Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present dramatic events from the work of the emergency services. A holidaymaker is trapped high on a cliff while trying to rescue her dog.
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Today on Real Rescues, Julie's Labrador has fallen off a cliff.
She's climbed up 100 feet to save it, but now they're both in danger.
-She's in a bit of a precarious situation.
And Shirley, who makes a desperate 999 call,
her block of flats is on fire, and she's trapped on the top floor.
Hello, and welcome to Real Rescues from the South Western Ambulance Control Centre,
where they're taking 999 calls and dealing with emergencies
day and night.
The team is trained to deal with every sort of medical emergency.
At their disposal are ambulances, rapid-response cars, medibikes
and four air ambulances, and
we'll be chatting to some of them during the course of the programme.
Right now, though, a drama 100 feet up a very steep cliff.
Julie thought she was doing the right thing when she climbed up to save her dog Maddie.
Instead, it became a case of not just the dog but the owner needing rescuing, too.
Every minute is still etched in Julie's memory.
The Portland coastguard rescue helicopter 106 has reached Dunscombe Cliffs on the Devon coast.
Lots of people on the cliff at the top there.
Oh, yeah, I've got it, yeah. A bit further, yeah?
The first task is pinpointing Julie's exact position.
Winch operator Spike is leaning out of the aircraft looking, as winchman Buck uses the aircraft's cameras.
If you come along, you'll see a team up on the cliff edge.
They are above the casualty, over.
The coastguard on the clifftop guide helicopter 106 to the spot.
OK, they're down in the low one o'clock there, Kev.
Below the cliff, below our location, female with a black Lab.
She's well off to the left, Kev, from this position.
-Mobile 106, roger that.
OK, clear to move left, Kev.
Keep coming left.
And steady. Visual.
Yeah, she's down in the low three o'clock.
Come back, Kev. Clear behind, come back so you can get a visual.
Oh, yeah. She's in a bit of a precarious situation.
It's a terrifying sight.
Julie's hanging on to a bush
and at the same time using her knees to keep her dog from tumbling down the cliff.
She's been holding on for three-quarters of an hour.
Below her is a 100-foot drop.
-Rescue 106, Portland.
-We're on scene, we're visual the woman and her dog.
The helicopter has been called out because coastguard volunteers at the top
have found the conditions too difficult to lower a man down the cliff.
To get a holdfast into the ground, we use five four-foot steel stakes.
The ground there was so wet the stakes would just go
straight into the ground. And put a rope on them with a weight on them would pull them straight out again.
With them is Julie's husband.
He can't quite believe how an early-morning dog walk has ended with
his wife clinging onto the cliff for dear life.
Steve had taken both their dogs, Maddie and Harvey, from their holiday caravan.
The dogs were off the lead, as they were inland.
Harvey and Maddie both ran off across the fields, having a great time.
They then found a path taking them down through a valley,
but instead of going inland, headed towards the sea.
When Harvey came back alone, Steve knew something was wrong.
I was beginning to get quite worried because I know she loves the water, particularly the sea,
and she'd obviously headed in that direction, so I was calling, shouting.
After 20 minutes' searching, there was still no sign of Maddie.
It became very apparent that she had gone over the cliff edge in some shape or form.
Steve came running back to the caravan and instantly he just...
I knew something was wrong, because he just had Harvey with him.
Obviously, the panic begins to set in, so I ran down to the beach,
and Steve went along the top.
Both frantically searched for Maddie with Steve up above and Julie below.
-Then she spotted something black high up on the cliff face.
-It had to be Maddie.
There was no way she was going up or down, so I had to go up after her.
Julie set off, hauling herself up the steep cliff.
I didn't realise when I was climbing up, because you are grabbing at anything, you can't go down.
Julie's only thought was to get to Maddie, grabbing at any brush or grass.
Somehow, she made it to the shaking and terrified dog.
By the time the coastguard helicopter crew gets her in their sights, Julie's
at the limits of her strength, but all her thoughts are for the dog.
I had one hand on Maddie's collar.
I thought, "If she does go, I've got her around the neck."
And another one holding onto the bush.
Luckily enough, there was a big bush. She was just shaking.
Each time she sort of moved or anything, she slipped a bit.
And when she tried to rearrange herself, she would slip a bit more.
Then I kept trying to change with arms, because my arms were aching!
And my legs were aching, but if I'd have taken my legs away, she would have gone.
Somehow, Julie has managed to hold onto her dog, the bush and call Steve on her mobile phone.
I was very anxious, because I knew Julie and Maddie were on the cliff edge.
It was getting wet, so I was very concerned that they might slip and end up at the base of the cliff.
When the clifftop coastguard
realised it was too dangerous to attempt a rescue from the ground, they scrambled the helicopter.
Steve relayed the news to Julie.
I felt stupid and silly that we'd managed to get ourselves on the edge
of a cliff and they'd had to raise a helicopter, the expense and time, but there was no option.
Julie's endurance is being tested to the limit as she continues to protect Maddie from falling.
It's become a race against time to save them.
My arms and legs were killing me.
I just kept thinking, "I can't stay here for much longer."
It just seemed to go on for ever and ever.
Julie is clinging onto that gorse bush for dear life.
As we will see in a moment, her position is so precarious
that she could be dislodged by the helicopter's downdraught. Nick.
Yeah, I just need to... Let's get started.
I'll tell you what, meet Shirley. Hello?
We're just going to say hello and introduce you to Shirley before we continue.
When Shirley got home late one evening, she got herself a bowl of cereal and started watching telly.
-That's right, isn't it?
-That's right, yeah.
Nothing unusual about that, but suddenly she heard a commotion outside?
The next thing she knew, smoke was pouring in through her front door, which has got to be frightening.
The fire detectors went off.
-Your fire detector went off, yeah?
-Yes, but when I heard the commotion first, I then rung
the police first, because of the problems that we'd had downstairs.
-Hang on, we haven't done the film yet.
Cos we can show you the call. Would you say it was one of the most frightening nights of your life?
It was, yes, yeah, definitely that.
This is the 999 call she made.
-That sounded really frightening.
Shirley's just soaking it up. First time you've heard that call, isn't it?
-This is Nigel.
-Yeah, we was talking about it last night.
So, at that stage, you sounded very, very frightened.
I was. Sorry.
It's made you quite emotional, darling, hasn't it?
This chappie here I never met until yesterday,
so putting it with it all, you know,
it put a different light on the subject, really, didn't it?
I was talking to the man.
It actually helped to save my life.
Yesterday. Do you know what I mean?
It's pretty amazing, isn't it?
We'll give you a little rest. You can hear how...
No, I'm fine, I just want these firemen to be acknowledged for the
work they've done, and the ambulance service as well.
They were absolutely brilliant, I'll never forget it.
Well, we can have a listen to a little more.
Before we do, plainly she's very worried at that stage and your job is to keep her calm.
You were aware about the fire? You heard from other people that there was a big fire?
I took the original call and I realised very early on that we had a very serious, well-developed fire.
We only had a couple of repeat calls.
One of those repeat calls was from Shirley.
I decided to keep her on the phone and continue talking to her,
trying to make her feel as safe as possible.
While I was actually talking to her, there are a few breaks in the
recording, that was when I put my finger over the microphone
and actually was giving directions to my control staff to advise the crews on scene
whereabouts in the flat Shirley was actually to, so they could put the ladder at the right window.
You can see, in that first part, you could just see
a little change in tone with you when you realise she was upset.
You called her "flower" or "pet" or something.
"My love", it's a Cornish thing.
At that point, it's almost like you started to feel more confident,
you could hear this calm voice on the other end of the phone.
-I tell you what, let's get in to the second part.
Help is on the way, but Shirley's still stranded in a top-floor flat, as you've heard.
-Are you sure you're all right?
-..in a top-floor flat.
Her only lifeline is Nigel on the end of the phone.
FIRE ALARM BEEPS
Shouting "Hang on! Don't come out the window!"
They was fantastic, really.
Let's introduce you also to Nigel...
Sorry, not Nigel. I'm introducing Martin, this time.
I'm getting caught up myself here.
-You're in control of the crew that's turned up.
She's already warned everyone that she's 65, but don't go by that, she's fairly feisty!
We had a warning.
She was trying to hop out the window?
We were talking to Nigel.
Obviously we'd already rescued someone from the other side,
Arthur, on the other top flat.
We were unaware of who was in the property.
There was no real information about who was there.
All I had was a lot of people running around, all a bit over-excited.
The doors had been left in the property, so I had smoke coming out of every window.
-But the neighbours were saying, "What about Shirley?"
Nigel had told us where Shirley was.
So we knew we had to get to Shirley next.
I sent two of my crew in to actually go up the stairs, to get into her flat to help her out.
They helped Arthur out on one side and they were coming in to help Shirley out the other.
They banged my door down.
Banged your door down?
And a ladder rescue, which is a fairly unusual thing, I'm told?
Yeah, we had a probationer on our watch.
I did say to him, it's not very often that we get these sorts of rescues.
Also, two ladders to be used, all at once. We were the
first crew there and we were there on our own for about five minutes until the second crew turned up.
So the pressure was on.
The guys worked really well.
Moving ladders around like that, 113 kilogram ladder, it's a lot of weight to be throwing around.
We heard it crash against the window.
That's a reassuring sound, though.
Didn't really have an awful lot of room downstairs below the window, either.
-Did they not?
-It was quite a difficult pitch.
Did they give you a fireman's lift?
No, the two men that came in, the man outside was telling me to open my window.
I was petrified. But, anyhow, we managed, with the help of the two officers that came in.
They were shoving me through the window.
One was getting my leg up over the window, just imagine.
But we did it. And they managed to turn me around, somehow or another.
I was still screaming my head off.
I think... What was he called?
-Stephen, he was only a youngster.
I grabbed a packet of cigarettes.
There were three fags in, I managed to grab them.
Shouldn't you leave those?
I didn't have them anyhow, cos he took them away from me!
Going down the ladder...
You're diabetic, aren't you?
-Did you remember your insulin and stuff?
Couldn't take nothing.
Hang on, you couldn't take the insulin but you took your fags?
No, well, I'd already done my injection that night.
Anyway, he got me down
and he was brilliant. He was talking me through, how many steps left, "You're doing brilliant.
"Come on, Shirley, keep going."
And we managed to get down the bottom.
He then handed me over to the ambulance man, to take over.
I said, "Have you got my fags?"
"Yeah, you can have them later."
The long and the short of it was, you were the last one out of the building.
The guys did a brilliant job in looking after you.
I can't emphasise enough.
If I can get, with this interview,
to cover these boys...
Trust me, this interview has gone very well and you've done a very
-good job of telling people what a great job they did.
-They're absolutely brilliant.
They are. Gentlemen, it's been a joy having you. Thank you very much.
They have been good as gold to me, up here.
I feel I've known them all my life.
So I'm thankful we had the fire last year because it's given me a really...
A new view? I tell you what, we'll chat on. We have to carry on with the rest of the programme.
But you and I can stay and chat on for a bit longer. Louise?
Now, if a young baby is unwell, it can't tell you what's wrong.
So parents and professionals have to take every symptom seriously.
In this next rescue, a team race to help a newborn who's not yet a week old.
A 999 call has come in from an extremely worried new mum.
Her five-day-old baby boy is turning blue and she says his arms and legs have gone floppy.
Critical care ambulance doctor Simon Brown and technician Paul Steward waste no time in getting to him.
A floppy baby could be a sign that a very serious condition is developing.
At five days old, they're very vulnerable to infection and can't regulate their own body temperature.
-The baby was crying, very hysterically.
He's very colicky today. I went upstairs quickly to give him some drops.
And, in this moment, it looked like he got the liquid the wrong way or something.
Suddenly he was like... And turned black.
And now he is different. He stopped breathing for a few seconds.
-And I started to pat him, like that.
-Yeah, that's good.
Then I put him like this.
And how long was it before he started breathing again?
Well, a few seconds. But he turned, like, deeper black.
OK. Was it a bluey colour?
-OK. And how long was it before he was opening his eyes and recognising you again?
I don't know. One minute, two minutes.
'For a baby to stop breathing,'
it can be a sign of a serious underlying illness.
It could be the first signs of infection.
It could be a sign of a convulsion and so on.
It's important that we get there quickly in order to make sure the baby isn't starved of oxygen.
Although baby Nikita is now almost back to his normal colour, mum Nadia says he's still not his usual self.
What I'm going to do is check him over from top to toe to see how he is.
-Earlier on today, has he been feeding perfectly normally?
And the drops you were giving him were...?
-OK. Has he been colicky?
-Nikita is gurgling away in a fairly normal manner now.
But Simon thinks he still seems a little dazed and wants to check his blood sugar levels.
That involves a tiny pinprick in his foot.
He won't be too pleased with this.
-Good. I know, young man.
He doesn't like it one bit, but that scream shows Nikita is taking in plenty of air, a good sign.
We've checked his blood sugar and that's 8.9, which is normal.
That excludes it being low blood sugar.
Blood sugar is fine, he's behaving himself.
His colour is back to normal, now he's had a good scream and everything.
It could have been the gripe water drops that Nadia gave him that set this off.
Sometimes what babies can do is, when they try to swallow something, they get the swallowing wrong.
So he's trying to swallow, but his tongue's not doing quite the right thing.
You look at him and you know he's trying to swallow but he's not getting it right.
Sometimes that can make them change colour
until he actually gets things right and actually starts breathing again.
A few more checks and Simon's satisfied that there's no sign of infection.
-But he does suspect that Nikita has a problem with his stomach.
-See how things go.
If he develops a lot of diarrhoea and he's vomiting, then he ought to be checked out by your own GP.
But see how he goes over the next day or so.
If you're worried at all, give the GP's surgery a call.
If it's out of hours, then you can phone the out-of-hours and
they will have a chat with you and see him if necessary.
Until Nikita gets the hang of swallowing properly, this could happen again.
And Nadia should carry out just the same actions.
If things change and he's off his feeds, if he's obviously
not himself, if he's very floppy, if he looks very pale and pasty, it would be best if he's checked
over again to make sure something isn't developing that wasn't apparent at the time I examined him.
Still to come on Real Rescues, the hidden dangers of the helicopter winch wire.
I'll be talking to the crew of 106 about when not to grab a winch wire.
It could lead to static shock.
And meet Byron, one of Britain's international rescue dogs, so highly
trained he's in demand all over the world.
So, back to that rescue on a cliff in Devon.
Maddie the Labrador has fallen and Julie, her owner, has climbed to save her.
Now they both need rescuing.
The coastguard helicopter needs to get in position.
But the fear is that Julie will lose her grip in the downdraught of the rotor blades.
Coastguard rescue helicopter 106 is hovering above Dunscombe Cliffs.
On the right, forward. Your tail's clear, your tips are clear.
Down below, Julie is still hanging on.
It's a severe test of her physical strength.
But with the sound of help so close now, giving up is not an option.
There wasn't going to be a worst-case scenario. We were going to be fine.
I wasn't going without Maddie, so there was no worst-case scenario.
Winchman "Buck" Rogers is preparing to be lowered down to rescue Julie.
-What do you reckon, Buck? See where she is?
OK, come right. There's a nice bare patch there.
OK? If we put you on the grassy bit below the bare patch. What do you think?
Yeah, that would be fine, I think.
Winch op Spike will place Buck a little lower on the cliff so he can walk up.
'As the aircraft comes over the top of her, which it has to do'
in order to get me to her, then
the rotor wash, which is coming down from the rotor blades,
that may be a force that breaks her handhold.
So if I'm below her at that time,
then we have the opportunity, hopefully, to arrest her fall.
OK, downwash is well behind the aircraft.
But the noise and the wind from the helicopter is frightening Maddie.
She tries to move out of the way.
It terrified Maddie, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Winch op Spike gives very precise instructions to pilot Kevin Balls
as they carefully pull Buck up the steep incline.
Forward five for nine.
Forward only now four.
For safety, their plan is to lift Maddie first.
We're going to take the dog to the top of the cliff.
-With the casualty now.
-Buck has made it to Julie.
He's going to put Maddie in a secure valise bag, normally used to rescue children.
'She was quite good because she was so frightened that'
it didn't take that long to get her in.
Because Julie was there, the friendly face that the dog knew, the dog was nice and calm about
being put into a bag that it had never been in before.
With Julie already in a safe place, I was then able to just come away.
Dog and winchman are clear.
They quickly winch Maddie through the air to safety at the top of the cliff.
It was absolutely amazing.
It's a shame Maddie can't talk, really, to tell you how she felt!
OK, he's handed the valise, the dog,
to the coastguard unit.
OK, got the dog out of the valise.
Maddie was clearly happy to be back on level ground.
She was wagging her tail, very pleased to see me,
obviously shaken up, but we were really pleased to see each other.
Now it's Julie's turn. Spike has dropped Buck on the cliff once more.
OK, I've got Buck with her at the moment, winching in.
I take it he wants to go at that sort of speed?
Yeah, he wants to go straight up, no messing. Winching in. Stop winching.
He's with the casualty now.
Buck uses a more traditional strop for Julie.
106, Buck, ready when you are.
Roger, OK. Forward one and up gently.
Through the trees. Continue up.
Worn out from having to hang on for almost an hour,
Julie's very relieved to be lifted away from the unstable cliff.
I'm just very, very grateful to them.
Winching up. About three to the deck. Two to the deck. One. Contact.
To everyone's joy, they're safely down.
Julie looked surprisingly calm, a little bit windswept,
but she remained calm, which was great under the circumstances.
I was just glad to be back, glad to see Steve, glad to see Maddie and everybody was safe and happy.
With Buck back on board, Rescue 106 can head to its base on Portland.
Steve and Julie and Maddie return to their caravan and try to come to terms with what's happened.
We were all three of us very shaken up, so, yeah, we...
tried to relax.
We were very relieved that we were all fit and well
and, after a few hours, we sort of came back down to earth, realised
what we'd been through, realised how lucky we were and then were able to continue with our holiday.
And Julie is indebted to the coastguard rescue teams.
I'm just very grateful.
That's the only words I can say, I'm so grateful.
And a bit later, I'll be with the crew of Coastguard 106, learning
about the special language they use to make rescues inch-perfect. Nick.
Now, some serious illnesses creep up on you. Coughs, colds, sneezes, high temperatures are all symptoms
that on their own are common, but all together can mean something much more serious.
Eight-year-old Kieran has been feeling ill for a few weeks.
His mum took him to the GP, who took one look at Kieran and immediately called an ambulance.
The ambulance crew, Jason Harrop and Andy College,
head straight for the GP's room, where young Kieran is being treated by two doctors.
That's something to tell the people at school, isn't it?
Who teaches you? Does your mum teach you?
My mum taught me at home until I was 11.
Jason is trying to keep Kieran relaxed.
He realises how terrifying this can be.
Mum's been worried about Kieran for a couple of weeks.
He's had a cough and temperature and now he's struggling to breathe.
Dr Catriona Davis knew something was seriously wrong as soon as he walked through her door.
Immediately I was a bit alarmed because I'd seen a lot of children
with coughs and colds that morning, but he looked very unwell.
He was breathing very quickly and I could tell he was quite pale in
himself and I noticed that his lips were beginning to go slightly blue.
Dr Stef is fitting a cannula in case Kieran needs intravenous drugs on the way to hospital.
They're very worried as he's breathing at twice the normal rate.
Right, OK, let's do it.
We need to pick up the point at which they're very unwell before
they deteriorate even further, because a child, when they're unwell, fortunately gets better
very quickly, but also they can suddenly deteriorate very quickly.
They get him on board the ambulance.
Before they get moving, they set up their equipment so they can monitor his heart and oxygen levels.
Kieran, we're going to stick some stickers on you if that's all right with you.
It's going to see what your heart's doing.
Kieran's very pale, but he's not making any fuss.
Kieran, is it all right if we pop a little mask on your face?
Let's give you some oxygen. See if we can help your breathing. Good man.
The doctor leaves his patient in Jason's capable hands. Kieran's already responding well.
Nicely coming up.
Those numbers there, that's the percentage of oxygen in the blood.
-It was 82 in the other room.
-It's coming up with 96 with the oxygen there, so that's nice.
They set off for the hospital.
Jason wants to keep Kieran relaxed and alert, so he needs to get him talking.
So what's your favourite subject when you're being taught at home?
What do you like being taught?
You teach yourself?
What do you like reading?
-What do you like to read?
It turns out that Kieran's an academic with some street cred, too.
Electric guitar? That's pretty cool.
But at the moment, he's a very ill young man.
Jason continues to reassure him by explaining the read-outs on the equipment.
You see that we're taking the strain off your heart?
This number is the percentage of oxygen in your blood, and that was 82.
It's now 97, so it's coming up a lot.
So this means that this number can slow down a little
because it's not having to work as hard to get the same amount of oxygen around your body.
The doctor told me that that was 180 when this was 82.
So that one comes up so this one can come down a little bit.
His oxygen levels are much improved, but he's still feeling rough with a high fever.
Jason gives him some ibuprofen to help.
You put that in your mouth and squeeze.
Squeeze it like a tube of toothpaste.
Should taste like orange flavour, I think.
-There you go.
-They've arrived at the hospital.
Kieran's GP has already phoned the A&E department and doctors are ready to see him straight away.
It's just as well because it emerges that his illness is very serious indeed.
Just had an update from the doctors that they found
that he's got pneumonia and has got quite a lot of fluid on his lungs.
It can be quite a life-threatening illness and especially in someone of such an age.
He'll be transferred to a specialist team to go and get that fluid drained off.
So, hopefully, they'll get him sorted and get him better.
Let's find out what happened. Elizabeth is here, his mum.
Kieran, hello, and Hazel, his sister.
So you got to the hospital, he had pneumonia and it was pretty serious.
They had to drain fluid. And much was there?
There was about 310mls, about the size of a can of Coke.
So he was really quite seriously ill?
Yes, much more serious than we thought.
And it went downhill very quickly, the breathing,
from the morning until the afternoon by about 3.30 when they did it.
As a mum, it's quite scary that children can deteriorate that quickly. Was it scary for you?
Terrifying, because they weren't too sure if it was just pneumonia
or if there was an underlying heart problem or lung problem.
So you've got that playing at the back of your mind the whole time.
You don't remember much, do you, Kieran, of the journey?
-Not much. It wasn't just that, though, because we've got your sister here.
You've already had quite a lot of drama in your family, and Hazel
is a little bit ill, but it's not just a little bit, is it?
No, it turned out to be the same thing, pneumonia. She started with a cold about a week after...
So he'd had a temperature and she looked to be having something completely different?
Completely different. Kieran had two weeks of high fevers and a
full-body viral rash by the tenth day and Hazel started with a basic old.
I think one or two fevers and that was it.
So you didn't presume that she had pneumonia at all?
No, I was calming her down the whole time he was in hospital, saying, "You're getting the phlegm up,
"you're fine, it's not going to turn into pneumonia." I was wrong.
When you were watching that film, it was quite upsetting to see him that ill for you, was it?
How did you feel when he was going off to hospital?
I was rather shocked, actually.
I didn't expect it.
I just really remember him stumbling out
into the lobby holding Mum's hand.
I was on the other side of the lobby and I picked up my coat and followed
-Dad to the car.
-Also, your eardrum burst, didn't it?
-Was that painful?
Well, on the Sunday morning, around
three-ish, one-ish, two-ish...
-In the morning?
No, in the afternoon.
I started screaming in pain all, holding here,
and Mum kept on...
Before my eardrum burst, Mum kept telling the doctors that I'm...
..not hearing her, but they didn't do anything about it.
-Are you both getting better now?
-Good. You've still got a bit of a cough?
-Yeah, I have.
Thanks very much. It's all been very dramatic.
-I hope nothing else happens for the rest of this year.
-So do we.
Ahh. When we have a story like that, what we like to do is have a little bit of information about how you can
spot the illness, so we thought we'd have a chat with Gill here, who has been a nurse in this
-area since you were 18 years old, which is about ten years ago?
So we thought we'd tap in to your experience.
Pneumonia, how do you tell when it's not a bad cold with a chesty cough?
Unfortunately, the symptoms of pneumonia are very similar
to flu-like symptoms. You get a fever, you get a cough
-and you get very lethargic and muscle aching.
-That's flu, isn't it?
Well, that's flu-like symptoms, but then the symptoms of respiratory distress in most people
are going to be a raised respiratory rate, particularly in children, and you'll see children sucking
in their tummies to breathe and using all their muscles to breathe.
Yeah, we should split this into two, really.
If you're dealing with children, there's a very different thing to look for.
You would say get the clothes off the child.
Yes, to examine a child to look for respiratory symptoms, or any child really,
cos you're going to be looking for rashes and everything, you need to see the child.
-You can see it in here?
-Yes, you can see there's a tug
in here and if their tummy is sucked in and they're using the muscles across the top of their chest.
But in adults, it's
probably easier to recognise because they usually get a very productive cough and chest pain.
But the clinical diagnosis is obviously to listen to the chest.
-All right, we hope that helps you. Thank you.
Earlier, we saw Julie and her dog Maddie clinging to the sheer side of a cliff.
They were plucked to safety by the coastguard rescue helicopter based
in Portland, and I've been talking to the crew about their work.
So we've seen Coastguard Rescue 106 in action, but
I want to take a closer look at how they get casualties in.
Buck, you're going to show me. So you'd arrive up here and then how would you go about it?
Yeah, so what we're going to do now is
raise the winch, turn the head end of the stretcher in
-and then as the winch comes out, move the casualty into the aircraft.
-And pretty quick, isn't it?
Yep. So we want the head end at this end
and now both of us can work on the casualty at the
same time. Tony's got this side of the aircraft, I've got this side.
That's your kit that you take down, but you've got lots of other sophisticated equipment in the back.
Yes, indeed. We have two stretcher set-ups, the one
that you've already seen and this is the titanium stretcher which affords a little bit more protection.
And then, working from the back, the black bag contains splints.
This is the defibrillator that nearly always stays with the aircraft and does a lot of the patient monitoring.
Then that orange bag is just for the treatment of children, paediatrics.
So you can give people really serious medical help on board, can't you?
We can do full resuscitation in the aircraft, yes.
Tony, I also want to talk to you about communications, because we're used to hearing you
on the commentary and you talk about "forward one", "right one".
Forward three and right.
You know what it means, but what does it mean to us who don't know?
All search and rescue aircraft have standard phraseology
so there is no confusion.
We have a distance, which is a unit, which is between two and three metres.
It can be a little bit more, a little bit less.
We also have a direction. You have "forward", you have "right", you can have in between,
which is "forward and right", but if you want to go forward
and just a little bit right, you then say, "forward two and right", so it gives the pilot an indication.
Forward and right three. Winching up.
-Darren, as captain of the aircraft, when he says that, you know exactly what he means?
His commentary is very precise and as long as I follow it,
we're going to stay out of trouble.
The other thing I want to ask you about.
When you send down the winch, if somebody held on to it, grabbed it, what would happen to them?
They would have a nasty static shock.
The aircraft generates a lot of static electricity but no means to earth it.
It's earthed once in contact with the ground -
as the winch touches the ground or a person.
So we have a strop on the end of the winch which allows
us to discharge the static and then people don't get a nasty shock.
OK, and we saw a rescue of a dog earlier, Buck, that you were involved in.
You've had other strange animal rescues as well, haven't you?
Yeah, over the years, I've had a cow that I've rescued from the same area.
I've been involved in the rescue of horses, all sorts of things.
-It's a very varied job.
-There's quite a serious message, isn't there,
though, for dog-walkers, particularly around coasts?
There is. A lot of dog-walkers like to let their dogs off the lead.
It's not very wise to do that on a coastal cliff path because dogs
will automatically chase things and they'll chase birds.
Birds can take off at the edge of a cliff. Unfortunately, dogs don't.
Up gently. Dog and winchman are clear.
If your dog does go over a cliff, don't try and rescue it yourself.
Call 999 and ask for the coastguards.
OK, thank you very much. Thank you.
From coastal rescue to international rescue.
In the days after the two major earthquakes
in Japan and New Zealand, teams from the UK were among the first to help with the rescue effort.
60 firefighters went to Japan with two special dogs, and one of them is here with us now. This is Byron.
How are you doing, Byron?
Very nice to meet you.
And with Byron is Robin, who also went to Japan with him.
So what was he there to do?
How did he make a difference?
He's a live scent dog, so he'll search for casualties trapped
under rubble in houses, and that will enable us then to get a swift rescue in with the firefighters.
Have you just said the key word?
No, he's excited, I'm afraid.
He wants to play.
I understand he sees the whole process as a game.
When you train him, it's with toys.
Yes, it's all done with toys and it's all toy-driven.
All he wants to do is play with a ball, so the whole drive is find the body.
That means he gets the reward of the toy, and once he gets
the toy, he wanders off, he's not interested in the body any more.
When you have a building collapse, what's the difference in timespan
in searching for anybody that might be alive in the rubble with a dog compared to normal firefighters?
If you take a normal detached house, probably I could search that in ten minutes quite easily with this dog.
Team of firefighters, 30, 40 minutes probably to do it properly.
The advantage of him, of course, if someone's unconscious, he's
going to detect them, where the firefighters are doing call-outs and relying on someone answering.
And even with the thermal imaging, the dog can very often find what the firefighters can't.
Yeah, thermal imaging only goes down so far. The dog will pick up
-scent that's buried deep in the rubble if there's a passage up for the scent to come.
How can he go to Japan and back and he's not in quarantine?
He's pet-passported, so he's fully quarantined up.
He's got his vaccinations, his rabies.
He's probably had more injections than I've had!
Because he's a pet passport dog, any country that's pet passport, he's able to come straight back in.
He's very, very calm, isn't he? How long does it take to train a dog?
It's about two years to really get a good, solid dog,
and that's cos you're looking to bring a lot of distractions in.
You put a dog on a plane for 12 hours and then you want him to work
as soon as he gets there, and to get from the airport to the disaster, you're sat in a rickety
old bus and he's sat on your lap or he's down under the seat.
-Nothing like that can faze him.
-He worked hard when he was in Japan.
So on the plane on the way back, it was the first time he really got to rest?
Yeah, he slept for 14 hours solid on the plane, which was great for me cos I could relax as well.
How fantastic. Isn't it marvellous what these animals are capable of?
This is all due to this amazing nose.
It's absolutely phenomenal.
We can't even begin to know what smells go into that nose
and how he processes it, cos he can differentiate
between someone trapped under the rubble and the crew working on the rubble and he'll discount them.
With a nose that sensitive, I can only apologise to you,
Byron, for being around our crew and the rest of the people here today!
I'm very glad you came along. Thank you.
That's all for today. Join us next time for more Real Rescues. See you then.
You did really good, didn't you?
You did really good.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Going behind the scenes at one of Britain's biggest ambulance control centres, Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present dramatic events from the day-to-day work of the emergency services.
A holidaymaker is trapped high on a cliff while trying to rescue her dog, and the pensioner trapped in the bedroom of her flat by fire makes a 999 call.