Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present events from the work of the emergency services. A family is trapped on rocks and desperate for rescue, but they do not know to call 999.
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Today, the moment a trapped horse becomes a deadly kicking machine.
-SHE WHINNIES UNHAPPILY
-Don't pull, don't pull.
Jinx is in danger of drowning in the ditch.
She's doing everything in her power to fight her way out.
A Polish family cut off by the tide.
They've been stranded on rocks for six hours
as they don't know to dial 999. The lifeboat has to navigate
over huge underwater rocks to get to them.
Hello and welcome. Today we're at the ambulance-control centre
near Winchester. When people are hurt, scared
and in need of medical attention, this is where their call is answered
and the rescue work can begin.
Shall we find out what's happening today? It's a bit busy over there.
Can we come through? Don't want to get in anyone's way.
Thank you. We're going to have a word with Julie first,
if she's free, and she is because she hasn't got her headset on.
-Dog-bites today, for some reason.
Yeah, lots more than we normally have in such a short space of time.
One incident was three people bitten by two dogs,
and then another lady bitten by two dogs.
So unusual to have it all on one day, really.
-It's weird how things go in spates, isn't it?
-It's really strange.
-We haven't had any for ages.
-So ambulances to both, presumably?
-Ambulances to both, police to one.
On one of them the dog was still loose,
so we had to get police to secure the dog.
So police out looking for one dog.
Isn't it funny how it comes in batches? Louise.
Trapped in a ditch, Jinx, a retired racehorse,
has been struggling for nearly four hours.
Rescuing this tired and scared horse, weighing 600 kilos,
was going to take at least 16 fire crew and a brave vet.
Animal-rescue specialist Jim Green has been called out
to a trapped horse.
It's a distressing sight. Nine- year-old Jinx is stuck in a ditch.
This is a much-loved mare as well as a valuable former racehorse.
But now most of her body is under water.
She can't do anything to free herself.
OTHER HORSES WHINNY NERVOUSLY
A local fire crew are already on the scene,
but any rescue attempt would be dangerous
without Jim's expert knowledge.
She's in quite a bit of shock.
Jinx's owner, Wendy, found her like this
as she made her daily check.
'She looked very tired, and very sort of broken, if you like.'
She knew she wasn't going to be able to get out on her own.
I immediately knew at that point that, if we hadn't seen her,
by the next morning she would have drowned.
They can't make any attempt to rescue her until she's sedated by the vet.
It would be too dangerous for the fire crews.
Wendy gets straight on to her.
I've got the fire brigade here and animal rescue,
and obviously I'd like you to come. She's in quite a bit of shock,
exhausted. So where are you now?
As they wait for the vet, Jim and his team prepare the equipment
they'll need to pull Jinx free.
If we can get all the rescue kit here we've got on that truck,
we'll probably put it over here so that we've got a clear route out
when we do take her out. We need to be able to control her,
and if we're in there working, as soon as we put strops around her,
that will stimulate her a lot.
Yeah. Let's see if she'll stay like that till the vet gets here,
because I don't want anyone to get hurt.
It's a mystery why Jinx has ended up like this.
She knows the field well.
On and off, she's been in that field for two and a half years.
Who knows why she fell in the ditch?
It's a bit like going up and down your stairs every day,
then one day you trip.
Jim will be in charge of coordinating this rescue attempt.
The plan I had in my head was for a fairly simple extrication,
pulling the horse out. Anyone can pull a horse out.
But the way you pull it out is important, because you don't want to damage the animal.
Vet Francesca Caporelli has arrived. Jim briefs her.
So what I'd like to do is to sedate, um, heavily,
so that we can then do all our procedures,
get her out, and once she's in a place of safety,
then we can let her come round.
Jim's priority must be the safety of his crew.
Firefighters going in to do the best they can
may cause a sequence of events that would lead to them getting very badly injured by hooves,
by being crushed, being struck in some way, perhaps by the head,
and so that environment is far too dangerous
without the correct control measures.
I reckon if you can give us half an hour
-of really good...
So on a scale of one to ten, with ten being anaesthetised,
we're looking about eight or nine.
As Francesca prepares the sedative, the animal-rescue team
start to lay the inflatable platform for her to work on.
OK, nice and gently. Rescue path, spine tight,
so we can get the vet in there. Nice and gently, fellas.
Good girl. Good girl. OK, I want you to go in behind Fran,
just get hold of that and make sure that she's safe.
Injecting a 600-kilo distressed horse from a floating platform
will require plenty of skill and nerve.
A fire officer is ready to pull Francesca out of the danger zone.
She's going to try to get close enough to inject into a vein.
Right, Fran. Out we go.
-SHE WHINNIES UNHAPPILY
Don't pull. Don't pull. OK. Don't pull on her.
Don't pull on her. Everyone just keep back over here.
We don't want to pull her by the head,
because she will have an opposition reflex to that.
She will really baulk at that.
And Jinx is having none of it. To her, the rescue crew
are a potential threat. Francesca will have to inject into the muscle,
which requires less accuracy.
Steady, girl. Steady, girl.
Steady, girl. Give her a little bit.
Right. She's as...
She's as lively as a lively thing.
If they can't sedate her soon, her chances of rescue and survival are slim.
This stricken horse is a deadly kicking machine,
and it's too dangerous to attempt a rescue with her in this state.
The longer Jinx is in the water, the greater the risk of injury.
The team will have to change tactics.
Imagine that! She weighs as much as a small car,
and somehow they've got to get her out.
-We'll see how that rescue goes later.
-It was quite upsetting, wasn't it?
Best move on. The Redcar Rocks sit on the northeast coast of England.
Do you know it? Here's what they look like from the sea.
It's a treacherous area with rocks as big as houses.
The tides are swift and deep, cutting off the beach in moments.
When Redcar lifeboat were called there to rescue a family of three,
they needed the Cleveland police helicopter to light the scene.
This is what they found.
It's a chilly night in early June at Huntcliff,
just south of Redcar. In the darkness,
the Cleveland police helicopter uses an infrared camera
to search the base of the cliffs looking for any sign of the family.
Two lifeboats stand by.
Then a bright object catches the eye of the camera operator.
It's a man clambering over the large boulders.
He's with two others, a woman and a child.
They've found them.
This Polish family are tourists, and were cut off by the tide
after going for a walk. They have a mobile phone,
but didn't know any emergency numbers.
They had to get through to an English friend before the alarm could be raised.
But it's been a long wait. They've been out for over six hours,
and are only dressed for a summer's day.
They may have been seen, but they're far from being rescued yet.
The only way in is from the sea,
and this is a treacherous stretch of water.
The police guide the lifeboat crew to the family,
who are now moving down to the edge of the sea.
When the tide's in, the water completely covers rocks
the size of houses. They could do serious damage
to the hull of a boat.
That's why the RNLI have brought two.
The larger Atlantic 75 class is used to convey casualties at speed,
while the smaller D class is able to get in over the rocks.
While the family try to keep warm, the lifeboat volunteers move in.
Two of them, Paul Calvert and Tony Wheater,
have plunged into the sea in their drysuits.
They carefully make their way over the hidden rocks.
Paul's at the front. As well as being an RNLI volunteer,
he's an ambulance technician, and is keen to get to the family
to check for any signs of hypothermia.
He's met by a very thankful mum.
The smaller lifeboat is brought in as close as possible.
Paul and Tony put lifejackets on the family.
They're ready to get down to the waiting boat.
To help, the police helicopter lights the area.
One by one, they make their way.
Once they're all in the boat, it's pushed out to clear water.
They pull alongside the larger, faster RIB...
..and the family are transferred, ready to be whisked to safety.
Mark Reeves here was piloting the smaller of the two RIBs
that you can see attending there. Difficult situation, that,
a really difficult stretch of coast to get your boats to the shore.
Yeah, really difficult. The size of the rocks
and the location, and with the tide, it's such treacherous...
That's why we do a lot of training in that area,
to make sure we can get there in any situation that's called on.
I have to ask you, that Polish family... What were they doing,
-stuck on the rocks?
-As far as we're aware,
they went for a walk underneath the cliffs,
not aware of the tide or the oncoming conditions or anything.
And they were a long time out there. How cold were they?
They were shivering, which is the first sign of hypothermia,
so obviously there'd been a lovely warm day,
but as night-time approaches, it was getting rather cold.
-They were dressed for a warm day, not for a chilly night.
They'd been there a long time. Did you find out from them why?
Er, I'm not quite sure why.
And why didn't they call 999 sooner?
Apparently they didn't know, so they called a friend at Darlington
-who then called the 999 services.
-I see. If you come from Poland, you don't necessarily know.
-I wouldn't know what to dial in Poland. Would you?
Well, there you go. We saw two of your guys
actually just jump out of the boat,
so at that stage they're wading in complete darkness.
Yes. Uneven conditions, as well.
The rocks could be two foot, three foot.
That's why we do a lot of training in and around the rocks
in conditions... Obviously the police helicopter with the -
Isn't there a danger you would drop down a hole
-or walk into a boulder?
-There is possibilities of that,
so like I say, that's why we do it with all the right gear.
It's an amazing job you do. You're a former fisherman
-that's moved into the lifeboats afterwards.
-Yes. I am, yeah.
It's a good job? You enjoy what you do?
Yeah. I love what I do. I enjoy giving a little bit back.
Do you know, to be fair, they're not the first ones to get stuck there.
35 families in ten years have got stuck on that particular...
-Looks like you're going to be busy for a while.
-Looks like it.
And a lot of people pleased that you're around. Thanks for coming in to chat to us.
If you ask anyone here in this ambulance-control room,
they'll have their own tale of a nuisance caller. Matt's had a few.
-What particular one stands out?
A man called you who was having trouble with golden syrup.
Yeah. I took an unusual call in the early hours of the morning.
He claimed his drink had been spiked,
and he'd gone home and covered himself head to toe in syrup.
We tried to calm him down, explained we can't send an ambulance
-Treatment yes, treacle no.
Yes, pretty much. There was nothing wrong with him.
He was just in a bit of a tizz.
We calmed him down and advised him that we can't send an ambulance,
and he said, "OK, I'll be stuck till morning, but I'll go to bed and sort it out myself."
Very sensible advice, but not necessarily a call you need to take.
No. His shower was broken, so he thought we could help with that.
I thought I'd bring you over here, because Hollie has a similar thing.
-You ask anyone if they've had a hoax-call experience...
-Almost everybody has.
-Give us an example of one of yours.
Quite recently a guy phoned up saying his friend wasn't breathing
and wasn't awake, so we did CPR over the phone.
-Obviously we take this very seriously.
-Of course, yeah.
And he presumably was doing CPR, and the crew got there,
and it turned out to all be a hoax and he was making it up.
He was the only one there. There was no-one in trouble.
-The crew arrived to help him...
But he's responding to you on the phone as if he's doing CPR.
Exactly. He's pretending to do CPR over the phone,
and the crew got there and noticed it,
and usually we send the police out to deal with it from there.
Quite right too, although you have to wonder about the mental state
of people who do this kind of thing. Almost everyone you talk to
-has got a story.
-Absolutely. Let's continue with the survey.
You have one, Julian, about a man who called,
worried about a pigeon, and they phoned you.
Yes. A chap had arrived home in his car.
He spoke to one of our call-takers, and I was listening to the call.
He'd arrived home in his car, and was concerned,
phoned 999, because there was a distressed pigeon on the driveway.
I can understand he was distressed, but he didn't need to call you!
We considered alerting the Autumnwatch team,
but in the end we decided to advise RSPCA.
-Autumnwatch were probably a bit busy as well.
Thank you. Later in the programme,
we'll see how much trouble and expense these kinds of calls cause,
and play you a call that sparked a four-and-a-half-hour stand-off
involving 30 police officers.
A very serious hoax call. Also still to come,
a young cyclist has crashed into a stationary car.
He can't move his arms or legs and has no idea where he is.
You remember what, darling?
It's all right. Don't worry about anything. You're fine.
Going to chat to you now about community responders.
We've talked about them a few times, and a community or first responder
is somebody who gets to an accident first.
Matt here is one of those people. Community, first responder,
-or the same thing?
-How does it work?
Anyone can do it, get trained up, get given a kit
and a phone pager, and get sent out to local emergencies in their area.
We're not talking about anybody in the ambulance service.
-Anybody can do it.
-You can be a shop assistant
-or a garage technician or whatever.
-Anybody can apply to do it,
-do the training and -
-Give us an example of something
you've attended where, because you were local, it made a difference.
I got sent to somebody that had fallen
and put his hand through a window, but it was a fire window
-with the grated metal in it.
-With the little lines through it.
He had a severe finger injury. I was really concerned, when I got there,
he might lose the finger. So what I did basically was bandage him up.
Loss of blood's a difficulty there, and having somebody who knows...
We were talking about how you stem a heavy blood flow, as well.
Absolutely. I bandaged it up, held the finger in place
and elevated it. Also put him on some oxygen, as well,
stop him going into shock. Helped the ambulance crew
get him into the ambulance and take him to hospital.
-Do you ever get to find out how these things have gone?
I was out shopping a few weeks later and he came up to me,
shook my hand, thanked me for everything I did,
-and they'd saved the finger.
-They sewed it back on?
It's nice to find out. Interesting point, though, isn't it?
If you would like to become a community responder,
and you can do that so you are available for your local community,
just contact your local ambulance service and they'll tell you how,
or look up on their website. You could really help someone,
save someone's life, which would be a cool thing to do.
Earlier on we saw vet Francesca showing a lot of nerve
as she tried to sedate a very agitated horse.
Jinx is trapped in a deep ditch. It's very upsetting, this.
Only her head and neck are free,
and there's no way of getting her out unless she's tranquillised.
Back at the ditch, the rescuers are having to rethink their rescue plan.
It's proving very difficult to get an intravenous injection into Jinx.
They say she's been trying for a while.
-We can try that end.
-Go on. See how deep it is.
We did consider then whether it would be possible
to apply the strops and assist it out,
rather than sedating and then skidding it out.
So the firefighters were just using their crooks
to test the bottom of the ditch
to see whether the horse was sinking in the mud or on a firm surface.
It's not good news.
The only way is to pull Jinx out.
They'll have to have another go at sedating her.
The problem is that, if you don't sedate,
-and I'm putting my firefighters in -
-I agree with you.
-I would prefer that she was -
-Yeah. Let's sedate her.
-I will try once more.
This could be Jinx's last chance.
Steady, girl. Steady, girl.
Wonderful! Well done. Now what we've got to do
is move out the way, chill out and let it take its effect.
Because you have access to a lot of muscle in a horse,
you can inject the sedation anywhere, really.
So in the neck,
it's quite easy to just stab the needle quickly
and just run away.
'The problem is that you have to wait longer.'
Slowly the sedative starts to take effect.
The lip goes right down, the head goes down.
But the problem is that, if the sedation hasn't taken full effect,
and we start working, then the horse can be stimulated,
produces adrenaline, and the adrenaline counteracts that sedative
and we end up with a lively horse again.
Jinx is finally quiet enough for Fran to move in
and get more tranquilliser directly into a vein.
Within minutes, Jinx is completely out.
Horse-owner Wendy knows she has to remain calm,
but it's not easy.
As much as you want her to get out of the ditch quickly,
it is about being patient
and waiting until the next step can be taken.
Let's all go and I'll show you the back.
It's now safe for the fire crews to move in close.
Pete and Jason start putting the wide canvas straps,
called strops, in place.
Right. Here we go. We're nearly there.
We're over here. Crook, please.
-Push it up one more time like you did just then.
-Lovely. Right, OK.
You at spine, are you? That's it. Don't pull it round its leg.
Francesca keeps a careful eye on Jinx
for any signs that the sedative is wearing off.
-It's just the head. It's going back down.
Listen in. She's coming round now, so we're going to top her up, OK?
Steady, girl. Good girl.
With Jinx safely immobilised, they can make the final adjustments
to the strops, and move on to the next stage of the rescue.
Everyone gather round, and we'll explain what's going to happen.
Rather than pull, stop, pull, stop,
try and keep going in one movement.
Once we're out, we'll take her round over there.
We want as many people as we can muster on that one.
OK, everyone. All right. Just start easing it that way.
It's like a massive tug-of-war, with 11 firefighters
taking on 600 kilos of sedated horse.
Go on, boys. Keep pulling.
They also have a strop around her hindquarters
to make sure her back legs slide easily onto the pathway.
Jinx is finally on dry land.
The fire crew who pulled her out can now be stood down.
But because of the heavy sedation,
it's impossible to tell yet whether she's injured
or too traumatised to ever get over this.
We'll be back in a few minutes to see what happens
when Jinx comes round.
It's a sunny afternoon. 12-year-old Jack has crashed on his bike.
He's hit a car with such speed that he's knocked himself out.
Dr Paul Rees, a critical-care specialist from the BASICS charity,
is on his way.
I've been called out to a road accident,
car versus a 12-year-old cyclist.
We don't have any details of injuries.
There's an ambulance crew a couple of minutes away.
Because there's potential for serious injury, we're going to go and have a look as well.
He finds Jack lying in the middle of the crossroads and groaning in pain.
-Agh! I don't know what happened!
-All right. Don't worry.
An ambulance crew is already with him,
and police have cordoned off the accident site.
Jack's bike has left quite a dent in the car.
The collision was at speed.
He's come down the hill on his pushbike,
and a car has come across here, and he can't remember what happened.
His main problem seems to be his right shoulder.
-He's saying he can't lift his head.
-We don't want him to move anyway.
No, but he's panicking because he can't.
You're Dad, are you? Dr Rees...
Jack's dad Paul drove straight to the scene
when he heard the terrible news that his son had been in an accident.
As I drove over the brow of the hill, I could just see blue lights
and the road all cordoned off. It's quite, er...quite distressing.
You don't know what you'll find when you get there. And Jack's laid in the middle of the road.
'He couldn't remember what had happened,
'couldn't move his arms and legs, and seemed very scared.'
Obviously quite upsetting to see him in that condition.
Jack seems to be in a state of shock and confusion.
Tell me what hurts.
-What hurts you now?
-Is it sore? OK.
-Is that sore?
-I found a bit of blood but I can't see anything.
-You just came off your bike, fella.
Jack's behaviour is giving Paul serious cause for concern.
This young man's been cycling down a hill at reasonably high speed,
and he's been knocked out. He's repeating himself.
Doesn't remember what happened. He's had a bump on the head.
He's probably got other fractures as well, so we're immobilising him.
Jack has obviously received quite a knock to his head,
but they need to keep him calm and as still as possible
so they can secure his neck.
This doctor's going to give you some nice...
Can we just cut that away?
Jack's amnesia is quite severe.
You remember what, darling?
Don't worry about anything. You're fine.
-can't remember much further than that!
Jack was very confused and didn't understand where he was,
how he'd got there, and he had no recollection of the accident
or any considerable time before the accident, even.
It was a very hot day, as well. The sun was beating down on his eyes,
confusing him even more. He was in quite a lot of distress.
From a parent's point of view, it makes you feel very helpless.
The main worry here is what's causing this confusion
and agitation. Could be some damage to the brain.
That could be contusions, bruising of the brain tissue
suffered in the accident, or, possibly more sinister,
a bleed within the brain tissue.
We need a close eye on the patient's conscious level
over the next few hours, and a scan of the brain
to make sure there's nothing sinister.
Open and close your hand for me. Make a fist. Bit tighter than that,
proper fists. And again. Keep going. Proper fists. Good man.
Paul gives Jack some morphine to ease his discomfort.
That should take the pain away.
Might make him a bit sleepy,
so if he wants to have a doze, that's fine.
Soothing Jack's pain and agitation makes it easier for Paul to fully check him over
for any broken bones or internal injuries.
Take a big deep breath in for me. Good man. And again.
Good boy. OK. I'm going to have a feel of your tummy. Is it sore?
-Doesn't hurt when I touch you there?
-Is there any pain here at all?
'Children are built differently to adults.'
Their bodies are still developing and their bones are flexible,
so often they can suffer severe internal injuries
without having injuries overlying them
that in an adult would cause fractures,
so you've got to look carefully for internal injury,
and we examined him at the scene and monitored his blood pressure
to establish that this probably wasn't the case.
The team carefully place Jack onto a scoop stretcher
so that they can lift him safely into the ambulance.
We're going to strap you to this special bit of kit,
give you a onceover at the hospital, given that you've had a big whack
into the car. OK? You've made a bit of a dent in the car, I think!
We're going to put a couple of pads next to your head
so you don't jiggle around.
Don't know where you are? We'll ask you those questions later.
There's no outward sign of injury to Jack's head,
but such is his continued confusion, Paul wants to examine
exactly how he hit the car.
He's made a significant dent in that. His bike could have made some of it.
He's actually managed to pierce the metal there,
or something involved in the collision has done that. That's a fair whack, isn't it?
A closer look at the bike allows PC Tony
to shed more light on what may have happened.
That mark on the wing is where the tyre struck,
and the tyre's gone round, and the nut for the wheel pierced the metal.
-So it's probably more the bike than...
-Thank you for that.
Despite the bicycle taking the brunt of the impact,
Paul is still worried about Jack's condition.
He is confused, so it's important to take him to hospital,
assess him more thoroughly and give him a scan of the brain if he doesn't settle down quickly.
Jack is taken to the A&E department at Southampton General Hospital
with his dad at his side.
Give him a onceover. There'll be a lot of people around him
that will just make sure he's OK.
Jack will have a series of tests and X-rays to check him from top to toe
for any serious injury.
Oh, you had me really worried there, Jack!
You were injured quite badly. Tell me what had happened.
-I'd come down the hill...
-But what kind of injury had you got?
-I'd broken my right collar bone.
-Was it painful?
And when you were on the road, you couldn't remember where you were.
What did it feel like? Was it frightening for you?
It was very frightening.
Why? Because you didn't know where you were?
I didn't know what happened or where I was.
Oh, goodness me! When Dad turned up, did you feel a bit better?
Felt a bit better, yeah.
As a parent, getting that phone call must really stop your heart,
but you were incredibly calm. How did you keep so calm on the road?
I didn't think I was that calm, to be fair, but I don't know.
It's horrible to get that phone call, like you say.
I just got there as quick as I could.
-You just deal with it, don't you?
-And a bit strange,
that he couldn't remember stuff. Was that worrying you?
It worried me that he'd had a bang on the head.
To not remember what happened is quite worrying.
One person who does remember is you, Harvey,
because you were right behind him. What did you see happen?
-Did you see him hit the car?
What did you see? Did you see him on the ground?
Well, I saw him fall to the ground,
-That must have got you a bit worried.
And you were really helpful, weren't you?
You were really sensible. What did you go and do?
Well, I went to my nanny and granddad's house
that was just down the road,
and I went to knock on the door,
and my granddad came to the door.
So you did the really clever thing. You went to get help,
which you needed. Now, what about your friends?
You're a bit accident prone. What else have you done?
A few weeks earlier I'd just broken my left wrist.
You'd just got out of plaster. What do your friends say about you?
-Do they think you're accident prone?
Thank you very much. Do you bounce a bit better than your brother?
Do you have accidents?
Well, I only fall to the ground, not...
That is very clever! Lovely to meet you,
and I'm glad you're better. Thank you.
Oh, they're all shy! I bet at home they're, like, "Aagh!"
Back now to Jinx. Actually, before we go to Jinx the horse,
over here, Lauren, the one with the blonde hair...
We can't interrupt her. There's something very special going on.
I only mention it because it's coming to a positive end,
and we'll let you know what it is later. Pretty exciting!
Anyway, back to Jinx the horse. She's free from the ditch,
and the vet needs to check her over. This is the most dangerous time
for the rescue team. When a horse wakes from a sedative,
no-one can predict how they'll react.
Now out of the ditch and in the field,
Jinx is still under heavy sedation. She's safe from drowning,
but they still don't know if she has injured herself.
Will she be able to get up?
When I saw her being pulled out of the ditch
and being under sedation,
and just completely dead to the world, it seemed...
She wasn't really moving. Her eyes looked awful.
My worry then was, you know, how is she going to be?
Vet Francesca gets straight down to assessing her.
I just checked the legs properly
for severe fractures, because in that sort of a case,
there is nothing really that we can do to save the horse.
Not much reaction, because we've had to give her a huge amount of sedative
to make it safe for us in that work environment.
The local fire crews can be stood down.
Francesca is doing her utmost to bring Jinx around safely.
I just put a catheter into the vein straight away,
to have an easy access to a vein,
and then I started to pass some colloids.
Colloids are just a particular type of fluids
that we normally administrate in this sort of cases
when the blood pressure quite low.
And suddenly Jinx starts to wake up.
This is a critical moment. If she can't get on her legs,
her future is bleak.
Good girl. Stand. Stand. Stand.
Although she's understandably wobbly,
her legs are supporting her and she can walk.
-Well done, Jim.
Steady, girl. Steady, girl.
It's straight into a stable and plenty of TLC for Jinx.
The actual reality of it hits you,
You know, there is no question she would have drowned
if we hadn't got her out that evening.
The way the animal rescue and the fire brigade strapped her,
the vet sedated her,
she was pulled out of that ditch with no injury to herself...
It's just amazing, and I can't thank them enough.
Success at last! Hurray! And a few days later,
we visited Jinx to see how she was getting on.
Just days after her ordeal, Jinx is back out in her field,
enjoying her freedom.
And yes, it is the same field where she came a cropper,
but now there's a fence between her and the water.
Jinx is very well. She was very well that evening,
and the next day it was as though nothing had happened.
Amazingly, she has no ill effects whatsoever from the accident.
'No muscle strains, no marks where the straps were.'
She wasn't upset or stressed or anything,
so very, very happy that it's all been fine.
She's very happy to be in the field,
and she's relaxed,
and even, probably, better than she was before.
We've been talking about nuisance calls to control rooms
like this one. They waste time and risk lives.
One hoax call to Merseyside police led to a four-hour armed siege
involving 30 police officers. Let's hear it.
Chief Superintendent Dave Lewis is here to talk to us about this.
Um... A, an idiot, and B, even if they haven't got a gun,
-you've got to send out armed response to that.
They can't take any chances with a call like that.
He said there's a gun in the house. There's a person potentially going to use that gun,
-so we can't take chances.
-You have to send out armed response.
If anybody comes out with anything concealed in their jacket, Lord knows what will happen.
The officers are highly trained in dealing with these situations.
If someone came out and pointed what appeared to be a weapon at them,
-the consequences can be horrendous.
-In this case, when you got there,
there wasn't anybody with a weapon. It was just somebody being an idiot.
-Did you catch up with him?
-And he got a six-week prison sentence.
-And his colleague?
-His colleague got a fine,
and I think they totally justified it.
That's very serious. You can't mess about with things like this.
You've broken these nuisance calls down into categories.
That was a malicious call. The call we're about to hear
you would call a social-service call. Have a listen.
778 times, they called! How many hours of police time
-did they take up?
-Just short of 20 hours' police call time.
20 hours of police time taken up with something like that!
That sounds like a mental-health issue.
We may have a lonely person at the end of the telephone there.
They don't ring 999. They ring the non-emergency number.
But that still takes call-handler time away.
-They just want someone to talk to.
-You need another number
for people to call up and have a chat. If you take up police time,
-you may put people at risk.
-That call-handler could have been handling an emergency call.
They do care about that individual. He's well known to us.
You can hear that. You can hear the caller's concern.
And when you mention it, they say, "Well, we do worry about him,
and we want to make sure he's OK," but we can't really afford him
-to be on the emergency system.
-The person making the next call
we're about to hear is clearly ignorant
of what 999 calls should be used for.
You can make up your own mind, but we're calling them dopey calls.
Why would anybody call 999 about getting paint on a handbag?
I'll be honest with you - because they're daft.
-Is that the reason?
Why these people think the police are going to solve that problem is beyond me at times.
Some people need to get a bit of a life-check, really,
and consider what they're doing when they're ringing us.
When people... Whatever way you look at these calls,
whether they're the dopey calls or the mental-health issues
or the person that we heard at the beginning,
which is a malicious hoax call,
how does that affect people who genuinely need
to have calls answered?
The simple fact is, it ties up police call-handler time,
and dealing with calls we shouldn't receive
stops the real emergency getting through,
because sometimes all the lines are full
because we may be dealing with calls we shouldn't be.
And are you actively going after these people,
-especially the malicious ones?
I appreciate some people don't understand the system
and genuinely need some help, and we'll provide it when we can
even though it's come to the wrong number,
but we will prosecute those who deserve it,
and, like that first caller, they may spend time in prison.
Well, there you go. You need to bear that in mind
next time you think it might be funny to ring 999
and have a laugh. They will come after you, and they will prosecute.
Thank you for coming and chatting to us. Louise.
Earlier you said something exciting was happening. It was!
Congratulations to Lauren. A little baby was born
while we were doing the programme, and you were there. What happened?
The call came in. The gentleman said his wife was having a baby,
-then eight minutes later it arrived.
-That's absolutely crazy.
-They were OK, were they?
-Everything was fine?
-Yeah. Very, very calm,
-and second baby...
-And second baby that was born
-to a call-taker here. Is that right?
Same family? Had two children born via the telephones here?
-Yes, that's right.
-Was it a boy or a girl?
-Will they call it Lauren?
-More Real Rescues soon.
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.
A foreign family is trapped on rocks and desperate for rescue, but they do not know about calling 999. And the rescue of Jinx the horse from a flooded ditch proves dangerous for the team.