lights, answering just such a call
from a junior school. A ten year old has suffered a blow to the head.
First thing we'll be interested in is what effect
this incident has had on his level of consciousness.
We've also got to be aware that, at ten, they're quite strong,
and to do that kind of damage, we need to think about the mechanism
of injury, and think through whether we could have any other injuries
we don't obviously see.
How is the young man?
The accident happened in the playground,
but Harley has been brought into the school.
-Harley, where have you been hit?
-He hit his head.
He's got a lump.
This side of your jaw - does that hurt? OK.
This side of your jaw - does that hurt? It doesn't?
Can you open your mouth slowly for us?
He said his teeth were loose at the bottom.
I'll have a look in your little mouth if I can. Like that.
And a look this side. Where do they feel loose? Is it that one?
-Oh, I can see it.
Harley's unsure, but these could still be his first teeth.
If Harley was knocked out, he could be suffering from concussion.
-Did you go to sleep for a short period of time?
-HARLEY SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY
-I remember everything.
-And you got walloped with a plastic golf club?
-Was it Tiger Woods?
-SCHOOL STAFF LAUGH
Tiger Woods is a famous golfer.
Harley is covered in blood.
Have you got a piece of tissue?
I want to see whether the bleeding's from the outside shell of the ear
or if it's actually coming from the inside.
No. It's just from the outside.
Thankfully there doesn't seem to be internal bleeding.
But the cut on his head is giving cause for concern.
We're going to need to take you up to the hospital.
Basically you've got a little dink in your head there,
you've cut your ear, and we might need to have a look at your face.
Are you able to stand up with us and come out to my ambulance? Well done, that man.
It's a good sign that Harley is able to walk to the ambulance
-with just a helping hand from Dave.
-How are you feeling?
The plastic golf club that caused the injury is also going.
I'm going to say one thing for sure - you're a tough fella!
Cos that's a big strong bat, that is.
Harley's teacher, Marion Cooper, is travelling in with him.
Are you able to take a big deep breath for me?
And then force it out. So you have no problems in breathing?
On there we've got blood pressure. Can you tell me what that says?
97, and then there's a pulse of 96.
So that tells me that everything's working for you.
But Dave is still concerned about Harley's teeth.
Unfortunately you've managed to unseat one of your teeth.
Not a problem. If they can push it back into the right place,
it will sometimes just set back where it was.
But I think it's one of your first teeth,
and that would have normally fallen out anyway,
and then it gets replaced by other teeth. OK?
Dave now needs to patch up the cut on Harley's forehead.
It's all stopped bleeding, but they've hit you good and hard.
Just move your finger now.
And Harley's just remembered what his dentist told him on the last visit.
They said I need to wobble out two teeth.
You need to wiggle out two teeth? Was this one of them?
-I suggest the dentist didn't mean for you to do it with a bat.
The schoolboy is being very brave,
but the cut on his head is deep and is still giving him a lot of pain.
When we get you to the hospital, they'll give you some paracetamol
to get rid of the pain. Be a little syrup to drink.
Once in A&E, Dave hands the patient over.
Throughout with us, he's been fine. No concerns there at all.
He's as you see him, a little bit covered in blood,
and there's a cut about an inch across on his head,
but that's stopped bleeding. Doesn't seem to go very deep down.
Doesn't seem to be any structural damage. I brought the offending item in so you can see what did it!
Harley's grandmother is on her way,
and, as promised, there's some medicine to dull his pain.
Do you want to do it yourself?
Pop it in your mouth then you can just fire it in yourself.
-It is just juice?
-Just paracetamol, and that one's some Nurofen.
-Just to help with your pain.
-Do you want the nurse to do it?
Do you want me to do it, darling? There you go.
That's it. A big swallow of that one for me.
Harley did have to have three stitches in that cut on his head,
and he was off games for a fortnight, but he is now fighting fit. Nick?
Ahh! Right, back to chat to Jo again.
She's obviously not on a call. She's not got her headset on.
I want to have a chat with her about a different subject.
We talked about hoax calls earlier. I wanted to have a chat with you
-about, um...about road rage.
-Because you have a lot of calls about road rage. You had an extraordinary one recently.
I took a call from a guy who thought he was being followed down the M3
at very high speeds. He'd come in from out of county,
so he wasn't sure where he was. He wasn't from our area.
Um... Turns out there's more than one car following him.
I could hear the engines of the other cars,
because they were that close to him. He was screaming, frantic.
We were constantly playing catch-up with him.
-So you had cars on the road trying to catch up with him?
I managed to say to him to get up onto a motorway junction,
and we were going to direct him to a local police station.
He tried to do that, got to the top of the slip road.
The traffic lights were on red. These cars came flying after him.
He had to jump the red light. I said to get back onto the motorway,
-at which point we had gained...
-So you caught up with them?
-And pulled them over?
-And were they chasing him?
Yes, but it was a case of mistaken identity.
They thought that he was somebody else in a very similar car
-that they were looking for.
-You must have had a very hard word with them.
-Yes, we did.
-You can't go acting like that.
-No. It's dangerous driving.
-They could have killed him.
-And he was terrified.
-Yes. They were trying to box him in.
-Is there a lot of road rage around?
Yes. It's getting more, to be honest.
Seriously, do something. Get some anger management.
Nothing's so important you need to do that. Thank you very much.
Earlier we were with White Watch at the scene of a fire
in a busy city-centre night club. The night clubbers are safe,
but the fire has spread onto the roof,
and the entire terrace is in danger.
The firefighters are preparing to get into the roof space to tackle the fire.
It's spread from the fire escape through a hole in the wall.
There were more than 200 clubbers inside,
but thanks to the quick thinking of the manager, they're all safe.
"I need two more, please, to the rear of the premises."
Two more behind and one round the back.
They've been fighting the fire for more than an hour.
People have been evacuated from flats in the adjoining building,
and six fire tenders are at the scene, including the aerial platform.
Because the fire's in the roof void, we're going through the ceiling,
pull the plasterboard or whatever down
and fight the fire from underneath, try to get up into the roof.
But there are all kinds of dangers for the firefighters up in the roof.
Their safety is Shaun's top priority.
As well as inflammable chemicals, there are live power cables hanging down.
Club manager Carl is helping the crews
by explaining the layout of the building.
-I want to cut power to the place.
-Down here, the main power.
At the back. Is that door still open, that fire exit?
If it was open a minute ago, yeah.
To cut the power, they need to get into the building via another door.
That back entry, just inside there, is the power.
We need to cut it. We've got wires all over the place.
We'll do that first. So we need to gain entry in there, yeah?
-I'll go back round my sector.
Once the power is off, the crews can work through the roof
to tackle the fire. They work in relays, and can only stay inside
for 20 minutes at a time.
The aerial ladder platform has now been put in place,
giving them a good view of where the smoke has spread to.
See the chimney breast?
We're hoping it's stopped this side of it.
Going to knock a hole in the ceiling on the other side of it,
so if you can see anything the other side of it...
The other side of that breast, yeah.
At the same time, a team is checking the roof space
of the adjoining flats for signs of fire.
Fire's spotted coming through the partition wall
from the scene of the fire into this side of the terrace.
Thankfully it looks like the partition wall,
which goes right up through the roof, has protected the flats
from the fire. It's a different story in the roof above the club,
but the firefighters have stopped it in its tracks.
There's no sign of fire?
-Have you used the camera on it?
-Yeah? So there's no sign of it in there at the moment?
More ceilings will have to be pulled down
so the spaces above can be thoroughly checked.
Shaun needs to be completely satisfied that there's no chance
that the fire can spring up again,
and it's beginning to look like this fire started outside the club.
If you look at the doors, which are the fire doors,
all the damage...is on the outside.
OK? The inside of the doors, as you can see, no problem with them.
So I would say the fire definitely started in this area,
on the outside of the building.
Fire-investigation officer Eric Barker has been called in
whilst the clues are still hot. His investigations begin
with questioning the firefighters on the ground.
-It seemed to be concentrated round this area.
Couldn't really progress very far.
What they saw were the flames coming out.
-Initially it was around this area.
Progressed into here, and it wasn't until it sort of finished in here
that there was really, really heavy smoke.
As you see, contained area. They gained access through here,
because smoke came up through the top as well.
It's always a very tricky balance between fire crews attending a fire
and ensuring the fire is extinguished fully,
and also preserving the scene so a fire-investigation officer
can come in and carry out a full investigation,
and any clues he's looking for within the fire scene remain in place.
How the fire has burned can give Eric valuable information about where it started.
You can tell by the areas of burning, the depth of charring
and the smoke and burn patterns exactly where the seat of fire would have occurred.
There was a lot of severe charring to the outside of the fire doors.
When we looked from the area of least damage
to the area of worst damage,
then, that would seem to indicate where the seat of fire has occurred.
No-one died as a result of the fire,
but if it hadn't been for the quick thinking of the manager,
it could have been a very different story.
If it had gone undetected and gone up into the roof,
it could have spread across the top of the club,
and the revellers inside may well have been unaware for some time,
until the fire had actually got hold.
Clubs are safer places than they used to be,
all because of a terrible fire in America 70 years ago.
492 people died in the Cocoanut Grove night club in Boston -
an appalling loss of life, but the lessons learned there
have influenced the safety blueprint for clubs all around the world.
Here to chat us through that is Alan House, a retired fire officer
and Hampshire fire historian.
Looking at what happened during the course of the fire
in the night club that we just saw, they seemed to deal with it well.
Yes, because of tried-and-tested practices
and also, of course, the legislation had built a lot of safety
into the building itself. So the big thing is, people were outside
when we arrived, not still in the building.
So what was the big deal with this Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston?
-Quite a loss of life there, wasn't there?
A very high loss of life. It was a converted garage originally,
and then it had been modified many times
and exits had been blocked up.
A lot of lacquer-coated materials inside.
It was a basement area where the fire occurred,
only one staircase up, and the fire spread very, very quickly,
trapping people in. They then couldn't get out the building.
The front of the building only had a revolving door,
and people just tried to push one another through
and couldn't get out, and one other escape at the back of the building
was inward-opening, so with the push of the people there,
it couldn't be opened, and they literally died behind the door.
Extraordinary. But we'd already had some considerable changes,
and that really just firmed up changes we'd already made
in this country from way, way back after a fire in Exeter.
Yes. In the 1800s, there'd been several theatre fires,
and the big one, that changed things in the UK,
was the Theatre Royal in Exeter in 1887,
and that was... Again, it was people within the building
that couldn't get out. It wasn't even full to capacity.
So there was a lot of changes then, about widths of exits,
number of exits, routes to exits and the type of materials in the building.
These days we can be confident because all these places
have to be inspected by firefighters before they get a licence to open.
Absolutely, and in that inspection they would have looked at the number of exits,
decided how many people could be there to capacity.
In the Cocoanut Grove fire, they were twice the capacity they should have been.
That's why the guys are on the door counting you in
on their little counters, and counting people out. Fascinating!
Thank you for coming and chatting to us.
I want to find out about something that's happening right now.
An old lady's been injured by a horse.
We've had a report of a 90-year-old female in the Hook area
having been injured by a horse. She's had a nasty kick to the back.
Due to her location, the air ambulance was called,
but it's been decided to transport her by road.
I've authorised a police escort to assist the ambulance
in getting her to hospital as smoothly and quickly as possible
so she can get emergency treatment straight away.
-And she's arrived?
-She's just arrived there now.
Best of luck to her. Thank you.
Now, getting motorists trapped in vehicles out of them
is more dangerous than it looks, when they've crashed.
One wrong cut through an airbag or gas cylinder,
and the consequences could prove fatal.
White Watch fire crew are on a callout.
They're at the scene in minutes. There's been a collision
just down the road from the fire station.
Where's the actual car?
-It's the taxi. Look.
-Oh, the taxi and the bus.
A bus has gone into the back of a taxi at the traffic lights.
The taxi driver, Mohammed, is inside,
complaining of pain in his neck and lower back.
-There's only one way to get him out.
-They want the roof off?
Yeah. So just get stability sorted out.
They want full glass management. He's had a rear shunt
in the vehicle. Just made up for the SCU to get back here.
Another truck's coming. We need it to come in here.
The back windscreen has caved in, which gives the paramedics some idea
of the damage that might have been done to Mohammed's spine.
With the speed of the bus - the bus is a lot heavier than the taxi -
but also we look at the intrusion into the actual vehicle itself,
into the boot compartment... The chap is complaining of back pain.
So take all that into consideration, the safest thing for us to do
is extricate him the way we are with the help of the fire brigade.
Before crew manager Colin Burford and his team can start cutting,
they have to identify all the danger points they must avoid.
Everyone's got to be aware, the gas generator is between there and here.
-And we'll cut...
Modern cars are packed with gas cylinders, which operate airbags.
Accidentally cutting through one would result in a small explosion,
putting everyone nearby at risk, so Andy has marked the danger zones.
We're going to flap the glass forward, flap the roof forward.
As the fire crews get to work cutting through the car's side supports,
a friend of the driver has arrived on the scene.
I was just passing when I see the bus, the hazard lights flashing.
And I just take a right when I see an accident's happened.
He's one of my colleagues and my friend, as well.
He was just sitting, and he said, you know, "I feel fine,
but I have pain in my neck and my back, because I was, you know,
pushed from the back."
With the windscreen and supports cut through,
it's just a matter of lifting off the roof.
Mohammed is almost free now. They're keeping his neck absolutely still
as his rescuers gently slide him onto the spinal board.
Is his feet all right?
On "slide", then.
One, two, three, slide.
One, two, three, slide.
One more, and he's out and on the stretcher.
-All right, there, chief?
-We'll get you on the ambulance
and get you warmed up, then we'll sort that pain out for you.
The taxi is a write-off, but Mohammed is on his way in the ambulance
to the hospital, where his injuries can be fully investigated.
Fortunately Mohammed didn't have any serious injuries,
but he was in a lot of pain from the whiplash
and needed to take time off work.
Early in the programme we heard about Azali,
the 23-year-old horse down a well. She's not the first stuck animal
we've featured on Real Rescues, and she probably won't be the last.
In the past we've seen bulls being pulled from a ditch...
..even an albino snake in the boot of a car.
-Oh, he's coming out. That's good.
-Come on, Jack! Good boy!
We've seen how the rescue services go about removing
nearly a ton of shire horse from a bog...
..an upside-down horse being lifted out of trouble...
..and even a pregnant donkey that had tried to go for a swim.
Don't poke me. That's not nice.
Wonderful rescues, and the good news is that they all turned out OK.
Buster here is an animal-rescue specialist.
It is really important. I guess if you rescue an animal,
-you're also helping save people.
-That's our primary role,
to make sure people don't put themselves at risk
when they're trying to rescue any animal.
And you've got a particular example about a horsebox.
Quite recently we had a horsebox that was being towed
with two horses in it, which turned over during a traffic collision.
One horse was thrown from the vehicle. Another was trapped in it.
The accident caused the traffic to stop,
and members of the public, with the best intentions, entered the horsebox
to release one of the animals. That creates an awful lot of danger.
An animal that's trapped will kick, fight, bite, head-butt,
do an awful lot of damage, and in the rescue of this horse,
the gentleman trying to release it got kicked in the leg.
And he was quite badly injured?
He was given quite a nasty shin injury.
It wasn't broken, but he has a very nasty bruise.
And you lot have specialist equipment as well, don't you?
Yeah. We've got equipment that we've developed in Hampshire
for animal rescue, which tries to keep us in a safer environment,
away from the kick and head-butt zone.
And it's a natural reaction, is it? Because you love your animals.
A dog in a river or something, you want to go after it.
-What is your advice to people?
-We advise everybody
not to put themselves in danger. It's natural to try and assist your animal,
but when people do go into rivers to rescue their dog,
it is historically proven that people can drown
and the animal is found later alive, and this is one of the problems.
People risk themselves to rescue animals where they might not do so
-to rescue a human being.
-They should call you instead.
-Call the fire service.
-That's all we've got time for.
-We've got action all over the place today.
and that old lady is now in hospital, who'd been kicked by the horse.
That's wrapped that up nicely. We'll have more Real Rescues
-by more heroes soon. Bye bye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
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.
How a nightclub fire years ago changed the way people are rescued now and animal specialists are called to help a horse down a well.