Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin follow the work of the emergency services. In this episode, a mother makes a 999 call when she is trapped with her baby in a burning flat.
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Today, a workman suffers an electric shock and lies unconscious and injured in the loft of a house.
-Getting him out proves harder than expected.
-Oh, I'm slipping.
-Push it forward a bit.
And a busy main road has turned into an ice rink, causing chaos for vehicles and police officers too.
I came through. All of a sudden, the wheel wobbled and the next thing, I'm here.
Hello and welcome to Real Rescues. We are in the Thames Valley Police Control Room in Abingdon.
The team here dispatch the officers and co-ordinate the operation on the ground.
It's a busy place. They see every kind of emergency and rescue.
Later, Ian will tell us how a comfy sofa was the undoing of a burglar.
A workman on a building site has suffered a suspected electric shock
and ended up being thrown across the loft space of an empty house.
He's been lying unconscious for 30 minutes with back and head injuries,
but finally, he comes round and manages to reach his mobile phone and call for help.
The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance is heading east from their base.
There is an emergency at a building site. It's 20 miles by road, just a few minutes by air.
-'Whereabouts in High Wycombe?
-It's to the east side of High Wycombe.
'Just north of the M40.
'Just past Junction 4.'
The Air Ambulance is soon over the housing development.
Down below, a builder has badly injured himself in a roof space.
'Yeah, we're going to land on that muddy, green field.
'Helimed 24 landing on scene. Over.'
A land ambulance crew and team of fire-fighters are already at the site.
The injured man is in his 40s and is lying in a tight corner of the loft.
Our plan is to bring him straight down on the stretcher and all the way down, so it comes down smooth.
Up there with him, medics including Emergency Care Assistant Lance Parsons have been trying
to find out what exactly happened.
We found the patient lying to one side of the roof under the eaves,
which meant we had an issue with space,
so my colleague and I had to kneel either side of him.
He was very distressed. After talking to him several times,
what he had done is he had moved a ducting from one side to another and there had been a flash.
At that flash, he had leapt back
and he'd hit his head against one of the rafters and knocked himself out.
It's estimated that the man has been unconscious for a full 30 minutes.
After we couldn't find any burn marks on him to indicate an electric shock, we then did normal observations.
It was the back that was our main driving issue. He was complaining of neck and lower back pain centrally
and pins and needles in his legs, a classic sign of a back injury.
The man has been eased on to a spinal board to protect his back.
Their next problem - getting him out. In a spot of deconstruction,
the fire crew, led by Danny Whitelock, have cut away a section of roof and set up a pulley system,
so the patient can be lowered in a special Chrysalis stretcher.
We carry the Chrysalis stretcher on appliances now.
We put them underneath and around the stretchers that the ambulance service may carry.
It encases their stretcher and it gives it more stability.
The man may have a spinal injury, so they must take the utmost care to move him smoothly.
Spin it round.
'We needed to keep the gentleman horizontal.
'We had to get the paramedics at the bottom'
to push the stretcher further out,
so we could maintain the horizontal position.
Could you take the length, yeah?
OK, that's good.
Right, let's go with the banister then.
OK, we're ready to lower, yeah? Watch the banister. OK...
Careful not to jar him, they delicately lower the man
the rest of the 20-foot drop to the ground floor.
We need to go a bit faster. That's it.
-We're about six feet short.
He's now handed over into the care of the air medics
who will fly him to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
But first, they need to get him to the helicopter,
so all hands are needed to negotiate the rough, uneven ground of the construction site.
If you feel sick en route, let us know by bringing your hand up towards your face and indicating.
Paramedic Joanna Jefferies and Dr Graham Stiff will travel at their patient's side
to constantly monitor his condition.
There you go.
He's been lying on a stretcher for quite a while,
so he's very uncomfortable.
We have the advantage of being able to land quite close to where the injury occurred.
It's quite boggy ground. We've got really muddy feet. It's difficult to get ambulances this close.
What would be a 30-minute journey by road will take the helicopter less than ten minutes.
You won't be able to hear us on the flight, but we'll keep a good eye on you.
At hospital, the man will be given a series of scans of his head, neck and back
to check for any serious injuries.
And he was in hospital for the day, but has since made a good recovery.
How does a comfy sofa catch out a burglar? Ian can tell us a little bit about how that might happen.
You had a call from a couple on a Sunday morning. What had they found?
7.30 in the morning, woke up to find a strange man on their sofa.
-Asleep on the sofa?
So did they wake him up? What did they do?
Obviously, we don't know what had gone on,
so best advice to them not to disturb him until we got there, so we sent officers really quick.
So they whispered to you and went back upstairs?
Yeah, they stayed in a different room to make sure they were out of harm's way.
How much detail do you have about when they found him? The police officers woke him up?
Yeah, we got there within five minutes. Everyone was safe and the officers dealt with the male.
What do you think he was doing? What did he say he was doing?
-There was some damage to the kitchen door.
-So he got in.
Nothing was taken. Possibly got the wrong address.
-And just had a little lie-down?
-If you find somebody sleeping on the sofa, just be quiet and phone the police?
Children often fall and suffer bumps and bruises when they're playing.
Most of the time, they're not serious, but sometimes parents need to call 999.
This call came from a children's playground.
An ambulance has pulled up alongside a busy park in Wokingham.
Paramedic Andy Pope arrived just a few seconds earlier in the rapid response car.
They go to the children's play area. A small girl is lying unresponsive on the ground.
Her worried mother is by her side.
OK, Emily, Mummy's here.
Emily fell off the ladder on the slide.
She cried out, but then seemed to suffer a fit.
-It's all right, pumpkin.
The first step is to give oxygen. It has an immediate effect.
-It's all right, sweetie.
-It's all right.
The team quickly get on with their basic tests.
Although her vital signs are normal, Andy is still worried about some of her reactions.
-These people just want to look in your eyes.
-It's all right.
I'm concerned in case she... Her reactions are normal in terms of trying to not be involved with us.
But other than that, I'm concerned because she's quite withdrawn.
It may be postictal effects, but being as there's no history,
-I think we just scoop and run.
-Yeah, no worries.
Mum Lisa has another daughter and a friend's three children to look after, so can't leave
until help arrives. It gives the crew a chance to find out a little more about how Emily fell.
How did she land? Did her head take the whole force of the fall?
No, I would say it was the whole... She fell...
-OK, bodily, not head.
Emily is still looking groggy
and Andy takes the opportunity to try to explain to Lisa what might be going on.
It may be just the fact of the fall, she's suffered what we call temporary oxygen starvation.
-Which basically in a small child can bring on...
-A slight fit?
-A seizure-type fit. It appears like a seizure. It's not a full-blown seizure.
-It's just a reaction, the body's defence mechanism.
-It's like a shock?
-The body goes into a shock.
-She's going into a protective measure now which is a body's normal reaction.
I don't want to concern you unduly, but I think for safety's sake, we'll get her to A&E
-and get her checked out by the paediatricians.
-Are you happy for us to take her?
-Have you got her?
Lisa, with Emily in her arms, leads the procession to the ambulance.
You've had a little bit of a shock. All right?
Once inside, the little girl starts responding a lot more normally.
-SHE STARTS TO CRY
-You'll be going to bed.
That's a good girl. That's a good sign.
All right? That's a good sign.
That's what I would be happy to hear, hear her crying, hear her complaining.
That makes me feel a lot happier.
When she's withdrawn and not making any noises, I start getting worried.
All right, sweetie? There's a good girl.
As Derek keeps Emily happy, ambulance technician Paul is going to collect a childminder
to look after the other children.
SHE CRIES LOUDLY Mummy's just coming.
OK, sweetheart, OK.
They start making progress calming her.
It's all right. It's all a big shock for you, isn't it?
Did you go down the slide before?
-Was that the first time, was it?
You slipped on the step, didn't you? Never mind.
- Oh, bless! - Now I'm a lot, lot happier.
A lot happier. Her responses are quite normal.
They're just waiting for Paul to return with the childminder before they can head off,
but Andy is happy Emily is now well enough to wait.
We're in a stable situation now. Things have bottomed out, so she's good.
Lisa has now organised the other children and is free to travel with Emily in the ambulance.
We'll pop this down. You can sit on there. If you have Emily in your arms...
Mummy's going to give you a cuddle. How about that?
So you don't have to be all on your own, Mummy will give you a cuddle.
-Does that hurt?
-Where does it hurt, sweetheart?
-Where does it hurt, Emily? In your leg?
It's all getting a bit too much for Emily, but these are all very healthy reactions.
We'll put your sock back on. SHE CRIES LOUDLY
We'll pop that back over you again.
-Thank heavens for the composite rubber matting.
-Is that what saved her?
-Around that base.
If that had been concrete or a hard surface, it could have been a whole different scenario.
The ambulance can now head to hospital where Emily will undergo more tests,
just to make sure the fit was caused by the accident and there are no other underlying problems.
Don't apologise. That's what we're here for.
The bump to Emily's head caused the first seizure.
She had a couple more in hospital that they put down to a high temperature. She is now fine.
Now, a 999 call where a mother and her baby daughter are in grave danger.
It's late at night and Kirsty has been working on her laptop.
She realises her flat is filling with thick smoke and within moments she's choking with heat and fumes.
Her first instinct is to grab her baby, then she makes this call.
And the operator Dawn Tindall has joined us to talk about that. She sounds terrified.
Absolutely terrified. But she gave me the address of where she was.
That is so important.
So many people forget to give the address of the fire.
They're so wrapped up in the moment. You've got to be worried about smoke damage to the baby's lungs.
Absolutely. They are so small. It was important to get across to her what to do next -
put something at the bottom of the door to stop the smoke from entering the room
and get across the other side of the room to the window, open it, stay down low.
And to ensure that... The smoke is at its least down there.
If she opens the window, she can get some fresh air for both her and the baby.
And you can also get her to signal.
-Yes, it's so important.
-It's difficult to know where someone is.
-It helps the crews then.
At the time I'm taking the call, the other members of the watch are telling the crew where she is.
I told her to shake a sheet or a pillowcase out of the window,
-so the firemen en route can say, "That's where she is."
Dawn continued to talk to Kirsty and gave her specific instructions.
Oh! Fortunately, Kirsty hadn't jumped.
She had her baby in one hand, so had to put the phone down
to open the window and carry out the instructions.
Tony Giles from East Sussex Fire Service arrived on the scene. She saw you guys arriving.
I have to thank the mobilising staff initially.
The information they gave us as we left was extremely accurate
and helped us locate the property very quickly.
-We didn't have a great deal of time.
-It was only just round the corner?
-We arrived within 40 seconds.
-It didn't give us a lot of time to focus our thoughts.
-You just had to go straight at it?
-It was a bit of a rush.
-Hearing the information that you've got, it's amazing what the operators can do.
Not only is she buying time for you, which is so important,
but by identifying out the window, it gives you a spot to aim at.
When we arrived on the scene, the street itself was smoke-logged.
It's a very close street. There's a lot of smoke and we couldn't identify the property quickly,
but by Dawn asking her to wave a sheet out of the window, that speeded the process up.
-And you got her out of the window?
We identified the window, put a ladder up to the flat roof just under the window,
two fire-fighters went up there, forced the window open and brought her down.
How close did she get to being seriously injured by the fire?
Cos how long... How close did she get when you got her out?
The two fire-fighters brought her down safely, her and the baby.
I then took Kirsty and her baby to the ambulance. The two fire-fighters were left on the flat roof.
I've turned around 30 seconds later, smoke was billowing out of that window, so it was a close call.
So the time that Dawn bought you was crucial?
-Very critical, yeah.
-Thank you very much for coming in.
Still to come on Real Rescues, a Spanish schoolteacher slips on a coastal path and breaks her leg.
She's given painkillers, but then starts to panic.
I've got you.
We've met Zeke the police dog before. When we last saw him, he had just started training
and was having a tough time, but he's now fully qualified and we're out with him on duty.
Zeke, speak. ZEKE BARKS
And we'll hear how a call from the White House saved a Thames Valley teenager.
A busy main road has flooded and freezing temperatures have turned it to sheet ice.
The result isn't hard to imagine - a series of accidents and a scene of chaos for the emergency services.
It's 7am on a winter's day.
There's been a heavy frost overnight and motorists are already counting the cost.
Traffic cop Rob Tompkins is heading out to a two-car crash on a village road.
They're fairly rural roads. We want to get there quickly
to make sure nobody else crashes into them and causes damage or injury.
Rob is met by Sergeant Spencer Wragg and a very glistening road.
It doesn't take long for the police to work out what has caused this accident.
The police are used to icy roads, but they rarely see anything as bad as this.
The vehicles had no chance.
On one side of the road, there's a badly damaged car,
but it's the van on the other side of the road which reveals just how treacherous the surface is.
It hit a garden wall with such force that the entire engine has been thrown out,
landing on the pavement.
Amazingly, the driver Alan is walking and talking.
He is so stunned, he can't remember anything about the moment he came off the road.
-I came through what I thought... All of a sudden, the wheel wobbled, so I must have hit the wall.
The next thing, I'm here. I know it sounds pathetic, but that is genuinely...
Don't worry about it. What's happened is your body's had a trauma. It's had a big shock.
So what happens is the brain will switch off and it will reboot.
You might find that within 48 hours, you do actually remember or you may never remember.
It's not an issue, but it's not uncommon. You've had a huge impact.
-And luckily, you're walking.
The accident was witnessed by a Dutch tourist Jurgen who managed to escape unharmed.
We were just witnessing three things at the same time.
These two cars went crashing and a pedestrian went down and a cyclist went down.
All at the same time in front of us.
It looks like the end of the road for Alan's van and that's disastrous for his gardening business.
Well, it's a write-off.
No question about that. You're not going to repair that.
Not a hope in hell's chance of repairing that.
Without his van, Alan can't transport his gardening tools.
Losing it will make it very difficult for him to work.
Strimmer, hedge cutter, chainsaw, that sort of stuff.
Rakes, spades, shovels.
That's going to hold your job up, isn't it?
It's going to put me out of business!
Unless I can recover quickly enough.
The icy road is going to be closed for some time.
A big clean-up operation is needed.
Poor Alan as well. You wouldn't necessarily expect a call to come here from the White House
-which saves a boy's life, but exactly that happened, Tamsin, didn't it?
-It did indeed.
-How did it happen then?
-We had a young teenage boy in our area
who was on a social networking site, speaking to a friend in America,
who threatened to take his own life.
That friend in America took it very seriously, went to the police and the call went to the White House?
Yeah, the police in America didn't know what to do because it was over in the UK.
The teenage boy's mother then spoke to one of her friends who actually worked at the White House.
He gave her advice to contact the Metropolitan Police, so it came via the White House.
They knew the school's name and they had a surname. How on earth did you manage to narrow it down?
We use lots of intelligence systems on a day-to-day basis
and using the surname and the general area of the school, we narrowed it down to eight to ten addresses.
And then went door to door? What did you find?
Every door we knocked on, we asked, "Do you have a son around this age and of this name?"
One of the doors, we got a positive result.
They thought their son was upstairs asleep in bed, as you would.
And they went upstairs to find out that he had actually taken an overdose.
And was OK because of that person in America?
Yeah, they managed to find him in time, get an ambulance to him and he ended up fine.
-It's worth putting the call in, wherever you are in the world.
What an extraordinary story! Last year on Real Rescues, we met Zeke and his handler, PC Jim Hyman.
At the time, Zeke was a new recruit and had just started his police dog training.
It's fair to say it didn't come naturally to him.
Put your hand in the bars. Let him smell your hand. If he's a bit mouthy, tell him to stop it.
This was Jim's first meeting with Zeke, his new partner on the beat.
I'm glad you're strong cos he's quite a lump, this one. OK?
All I want to get out of today is you get a feel for the dog and the dog gets to know you
before you start putting any commands into it or any compulsion into it.
We're going for a walk. They get to know you and from now on, you'll do everything for them.
They had 12 weeks' training together. It was a hard slog.
Zeke really took to tracking as well as biting.
Stand still! Stand still!
And he wasn't bad at obedience.
Down! Good boy.
But he's a big dog and agility didn't come so naturally.
Up! Good boy, good lad.
Definitely room for improvement there.
That was last July. Two months later, after a lot more hard work and persistence,
Zeke became a full member of the Hampshire Police Force,
licensed to police the streets and protect the public.
Zeke and Jim have been called out to support local cops investigating a domestic violence incident.
A woman has been knocked to the ground and the husband is acting belligerently towards the police
when they try to arrest him.
We'll get the dog out and sit the other side of the road.
The presence of a police dog standing by should be a deterrent
and stop things getting out of control.
He's getting a bit resistant towards the officers, so we'll stand back and watch.
The chap's getting upset because we've been called.
He's claiming we're trespassing on his property.
The chap's just been arrested.
Zeke, speak. ZEKE BARKS
Zeke's bark will act as a warning. He's ready to move in if he's needed.
'Can you update me on the female's condition and if an ambulance is required?'
Yeah, 2-3 from the local unit. The female has been located at the address.
-No ambulance required, I've been informed. Over.
Jim's pleased with the way things have gone.
Yeah, he did well there. He spoke when I needed him to.
And the bloke knew he was there, so everyone's a winner.
And here is Zeke now with Jim. Lovely to see him out at work there.
Just tell us a bit about how you two are getting on. Is it quite a testing relationship sometimes?
It can be. We're both stubborn, so it's a battle of wills.
He'll decide if he's had enough and it's a bit of a battle.
-What sort of thing?
-Not doing as he's told sometimes.
Feeding him can be a pain, grooming's a bit of a battle, bathing's even worse.
The main one is getting him to come back. We need to have control of the dogs all the time.
We work on it daily. We're getting there, but he's still so young.
He's about two, isn't he? At the beginning, you thought he was a bit of a softie, but he's not actually?
He's a big softie to look at, but he can look after himself and me.
He's proved that two or three times, so I've got no worries about that.
-What sort of thing, looking after you?
-We had a large-scale public order incident in October.
It led up to him biting a suspect, but I was worried that he wasn't going to do it at first.
We had Southampton-Bournemouth football and that got a bit heated.
-He was more than capable of looking after himself and other officers.
-Which is exactly why he's there.
It changes the atmosphere when you arrive with the dog. You said he's worth five police officers?
An officer and one dog is a replacement for five police officers.
It more than makes up for any loss in numbers.
You turn up at a job, people see the van with the dogs, they don't tend to want to play.
He's sort of treated in some ways as a dangerous weapon, isn't he?
He is. The police use a conflict management model
and deploying a dog is one level below discharging a firearm,
-so you've got to be careful what situation you'll send him in.
-Are you friends, the pair of you?
-Very much so.
It gets lonely in the van when you're doing 200 miles a night, so you find yourself talking to him.
-I'm sure I've heard him talk back.
-I'm sure you have. Jim, thanks.
Ah, the wonderful Zeke there!
Getting to an injured person isn't always as straightforward
or as quick as the emergency services would like.
In this case, they can't get close with an ambulance or a helicopter,
so what do they resort to? A golf buggy.
Ambulance medics Danny Milham and Olly Hunt are on their way to a walker
who has fallen on a coastal path near Swanage lighthouse.
The air ambulance has spotted her from the air, but can't land any closer.
Air paramedic Simon Trenchard greets them at the car park.
-How are we going?
-We recced it from the air. She's fallen on a footpath. We think it's a twisted ankle.
We can get everything off here.
The only way to get there with the right equipment will be courtesy of this golf buggy.
-We'll have to sit in the back?
-You've got two seats.
Somehow, they all pile in. The park wardens often use the buggy to get to and fro.
But doubling up as an ambulance is a first.
-They're all up there keeping warm because it is pretty exposed.
She did pick one of the most exposed points on the path, unfortunately,
to, uh...to slip.
A party, including a rapid response paramedic, huddle round a stricken Teresa.
She's a Spanish lady in charge of a school party.
She's had a trip over here on the beach, well, on the side here, as you see.
She's heard a crack in her ankle. Bottom of tib/fib, quite swollen.
She's not in any pain when she's still, but it's building up a bit.
Most of the schoolchildren were taken away to shelter from the wind.
But before they can move Teresa or take a closer look at her injury, she needs some strong painkillers.
-Hi. Nice place to meet(!)
No. Not at all.
There's going to be a sharp scratch in your arm. I need you nice and still.
The buffeting wind makes everything more difficult
from putting in a cannula to working out where the helicopter can land.
We're looking at popping it on the hillside here away from a mast.
It's quite windy, so I'm going to speak to the pilot back on the cliff top to see if that will be an option.
-And have a proper look...
-Oh, someone's touched your ankle.
The dawning realisation that Teresa's stay in the UK is likely to be prolonged
provokes animated Spanish chatter.
Just a minute, guys. Can I speak to her just for a second? I'm going to give you the pain relief - morphine.
-Have you ever had it before?
-No, never. Is it necessary?
You're in a bit of pain. We'll have to start moving the leg slightly,
so this should hopefully make that a little bit more comfortable for you.
Right, Teresa, just to complement that as well, this is some gas and air,
a muscle relaxant that will take some of the pain away with the morphine.
AIR HISSES Can you hear that noise? Sorry.
I'd like you to just breathe this gas in. One of you hold this for her.
Can one of you hold this for her?
Nice, deep breaths for me.
With Teresa otherwise occupied, the team can get a closer look at her injury.
Her colleagues keep her informed.
That's perfect. That's really good.
But the language of pain is universal.
-Nice, deep breaths.
-Nice, deep breaths.
And it's clear Teresa is suffering.
Around the lower part of the limb, you can see where my finger is just here,
there's quite an obvious fracture on the distal tibia and fibula just there.
This won't allow her to move that, so it's nice and firm.
Can you get the scoop ready, mate?
A slight break in the windy conditions gives the pilot the chance to make his approach.
He has to skilfully land on uneven ground.
The combination of morphine and laughing gas has eased Teresa's pain, but left her disorientated.
No, you're not. I've got you.
-No, I've got you.
-No, you're OK.
-I keep on breathing?
-You keep breathing.
-I feel sleepy.
-Don't worry. You crack on and go to sleep.
-I can sleep?
-If you want to. You'll miss all the action though.
-Teresa soon wakes up when it's time to move her.
-Ready, set, lift.
Teresa, you're going to our bed now.
Relax. Relax. Now we'll wrap you up warm, yeah?
Safely on the helicopter stretcher, they can now wrap her up properly to shield her against the gusts.
-It's a bit windy up there today, but you'll be with me and it'll all be safe.
-Is your pain eased now on your leg?
-I haven't got any pain.
-I feel OK.
-Nice to meet you.
Ready, set, lift.
In five minutes' time, we'll be over in Poole. We'll have an ambulance to take you to the hospital there. OK?
-That's all it is. Five minutes.
How long Teresa will have to remain on these shores is yet to be decided,
but without the helicopter, getting her up the hill and into hospital could have taken several hours.
As it is, she'll be there even before Danny and Olly can get back to their ambulance.
Teresa received treatment for her broken leg in the UK and later flew home to Spain to recuperate.
One of the most rewarding sights for the animal rescue team is seeing a stricken animal get back to its feet
after being pulled to safety, but for shire horse Bruno, it wasn't quite so easy.
He spent a happy working life in Dorset, giving rides to tourists and ferrying brides to their weddings,
but hopes for a quiet retirement were jeopardised when Bruno slipped down a steep bank into a ditch.
This giant of a horse has been brought down.
Try as he might, he cannot get out of the ditch.
Bruno has exhausted himself. It's a cold, dark December afternoon. Everything is against him.
We'd only just had the thaw
from all the heavy snow before Christmas,
so really some quite cold temperatures that he was now laying in exhausted
and losing body temperature all the time.
The strops are in place. The plan is to pull Bruno out of the ditch, then slide him to safety.
The fire-fighters have already dug away the steep bank.
Using long poles, the rescuers guide the lifting straps underneath him.
Bruno may be tired, but he could still do a lot of harm to his rescuers with his hooves and legs.
The vet has decided it is too dangerous to sedate Bruno,
so the fire-fighters have to work carefully and keep well out of the kicking zone.
If we sedate him heavy to get him out, he then will be unlikely
to be able to stand of his own accord and I was concerned that if he didn't stand fairly quickly
and he was down overnight, he then may not be able to stand again.
I wanted him to have his best possible chance of standing once we got him out.
Strops in place and with a sheet over his head to calm him,
the fire-fighters set about hauling one ton of shire horse up a very steep bank.
He just literally slid out because of the machinery plant that we had.
That was powerful enough to handle his weight. We could prepare the ground, slide him out
and he was clear of the ditch in a short space of time once that decision was taken.
Bruno is out of the water, but certainly not out of danger.
Now is the most critical time. He has to get to his feet to have any chance of survival.
But Bruno isn't moving, even though he's not injured.
It's devastating for his owner to see him like this.
I expected him to just get up really.
Once he'd got his orientation and realised he was on firm ground,
I just expected to give him a few minutes, dry him off a bit and warm him up, then he'd probably get up.
And when he didn't, it was...
It was quite heartbreaking and upsetting.
If Bruno doesn't stand soon,
his enormous weight will start cutting off the blood supply to his muscles.
The problem with large animals when they're down and they're encumbered
is that the dependent muscle under their own body weight has an impaired circulation.
Their weight cuts off the blood supply, so it's effectively a dead leg.
And the bigger the animal, the more likely that is to be a problem.
Certainly with him, his first chance of standing up was his best chance.
Bruno appears to have given up, but the rescuers haven't.
They try another way using a tractor and front loader.
And they all wait with bated breath to see if it will work.
It's very difficult to see a big, strong horse...
But as he is lifted in the air, he makes no attempt to move his legs or prepare to stand.
He looks too tired to move.
They try a second time.
The thing that was going through my mind mostly when they were trying to make him stand up
was that he was just too tired to do it
and the more they lifted him and tried to set him on his feet, the more tired he became.
When he is lowered to the ground, he goes straight down.
They're all willing Bruno to stand and try to push him into a better position,
but not surprisingly, Bruno starts getting distressed and thrashing around.
He'd gone past that point of exhaustion. His legs were buckling.
We're in quite a difficult position.
He's got the whole night ahead of him in what would be sub-zero temperatures,
so it was unlikely he would have survived the night
laying down exhausted in a field where he is already cold and wet.
So they decide to carry him with the lifting equipment right into a nearby stable.
Some very nice neighbours gave us some blankets and some towels
and we got a horse rug and put it over him
and some straw underneath that to keep him sort of nicely warm.
The next 24 hours will be critical.
If he was down all night, I didn't give him a lot of hope of being able to get up the next day.
He was out of the ditch and in a warmer place, but the rescue wasn't over.
He needed constant attention and monitoring through the night,
but now at last, the celebrity horse is back on his feet.
I was hoping against hope that I would turn up in the morning and he'd be stood up,
but what I was really worried about was that he wasn't going to be alive.
But against all the odds, Bruno was still alive the next day.
And with a little more help and encouragement from his friends,
he got up on his legs and stayed there.
I've never felt so... I've never felt so elated in all my life.
A few months later, he's back to peak condition and enjoying life in his field
with his friends from the village.
And they're only too glad to have their gentle giant back.
-I'm glad he's back.
-Looking all majestic again.
-Exactly. Bit like you.
-I'm going over here. Do you know what this area's called?
-The intelligence unit.
-YOU are going over there?
-Why is that a surprise?
I'm allowed in the intelligence unit. We're coming to meet Zena.
-Did you change your name to be Zena?
-No, I was born Zena.
-I thought it was a made-up Hollywood name.
-For the Warrior Princess.
-No, I'm Zena with a Z.
You must've been pleased when someone came on the telly like that.
-Luckily, I'd left school or it might have been more of an issue.
-Have you got the outfit?
You get lots of calls in here, obviously, from all kinds of members of the public,
some quite urgent and some not giving much information to go on.
-You had a call like that?
-I did, yes.
I had a 999 call from a female who screamed, "Get the coppers quick!"
They hung up and that was all we had.
I tried to ring it back and there was no reply.
-Obviously, it's a potentially urgent job.
So the BT operator traced the line for me back to a small shop in the town centre.
I still couldn't get hold of them on the phone, so I sent a job across
for the radio operator to send the police units.
When they got there, it was a small shop and just the shopkeeper by the till
and didn't know anything about the police having been rung.
He called out his colleague out the back of the shop and this lady came forward.
He said, "Did you call the police?" She said, "Yes." She was quite sheepish.
"You said, 'Get the coppers quick,' so I rang 999."
He said, "No, I was just short of 1p and 2p pieces in the till. They were the coppers I needed."
Boy, did she feel silly!
-Zena, thank you very much indeed.
-It just goes to show how easily you can make a mistake.
-That's very funny.
-They went there quickly.
-They got the coppers.
Join us next time for more Real Rescues. We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
A mother makes a 999 call when she is trapped with her baby in a burning flat, and a shire horse needs rescuing after slipping down a steep bank into a ditch.