Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin follow the work of the emergency services. In this episode, a man falls down into the hold of a container ship and needs the coastguard helicopter.
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Today, brilliant thinking from a dock worker saves a merchant seaman
who's fallen into the hold of a container ship.
I grabbed hold of both bits of his arm
and held them together, and then supported them against his body
so he couldn't move his arm at all.
He actually lost consciousness twice.
How static in your carpet and even heat build-up in an oily rag
could start a devastating fire.
And the man who calmly strolls into an ambulance
but within the hour needs a lifesaving operation.
I don't want to panic you and alarm you,
but I think that we are having a heart attack, OK?
And it's developing whilst we're talking.
Hello and welcome to Real Rescues. This is one of the control rooms
operated by Thames Valley Police.
They deal with thousands of 999 calls every week,
and the variety of those calls is incredible.
Later we'll talk to Christine here about a call she took
from a woman whose car had been stolen
with her baby still in the back.
You might have thought Royal Mail only delivered to the British Isles,
but you would be wrong. St Helena will get post to you
even if you're halfway across the South Atlantic.
It spends its time sailing between South Africa and St Helena island
delivering mail to the British overseas territory.
This is Lee. Hello, Lee. He's worked on that ship for over two years.
He's in dry dock at the moment after a freak accident,
and as we'll see, it was an unusual rescue.
There's an emergency down at Portland Docks.
Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 106
has been called out to the St Helena cargo ship.
Third officer Lee Clarke lies injured
at the bottom of one of the holds after a nasty fall.
A dock worker he was working with at the time, Miguel Rodriguez,
saw the whole thing happen.
We were about four decks down in the bottom of the holds,
and it was the first layer of containers we were putting in.
Lee's job was to tell us where he wanted the containers.
He was starting to climb up a ladder, which was unsecure.
He'd just about got to the top of the container
when the bottom of the ladder slipped away,
and he tried to grab hold of the container
but his arm went underneath the ladder,
and as it hit the ground, his arm was underneath the ladder
and his combined weight.
Lee has fallen a long way.
Miguel could immediately see he was in a bad way.
I could see that his arm was broken.
Where it should have been straight, it was probably...
about 90-degree angle from true.
I didn't want him to panic more than he was,
and I literally grabbed hold of both bits of his arm
and held them together, then supported them against his body
so he couldn't move his arm at all. He actually lost consciousness twice,
so it was a case of just keep calling his name
and just general things like joking with him,
chatting, joking, trying taking his mind off everything
that was happening around.
Ambulance crew are already at the scene,
but deep in the cargo hold, the only way to take Lee out
is by ladder. It's impractical and risky.
Instead, he will need to be airlifted to hospital.
'White Sierra, this is Rescue 106.
'Can you ask Buck if this casualty's going direct to A&E?
'I presume he is.'
Winch-man Buck Rogers has already been sent down from the helicopter
to assess the situation.
The open fracture to his arm had already been immobilised,
with the pain under control, and it had been explained to him, I think,
by that stage of the game, that the first and best option
they were going to go for was for us to winch him out using the aircraft.
'Our intention is to lower the highline into the hold.
'You grab hold of it and you can pull the stretcher into the hold.'
While pilot Darren Manser hovers high above the ship,
winch-op Spike Hughes threads a line down into the cargo hold.
'OK. I'm letting the highline go out now.
'And steady. Left a further one.
-'Steady. Good position. Steady.
'They have the highline.'
Now Buck has a hold of the line,
the stretcher can be fed down and straight into his arms.
-'Go forward. Forward two.
-Roger, forward two.
The team can now get Lee into the stretcher.
The docked ship provides a stable platform to winch to,
but still presents challenges for the pilot.
The ship can't move to give us a better position,
The wind was coming through the ship's superstructure,
-so we had a little turbulence.
-'I've got the guy on the stretcher.
'Soon as he's clear of that container, I'll move you left
'about two units, and we'll bring him up.'
The hairiest part of this rescue is still to come.
Getting Buck and Lee out of this tight corner
will require great skill on the part of winch-operator Spike Hughes.
Any small movement by the helicopter is exaggerated
at the bottom of the line, and could dash the pair
into the solid steel of the ship.
You can lower the hook into the hold. That's not a problem.
When he then attaches the hook to the stretcher,
that's when it starts. You don't have any second chances then.
You've got to start conducting the winching operations,
and you've got to move in very, very carefully, very slowly.
Invariably, if there's any mistakes, he's the one that gets it.
There's lots of hazards down there, lots of things to hit.
By having the aircraft positioned reasonably high,
that allowed the wind to dissipate the down-draught,
so it had less effect on the casualty.
'You're now clear to move that right.
'We're coming out over the side of the ship now.'
Now they're clear of the ship with their human cargo,
they can get the pair up and into the warm.
A combination of the laughing gas and Buck's commentary
helps to keep Lee's spirits up.
If you can take their mind off what they've just experienced,
they'll feel better about what's going on.
What you say to the person may make them feel a little bit uncertain,
and the Entonox will help that along the way.
'Got the stretcher and Buck OK.
'OK. Doors closed.'
Lee will be flown to nearby Dorchester Hospital
for an emergency operation on his arm.
And here is Lee, who's been stood here marvelling
-at what people did for you there.
Extraordinary bunch of people. Amazing skills going on,
-to get you out and to hospital.
-From the VR,
you can see I was in quite a tight position
where it would have been very difficult
to get me up them stairs, specially when they're at 90 degrees,
and I would have been strapped in.
With the extent of the damage to my arm, as well,
it would have caused more problems, so the MCA did a fantastic job
-getting me out of there.
-You were actually on a ladder,
-climbing up out of the hold, when you fell?
As you can see, there's a space there a container would have filled,
so we have to go onto the next level to start loading into that position,
and then we'll move on, and I was up on top of the ladder
-when I came down.
-Let's talk about this lad Miguel
who came in and helped you out, because he really stood by you.
He was with me from the moment I fell right through to them lifting me off,
and he did a fantastic job, because he kept my arm still,
because obviously I was trying to get up,
and he also just kept talking to me,
and I think it would have been a worse situation
if I'd actually seen my arm and seen my own blood.
-He wouldn't let you have a look at it?
He didn't let me see it at all, and I think that helped me
-a hundred times more.
-You haven't had a chance to meet him
from that day to today, so we thought we'd bring him along.
-Miguel, come over and join us. This is the man...
-How are you doing?
-How's the arm?
-Yeah, getting there.
-Bit of metalwork in there.
Quite a bit. We'll have a closer look at that in a moment.
You can tell us now... You didn't want him to see it at the time.
-How did it look, the arm?
-When I first looked at it,
his arm was just flopping around, and I could see there was blood
coming from it, so I immediately knew it was a bad break,
so my first thing was just to hold it all together,
comfort Lee and get him concentrating on everything else...
Sorry. ..on me, and not on everything else that was going to happen.
And you worked like a human splint, grabbing round him...
I literally leaned over him and held his arm together.
-I didn't bear-hug him or anything.
I just held his arm literally together.
-How did you know to do that?
-I've done first aid
with the Red Cross, and in the army as well.
Fantastic. So, let's have a look at this arm,
because it is worth looking. Come and have a look at these scars.
That's a pretty decent scar. And how many months ago?
This happened in March, the middle of March.
How many months are we talking about?
-A month and a half now.
-Month and a half.
-How's the hand going?
-It's just the thumb that's a problem now.
All here's numb, but physio has got it to the extent
where I can do that. I mean, three or four weeks ago,
it was just a quiver. It really was just a quiver.
So now can you recall the pain you were going through at the time?
I can't really remember.
I think it was more two or three days afterward
when I was in the splint, just aching really,
but actually when I had the accident,
with the mixture of shock and adrenaline
and, of course, the fantastic gas...
How thankful are you that this guy was around?
Really thankful. He was absolutely amazing.
-I think I would have been in a bit of a worse state
-if you hadn't kept me concentrating on something else.
I'm going to leave you to chat and get to know each other.
Thank you very much for coming in. Now, a couple of floors below us
is Abingdon Police Station. Louise is with the officers on duty.
This is the parade room in the police station.
This is where officers come twice a day
to hand over their ongoing cases and do lots of the paperwork as well.
I want to talk about a couple of rescues that have happened here,
first with Simon and Claire. You got a callout about a small plane.
-What had happened to it?
-A plane had been approaching Oxford Airport.
The airport had completely lost contact with the plane,
and obviously concerned for the pilot,
so they did the natural thing and called the police.
You had a vast area to search. Could you send up the helicopter?
We couldn't send up ours. It had to come from Solent on Sea,
the coastguard, but it was grounded due to freezing-fog conditions.
It managed to lift again, and luckily locate the wreckage.
You were in woodland, so how were you searching?
-You managed to get a quad bike...
Our normal police vehicles are useless in the woods and the rough.
We spoke to the woodland manager, who had a Land Rover, fortunately,
and a couple of quad bikes which he lent us,
and we managed to search the woods really effectively using those.
You found the pilot, who'd crawled from the wreckage.
He was about 20 feet from the burning wreckage.
Luckily we found him, administered some first aid,
called in the experts to get him down on a spinal board
and to the hospital for urgent treatment.
Could you guess that was going to happen at the beginning of your shift?
That's the great thing about the police force.
When you come in for duty, anything can happen.
If you guys hadn't been there at that point,
-what state would he have been in?
-He was in the woods for three hours
by the time we found him, because of the huge area we had to search.
It was below freezing. The injuries he had,
he could have had hypothermia and died.
-So you go home knowing you've saved somebody's life.
-How does that make you feel?
-Wonderful. Good to help.
Gary, you've got a story about another rescue.
On a night shift, you saw smoke coming out of a flat, didn't you?
-That's right, yeah.
-Take us through it.
I was driving along, saw smoke coming out of a flat,
an upstairs flat above a bookmaker's.
I went round to the back of the building
after being told by a member of the public someone lives there,
to see flames pouring out of the windows.
The member of the public had already called the fire service,
and with the news that someone could be inside,
-I thought I'd better get in.
-Which was brave.
Well, possibly, or stupid. But I kicked the door open,
and through the smoke I could see someone lying on a couch,
but all I could see were legs. The person's back was towards me.
I managed to drag the person, who was semiconscious, out of the building
and onto the metal walkway, and it wasn't until that point
that I managed to have a good look at the person,
and I did a double take, because what I thought was a woman
turned out to be a man. He'd been to The Rocky Horror Picture Show,
and he was dressed in a basque, stockings, suspenders,
-full make-up, the works.
-You never know what you're going to see.
-It was a real shock.
-And he started the fire?
He had. He'd had a few beers after the show
and started cooking some chips, fallen asleep,
-and the fire had started.
-Were the firefighters disappointed
-when they saw him?
-They were. They saw the legs
-and thought it was a lady as well.
-You got a commendation for it.
How do you feel when you've done that?
It makes you feel proud that you've done something worthwhile.
Fantastic. Thank you. Nick.
A commendation for the policeman, and a new set of stockings
for the person he rescued. Moving on,
every year over 120,000 people in the UK have a heart attack.
They don't all involve crushing pain in the chest and collapsing.
Some are less dramatic. Sometimes the symptoms can be very vague.
But as we're about to see, they're just as life-threatening.
Early morning. Clive and Dave have been sent to a man
who's been suffering from chest pain for several hours.
A volunteer medic has also responded,
but nothing seems too amiss when they find Simon
standing calmly in the driveway.
-Describe the pain.
-Like there's a blockage,
like I swallowed something I can't get down.
-So more central, is it?
-It's about there.
-And does it go anywhere?
-Down the arm.
-Down your arm?
-Have you had anything like this before?
Can I just borrow your wrist? Why are you walking about?
-Because I'm all right.
-I might get you to walk to the ambulance.
The pain in Simon's arm is a worrying sign.
-The pain started four hours ago?
-Yeah, in the middle of the night.
I woke up, and...
-Yeah, it's been pretty constant.
-You're a good colour.
-It feels like I swallowed something
-that can't go down.
He has no past medical history, but an early heart reading
suggests an abnormality.
You're firing off extra beats.
Do you ever feel anything in your chest, like another beat going on?
Not that I'm aware, to be honest.
They can happen and they can be normal,
but every now and then you get an extra beat. They're called PVCs,
premature ventricular contractions, and I just noticed a run of them.
There was three or four of them that pinged off then.
-Are you under Kimberly Surgery?
-I'm not registered with a GP.
-You're not at all? Why's that?
-I never go to doctors...
-..until it gets desperate.
So the plot thickens!
While Simon hardly seems desperate at the moment,
Clive is worried enough to give him a comprehensive ECG
to get a better view of what's happening with his heart.
Possibly something going on, but I'm not a cardiologist.
The printout suggests Simon's heart may not be getting enough blood.
They'll have to take him to hospital...
Lift your tongue up.
..and to be on the safe side, also give him a special spray.
By widening veins and arteries, it improves blood flow
and helps fight against any blockage
that might be affecting his circulation.
-Is it a sharp pain? Is it...
So it's a dull ache, and it is going down your left arm.
Yeah. It's sort of on the inside of... Yeah.
Right. OK. OK.
For some reason it's fired into life again.
..things start to look a lot more serious...
That's hugely different now from what it was last time.
-OK? So it's elevating as we speak.
OK? I don't want to panic you and alarm you, anything like that,
I think that we are having a heart attack, OK?
-And it's developing whilst we're talking.
..though he doesn't seem the type to flap.
You're in the right place!
Yeah. It's the place to be.
Clive is careful to keep it all as relaxed as possible for Simon.
Just going to flush a bit of water through it. Shouldn't sting.
You might feel a bit of cold going up your arm. That's it.
-The feeling has changed quite a bit.
-In what way?
-It's like a sort of numbness spreading across.
And it's...nicer than it was.
Yeah? HE CHUCKLES
Has it eased?
-It feels almost like an anaesthetic.
-All right. OK.
-That's the worst over, OK?
And do you feel quite anxious about it, or are you...?
New readings on the heart monitor
suggest there's a possibility the spray they gave Simon
to improve his blood flow may have started to work.
That's gone back to normal again now.
It's like the blockage has gone.
Well, the spray under your tongue might have eased...
Regardless, Clive gives Simon some morphine for the pain,
and phones ahead to Swindon Hospital to let them know his condition.
We've got a 58-year-old gentleman
who's had central chest pain radiating down his left arm
for approximately four hours.
The effect of the spray might just be temporary.
Any heart attack could still worsen without warning.
So you've got pain radiating to your jaw as well?
-OK. That could be heart-related.
Central chest pain radiating down your left arm,
into the jaw. Anything going through to the back at all?
HE LAUGHS You're still a good colour.
-Normally when somebody's having a massive MI,
a heart attack, they got this billboard on them
that says "I'm having a heart attack,"
because they're grey, sweating profusely,
and they're all real classic sort of symptoms.
And these things that you're not,
but it might be because where the problem is, possibly,
is a different part of the heart.
At the hospital they take Simon straight to the coronary-care unit,
and, as it turns out, not a moment too soon.
Inside, tests show that despite him being calmness personified
on the surface, he's actually having a severe heart attack
and needs an emergency operation.
'They've now taken him round to a cath lab.
'A dye will be injected into his heart,'
and then they'll see where the blockage is,
and then they'll remove that blockage and put in a thing called a stent.
And they're doing that right now,
so half an hour after arriving in hospital,
he's having that done as we speak. The thing with heart attacks
is to catch it early, and thankfully he did call us.
I know he left it a few hours, but he's in the right place
so hopefully he'll make a good recovery.
I'm very glad to say that Simon's here with me now.
That is quite extraordinary. You walked out of your house,
-and an hour later you were having a lifesaving operation.
and the lifesaver is sitting over here.
We'll talk to Tom in a minute about the stent.
Tell us about that operation. It was under a local anaesthetic.
-What was it like to see it going on?
-Well, it was remarkable,
because I was conscious all the time, no discomfort,
and following the procedure as it went along,
which was being explained in great detail.
You can explain it to me. Your doctor, Tom, is here.
He had a stent fitted,
and you've got equipment here which you can show me what you did.
That's true. Simon had a blockage of a heart artery.
-A complete blockage?
-Complete, 100 percent blockage,
which causes sudden, severe chest pain.
And what we do nowadays is treat it with a mechanical solution,
-like unblocking a drain.
-You call it the Dyno-Rod solution.
It's like a Dyno-Rod. Previously we'd use a drain unblocker,
chemicals. Now we use a mechanical solution.
-So that's a big stent there.
-But he didn't have one that big, did he?
-So what we do...
Imagine this is the artery which was blocked.
-This is a model of the heart.
-Yes. We put the blue tube in
through the wrist,
and the shiny metal thing moving forwards there is the stent.
-OK. So tiny version of that.
-Wrapped round a balloon.
I'm going to inflate the stent, as we would have done in Simon's case,
as quickly as possible after the heart attack.
A little cylinder expands to treat the artery.
We then let the balloon down.
-And slide everything out, leaving the stent in place
with the artery fixed and the flow restored.
It's as quick as that.
And we've got pictures of his heart afterwards.
Talk me through what's going on. So this is evidence
-that things are OK.
So that's the final image of Simon's artery,
showing that the flow is nice.
There's a nice letter-C shape to the artery.
When we first took the picture, it was blocked at this point.
-And that saved his life, presumably.
-That does save his life, yes.
Brilliant. Thank you for showing me.
Simon, how has this changed you, do you think?
I wake up every morning and say, "Thank you, I'm still here."
I'm very grateful to the whole team, who were incredibly professional
and efficient and reassuring about the whole procedure,
so, yes, I'm very happy and lucky to be alive.
Thank you for coming to talk to us about it,
and thank you, too, for showing us.
Just chatting away here to Christine Brown,
who we're going to talk to now about the fact
that when you have your car stolen, it's very upsetting.
But what's in it can make it a lot more upsetting.
You had a call in particular on this.
We had a lady who'd been out and done her shopping.
She got home to unload her shopping.
She'd got her small child in the back of the car,
and the child had gone to sleep, so she did what lots of women have done.
She left the child in the car while she unloaded the shopping.
When she came back out, the car and the child were gone.
She must have been going absolutely spare.
She must have been pretty frantic,
and the husband went out immediately in the other car
to see if they could find it. They phoned in.
We put a broadcast out.
I was working as assistant to the radio operator.
The radio operator broadcast to all the officers
that we were looking for this vehicle.
We put what we call static containment,
which is vehicles parked up at certain points
to see if we could get the vehicle... If it goes out of that circle,
as it were, hopefully we would see it.
There was a lot of radio traffic, obviously,
passing information about the vehicle and where it had gone from.
This is killing me! Did you get the baby back?
-We did, yes.
We got authority to put a press release out
for any sightings, and then the vehicle was dumped
with the child in it, and the child was found unharmed,
-and was fine, so, er, a good story.
-Good resolution to the story,
onto what can only be a terrifying story in the first place.
-Good ending. Thank you very much.
-It's all right. It's a pleasure.
Still to come on Real Rescues, the fire crew is called out
to a young family trapped in their car as a river starts to rise.
And the two-year-old girl who's cut her head
but isn't crying. Could it be a sign of something more serious?
I'd like to have her looked at because, where the cut is,
it's right on her fontanelle.
-I can feel a bit of a lump just on that part.
So I'd just like to get her assessed.
You won't believe the number of ways a fire can start.
In a few minutes we'll hear how static in a carpet
caused an inferno. But first, a simple magnifying glass
caused this. The owners of the house were out when it caught fire,
but a neighbour made this 999 call.
This is Louisa, whose house burned down.
-And your business was in there, as well!
-It was indeed, yes.
-Absolute devastation, yes.
So you come back and there's your house gone.
What's your first thought?
Well, complete and utter shock,
numbingly so, actually.
We knew nothing about the fire until we got home,
because we'd left our mobile phone at home,
and we turned up and there was the fire engine,
-with a massive hole in our roof.
-What caused the fire?
A magnifying glass, which had been lying on a study desk.
That room faces directly south.
The magnifying glass had been moved by me the day before.
I'd been dusting the desk, and I'd put it in a pen pot.
-Didn't think at all about...
-Near the window?
Yes. Didn't think at all about the devastation it could cause.
-Well, you wouldn't, would you?
-No, and it was in January
that the fire happened, so it was a winter's day.
Admittedly the sun was very strong and low in the sky,
but it penetrated through the magnifying glass onto the curtains.
Because we weren't there, the house was burning for two and a half hours
before anybody raised the alarm, by which time the top floor had been devastated.
The bottom floor, we'd lost one room, where the fire started,
and the rest of the rooms downstairs were completely smoke-damaged.
-Had you ever heard of this before? It's ridiculous, isn't it?
Since we've spoken to the fire-investigation team,
they've told us that magnifying glasses, paperweights,
crystals hanging in windows, shaving mirrors -
all those things can cause devastation
-if they're left long enough.
-Let's bring Mark Hobbs in
-from the fire-investigation unit.
You've started a black museum of things that can start a fire.
We have, and it's www.blackmuseum.org
and what we're going to do, with Louisa's help,
is try and get across the message to people
that fire can start in many unusual ways,
educating people and trying to do it in an interesting way,
so we've created the Black Museum, which is an online accessible site
where we put things like Louisa's...
You've just talked about a magnifying glass. How does a carpet start a fire?
-Oh, good heavens!
-Exactly. How DOES a carpet start a fire?
Not common. Very unusual. I've only been to one incident,
and it wasn't the carpet that started the fire as such.
We got called to an incident in a small terraced house,
and the crews could see a flame coming through the carpet.
We put the fire out quickly. It was fairly small.
When we lifted the floorboards, there was a gas pipe, which was leaking,
and the householder told us they'd had the carpets refitted
a couple of weeks before. Brand new carpet,
synthetic fibre, and we believe it was a spark
from them walking on the carpet which ignited this gas leak
-that had been there for a long time.
-We'll have more from Mark later,
including a fire started by a handful of dirty rags.
A car has broken down in a fast-flowing river,
and the water is rising around it. The young family inside
could take their chances and walk to the bank,
but they don't know what's under the surface.
One slip and they could be washed away.
After a night of torrential rain, the streams in the New Forest
have risen dramatically - so much so
that firefighters from a nearby town, Lyndhurst,
have been called to the rescue of a young family
whose car is stuck in the middle of a swollen ford.
Their first thought is to keep them inside the car and drag it out.
Inside the car are Matthew and Andrea, with two-year-old Lara
and baby Jude. They were on holiday with friends and family
in the New Forest when they got into this mess.
As they started to cross, the car's engine cut out.
They panicked and called for help.
All Matthew and Andrea can do now is sit tight
and follow the firefighters' instructions.
Before they can start the rescue, they need to put everything in place
just in case something goes wrong.
There could be a surge of water. There's been a lot of rain overnight
and conditions can change quickly, so if the vehicle should move
or any of the guys swept away, we have a safety team downstream,
safety being the priority at all times.
The yellow bag contains a throw line just in case.
Because of all these added risks,
they've decided that it would be safer to leave the car where it is
and get everyone out.
Baby Jude is first out, straight through the window
and into firefighter Wayne Park's arms.
He's starting to cry, but he's safe,
and Gran Rita is close at hand.
Lara is next, and she's staying very calm.
Well done, sweetheart.
Uncle Spencer is waiting.
There you go.
With the children on dry land, Matthew and Andrea make their way
with the loan of two pairs of firefighters' welly boots.
The family can now resume their holiday,
although minus their car. That will stay put
until the recovery vehicle arrives.
We were just talking about candles, and whether they cause problems.
They do. Cooking is another obvious area.
Smoking... These are all areas that we know cause fires,
but we're talking about the more unusual ways.
Um, oily rags? How can oily rags cause a fire?
Well, particularly linseed-oil-soaked rags, Nick.
It's well known, and the manufacturers put a warning
on the back of their bottles, warning people to be careful
-how they dispose of the rags.
-I've seen that warning.
I've used linseed oil on floors, and, in the old days,
on cricket bats. I presume you needed to light it to make it...
No, not at all. Linseed oil is a particular product
which will react with oxygen, especially when it's on a rag
which creates heat. If you've got that rag screwed up in a container
which allows it to get oxygen, and the heat can't get away from it,
-it can get to a temperature...
-We've got a picture of them.
-These are rags that were thrown after using linseed oil into a bin.
Some builders were working in a church in East Sussex,
-renovating a floor.
-That's a piano, the remains of, what you can see.
That's right, yeah. They'd used the rags to apply the oil,
put them in a bin and gone home, and then a few hours later
-we were called, and there was a fire.
-They ignited themselves.
The other thing - if you have a pet,
make sure you unplug your electrical items.
-Don't just switch them off.
-We had a fire many years ago
in Hastings in East Sussex. The lady was using a hairdryer in the morning
before she went to work, and she switched it off on the rocker switch
on the handle, left it on the bed without switching off at the socket.
She went out. The dog would nose the door open and sleep on the bed,
and on this occasion somehow caught the rocker switch,
turned the hairdryer on, and a few hours later the bed caught fire.
You can't guard against all these things, but get a smoke alarm,
because at least it will let you know.
Absolutely. Get a suitable working smoke alarm.
All fire services will give free advice, and come round
if need be, and probably fit the detector.
-Mark, thank you very much.
I'm in another of the parade rooms in Abingdon Police Station,
and Kevin's here to talk to me about a dog-napping.
-A call came in. What happened?
-It was a dog called Piglet,
a female Staffy puppy, reported stolen from someone's back garden,
and the gent, obviously, once he found the dog stolen,
he went round the local village to try and find Piglet.
A neighbour reported that they'd seen two males in a van
-taking what looked like...
-So they'd seen it happen?
Yeah, basically saw it happen.
They were very good, because they got a part-index of the vehicle,
which is part of the registration.
From that we did some checks on our police national computer,
and managed to find over 200 vehicles that matched that index.
-Which is quite a lot.
-Which is quite a lot.
We narrowed it down with further intelligence work.
It came down to two, and from those two, through local intelligence,
managed to locate it down to one place, which was in Northampton.
-And that was just a part-registration?
-You found the location?
-And then what happened?
Found the location, went in - a team of five of us,
up to Northampton. Obviously it's not our force area.
Went up there. Managed to... Saw the van, first off,
so that was a starter for ten. Went in on-site.
Spoke to the owner of the site, and then could see Piglet
in a compound, still with her collar on,
She was chipped, but we didn't have the scanner.
But it was blatantly obvious. And while we were there,
we saw a black lab that looked a bit sorry for himself,
but we couldn't prove it was a stolen dog.
So you got one of these, went back with it, and found what?
Got a scanner, went back, scanned the dog,
and sure enough, came back as stolen from Warwickshire.
And how were the family when they saw Piglet?
Really pleased, relieved, and Piglet got quite a warm welcome.
-Lots of licks.
-Ahh, bless her. Thank you very much! Thank you.
Now a callout to a nursery school in Berkshire.
A toddler has fallen into a metal gate and has head injuries,
and an ambulance is on its way.
The ambulance is speeding across Reading to the Children's Centre.
On board are paramedic Chris Kirby and technician Jason Harrap.
Two-year-old Mia is with her mum. She has a deep gash in her forehead,
and is looking a bit dazed.
-She's run down the side alleyway...
and it looks like, as she's fallen, she's hit the bottom of the gate.
-And she's got a cut about that big.
Chris needs as many details as possible
so he can prioritise the treatment.
-Who was actually with Mia?
-She ran round the side.
-She ran round the side gate.
So how did you know she'd fallen?
So you heard running, a bang. Then what did you hear?
-I went outside. Crying.
Right. Brilliant. That's what I wanted.
The fact that Mia cried means she wasn't knocked out.
More details from her grandmother helps him build up a good picture
of what happened.
OK. So she'd got herself back up.
And was she walking as she normally does?
-OK. Has she vomited at all?
Chris is now happy that Mia didn't lose consciousness.
He can concentrate on cleaning the wound.
There's plenty of blood, and it's difficult to see.
It's all the way down there, too. Oh, bless her.
Is it a big cut, or just that...
Well, it's difficult. She's got long, fine hair
-that's fairly matted into it.
-I didn't want to pull it apart
-in case it...
Oh, sorry, honey.
What's this? Is this just residual, is it? Yeah.
Mia is still very quiet. Often the more noise a child makes,
the less serious the injury.
-So how long was she crying for?
-How long was she crying for, Mum?
-Er, five minutes.
I'd like to have her looked at simply because, where the cut is,
-it's right on her fontanelle...
And that's the... You know, that's the soft part of the skull,
which flexed when she was born.
Now, that's pretty much hardened over,
-but I can feel a bit of a lump just on that part...
-..so I'd like to get her assessed.
-I'd rather her get looked at.
She's very...sitting very still for her.
-Yeah, but that's not abnormal.
-Maybe a bit of shock as well.
Yeah. Children, when they've banged themselves or hurt themselves,
usually go through a period of crying, then they get drowsy,
then they want to go to sleep because that's how their body recovers.
If they continue not to be interested in their surroundings...
-That's when we worry.
-So you'll be all right to travel with us?
Yeah. That's fine.
Gran takes Mia's identical twin sister home,
leaving mum Jane free to travel to A&E.
Chris wants Mia to be checked over properly in hospital.
-She always howls when she goes.
Jane had been at work at a stables nearby
when she got the call from the playschool.
-Oh, hence the spurs.
-Yeah. I don't normally wear spurs!
I thought it was a fashion statement.
Once on board, Chris can start his routine checks
while Jason gets into the driver's seat.
Lovely. That's all good.
Nice little heartbeat there.
You all right, princess?
Mia still seems a bit subdued.
All a bit disconcerting, isn't it?
It's a little bit much for her to take in, isn't it?
Chris has fashioned a balloon from a glove to cheer her up.
She's the accident-prone one out of the twins.
She's not hyperactive, but into mischief and stuff all the time.
Nine times out of ten, she will fall over and get up and laugh.
If anyone's going to fall over or crash or anything,
it will be her, so...it was no surprise
that it was her.
You were very brave, though, weren't you, Mia?
At the hospital, Chris realises he met Jane before,
after a crash. It's not just Mia who's accident-prone.
You do look very familiar to me. When I walked in...
-Yeah. It WAS me, then.
-Second time you've been in my ambulance.
-Don't let there be a third.
Chris leaves Jane and Mia in safe hands at A&E,
where she can be thoroughly checked out.
They used a special glue, rather than stitches, on Mia's head wound,
and she's since made a full recovery.
I want to talk to Katy and Lorraine about hard shoulders on motorways,
because some people seem to be confused about what they're for.
-You had a call from a personal assistant to somebody...
-Asking you what?
-It was, um...yeah, a famous person,
and the PA phoning up to say they were stuck in traffic
due to an accident, and they wanted to use the hard shoulder
-to get to a gig they were late for.
-This person was a singer?
They were late, and thought it would be OK to use the hard shoulder.
-I suppose at least they were checking with you.
-What did you say?
-I said it wasn't an appropriate use.
It's there as a place of safety for broken-down motorists,
and any use considered would have to be a life-and-death emergency.
-And being late for a gig...
-Is not life-and-death.
-How did she take that information?
-She wasn't too impressed,
but there's not a lot you can do about it.
So she then had to phone back said famous person and explain.
-You probably looked up to see if the gig was late.
Lorraine, some occasions... Are you on a call?
-No, you're OK.
-Good. Some occasions you can use it,
and you had a very specific example.
Yes. We had a lady who had gone into labour
on the motorway, and she needed to get to the hospital quite quickly.
So the motorway was closed because we'd got a serious accident
a couple of junctions up, and there was absolutely no way
-she could get through the traffic.
-So she was allowed through with...
We allowed her an ambulance escort up to Junction 9,
and a police escort to the hospital, where she gave birth to a baby boy.
-Oh, lovely story! Thank you!
And that concludes our stories for today.
Join us again next time for more Real Rescues.
See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
A man falls down into the hold of a container ship and needs rescuing by the coastguard helicopter, and a man with chest pains calls 999 to be told he is having a heart attack.