Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin follow the work of the emergency services. In this episode, a woman falls off her bike and ends up with a serious head injury.
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Today, horror for a mum out on a family bike ride.
Now a whole team of medics are fighting to save her life.
Our plan is to give her some medication, get her stable,
then put her to sleep, take her to hospital, get her head scanned
to see if there's serious damage.
A runaway tanker turns upside down, leaking over 1,000 litres
of hazardous kerosene. But there's a further 5,000 litres
still inside, and it could explode at any moment.
Welcome to Real Rescues. This is the Abingdon control room
for the Thames Valley Police.
Any kind of emergency can come through to this room.
They have all the kit they need to deal with 999 calls,
but we'll see later on how a little local knowledge goes a long way.
But first, cyclist Caroline has crashed head-first
over her handlebars deep in the woods.
She's very distressed, and so badly injured
that she's unable to speak.
Medics have driven as close as they can,
and now they race on foot to help. They know her sudden lack of speech
could mean a serious brain injury.
Forced to leave their vehicle behind,
critical-care doctor Paul Rees
and his colleague, paramedic Brian Hardy
are heading off-road to find a patient
who sounds in a bad way.
We've been called to some woods near Southampton
where a mountain biker has come off their bike.
They've got a head injury and might have significant brain injury,
so we're going to see what can be done before we get them out.
Half a mile later, they reach an extremely distressed Caroline.
She's come off her bike, hitting her head very hard on the ground.
Ambulance medic Gareth is already there,
and Caroline's partner Richard is holding her head
-and attempting to comfort her.
-Caroline, I'm a doctor. Hello.
SHE MOANS AND WAILS Open your eyes for me.
Caroline, open your eyes nice and wide.
How are you feeling? SHE MOANS INCOHERENTLY
It's sore on that side. That's OK.
That's something we can... That's something we can fix.
SHE CONTINUES TO MOAN You're having a job speaking.
OK. That's all right.
Incoherent, Caroline can only point to the pain in her face.
Losing the ability to talk is a sign she could have a brain injury.
The speech difficulty might be due to swelling or bleeding in the brain,
in a similar way to a patient having a stroke
might have some speech difficulties.
Pressure, bleeding or swelling in the brain could cause the same symptoms.
With no time to lose, the team get to work.
Get that attached. Get a line in her and we'll see what we need to do.
Information from these tests will be vital
in allowing Paul to decide on the best treatment.
Can you move this arm for me, squeeze my fingers?
Is there some weakness there? SHE MOANS INCOHERENTLY
We're going to lie you flat in a minute,
give you something to make you feel relaxed and take you to hospital.
My plan is to get her flat,
give her some drugs to make her feel less distressed.
Brian takes temporary control of Caroline's head.
As she's lowered,
it's essential her neck and back remain completely straight.
OK. Well done. SHE MOANS
Lovely. Do you mind doing that again? You were doing a very good job.
Just gently support her head.
It's hard to comprehend how a family day out has ended up like this.
Earlier, Caroline had set out on her first-ever bike ride
with Richard and their ten-year-old daughter Cecilia.
Just ten minutes in, things went badly wrong.
Behind her, Richard saw it all,
but could do nothing to stop it happening.
Just before I was setting off to follow them,
I heard Caroline sort of shout, "I can't stop."
Caroline went over the handlebars and landed hard on her face and arm.
She tried to get up, and said, "Let's go home."
And after that, that was the last thing that she said.
Almost immediately she started sort of groaning and wailing,
and pointing to her arm and her eye and her leg,
and scratching on the gravel.
The fact that she wasn't able to talk
and she was just in this incoherent state,
was the most worrying thing, yes.
Two helpful passers-by have taken young Cecilia to one side
while the team treat her mother.
This lady's come off her mountain bike and sustained a head injury.
It's not clear how serious that is. The main problem we're having
is communicating with her, so we'll get her stable,
put her to sleep, take her to hospital, get her head scanned
and see if there's any serious damage.
To safely get Caroline out of the woods,
Paul will have to fully anaesthetise her right here, right now.
It's a procedure that is only attempted in the most serious cases.
The best way to manage a patient with a head injury
and with signs of swelling inside their brain
is to get control of their airway and breathing,
give them the right amount of oxygen and control their blood pressure,
and the only way is to give them a general anaesthetic
and put them onto a breathing machine.
The air ambulance has also been sent for,
but the surrounding trees means it has to land some distance away.
Before he can anaesthetise Caroline, Paul will need the extra hands
of the helicopter crew.
Give them a quick ring and ask them to bring monitoring and drugs
from the helicopter before they leave it. Thanks.
To put Caroline to sleep, they must first get a line into her vein
so they can give drugs. Although she can't speak,
Caroline is managing to communicate with the help of Richard.
Has she got a lot of pain, ask her.
SHE CONTINUES TO MOAN
As Paul administers some fast-acting pain relief,
the paramedics from the air ambulance arrive.
Hello, there, my darling. My name's Vicky.
All right, Caroline. You may feel a little bit queasy.
OK. Just take some nice deep breaths for us.
You're doing really well, my darling. Well done.
The tranquillising effects of the painkiller kick in.
Soothed, Caroline has stopped groaning and trying to speak.
She may be calmer on the surface,
but what's going on inside is still a mystery.
That really is an example of how important
critical-care doctors like Paul are.
He's effectively taking a hospital emergency room out on the road,
and we'll see the incredible level of treatment he can give Caroline
in just a few minutes. Louise.
Kirsten has always managed to shield her son from her epilepsy -
that is, until the day they were alone together at home
and she fell on the floor having a fit in front of him.
Luckily, though, young James had seen an advert on TV
about dialling 999, so he picks up the phone and makes the call
that saves her life.
And remember, this is something he has never seen before.
Despite that, James now tries very hard
to do exactly as he's told,
even resorting to some quite unusual tactics.
Well, Joan, who is the paramedic who arrived with the ambulance
is here with us now, as is James and Kirsten.
James, first of all, well done. That was brilliant.
Just describe to us a bit about what had been happening that day.
Well, she just went a bit...
She just stood still and then fell on the floor.
OK. And what was she doing when she fell on the floor?
And how did you know to call 999?
Er, after a stroke advert.
-So there was a stroke advert on the TV?
Brilliant. And what did it show you?
How did you know it was the right thing to do, to call them?
-I don't know.
-You don't know. It was brilliant that you knew that.
We'll come to you in a minute, Kirsten.
Joan, the fact that he made that call,
-did he potentially save her life?
-He did, yeah. Yeah.
He, um... She was in status epilepticus.
-Which is a very serious...
-It is a serious condition
where they don't actually recover from the seizure.
They go back into another seizure and they need medical treatment
-as quickly as possible.
-Obviously, while he's on the phone,
-you don't remember any of that.
But he'd given you lots of key bits of information.
-What sort of things did he tell you?
-When we first arrived on scene,
we like to get as much history about the patient as possible,
whether there's any conditions she has got.
He was able to tell us she was epileptic.
He was able to tell us where she kept her medication,
which was a great help, able to tell us her name and everything.
And also importantly, you opened the door for them when they arrived.
Had you gone and got yourself dressed? What had you been doing?
Um, I just opened the door in my pyjamas.
-He was incredibly well prepared.
He was. I'm really, really proud of him,
and he did really, really well, I have to say.
I... I am just very, very proud of him.
And you were in a really serious situation, weren't you?
-So very lucky that he managed to do what he did.
Yes. Um... I have to say thank you to Joan,
and I have to say that it was unusual
for him to be left alone with me,
and what he did was pretty incredible,
and I'm just very pleased he did the right thing, really.
-And...I don't know.
-And proud as well.
What's it like for you to see Kirsten?
When she was in the ambulance, the situation was quite different.
It's been really good to actually find out that she's recovered
-and that she's doing well now.
-Brilliant. Thank you very much.
-I know you want to thank the Epilepsy Society as well.
They've given you lots of help. James, well done.
Thank you very much.
It's amazing. Time and time again, we find out
children are capable of so much more than we think.
What an amazing little boy that is! Moving on, a tanker has turned over
in a country lane, its load of kerosene flooding the road.
It could cause a huge fire and pollute the local water supply.
A call goes out to the emergency services.
Police and fire crews are streaming towards the village
of East Meon. They have a messy situation on their hands.
On its side, a fuel tanker is completely blocking a country lane.
It rolled down the hill after the driver jumped out of the cab
without applying the parking brake.
The impact has also caused its main tank to rupture,
and the kerosene it was carrying is spilling out.
Thankfully nobody has been hurt, but to make sure it stays that way,
fire crews, including group manager Al Murray,
need to deal with the truck's dangerous cargo,
which continues to flow down the road.
It was leaking kerosene out of the lid at the top of the tanker.
Because it was on its side, the lids were supposed to shut off,
but this lid didn't, and it is explosive in large amounts,
and it's the vapours that can ignite. It would create quite a big fireball.
Time for some extra protection.
It's not the most fetching get-up,
but these biohazard suits will allow the firefighters
to get close enough to try and stem the flow of the fuel.
The chemical suits were worn because the fuel oil can be toxic
to a certain extent, if it's in high volumes,
so it can affect your breathing, and if it's on your skin,
it is an irritant as well.
As well as the fear of combustion,
the fire crews are aiming to prevent an environmental disaster.
If the fuel got into the soil, it would get into the water courses,
and that is the drinking water for the people in that area.
But also there was the issue of local fisheries
about half a mile down the road, and the water for the fisheries
is also fed from the underground water courses.
The two firefighters have filled in the leak on the truck,
and, at the lower end of the cordoned-off road,
PC Gerry Lyon is hopeful that the spread of the kerosene
has been curtailed.
Basically they lost about a thousand litres of fuel,
which has now come down the hill and is collecting at its base.
Luckily, with the lanes and the hedges
and burn on the side, it's actually kept on the road,
so there's no drains that we're aware of at the moment.
So it's currently contained, and they have stopped the leaking.
But there's still a lot of fuel inside and outside the tanker.
Effectively it's a bomb waiting to go off,
so they can't take any chances. With the aid of the police helicopter,
Sergeant Paul Diamond has been coordinating the operation
to evacuate local residents.
These aerial photographs show the size of the area
affected by the accident.
At the moment we're just waiting for the experts who've turned up
to assess what they're going to do with the vehicle,
how they're going to get the material, product out,
how they're going to do that without impacting on the environment any more
than has happened at the moment.
The stricken tanker has lost a quarter of its load,
but there's another 5,000 litres of flammable fuel
left inside. Any sparks created by trying to move the vehicle
could potentially ignite it.
They'll tell you how the rescue's going to be implemented,
because if they've got to drag it,
they're looking at vapours and sparks and...
To solve the problem, the oil company send in a special vehicle
to remove the fuel.
Looking at where the vehicle's located
and how difficult it is to get it out,
they're going to cut some holes in the side,
which is now the top of the tanker, and decant the product
out through the top, which is the safest method of getting it.
As darkness draws in, the expert team carefully siphon the fuel out
of the damaged tank and into a new one,
while out of sight, further down the road,
fire crews soak up the fuel with special pads and pumps.
We have got a list of how much is in each tank.
About 3,000 in the other tanks, I think,
so it should take a little less time,
but they need to drill again just to depressurise it.
A few hours later the job is done,
and the vehicle-recovery team can move in to shift the tanker.
Basically all we need to do now is get it righted.
Not a problem.
Using the powerful hydraulic crane,
they meticulously lift and twist the truck inch by inch,
until it's the right way up.
The tanker's now back on its wheels,
and the Highways will keep the road shut till the morning
till a further investigation can be made,
so from our point of view, we're making up and going now.
Late evening, and the now-empty tanker can be towed away.
It's taken all day to sort out the mess,
but finally local residents can get back to their homes
and back to normal.
A delicate and very lengthy operation,
but fortunately a complete success.
Still to come on Real Rescues,
taking the emergency department out on the road.
Dr Paul Rees gives cyclist Caroline intensive medical treatment
right where she fell, buying crucial time
before the journey to hospital.
Once they decided to anaesthetise her,
I realised that it was a fairly serious situation.
And paramedic Chris is treating a broken ankle,
but his patient becomes hysterical. This will take some tough love.
SHE MOANS AND WAILS
Frankie? Right, Frankie, listen to me.
Listen. Put your arms down. Listen. Calm yourself down. OK?
The operators here all have the latest maps and technology
to locate people, but sometimes just a little bit of local knowledge
and quick thinking can make all the difference,
and Lyn has had a call like that from a man who was fitting
near a churchyard, as far as you knew.
-And what did he tell you?
-All the information we had
was that a male was fitting in a church in Banbury,
so I put "church" into my computer,
and that came up with six pages, a hundred items.
So you then need to use your local knowledge.
So I had his phone number. I rang him.
Immediately I knew that he'd been away from home for 50 minutes.
Just trying to gauge how far he'd been able to walk.
He didn't have his medication.
All he could see was a clock that was lit up.
-That's not terribly helpful.
-No. A clock that was lit up.
I ascertained from him, did he think that he was still in Banbury.
He told me where he was going to. Working on the local knowledge,
and he was still in Banbury, I believed it to be St Mary's Church
in Horsefair, and where he could see, I suppose, it lit up,
would be to the west of Banbury Cross.
And this is because you live near here?
Yes. I know the area. And he gave me one vital bit of information,
that he could see "For sale, to let, with 20 parking spaces",
and within Banbury town centre that's very limited,
so I knew it would be off West Bar Street,
so the units in between were directed, put their sirens on,
and I was listening through the mobile phone,
and we found him laid on the ground behind the veterinary surgery.
And that's just because you know the area so well
-that you can guess where it is.
-Yes. Mmm. Yeah.
-Brilliant. I understand you got a commendation for it.
-Yes, I did.
Now, back to the woods near Southampton
where medics are treating a cyclist who has a serious head injury.
They need to give her a general anaesthetic,
something normally only done in a hospital,
not on a path in the woods.
Led by critical-care doctor Paul Rees,
a group of highly skilled medics from air and ground ambulances
are now treating Caroline in the middle of the wood.
They've been joined by an off-duty A&E nurse, Alan Charter,
-who lives nearby.
-Keep your head nice and still.
Caroline is a lot calmer now the painkilling drugs have kicked in,
and that's a comfort for her partner Richard.
As soon as the pain relief came, and I could see she was free of pain,
that was when the kind of relief to me came,
because I knew that then she was no longer in distress.
A local fire crew has cut through a locked gate
to allow an ambulance access to the forest.
Keep you nice and still. Nice and still, that's right.
At this stage it's impossible to know
just how serious a brain injury Caroline may have suffered.
The safest thing to do is treat her as though she has,
and put her to sleep so we can take control of her breathing,
optimise the flow of oxygen to her brain,
get her circulation how we want it and get her off to hospital,
where we can scan her brain.
Caroline is still conscious, but the drugs have eased her pain.
They're now getting everything in place ready to anaesthetise her.
It's something that would normally only be done in hospital.
The procedure has three main phases. First you get the patient prepared,
getting plenty of oxygen into the patient,
making sure you've got access to the circulation by means of drips
so you can give fluid and drugs. The second phase is giving anaesthetic,
a dose of anaesthetic drug into the vein,
followed by a muscle relaxant to make the muscles go floppy
and allow us access to the airway. We then put a tube into the windpipe
and get control of the breathing. Once the tube is in,
the third phase is making the patient stable enough to move,
and then off to hospital.
Richard is just grateful the medics reached her in time.
Once they decided to anaesthetise her,
I realised that it was a fairly serious situation.
But in terms of my own feelings,
I was happy that these guys knew what they were doing,
and that Caroline was in good hands.
OK, ready, steady, lift.
That's it. And ready, steady, move.
With Caroline on a stretcher, Paul briefs everyone on their role
in this delicate operation to give her a general anaesthetic.
Here, Brian. Come round here. If you just do the head from there.
-Immobilise the neck, Vicky.
-All right, Caroline.
Just relax, my darling. It's just a mask on your mouth
just to help with your breathing, OK?
Once we've given the muscle relaxant,
the patient will stop breathing by themselves.
We get access to the airway, put the tube in,
make sure it's in the right place, secure it properly
and take over breathing for them.
You got it? Good. Everybody else stay in position.
Thanks. 24. That's fine. Everybody else stay put.
Lovely. And take the CO2.
The tube has been successfully inserted down Caroline's throat.
Now he's in sole control of her breathing,
Paul has to press the bag 12 times every minute
to provide her with air.
What we're doing is giving her a chemically induced coma,
stopping the clock, allowing us some time to stabilise her,
get her to hospital, establish what her injuries are,
then get her definitive surgical treatment for those.
Paramedic Vicky will travel by road ambulance with Paul
to help monitor Caroline's condition.
On the way, they alert A&E
that they're bringing in a very serious trauma case.
We've got a 40-year-old female who's got a blunt head injury
following a fall in some woods.
We're about 20 minutes out from the hospital.
She's GCS 12, some right-sided facial weakness,
right-sided facial injuries, so she's been RSI'd,
intubated and ventilated.
'I've handed Caroline over to the emergency-department team.'
They're stabilising her, and the intensive-care team have come down
to take her to the CT scanner for a brain scan.
If anything there needs an operation,
she'll go straight from the scanner to fix that,
and if not, she'll go up to ICU where they'll look after her.
Inside, Richard must wait to find out what the brain scans will show.
A brain swelling and bleed could mean an injury
that Caroline may never fully recover from.
Richard can recall the consultant's warning.
I remember his comment quite strongly,
that "this will be the longest 24 hours of your life".
And I'm pleased to say that Caroline is well enough to join us here
to talk about that fateful day.
You were quite emotional, watching that.
Yes, very emotional. Very, very.
It was a very frightening thing at the time.
Looking back on it now, it's awoken all those feelings again.
Things I can't remember at all, so to watch it again
-is just a bit scary.
-Yes, I'm sure it is.
Um, er... Now, can we ask how you're feeling now,
because you've made an amazing recovery,
given the seriousness of the injury that you had.
But there are still a few problems.
Yes, I do. I have... My throat. I can't actually talk properly,
but this will go eventually, so...
It's not hurting you to talk to us now, is it?
It's fine, as long as you can hear me.
We can hear you very well. You're doing very well.
-And you have problem with one of your eyes?
but in time it will recover.
-Have you got no sight, or some?
-A little bit of sight.
A little bit of sight. Richard, emotional watching that back.
Both of you finding it emotional, that day.
Difficult to... You said in the film
that you felt confident because they were so good at their jobs,
but there is a feeling of helplessness.
There is, but as I said in the film, you're in expert hands.
The people are there looking after Caroline,
and that kind of gives you confidence
that everything that can go wrong has already gone wrong,
and from that point on everything can just get better.
Let's move forward. Let's think in positive terms as well,
because the people who looked after you were amazing.
-This is not the first time that we've met.
-I met you nine and a half years ago.
-When I was pregnant with Cecilia.
And here it is. Let me show you this.
I'm coming round this side to introduce you to Caroline
and Sue of course, Sue Marshall. Morning. How are you?
-Can we have a listen to your baby as well?
-Yeah, you can.
-HEARTBEAT PULSES OVER MONITOR
On City Hospital, I met you when you were suffering with pre-eclampsia,
and we were all very worried about whether the baby was going to be OK.
Would you like to meet the baby? Come in, Cecilia.
Come and join us over here. This is Cecilia, who's now...
Let's show you a picture of you when you were little.
-There we go. That's you!
-Oh, you're sweet.
Amazing. Mother and baby. You guys look great.
I looked a lot younger. What happened to me in nine years?
-Look how big I was, though!
-I was three times bigger then.
Cycling has become a bit of a family thing.
-Will you be doing it again?
-Definitely not more cycling.
-How about horse-riding?
-I did fall, so definitely not.
-You've fallen off a horse as well?
Obviously on foot is the only way forward.
-Oh, I may try car races,
so I'll keep on my car and walking.
Thanks. Nice to meet you, Cecilia. We never got to talk before.
-All right. Thanks.
Rescuing a trapped horse is often dangerous for the horse,
but more so for the crews trying to help.
On this callout for the animal-rescue specialists,
there's an added complication, because it soon becomes clear
that this horse is heavily pregnant.
This pony's distress is clearly visible.
She's shaking and soaked to the skin.
No-one knows how she ended up in this newly dug clay pit,
or how long she's been there.
It could have been all night.
West Sussex Fire Service have been called in to try and get her out.
First consideration is always the simplest method.
Is it possible to, say, dig out one side of the hole
so that we can simply lead the horse out?
Although there was an excavator on site
that had been used to dig the hole, the size of the hole meant
bringing the excavator bucket in very close to the horse.
The pony's called Poppy, and there's every chance
the attempt to get her out will distress her further.
The West Sussex team have had to call on their Hampshire neighbours
who will arrive with their specially adapted crane
to try and lift Poppy onto dry land.
The pony seems very calm now, but a lot is about to happen,
and she could easily get stressed and kick out.
She'll need to be sedated to make her safe to work around.
Vet Stuart Wallis needs to get very close
to inject right into a vein.
'I climbed down into the water, and she gave a little bit of a...'
She looked like she wanted to climb out of the ditch,
and I was worried I might get squashed,
but she settled very quickly and allowed me to clean her neck
and get the injection in.
It's impossible for Stuart to examine Poppy's legs
under the water, so he's also giving her some painkiller
in case she injured herself when she fell.
By now Poppy's owner has been contacted,
and there's a complication. This mare is pregnant,
with just over a month to go.
Luckily the drugs she's been given so far
are no danger to the unborn foal.
But the fire crews will have to be very careful
how they place the lifting straps around her.
There are only two positions you can safely hold a horse,
and one is to put the strap in underneath the armpits,
so the very front of the chest, and the second is as far back
near the hips as you possibly can, and in those two positions,
you don't cause any undue compression of the abdomen or the chest.
The clay in the water will make it difficult to use their usual tools
to guide the strops into position,
but luckily they've got the long arm of the fire service on their side.
Mick, very tall guy, very long arms,
was able to safely get in quite close to where the horse was,
and actually use his hands to pass the strops underneath the horse
and get them in place that way.
Just extend it.
Strops in place, the crane can now be brought close
and attached ready for the lift.
It's a tense moment as Poppy starts to come up.
'The difficulty comes as soon as you start to lift.'
There's a tendency for the straps to slip.
The rigid yellow bar should help keep Poppy balanced
as she's lifted high over the bushes,
and despite being almost 15 feet in the air,
remarkably there's no sign of panic from this mum-to-be.
It's the first chance Stuart has had to examine Poppy's legs.
If they're injured and she can't stand,
she could just crash to the floor when she's released.
The last thing I wanted her to do was either fall over
or half lie down, then try and stand up and cause herself more harm.
And also I was concerned that, although the straps are OK,
they are putting pressure on where the foal is,
and we don't want to have too much pressure on there for too long.
'So we just paused her there for a couple of seconds.
'She showed no inclination to want to take her weight whatsoever.
'Looking at her head and eye, she was still very sleepy and placid.'
He finds no sign of serious leg injuries,
but Poppy doesn't seem to want to support herself.
Er, no. Right down, right down. Right down.
So Stuart decides it's safest to lie her down.
'She was very cold in her extremities, her nose and ears.'
So at that point I was thinking about things
that we now needed to do to resuscitate her,
because if she showed no inclination to try and stand
after about 15 to 20 minutes, then it was going to be hypothermia
that was stopping her from wanting to fully recover.
The next few hours will be critical for Poppy and her unborn foal.
She'll be rubbed down and kept warm,
but she will need to get back on her feet
if she and the foal are to have a chance of survival.
And if you're wondering how Poppy is now,
she's a very proud mum
with a fit and healthy foal.
Ahh! Now, moving on -
Thames Valley Police cover 196 miles of motorway,
more than any other force. This is Inspector Pete Edwards.
He's the one in control when there's a major incident.
We've noticed, when an incident kicks off in a control room,
-there's a sudden change in atmosphere.
Say, for example... Let's pick an incident between junctions 10 and 11
on the M4, which you can see behind us here.
A big articulated lorry has gone across the central reservation,
and 30, 40 cars were involved. What's the first indication you get?
The first indication is a screen up there on the wall
which indicates when calls are starting to come in on the 3-9,
-Zero means nobody's waiting at the moment.
-That'll bounce up - what? Ten, 15 calls?
You'll soon see that change. We're next to some call-takers here.
You'll soon hear the chatter as they type the keyboards,
take details from the people reporting an emergency,
and whilst they're taking those details,
this will get moved over to the operators on the motorway desk.
So you've got them taking details of an incident here,
and they'll read the details of the incident
and start to call up roads-policing officers close to that location.
They'll see the maps and send people there as quickly as possible.
And you want to get a look at it as soon as possible.
They can use the cameras, which are all over the motorway.
Would you look to see if you could get a helicopter up?
There's a whole host of things, including the helicopter.
We'll inform people from all different services -
ambulance, fire service, Highways Agency,
who work on the same channel as us, so we'll inform them.
Myself, when I'm situated in the corner of the control room...
That's the inspector's desk. You've got your own feed for pictures.
There's an empty desk. I've always wondered what goes on here.
It's reserved for when we have a major incident,
so you start to have people move from other locations,
to have an incident channel to deal with it.
That's what happens. The place comes to life
-the moment something comes in. Thank you very much.
I'm in the custody suite a couple of floors below Nick right now,
with Inspector Mary Cooper, who's in charge.
-And you've got about 30 cells.
You run this now, but you've had to rescue people
-before you arrested them.
-Yes, and I think that's quite common.
When I was a sergeant, we had an incident
whereby some offenders did what's known as a vamoose burglary.
A vamoose burglary? What did they do?
At the same time as burgling the house
they stole the car. And we had intelligence.
-We suspected who it might be, so we...
-Did a stakeout.
-Found them, and they all ran off in different directions.
Exactly. And myself and my team, we followed different groups,
and myself and the dog handler followed one along the canal bank,
and he disappeared. And we were sort of almost giving up,
and then we heard some cries, and he'd actually jumped into the canal.
So you've got to pull him out, I guess.
Well, yes, because it was very cold, it was deep, and he couldn't swim,
so he was actually struggling. So first of all we got him out,
then obviously the ambulance attended and confirmed he was OK,
-and then he was arrested.
-Thank you very much!
Things have moved on since you first started here.
This is called the documentation room. Beth is in here.
When Mary first started, this is how they used to do fingerprints,
on a piece of paper, but you don't do that any more.
-Very sophisticated computer.
A little bit earlier you took my fingerprints.
What I'm interested in, you took the sides of my hand, didn't you?
You can see them here. Why did you do that?
That part of the hand is what I call peeping-Tom hands.
That part is what's left on the glass if somebody's looking in.
-It sounds silly, but it's incredibly useful.
Brilliant. Thank you. I hope you're going to take them off the computer!
A case of tough love now.
17-year-old Frankie has a minor injury,
but it very quickly gets too much for her.
Some stern words are going to be needed to talk her round.
Paramedic Chris Kirby is taking details from Control
about a teenage girl who's fallen over.
Do you want us to go on red, if she's in that much pain? OK.
Technician Jason Harrap gets going on blue lights.
The girl's in a lot of pain with her ankle.
They need to get there quickly to make sure there's no threat to her foot.
Looks like the second left past the college.
They find Frankie crumpled on the pavement
in the care of a police community officer.
-When you fell, you didn't bang your head or anything?
And the reason you fell over was mechanical, was it?
-I don't know. I...
-You tripped over that. OK.
Where's most of the pain?
Right down at the bottom. Any pains in your knee at all?
I'm just going to feel down your leg. You tell me where the pain starts.
-Just say "now".
-On that bit?
-OK. All right.
-The 17 year old is very upset.
-I have phoned her mum.
Her mum is aware. She will meet her at the hospital.
Frankie is scoring her pain highly, putting it at nine out of ten.
To make her more comfortable, Chris administers gas and air.
Breathe through the tube, deep into your lungs.
But breathe normally, OK? Don't hyperventilate.
And slowly out through your nose. Big breath down.
That's going to make you feel a little bit wobbly,
but it'll take the edge off the pain you've got in your leg.
The next step is getting her on the trolley.
One, two, three... OK. Lovely.
Lovely. There we are.
Once she's up, the effect of the gas suddenly leads to a change in mood.
-OK. You got her?
-Hop to the left.
We can't hold you here. That's it, love.
Has that taken the edge off any of the pain? It has? Good girl.
In the ambulance, Chris takes a closer look at the ankle.
Well done. Brilliant. Keep going, darling.
Keep going. SHE SOBS
Right. Just drop your leg down for me.
It's swollen, and will need X-rays at the hospital.
But it's Frankie's reaction which is worrying Chris more.
-I want my mum!
-I know you do, hon.
SHE SOBS Frankie, listen, darlin'.
You're quite safe, all right? You're quite safe.
The influence of the gas, and the shock of the pain,
is becoming too much for her. She's getting overwrought.
-A little tough love is required.
Frankie? Right. Frankie? Listen to me.
Listen. Put your arms down. Right. Listen. Calm yourself down.
All you've done, all right, is at very most...
done a small fracture in your ankle, at very least a sprain. All right?
-There's no need to get yourself worked up
to the point where you go hysterical. You're quite safe.
You're in a nice warm ambulance. Nobody's going to hurt you.
OK? We're here to look after you, OK?
You couldn't be anywhere safer than where you are now.
All right? Mum's going to meet us at the hospital.
All right? She'll be there to help you.
It seems to do the trick. Jason gives her some more painkillers
while Chris puts the ankle in a splint.
This is going to support your leg, so when it's moving around
-when we're driving, it won't hurt.
At very most, all right, like I said, it could be a tiny fracture.
But you're moving it, all right, which is all good signs.
Moments later, and Frankie is much more relaxed.
The painkillers and Chris's jokes turn her tears to laughter.
Can I take my hair clip out, because it's really...
Jason will do your hair if you want. He used to be a hairdresser.
-What did you say that for?
We can make some money on the side. Just go with it.
She's under the Entonox. She won't know the difference.
I promise you we really are ambulance people.
-How much pain are you in now?
-So we're doing our job right, are we?
Are you sure you don't want your hair doing?
Jason sets off for the hospital. Chris keeps Frankie entertained
as he fills out the paperwork.
So, you were walking along. How fast to you think you were going?
Oh, no. That's a car accident. You were walking.
By the time they reach the hospital, Frankie is revived from her ordeal.
You hate hospitals? So do we, and they keep making us come back here!
She's survived the accident as well as the onslaught of jokes.
Chris is confident her stay at hospital will be a short one.
Fingers crossed it is just a sprain.
If not, and it's a fracture, she'll be plastered,
but she'll certainly be going home today.
That shows that it's not just their medical skills, is it?
-It's their personal skills.
-Very calm and kind, aren't they?
-Join us next time for more Real Rescues. See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
A woman falls off her bike and ends up with a serious head injury, and a seven-year-old makes a 999 call to save his mum's life.