Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present dramatic events from the work of the emergency services. There's a car accident that almost demolished a house and a dog walker calls 999.
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Today, the house that's had a car accident.
I've got some bad news. Your house has been hit as the result of an RTR.
'The emergency teams have to find a way to extract it without bringing more house down.'
The structural engineers are going to put rams in to make it safe to remove the car.
Julie's lost, frightened and drenched from falling in the river,
there's thunder and lightning and it's about to get worse.
Hello and welcome to Real Rescues and an inside look at the vital work
-carried out by Britain's emergency services.
-This is South Central Ambulance Control near Winchester.
The team here are getting help to people who've dialled 999.
No matter what the emergency, the people here are trained to respond appropriately.
If Kelly's not on a call, and she's not, we can come over and have a word
and see what's going on and happening in the region at the moment. You've got a couple.
-Somebody who's been hurt on a ramp.
-What's that about?
-Local tyre garage
and they've driven a vehicle up the ramp
and one of their members of staff have got in the way somehow
-and he's been hit by the car going up the ramp.
-What sort of injuries?
Torso-ish. They've not confirmed exactly where at the moment.
We'll find out more later. Also a teenager that's fallen from a rope swing?
Yeah, rope swing, he's fallen into the local river.
-OK. Recovered from the river, we should say.
-Recovered from the river.
-But not sure what the cause of that accident was at the moment.
-No. All we know is he's got a hand injury.
We'll come back to that a little bit later and keep you updated. Louise.
Now, the house which has had a car accident.
There's nothing unusual about a car careering off the road after a crash,
but this time it ended up in someone's front room.
It's a miracle no-one was killed. Here's what the rescue team were up against.
'An emergency call has come in to traffic cop Mark Fruin.'
All I know is that it's a collision with a car into a house.
There's no injuries
and no update on road blockages or anything like that.
'He wastes no time heading to the scene and arrives to find the road already closed.
'On closer inspection, it's an extraordinary sight.
'A car is completely embedded in the front room of a house
'and it's taken most of the wall out.'
I was just shocked to see the position of the vehicle.
There was a silver BMW
that was hidden behind the bushes of a garden and, on closer inspection,
you could see that it had actually left the ground, several feet in the air, and was embedded in the address
sitting in the lounge of the house.
'The driver of the silver car had been on her way to make a house call in the village, but not like this.
'She's now being checked over by the ambulance crew.
'She was helped out of the wreckage by Julie, who lives next door.
'She was in her kitchen when she heard an almighty bang.'
We just came out and saw the car in the house
and just went alongside the lady. I moved her away from the house,
cos we were worried that the house was going to come down.
'Simon, the driver of the car still on the road, has suffered quite an impact.
'His neck is giving him a lot of pain.
'The ambulance crew have to put him on a board in preparation for his journey to hospital.
'It's a precaution in case he's suffered serious spinal injury.
'Mark and his colleagues have now spoken to both drivers
We believe the female driver has failed to see the give way junction at the end of the road.
The black Renault Laguna's been coming along the main road. The BMW's pulled out in front of the Renault
and straight into its path. The Renault's been unable to do anything
and gone into the BMW, pushing it where you can see it now.
'The accident is attracting a lot of attention.
'The only people who are blissfully unaware of what's happened are the owners of the house.
'PC David Blake has the unenviable job of tracking them down and breaking the news.'
I've made a number of phone calls to try and find the owners
to say, "You've got a bigger front door than you left with."
'The damage to the house is extensive. The corner is at risk of collapsing altogether.
'The firefighters have cordoned off the entire area to keep everyone safe.
'Any disturbance to the wedged car could bring down more masonry.'
And we'll be seeing how they remove the car without more of the house collapsing later.
Extraordinary. OK, when Julie Adams set out for a walk one evening with her partner and their two dogs,
there was nothing to suggest it wouldn't be like any other stroll.
But one wrong turn in the Sussex woodland changed all that. Here's her call for help.
So, police control have established where Julie is and which direction she needs to take.
Trouble is, in the countryside, you never know what's around the corner.
And here is Julie. Julie, as bad days go, that was a bad day.
It was quite a bad day. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
You started off quite jolly, despite the fact you were soaking wet and lost and not very happy,
you were still quite jolly, but we can hear there, you're starting to get frightened.
Yeah. I think, originally, we were just lost and we could see the amusing side,
but once we got the lightning and the cows and everything, we realised we were in trouble.
You're also a bit of a townie, aren't you? Struggling to know what's a cow and a bull.
It was quite dark but, yes, my preference is certainly for the city. Certainly now.
I'm not at all surprised. OK, so, there they are, soaking wet, it's raining, windy and there's lightning,
and they're cornered by curious cows, possibly bulls. Let's hear what happened next.
-You made it back to civilisation.
-How did they find you?
They put the sirens on the car and asked us to tell them the direction we could hear them coming from.
Then when they got closer, they put the lights on and did the same thing
-and eventually guided us in by lights and sirens.
-Were you pleased to see them?
We had a chat with the policeman who rescued you and he said you were very pleased.
-I was. I gave him a very big hug when we came out of the woods.
-That's nice. How did he take that?
Well, he was quite shocked, so he stepped backwards and managed to step on my dog.
HE LAUGHS Just one disaster after another.
-Are you a bit disaster-prone?
-It just all happened on one day?
-It all happened on one day.
-You said you were very frightened of the lightning.
-And knowing what to do.
In those situations, you think, "Was it under a tree or not under a tree that you were supposed to do?"
It's a good point. We'll tell you a bit more about that a little bit later on.
Did you know that you were near a very famous and very dangerous bog?
We didn't at the time, but the farmer who took us for a cup of coffee afterwards,
he said he'd lost a Land Rover in that field. He's parked it and it'd sunk into the bog and disappeared.
-And never been recovered.
-So you were in quite a lot of danger.
-Literally, everything was against us.
And now do you go walking in the woods very much?
Not very much, no, and I now carry a torch and stick to the paths.
The old bit of help - stick to the paths!
Absolutely, quite right. I'm sorry you had such a terrible day, but pleased you came out the other side.
-They sounded great on the phone.
-They were absolutely fabulous
-and, without them, it could've ended very differently.
-Thank you very much.
I want to talk to James about a call he took here.
You had a call from a man who'd had a fall in his bedroom, which doesn't sound terribly serious at first,
but it was serious. What was going on?
I took a call from a man who'd fallen in his bedroom.
It turns out, he couldn't feel his legs.
Once the crew arrived, we couldn't actually get him downstairs on a stretcher,
so we had to call the fire brigade to take the window out.
Because of the layout of the house?
Yeah, the stairs were too narrow to get him downstairs,
so we had to take the window out, with the assistance of the fire service.
What had happened? He'd had a fall in his bedroom but he'd really hurt himself.
-There was a history to it, wasn't there?
-Yeah, he had a pre-existing problem with his spine
which aggravated it, causing the loss of feeling in his legs.
And he was eventually flown straight to a specialist unit at Southampton Hospital.
-And given treatment for it.
-OK, James, thank you.
A young boy has been out with his friends and fallen off his bike not once but twice.
He's feeling dizzy and he's been sick. His mum is really worried
and when ambulance crew arrive, he's showing all the signs of concussion.
'Paramedic Stuart Verity and technician Stacey Smith
'and on their way to a nine-year-old boy who's fallen off his bike.'
He's apparently hit his head. The limited information we've been given is that he's not cut his head
but we don't know whether he was wearing a helmet,
we don't know how hard he's hit his head, what he's hit it on, whether he was unconscious,
so we need to go and see how alert he is now and we'll take it from there.
'At the house, they find an unhappy George.'
-Well, I fell off my bike, I went over the handlebars
and I wasn't really happy about it.
-When I got up, I was really dizzy.
-Do you feel dizzy now?
-Only when I stand up.
-Are you hurting anywhere?
Well, a bit... I've had...
Well, my head's still hurting a little bit.
-Where abouts does your head hurt?
Did you bang that on the floor or did you bang it on your bike?
Banged it on the concrete.
-Did you have a helmet on?
'Undeterred by his nasty fall, George got straight back in the saddle.'
I wanted to play with my friends again.
-Then when I went round the block again, I fell off again.
Can I have a feel of your head?
Tell me if I hurt you.
-Yeah, it hurts there.
-Round this side?
-No, that side.
-OK. Where does it hurt here?
-How's this side?
-That side's fine. It's just that side.
'As the day has gone on, George has started to feel poorly.'
What about your tummy?
Well, I've got really bad stomach cramps.
-Did you have that before?
-No, that happened, like, half an hour afterwards.
-Has he been sick?
-How many times?
-Is it just fluid?
-Yeah, it's phlegm. Phlegm and fluid.
-How's that? Is he normally fit and well?
'Stuart gives George a full check over.'
Straighten them out. Wiggle your toes.
What about your fingers and your hands?
On this one, I can wiggle it fine,
but I can only wiggly this one slightly, it's weak.
'By testing his reflexes and responses,
'he can gauge whether George has any signs of a head injury.'
That's good. I think, cos he's banged his head,
and he didn't have a helmet on and he's been sick a couple of times,
-we'll go and get you checked out.
Just to make sure everything's all right.
Let the doctor have a look at you. You think?
You might need some shoes and socks on.
-Mum, do you want to go and get some socks?
-I'll get your socks.
'George appears lucid, but Stuart's concerned by the dizziness
'and other symptoms he's suffered since the accident.
'A child's condition can deteriorate rapidly if something goes undetected.'
Ready? One, two, three.
'He may be about to go to hospital, but George is already thinking about his future safety.'
-There you go.
-On Saturday, I'm buying a new helmet for what's just happened now.
That's a good idea.
That's nice and warm.
'Although he's dressing like a little superhero,
'George is still feeling a little less than super.'
Are you ready?
Come round this side.
-How do you feel?
-I'm feeling OK.
-You don't feel sick anymore?
-I'm feeling kind of all right.
You tell me if you're feeling sick, won't you?
'On the journey to hospital, George's answers are getting more confused and his memory clouded.
'And he appears more sluggish.'
Did you go over the handlebars both times?
-No, only once. The second time.
-The second time?
Er... After the second time, I banged my head. I went over the handlebars the second time.
'Arriving at Southampton General, George does his best to reassure Mum.'
I'll probably be fine tomorrow, Mum.
'He may have given himself a clean bill of health,
'but Stuart wants to find out from Mum if George is acting normally.
Sit yourself on here.
'George is wheeled straight through to the paediatric A&E department.'
-There you go!
'He's now in the best place to find out the extent of any possible head injury.'
George's conditions deteriorated in hospital.
He had scans and tests and it turned out to be serious concussion.
Thankfully, he has made a fully recovery
and is back out on his bike with his new helmet.
Still to come on Real Rescues, there's smoke but no flames.
Firefighters struggle to find a fire which started in, of all places, a bathroom.
Right, listen up, you two.
Smoke issuing out the back, OK? Remember your door procedures.
You've got breaking in equipment. Let's get going.
And the moment a stunt to raise money for charity went disastrously wrong.
Holly's broken her arm and dislocated her shoulder and elbow,
so how will rescuers get her safely into the lifeboat?
Let's take you back to that car which has crashed into the side of a house.
No-one has been seriously hurt, but the house is in need of emergency treatment.
'Council surveyor Jerry Pride has arrived
'to start emergency work on propping up the corner of the house.'
'The fire service has already checked for gas leaks and given the all-clear for work to start.
'But it's going to be a very difficult task removing the car without causing further disruption.'
All that's holding up the flag wall is the first floor joists,
and they're unsupported.
If we remove the vehicle at this stage, it's likely to disturb more masonry,
which could weaken the structure further and cause considerable problems, so we'll arrange to get
the section of masonry that's been removed replaced by props before the vehicle is removed
and that will stabilise that side of the house and make sure it's kept safe and no further damage is done.
'The owners are away and it's up to PC David Blake to break the news over the telephone.'
I've got some bad news. Your house has been hit as a result of an RTR.
It's basically to see whether you'd be able to come home.
'PC David Blake explains who's on the scene and the extent of the repair work being carried out.'
It's the emergency structural engineers.
They're going to put supporting joists and rams in
to make it safe to remove the car.
No-one will be able to go back into the property, cos it is substantially damaged.
'The car has now taken the place of the masonry and is effectively supporting the first floor.'
We've stabilised the corner of the building, cos the impact had removed quite a lot of supporting masonry,
and now we're just waiting to remove the vehicle. When it's removed,
we'll assess whether any additional damage is caused by that removal.
'The recovery truck has arrived, but it's going to be a tricky job.'
My concern is, if we drag it, it's going to drag more of this masonry.
We've got this big panel that's loose.
-So if we take some weight of it and then just lift it out?
-That'd be much better.
'Before they can lift the car out, they'll have to shift the remains of the house still on top of it.
-'With the rubble cleared, it's a delicate operation to ease out the vehicle.'
'The only way out for this unwanted guest is over the top of the garden hedge.
'The props are in place and will provide a temporary support.
'The owners are still unaware of the damage,
'but it looks likely that one entire corner of the house will have to be rebuilt.'
The driver of the car that ended up in the house was convicted and fined.
That's the second time that house has been hit by a vehicle.
In fact, vehicles in buildings have been a regular call-out for Hampshire Fire and Rescue.
Yes, it was a double blow for the driver of this car
when he smashed into his own property.
Then the driver who ended up with a prison sentence and a driving ban after this.
He drove his Rolls Royce into a shop window, all because he'd been refused alcohol in a supermarket.
-Six people were injured.
-Extraordinary. And the Moscow State Circus left town in style
after a bank holiday extravaganza when its ticket office trailer ended up in a block of flats.
Taking door-to-door selling a little bit far, isn't it?
-You'd think you'd give it to them for free, wouldn't you?
-Yeah. Shall we move on?
20-year-old student Michael has been learning to live with epilepsy for the last three years.
Fits can come out of the blue, as we're about to see.
'Ambulance crew Paul and Caroline are on an emergency call to a young man
'who's been found collapsed on the street.'
We've just been told a male fitted on the side of the road
'They arrive to find some passers-by, as well as a local community responder, already giving first aid.'
I was just driving by. These chaps had stopped.
Apparently, he just passed out.
He's breathing and he is responsive. If you shout at him, he opens his eyes, but he's not with it.
Right, I think we just get him on a...
These gentlemen... You witnessed him just go rigid
and then just fall to the floor and shake, full tonic-clonic seizure.
'A tonic-clonic seizure is the medical term for a type of epileptic fit
'where the sufferer has violent body convulsions.'
Hello, fella. Hello, mate. It's Paul from the ambulance service.
Hello there. What's your name, chap?
Michael? Hello, Michael.
I think you've had a little bit of a fit, my friend.
OK? Are you epileptic? Yeah? All right.
'Michael is responding to Paul when he talks loudly. It's a good sign.
'He could be through the worst of it and starting to come round.'
There's just some marks on his chin. Looks like possible facial.
'Michael was walking to college.
'It's possible he fell and hit the pavement hard when the seizure gripped him.
'Paul checks for any injuries before he can be moved.'
Have you got any pains in your head at all?
No? Any pains down in your neck? No?
Can you move your legs for me?
Good man, well done. That's it. Shall we get you up off this floor?
'Michael is still a bit confused and looks exhausted from the convulsions.'
So you know where you are, my friend? Sorry?
You think you collapsed? Well done.
'Michael fights hard to stay awake long enough
'to answer Caroline and Paul's questions.
'It takes a huge effort.'
Other than your chin and where you're grazed on your hands,
does anything else hurt? No.
How often do you fit? Do you know?
Is it a regular thing or is it once in a blue moon?
'The team have put sensors on Michael to get a heart trace.
'If he's recovered enough, then he may be able to avoid a trip to hospital.'
He's doing some twitching.
This arm's been twitching.
Michael? Hello. You all right?
How are you feeling?
-Let's give your face a bit of a...
-Are you on any medication at all?
Do you know what that is?
When you've had a fit in the past, have you ever had a second fit?
Or do you tend just to have one?
He's done it again. This arm went this time.
Yeah. And his heart rate, as well.
'But there are signs it's not over yet.
'His body is still twitching slightly and his heart racing.'
How about we pop you down to the hospital, just get you an MOT?
Cos your heart rate's going ten to the dozen.
And you're still doing the odd twitching now and then.
So I think just to be safe, yeah?
'Caroline has told Michael's mum, who'll meet them at the hospital.
Shall I put that back down now?
'Michael will remain in hospital until his seizure has completely subsided.
'His other injuries will also be thoroughly checked over.'
Michael, you're here with me today. How are you feeling? You all right?
-I'm feeling much better than I was then.
-Do you remember any of that?
I remember vague snippets of it, but most of it, no.
And when you've had a fit like that, how do you feel afterwards?
Usually it's confusion. Normally I can only remember fragments of it
and I just feel ridiculously drained and tired.
Really? Julian, you're a paramedic, you deal with people who've had fits.
Is that a common feeling afterwards? Cos he was clearly exhausted.
Yeah, his muscles are all contracting
and really it's like running a marathon.
So by the time he's finished fitting, absolutely exhausted.
Most people, all they want to do is go to sleep.
And that's because of what's been going on in their bodies.
That's right. The electrical activity in the brain has been going crazy,
it's causing a lot of the muscles to contract, it's making him absolutely exhausted,
and also there's a lack of oxygen sometimes to the brain during a fit,
so coming round and not really having much recollection of it is quite normal after a seizure.
I know you were on your way to college that day.
-Did you get any warning signs that that was going to happen?
-Yeah, I did feel it coming on.
I did try and slow down and focus on breathing slowly a few times
to see if I could snap out if it, but obviously it didn't work.
-You've made it stop before, have you?
-A couple of times it's worked.
-I've just managed to kind of slow down, really focus on breathing slowly,
playing slow-tempo music helps,
and just really relaxing, and I've managed to come round.
Have you met people who know when they're going to have a fit, they get warning signs?
I have. Some people will say they feel a bit light-headed, a bit dizzy,
some people will complain of a tight chest or a strange taste.
I even met one lady once who had a dog that was trained
and it was able to know when she was going to have a fit
-and it would give her a ten-second warning so she could put herself on the ground and be safe.
-You're feeling OK today and you're on your way to university, so good luck.
Remember we were chatting earlier to Julie? She got lost in the forest
and suddenly there was a lightning storm and she was frightened.
A lot of people are frightened of lightning. I like it. It's impressive.
But a lot of people get very frightened of it. How dangerous is it?
We're here in the ambulance room, let's talk to Claire about lightning.
Do you get a lot of calls for people being struck by lightning?
It's a really rare thing, actually.
I've been here for two years and I haven't had one lightning call and I don't know of anyone that has.
-So it's really rare.
-It's a fairly rare thing.
-It is, yeah.
Do you have set rules about how you tell people to deal with lightning strikes?
If someone had phoned up saying that they'd witnessed it,
basically, we have to go for worst case scenario
-and always think that they are in cardiac arrest.
-Is that right?
Yeah, until somebody comes along that can verify they're breathing or conscious.
-So you almost treat it like a normal electric shock.
-Yeah, that's right.
-You assume that it's stopped the heart.
It's very similar, really.
Also, she was saying earlier that she didn't know whether she should be standing under a tree or not.
Injuries for lightning strikes are more likely under a tree, is that right?
Yeah, under a tree is not safe at all.
A really safe place to be in a storm is to be in a car,
because the tyres are made of rubber, so it protects you.
Being under a tree is not a good idea at all.
Thank you. And the reason that being under a tree is not a good idea
is because, if the tree gets struck, a bit of the tree comes off and you're underneath.
And it will attract the lightning because of the height.
ROSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents,
have some advice for you on what it's best to do. Seek shelter if you can.
If you can get inside a building, that's safe, or in a car.
Make yourself small. If you are caught in the open, don't stand upright, get into a small ball.
If you can make cover, that'd be a much better idea.
Avoid trees, because they attract lightning and also you'll get hit if a piece breaks off.
And finally, get away from water or anything metal, because those are both conductors.
The last time they had someone struck by lightning here was four years ago
where two people, separately, were struck by lightning on the same day
-and Charlie here remembers that day only too well, don't you?
-Because my prom venue got struck by lightning and burnt down.
Aww! So she never had her prom because her prom venue was burnt down.
-So you never had the prom?
-No, we went to a different one, but it wasn't as good.
-We lost all our decorations.
-Aww! Still not over it, as you can see.
Anyway, don't be frightened of lightning, it's very rare that anyone gets struck.
Follow those important little tips. Louise.
What a shame for her. When fire crews arrive at the next emergency,
they could be forgiven for thinking it's a false alarm. There's no sign of flames from the front,
but the building's on fire. So first, they have to find it.
'The firefighters of white watch are on a call to a fire in Southampton city centre.
'The fire has set off the alarm in one of the flats in this converted house.
'The first task is to get all the residents out of the building.'
If you could come out, sir. Yeah, check round the back. All right?
There's nobody in there, is there?
You don't think so. OK.
'There's not much sign of fire or smoke out the front,
'but inside, the hallway is quickly filling up with fumes.
'Shaun has to find the seat of the fire as quickly as possible.'
Get an informative back, smoke issuing. Right, get started up!
-'One of the crew is round the back and has spotted where the smoke is coming from.'
"Yeah, there's smoke coming out of the back, there's a small vent in the wall
-"and there's smoke coming out of it."
The door at the top of the stairs right in front of you, smoke issuing out the back, OK?
Remember your door procedures, all right? You've got breaking in equipment. Let's get going.
'The crew need to break into a locked flat on the first floor.
'No-one knows what they will find inside.'
Check for persons!
Check for persons!
We're not sure if there's anyone in there yet.
'Shaun tries to get more information from the ground-floor residents.'
Who lives there, do you know?
-We all live there.
-No, who lives in that room?
-Er, they call him Mike.
You don't know if he's in or not?
'An update comes through from the crew who've gone inside.
'Luckily, it seems that no-one was in the room.'
"It looks like it was in the shower. It looks like it's gone round the back of the wall
"and maybe into the roof space, so suggest maybe a crew to the loft space, over."
'The fire crew's work is not over. There's a chance that the fire may have already spread into the roof.
'More firefighters need to go in to investigate.'
It looks like the fire's out. It may be in the shower unit.
I want you to check the loft space.
There's a short extension in there and there's a hose reel in there you can use.
So just get your head up in there and have a look.
'Sue Perry and Matt Broomby put on their breathing apparatus. They will be heading into the loft space.
'If the fire has spread there, the entire building could be at risk.'
We've got smoke travel so we're investigating the roof space.
I'm sending two more breathing apparatus into the roof space
to check for fire travel. Because we don't want fire travel catching the roof alight.
'The fire in the shower has been put out. The next job is clearing all the smoke.'
All right, we're just putting the fan on now.
We're using the positive pressure fan
to get rid of the smoke in there so we can go and have a look.
'The smoke isn't the only problem.
'A pipe has melted and water is leaking all over the flat.
'It's threatening to flood the ones below.'
We need the stopcock. I don't know where the stop valve is inside,
-so we need to turn it off.
-All right, grab that key, then.
'Colin finds the outside mains. He needs to shut off the water supply.
'But there's a lot of mud and it's proving difficult to get to the stopcock.'
We've tried turning the water off from outside, but it's not working.
So we're doing a salvage operation at the moment.
They're using salvage equipment to try and divert the water.
'Sue and Matt emerge with some good news.'
It's quite smoky but it doesn't seem to have affected the roof space.
We went into the attic area. I think the only smoke that got up there
was there because I've been in the attic space. So no problems.
'It's safe now for Shaun to venture inside the house without breathing gear.
'The smoke and fire damage is quite extensive.'
If you look at the walls, you can see where the smoke level was coming down to.
'Anyone trapped in here would've been lucky to survive.
'There is a fire alarm system which did work, but against all the odds.'
To me, that's been sealed up.
Someone's put a plastic bag over that so they can have a smoke.
'Thankfully, the plastic bag that had been intended to disable the fire alarm didn't work.'
If a fire situation doesn't set the alarm off, you get a much bigger fire.
We'd have lost at least the back of the building with that,
because it was developing quite readily.
'The landlord, Arshak, has arrived to find his property full of fire crews, smoke and water.
'But at least it's still standing and nobody has been hurt.'
The shower unit's completely burnt out. And that's where the fire was.
I'd say it's a fault with the shower.
'There's a lot of damage that will have to be put right before the tenant can move back into his flat.
'Shaun explains the situation to the other residents.'
Quite a substantial fire in there.
And it started in the shower unit.
Yeah, he's got an electric shower in there, and that caught fire.
So it's caused quite a bit of damage and a bit of water damage. Do you know who's in the flat underneath?
-We'll need to look and make sure there's not too much water coming through.
'Arshak has a lot of work to do to make the house habitable,
'but he knows things could've been far worse
'and he's taking it all in his stride.'
A fire is always dangerous, yeah.
That's life. Things happen, you know?
Extraordinary, all that damage from a shower fire.
OK, now, some people will do all kinds of bizarre and dangerous stunts for charity.
I've been known to do a few daft things myself. You presume you're going to be safe.
Emergency services are on hand to pick up the pieces when there's a mishap.
Thankfully, this was the case at the International Worthing Birdman Contest.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen,
to Worthing International Birdman!
'Bizarre as it seems, this is a contest of style and bravery.
'Entrants dress in elaborate costumes, put their trust into wacky flying machines
'and then throw themselves from a height of 50 feet off Worthing Pier.'
'Comedienne Holly Walsh is a first-timer.
'Her flying partner, playing the part of Rambo,
'is a world gravy wrestling champion.
'Yes, you did hear that right.
'Their mock green helicopter launches...
'..and then crash-lands.
'But Holly and Mr Gravy don't come up laughing.
'In fact, it's clear to emergency services almost immediately
'that something is seriously wrong.'
And here are Nick and Karl, who actually attended Holly in that incident.
Now, let's start with Nick, cos you were first to get to her.
-What sort of state was she in?
Well, initially, when she jumped,
we saw that she hadn't come up as quick as we expected.
And then we gave her about five or six seconds before we intervened.
We saw that she hadn't come up and then the rescue craft came in,
-as you see there, and...
-Plainly in a lot of discomfort.
Was it obvious to you that she had a serious injury?
Very quickly, it was obvious that she'd done something to her elbow.
-And then you turned up with the lifeboat.
And it's a matter now of retrieving. We've seen people rescued from cars and buildings.
What are the differences with rescuing someone from water?
It depends on the situation. Life over limb, really.
If they're in the water, if you don't get them out of the water,
the end result can be a lot worse, drownings, et cetera.
So the idea is, really, get them out comfortably and safely as quickly as you can.
OK, Nick, how did you get her out of the water? Here she's out of the water in a basket stretcher.
-But how did you get her out?
-The divers had brought her to the surface
and laid her flat onto the top of the water
and then we manoeuvred the boat in and we just picked her up
very much underneath her in a flat line
with the divers underneath pushing up and we put her onto the side to do treatment.
And you can give her some painkillers, which is the thing at that stage,
cos she had damage to her elbow, dislocated her shoulder,
several fractures. I mean, that's painful.
Initially, she wasn't in a lot of pain, but I think that was the adrenaline that was kicking in.
But certainly, as time went on,
we took a bit of time to get her out of the water and onto the side of the boat.
It's important that you use a soft-bottomed rib here
and we can see why as it comes up onto the beach.
Yeah. The ribs that are already out there are rigid inflatables, they have a hard bottom.
If they hit the beach, they're just not designed to be driven up the beach.
The inshore boats that we have within the RNLI
are specifically designed to provide a sturdy platform and to be driven up the beach
so we can get the casualty up safely and quickly.
You've done an amazing job and Holly sends her thanks.
She's recovering a lot better now thanks to you guys.
-Nice to meet you guys. Thank you very much.
Just a couple of updates before we go today.
Remember that man who was injured while working on a car?
Two crews had to look after him. He's on his way to hospital with them.
And a teenager fallen off a rope swing into water has hurt her hand.
-She's on her way, too.
-Happy endings for them. We'll see you for 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.
There's a car accident that almost demolished a house and a lost dog walker calls 999.