Episode 3 Real Rescues


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Episode 3

Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present dramatic events from the work of the emergency services. This episode sees the multi-service rescue of a badly injured pilot.


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Today on Real Rescues, an air crash.

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A plane has bounced off the roof of a house, crashed through a greenhouse

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and come to rest in a back garden.

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The pilot is seriously injured.

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MOANING

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It's the hydraulic hose.

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And from major to minor, the cat on the hot tile roof.

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Why it's in everyone's interest firefighters turn out

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to rescue cats like Gill.

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Puss, puss.

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Come on.

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Welcome to Real Rescues. This is one of the south-west's control rooms

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where 999 calls come in all the time.

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To my right is the dispatch team, sending out emergency crews.

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To my left are specialists giving out medical advice and sending out doctors.

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It's a busy place, but it's not the only control room here.

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Outside they have a mobile version that goes to major incidents.

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We'll take a look later in the programme.

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Now a story Louise and I found ourselves witnessing first-hand.

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We were in the control room in Hampshire when a call came through

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alerting them to a plane crash, and watching them jump into action was impressive.

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At the other end of the phone, it was a frightening scene.

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A quiet country garden is suddenly the site of a major emergency.

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A small plane has crash-landed, two people are on board

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and doctors are fighting to save the life of the pilot.

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It all started half an hour earlier.

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It was a sunny day like this when pilot Brian Davis offered to fly an old friend out to lunch.

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But on the way home, something went horribly wrong.

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Pam, Pam. Golf, Alpha, Romeo, Hotel, November.

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The engines are running very slowly. I'm looking for somewhere to go down.

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Acknowledged. Are you able to come directly into the field?

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You're currently ten miles east-northeast of the field.

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Unable to maintain altitude, madam.

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Crash-landing became the only option.

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This is potentially a catastrophic accident.

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It's an all-services emergency call-out.

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They're all heading for the house on the edge of the New Forest.

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First to raise the alarm was neighbour Sarion Harris.

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She'd been at her kitchen window when the plane hit.

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I saw a plane

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crash into the bush and Pam's greenhouse

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and take it out completely and the noise was unbelievable.

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An almighty bang.

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I couldn't imagine what it was. It was too loud.

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The plane has ploughed through a greenhouse and smashed into the ground.

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The house owner tentatively went to look.

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I couldn't believe that anyone had survived.

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When I looked at the debris, there was turf all over the place.

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It uprooted a tree. It was just general mayhem.

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I ran up to the side and stupidly said, "Are you all right?"

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I heard a groan and then I ran back to the house to get to the phone.

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Neighbour Sarion feared Pam had been in the greenhouse.

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Relieved to see her in one piece, her attention turned to the cockpit.

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I went to the pilot's side. He wasn't in a very good state.

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He had a head injury and quite a lot of blood.

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So I decided to concentrate on the phone call

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and the information the emergency services needed.

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A Critical Care doctor has crawled inside the cockpit.

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He's working in tandem with ambulance technician Emma,

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the first to arrive.

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They're concentrating on the pilot who has been thrown into the plane's windscreen and flying instruments.

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The most obvious injury

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was an eye injury which looked like it was protruding from the socket.

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With a saline dressing, we kept his eyeball where it needed to be

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and we were hoping he wouldn't lose the sight in his eye.

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He had quite a large cut to his lower jaw which was right down to the bone.

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You could see his jaw through it and that was quite a nasty injury.

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There was a smell of fuel leaking and you don't know if there's anything sparking,

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so you're aware you need to deal with it very quickly.

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Somehow, the pilot managed to turn off the electrics.

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The fire crews have already removed the debris of the greenhouse

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but fuel is leaking out of one tank.

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We used cutters, but in the meantime to take control measures

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we've laid down foam

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and we've got somebody stood by in case of any leakage.

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The passenger is already out and on his way to hospital.

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Dr Rob Dawes is working in very cramped conditions

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stabilising the pilot, Brian, who's 74.

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You can imagine a light aircraft coming down into a back garden

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is going to be a huge transfer of energy,

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and their age means the capacity to have serious injuries is more.

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So it's important to go through a prognosis properly.

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The pilot was the most severely injured from his ankle

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and from his right wrist and from his face.

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But it was important to maintain his airway,

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so I had already given him some quite strong painkillers

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to keep him breathing and give him good pain relief.

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But we need to assess him better.

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Could you get some protectors for... Please.

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Rob is crammed in behind Brian.

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Emma works closely with him, passing him anything he needs.

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Because of the job we do, we get to know the paramedics and the technicians very well.

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I've worked with Emma on quite a number of difficult jobs.

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Emma will know exactly what I need, she knows the kit that I use.

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And the injuries I can feed them back to her and she can relay them back.

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So it's a team effort, really.

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Rob and Emma continue to try to stabilise Brian.

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They've many colleagues on hand to help,

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expert trauma specialists all trained to the highest level of care.

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They're giving Brian the best chance of surviving the air crash.

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They won't know the state of his injuries until they get him out and we'll see that later.

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I want to have a chat with paramedic Andy Perris about the calls they get.

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We were talking about calls which you get that are inappropriate.

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I know there's a difference to malicious calls, but what sort of inappropriate calls do you get?

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We get calls that are inappropriate for us to respond to.

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Give us an example.

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We've had a lot of calls from patients who aren't ill.

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Even for their dogs, for non-medical-related emergencies,

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turning off alarm clocks, the toilet's broken, you name it,

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we've had calls for that sort of thing.

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Why would people think that was appropriate to ring you for that?

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At the time they make the call, they think in their own mind it is the correct thing to do.

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However, in hindsight they probably realise it is not.

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That's very generous of you. Are you saying people under the influence

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of drink, for example, would reason better at another time?

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If you have a group of people out who have been drinking, their judgment is definitely clouded.

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An injury that during the day they would resolve themselves,

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they think is far more serious and they will often call 999.

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So the job of these people here is really important

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because they've got to filter that to make sure that you don't

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end up being sent as a resource to something inappropriate?

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They're triage-ing - French word for sorting - to find who we need to get to within eight minutes

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because they might die, who can wait a little bit longer

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and who needs to go to another area of the health service.

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Just to touch briefly on the malicious calls,

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they can do real damage to your potential to respond.

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Massively. We place our vehicles based on where we know there will be emergency calls.

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If we get a hoax or a malicious call,

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we'll move that vehicle to respond because these people often say

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someone has been stabbed, something we would respond to.

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Therefore, a further call comes in in that area and a patient may die.

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We treat hoax calls and malicious calls extremely seriously

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in conjunction with the police and the fire brigade.

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We'll switch off mobile phones and we'll prosecute

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if we're able to do so.

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Be warned if you're ever considering doing that kind of thing.

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It's interesting what people think emergencies are. Thanks.

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999 calls about sports injuries are bread and butter for an ambulance control room like this one,

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but in this case, the player writhing in agony on the floor

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isn't any old rugby player, he's a talented international.

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'9pm, and a call's come in to help an England international rugby player

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'who's been stretchered off the pitch.

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'On their way, ambulance technician Nicky

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'and, not for the first time, paramedic Sarah MacDonald.'

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Just my luck. Whenever there's a big match in Newbury between a national team,

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'I usually end up going to one of the poor players who's been injured in the line of duty.'

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So here we go again, I think!

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'The match, England versus Scotland Under 20s, is still playing,

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'but it's certainly over for Kieran Low,

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'who's lying in the treatment room with a broken ankle.'

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Oi, can someone drive my car?

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-Eh?

-Can someone drive my car?

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'The team doctor has already stabilised the break with an inflatable splint,

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'and eased Kieran's pain by giving him some morphine and Entonox laughing gas.

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'This has also noticeably lightened his mood.'

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HE LAUGHS

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'It's all come as a bit of a surprise for his dad,

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'who was in the stands, and blissfully unaware of what had happened to his son

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'until he was told to come to the changing room.'

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I came down off a line-out, and I saw my ankle, like...

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-I saw you collapse.

-I saw it literally do that.

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-I missed it!

-He still thought I was playing!

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We thought it was someone else.

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'Until the break can be fully assessed,

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'the aim is to move Kieran around as gently as possible.'

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'But his chance of playing in the next and final Six Nations Championship game has gone.'

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Little bit of a bump.

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Well done, lad.

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You'll get a better bath there!

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'They're taking Kieran to Basingstoke hospital for a set of X-rays.'

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All your little fans.

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'Newbury is not proving to be a lucky location for Kieran.'

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-Cursed, this pitch, Dad. Remember the last time I played here?

-Yes.

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I did my ankle as well.

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-Oh, you did!

-You came back for more!

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Yeah, he came off last time!

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-That's the last time I was injured.

-You don't want to come here again.

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'Kieran's been on his phone since leaving the ground,

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'and the news that England have thrashed the Scots

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'by 56 points to eight prompts even more furious texting.

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'It was early in the second half when Kieran had leapt up high

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'to try and catch the ball, before landing awkwardly on his ankle.'

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You heard it crack, did you?

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Did you feel it crack as well?

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No worries. Can you still wiggle your toes?

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-Yeah, yeah.

-Does that cause you much grief?

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Have you got smelly feet? I hope not.

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You're a 20-year-old. What do I expect, really?!

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Nicky checks Kieran's feet to see if the pedal pulse is strong,

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a sign that blood flow isn't restricted.

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Satisfied, she then has a request for him.

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So, do you get new rugby shirts after every match?

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Cos surely they can't get that clean?

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-We could raffle it.

-You can have it if you want it.

-Marvellous!

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She'd want a Welsh one, anyway.

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-She can have my...!

-She can have the socks!

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Though, to get that shirt off him,

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they'll first have to get Kieran off the phone.

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He's got two of them now.

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He can text me back quicker than I can text him.

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He might play rugby for England, but I bet his fingers do the talking.

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You should have been a pianist, Kieran.

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I've got a lot of people asking me how I am, all right?

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THEY LAUGH

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Whether Kieran needs an operation will be decided in the A&E department.

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As well as being an international, he plays for club side London Irish

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and will want to get back into action as soon as possible.

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Though it's just as well for Kieran that paramedic Sarah was driving

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and not with him in the back of the ambulance.

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-I wished Scotland won.

-No!

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Absolutely no!

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I'm a Celt, I'm a fellow Celt. If that had been a Welsh shirt...

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I said you could have the socks.

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I'm getting the shirt. He was going to give me his shirt.

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He said, "Do you want my shirt?" and I said, "Not with your doctor in there."

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-I said, "Newbury ambulance station".

-You got him fairly high on Entonox

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-so she could steal the shirt off his back, literally.

-I would've done!

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-He was very sweet.

-He was very sweet.

-He was very sweet.

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Don't tell my hubby!

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I think the Entonox is still leaking!

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THEY LAUGH

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And the good news is Nicky got that shirt in the end as a thank you from Kieran

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and Sarah, not so lucky, has the socks.

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Kieran himself is making a good recovery.

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He's still in a cast, but he does hope to be back on the rugby field next season. Nick.

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Thank you, Louise. I want to have a chat to Paul Walker -

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I'm going to grab this chair, cos there's nowhere to sit.

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He's a clinical supervisor, used to be out on the road as a paramedic.

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If an accident happened on the dual carriageway outside,

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would you be out the door to help out?

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No, on the basis that my job is about filtering other calls.

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If I can save two jobs in the time whilst I'm in here,

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then it releases those crew to be able to deal with the jobs outside.

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-And...

-Do you miss it?

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Yeah, ever so much!

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I'm going to take you back to one of the incidents

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that you attended before on a building site, which is close to my heart.

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You went out to a fairly serious incident on a building site.

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Yes, this was a construction site about 10 miles from here,

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out in the woods.

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They were putting in a concrete reservoir, which was square.

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They were putting it into a round hole that they'd already excavated.

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The construction chap that was on the top had lost his balance

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but he hadn't fallen into the square hole,

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he'd fallen down the side between the square hole and the round side.

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If we take a look at a photograph, we haven't got film,

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but we've got a photograph of him at the bottom of the hole -

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a difficult space for you to get to.

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I was the first person on the scene.

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I looked over the edge - I'm not keen on heights myself,

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and I was told it was a deep hole.

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When I looked over the side, I realised it was a VERY deep hole.

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How far down are we talking?

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I think it was about four metres.

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A fair way down. I was told by the other construction workers

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he'd fallen down head-first and landed on his head.

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At the time, when I looked down, he wasn't moving.

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You weren't holding out much hope?

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-I feared for the worst.

-We've got another picture,

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because you used local machinery to help get him out,

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and we've got a picture - a crane that was on site.

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Yes, we were trying to figure out how to get him out,

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thinking about roping stretchers, utilise whoever we could.

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Then one of the construction workers asked

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if we wanted to use the crane that was on site.

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We discussed it with those that were there, including the fire brigade,

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and eventually used the crane to rope him up.

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Who tied the knots, you or the fire brigade?

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I'm pretty good on knots,

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but I didn't want to risk not getting the chap up,

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so I left it to the fire brigade ropes team.

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We've got one last picture, which is of him on the ground

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actually being looked after - so that was it,

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you tied him up and got him off to hospital. Do we know how he did?

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Yes, I do.

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He turned out to be a relative of one of the staff

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that worked in the control room, and she was able to update me

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and told me that there was no neurological defect afterwards.

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-He survived the accident?

-He survived.

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Thanks to you guys digging him out of that tiny space.

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I can understand why you miss it. Nice to chat to you.

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-Thank you very much for that.

-Thank you.

-Louise.

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Let's go back to that dramatic plane crash.

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The pilot inside has serious injuries and urgently needs

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to get to hospital, but first, they have to get him out of the wreckage.

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In the cockpit of the crashed plane,

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Dr Rob Daws is preparing Brian, the injured pilot,

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so he can be safely moved from the wreckage.

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It's a very confined space.

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Brian's facial injuries are severe.

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Ambulance technician Emma Hedges is working alongside Rob

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through a smashed window.

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I was assisting him, drawing up fluid and drugs for him,

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making sure his obs were taken and writing them down.

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It's an hour since the crash,

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and only now is Brian's condition stable enough

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for him to be eased out on a long board.

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Rob has to be extra vigilant, as moving him can cause complications.

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The most worrying injuries for me were the maxillofacial injuries.

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These were bleeding quite a lot.

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When he's sitting, we can drain the blood quite easily.

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What was more worrying to me

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is that when you're lying down it drips into the mouth

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and into the airway, which can obstruct the airway.

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The medics and firefighters carefully move Brian from the wreckage.

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It was quite difficult to get him out

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because he'd been in a sitting position.

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It has to be done slowly so you don't aggravate any injuries

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or any internal bleeding - at that time, you don't know if there is any.

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-Are we able to move him across, out of the hazmat scene?

-Yes.

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Please, if we could, thank you.

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Brian's in extreme pain from his many injuries.

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As we got him out of the plane, he became more obviously in pain,

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groaning and moaning more.

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More injuries were coming to light as we took him out of the plane.

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MOANING

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They move him to a safer place to start a thorough examination.

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Before you strap him, can you get his clothes off, please?

0:19:450:19:49

-Legs as well, Alex?

-Trousers, everything off, please.

0:19:490:19:53

Chris, IV access kit, please.

0:19:530:19:56

There are three critical care doctors, as well as paramedics,

0:19:560:19:59

and other experts from the ambulance service.

0:19:590:20:02

The doctors there were reassessing his injuries,

0:20:020:20:05

like in his pelvis or his legs.

0:20:050:20:07

Also, at hospital, if they needed to go direct to theatre, he'd be ready.

0:20:070:20:11

With so many working at once it's important to know

0:20:110:20:14

what the others are doing.

0:20:140:20:16

Consultant nurse Bruce Armstrong takes the lead.

0:20:160:20:19

Priorities now.

0:20:190:20:21

Rob, his airway is fine.

0:20:210:20:23

His breathing is fine - Charles has listened to it.

0:20:230:20:25

OK, his chest is fine. Belly's soft.

0:20:250:20:29

Pelvis?

0:20:290:20:31

To add to Brian's trauma, he can't see anything.

0:20:310:20:34

His injured eyes have been bandaged.

0:20:340:20:37

In a bid to keep him calm, Emma keeps up a commentary

0:20:370:20:40

on all that's happening.

0:20:400:20:41

OK, there's someone pressing on your ankle now. Does that hurt?

0:20:410:20:45

Yes, that hurts. You're doing really, really well, Brian, OK?

0:20:450:20:49

You need to keep talking and reassuring him

0:20:490:20:52

that you are going to help him.

0:20:520:20:54

You want to get on top of his pain relief

0:20:540:20:56

because he's obviously in distress.

0:20:560:20:58

What we're doing now with the casualty is moving him

0:20:580:21:01

onto a scoop stretcher, to move him to the ambulance.

0:21:010:21:05

And they wrap him in a special blanket designed for the army

0:21:070:21:11

to keep the injured warm.

0:21:110:21:13

So far, Brian is responding well,

0:21:150:21:17

but he's sustained so much trauma that he could start deteriorating at any time.

0:21:170:21:21

He's got the journey to the hospital to get through,

0:21:210:21:24

so the doctors consider

0:21:240:21:26

whether they should anaesthetise him here and now.

0:21:260:21:29

I'll give them a ring

0:21:290:21:32

and have someone ready to do an RSI when you get there.

0:21:320:21:35

They've decided to take him as he is for now. If his condition get worse en route, they'll reconsider.

0:21:350:21:41

Rob and Emma will travel with him in the ambulance, monitoring his condition all the way to hospital.

0:21:440:21:49

It's now three hours since the crash.

0:21:510:21:53

Brian might be out of the plane, but he's still in a critical condition.

0:21:530:21:57

As we'll see later, it's not over yet.

0:21:570:21:59

Still to come on Real Rescues, the mobile ambulance control unit

0:21:590:22:03

that's sent out to plane crashes and major incidents.

0:22:030:22:06

These are pictures from its roof-mounted camera showing an emergency at Exeter airport.

0:22:060:22:10

A 50-seater plane is coming in to land with severe mechanical problems.

0:22:100:22:15

Here's a helmet-mounted camera showing the rescue of Gilly, the cat.

0:22:150:22:19

Hello, puss puss.

0:22:190:22:20

Good girl. Gilly...

0:22:200:22:24

It won't be too long before we all recognise 13-year-old Eddie Manning - hello, Eddie.

0:22:260:22:32

He's a rising star of the theatre, but on the eve

0:22:320:22:35

of his first major performance, he fell and injured himself. We witnessed his big break.

0:22:350:22:40

Sit forward, mate.

0:22:400:22:43

-Well done.

-That's it.

0:22:430:22:45

You've got it. Good lad. Yeah? Gas and air works all right, doesn't it?

0:22:450:22:50

All right, mate. Nice and easy.

0:22:500:22:53

Just have a little look.

0:22:530:22:54

It's nice and still, isn't it? It's not moving.

0:22:560:22:59

-You fell asleep on us for a while.

-Did I?

0:22:590:23:01

Yeah. No-one laughed, don't worry.

0:23:010:23:04

That's all right, isn't it?

0:23:060:23:08

Well, it was a serious break and Eddie was in plaster for six weeks.

0:23:080:23:12

That caused another problem - he'd been offered a part

0:23:120:23:15

in a major open-air production of Into The Woods,

0:23:150:23:18

but only if his cast was off in time.

0:23:180:23:20

Miraculously, he made it - just - and was able to take to the stage.

0:23:200:23:25

# All the curses have been ended The reverses wiped away

0:23:250:23:29

# All this tenderness and laughter Forever after... #

0:23:290:23:33

That was Eddie singing, and the news gets even better than that - the show recently won an Olivier Award.

0:23:330:23:38

Eddie, congratulations. You didn't get to go on stage, but what was it like when you won that award?

0:23:380:23:45

The cast were all at the back and we just went mental.

0:23:450:23:51

-Did you? Doing what?

-We jumped out of our seats and was just...

0:23:510:23:56

Absolutely brilliant for you.

0:23:560:23:58

Tell us about the cast, because it was quite close.

0:23:580:24:01

You only just made it into Into The Woods, didn't you?

0:24:010:24:03

Yeah, I had two weeks

0:24:030:24:06

before we were actually going on the set.

0:24:060:24:11

-So you practised in the cast, did you?

-Yes.

0:24:110:24:14

Did that make it more difficult? It must have done.

0:24:140:24:17

Yes, because on some bits we had to use both hands,

0:24:170:24:23

so I couldn't really move my arm properly.

0:24:230:24:27

I just wondered, can I get an autograph, please?

0:24:270:24:30

I've never met a West End star before, so can I have an autograph?

0:24:300:24:34

Just write on it "To Nick".

0:24:340:24:35

I'm going to interrupt you, if that's OK, Nick.

0:24:350:24:38

As long as he can do both at the same time.

0:24:380:24:41

It wasn't just in the West End, because it got broadcast in cinemas as well, didn't it?

0:24:410:24:46

He can't do both. Do you know what, Eddie?

0:24:460:24:49

You'll have to practise talking and writing!

0:24:490:24:52

-Thanks, sorry to interrupt.

-My goodness me!

0:24:520:24:55

Tell us about the party as well, because you went to a party

0:24:550:24:59

-after you got that award. Lots of big stars there.

-Mm-hmm.

0:24:590:25:02

Who did you recognise?

0:25:020:25:05

Patrick Stewart was there from Star Trek.

0:25:050:25:07

OK, did he recognise you?

0:25:070:25:10

He walked past us and then he walked back and said well done to me.

0:25:100:25:16

-How did that feel?

-Oh, it was brilliant.

0:25:160:25:19

-Your mum nearly cried, didn't she? Does she always cry?

-Yeah.

0:25:190:25:23

-Eddie, thank you. Lovely to meet you and good luck.

-Thank you.

0:25:230:25:26

"To Nick, from Eddie" - isn't that perfect?

0:25:260:25:31

He swapped one cast for another. Geddit?!

0:25:310:25:34

See what I did? Cast! All right, I'll move on.

0:25:340:25:36

Back to the pilot of the crashed Piper light aircraft.

0:25:380:25:41

He's seriously injured and paramedics had spent hours

0:25:410:25:43

stabilising him before delicately removing him from the wreckage.

0:25:430:25:47

Now the race is on to get him to hospital.

0:25:470:25:49

It's three hours since the crash and Brian is on his way to hospital.

0:25:490:25:53

He's been prepared so he can be taken straight into surgery.

0:25:530:25:57

-Have you got everything you need?

-Yeah.

0:25:570:25:59

-Let's get going.

-OK, Brian, we're making a move now.

0:25:590:26:02

It's important to reassure Brian. He can't see and he's in a lot of pain, so Emma and Rob keep talking to him.

0:26:020:26:10

-What happened? Did the engine just cut out?

-Mm.

-Oh dear, OK.

0:26:100:26:13

-Have you been flying for a long time?

-(Years.)

-Years?

0:26:130:26:17

-Is this your first crash?

-Yeah.

0:26:170:26:19

-You did it in spectacular fashion, my darling.

-And you survived.

0:26:190:26:23

You survived, which is the big thing.

0:26:230:26:26

When you've been involved in a big catastrophic injury or incident,

0:26:260:26:30

obviously you're very emotional and want to know that you're OK,

0:26:300:26:34

that you haven't lost any limbs and so forth.

0:26:340:26:37

It's important to keep reassuring the guys, so that's just something I've done over the years, really.

0:26:370:26:42

From talking to the casualties later, they really hang on to that emotional support, that reassurance.

0:26:420:26:49

Another 20 milligrams of ketamine.

0:26:490:26:52

Rob administers powerful painkillers at regular intervals.

0:26:520:26:56

He coped really well. He wasn't panicking or making too much fuss, he was moaning

0:26:560:27:00

only because he was in pain and he coped really well with it.

0:27:000:27:03

-Are you warm enough, Brian?

-Mm.

-Good.

0:27:030:27:06

They've made it to the hospital.

0:27:110:27:13

-Brian, we're here now, mate. You're going to be fine.

-Rob hands over to the trauma unit.

0:27:130:27:18

He's a 74-year-old guy and main cause of his injuries is...

0:27:180:27:22

He was a pilot of a light aircraft, his engine has stalled

0:27:220:27:25

and he's gone into the back garden of a house in Tottenham.

0:27:250:27:28

He was trapped for about an hour and 30 minutes.

0:27:280:27:31

His main injuries are he's got an eyeball injury to his right,

0:27:310:27:36

with exophthalmos of his right, he's got a laceration to his lower jaw,

0:27:360:27:41

just on his chin which is bleeding quite profusely.

0:27:410:27:45

He has a fractured right wrist, a probable fractured right ankle,

0:27:450:27:48

and a probable fractured pelvis. He's maintained his airway throughout.

0:27:480:27:52

No external haemorrhage, no catastrophic haemorrhage.

0:27:520:27:55

D has been GCS 15 throughout.

0:27:550:27:58

It won't be long before Brian is in surgery.

0:27:580:28:01

He'll now get all the attention he needs to help him recover

0:28:010:28:03

from his terrible injuries.

0:28:030:28:05

Both he and the passengers survived the air crash.

0:28:050:28:09

For the emergency teams,

0:28:090:28:12

it's been a challenging call-out and one of the most unusual.

0:28:120:28:16

Nice that they both survived, yeah.

0:28:160:28:19

It's probably the trickiest job I've done, one of the most surreal jobs I've done.

0:28:190:28:23

Just because you have to think on your feet.

0:28:230:28:26

It's not something you've done before and you're trying to remember your basic training

0:28:260:28:30

and get everything done in the right order, and do your best for the patient.

0:28:300:28:35

So how did Brian survive all of that? Well, he's here and he can tell us for himself.

0:28:350:28:40

How lovely to see you stood here, given the list of - I mean,

0:28:400:28:44

when they were going through what was wrong with you when they took you in...

0:28:440:28:49

-Yes, hmm.

-When did you realise how serious it was?

0:28:490:28:51

You must have known it was life-threatening.

0:28:510:28:53

Not really. It was a bit of a dream.

0:28:530:28:56

I knew I was hurt because I knew I couldn't see,

0:28:560:29:01

but it didn't actually hurt very much.

0:29:010:29:04

I think shock had taken over or whatever.

0:29:040:29:06

There was no real pain going on.

0:29:060:29:09

We've got a small list of what was wrong - give me your facial injuries to begin with.

0:29:090:29:13

Facial injuries - both eyes got pushed back into the brain or into that space.

0:29:130:29:18

The right eye burst completely - it split and stuff came out.

0:29:180:29:22

The jaw was in five pieces so they had to take all the bottom teeth out

0:29:220:29:28

to plate it up and put it back together. Broken wrist...

0:29:280:29:32

-Eye sockets were broken as well.

-Yes, they had to rebuild those on both sides.

0:29:320:29:38

For this, they did actually cut the top of my head off, lift the brain out and put the eyes...

0:29:380:29:42

-They did not!

-Seriously, yes.

-Really?

-Yes.

0:29:420:29:46

They explained all this, what they were going to do at the time, to me,

0:29:460:29:50

for my permission. I said, as far as I'm concerned, you can do what you like. You're the experts!

0:29:500:29:57

It's astounding that you're stood here talking to me so soon afterwards.

0:29:570:30:01

It's not, it's seven months coming up so it's a long time.

0:30:010:30:05

I'm sure a very long time for you. The extraordinary thing,

0:30:050:30:08

was whilst we were recording the last series was when the accident happened so we were aware.

0:30:080:30:13

Watching all the emergency crews in the ambulance rooms going to work was astounding for us.

0:30:130:30:18

For you to have those people working around you in such a tight space must have been incredible.

0:30:180:30:23

I didn't realise at the time how many people were there.

0:30:230:30:27

I can remember talking to people, when they came along and said, "Are the electrics switched off?"

0:30:270:30:33

"No, but I'll do it." So I switched off the electrics.

0:30:330:30:37

How did you do that? You were blind at that stage.

0:30:370:30:39

When you fly, you tend to get to know where everything is simply by feel.

0:30:390:30:44

I know the switch is down here for the electrics, I know the magneto switch is over there.

0:30:440:30:50

-So you managed to do that even though you couldn't see out of either eye at that stage?

-Mm.

0:30:500:30:55

-The person in the other seat.

-Yeah, my passenger.

-He was an old friend of yours.

0:30:550:31:00

Yes, he was. I've known him for 60-some years.

0:31:000:31:03

You'd been talking him into going for a flight for how long?

0:31:030:31:06

-17 years.

-And how many flights had he been on before that?

0:31:060:31:09

-He'd never been for a flight with me.

-And he didn't want to go because...

0:31:090:31:14

No, he lives in Scotland. This is the problem. He lived in Scotland.

0:31:140:31:18

We were never together where aeroplanes are for a long time.

0:31:180:31:22

Right. So you went up there and he was badly injured as well.

0:31:220:31:28

He was injured, yes.

0:31:280:31:30

He had a broken nose, broken ribs, cracked vertebrae, yeah.

0:31:300:31:35

-Is he still talking to you?

-Oh, yes, we're still very friendly. I spoke to him at the weekend.

0:31:350:31:41

The other thing is the damage to the house. We can show you some pictures here.

0:31:410:31:44

-This is the lady's house who you bumped into.

-Yes.

0:31:440:31:48

-And left something of a hole in her roof.

-Yes.

-Did you manage to have a word with her?

0:31:480:31:52

Yes. In fact, I met her for the first time today.

0:31:520:31:55

-But you rang her.

-I rang her while I was still in hospital.

-To say?

-To say sorry.

0:31:550:32:02

Effectively, yeah.

0:32:020:32:03

Oh, yes.

0:32:030:32:05

I don't suppose you'll be wanting to go flying again, will you?

0:32:050:32:08

-I'd love to fly. I'd be up there today if I could.

-Really?

0:32:080:32:11

Really. Oh, yeah. Look, it's the freedom.

0:32:110:32:14

It's just a great way to enjoy yourself.

0:32:140:32:18

-What caused the crash?

-The engine stopped.

0:32:180:32:20

We never know... Nobody knows, to this day, why the engine stopped.

0:32:200:32:26

-And you still want to try it again?

-Absolutely.

0:32:260:32:28

I think you're a marvel, medically, though I think you're mad to want to do it again.

0:32:280:32:33

That's been said before, yeah!

0:32:330:32:35

-Fantastic to meet you and thank you very much for coming in.

-Thank you.

0:32:350:32:38

Lovely to see you looking so well.

0:32:380:32:40

I cant believe he wants to go back. Let's talk to Erica.

0:32:400:32:43

-Are you OK? You're not on a call, are you?

-No, it's OK.

0:32:430:32:46

About an elderly lady who was on holiday here and she'd had a fall. Where had she had it, though?

0:32:460:32:50

She had a fall in the forest at Matchams.

0:32:500:32:53

She was down here on her own and she'd taken her two dogs

0:32:530:32:56

for a walk in the forest.

0:32:560:32:57

It was just starting to get dark and she fell over and broke her leg.

0:32:570:33:02

And she didn't know where she was,

0:33:020:33:04

but luckily we found her by tracing her through pylons

0:33:040:33:07

and what part of the forest and lay-bys.

0:33:070:33:09

Right.

0:33:090:33:11

So we were trying to deal with her and she said she had two dogs with her

0:33:110:33:15

and she didn't want to leave them.

0:33:150:33:17

-So, I'm a bit of an animal lover.

-You are a dog lover, are you?

-Yeah, definitely.

0:33:170:33:21

-So you were immediately concerned about them as well as her?

-Yeah, definitely.

0:33:210:33:25

I tried to trace dogs' homes and other people

0:33:250:33:28

to see if they could take the dogs on and look after them, but nobody would.

0:33:280:33:33

So we were told to leave the dogs in the car for the night

0:33:330:33:36

in the lay-by and she could collect them the next morning if she was well.

0:33:360:33:39

-So I had other plans.

-Did you? What did you do?

0:33:390:33:42

My parents lived up the road,

0:33:420:33:44

so I asked my mum to come down and get the dogs.

0:33:440:33:47

She did, and while she was there the lady said,

0:33:470:33:50

"I really don't want to leave my car here either, can you take that?"

0:33:500:33:55

Dad came down, picked up the car, took the dogs and the car back to their house.

0:33:550:34:00

This is what I would say is beyond the call of duty, isn't it?

0:34:000:34:03

It's not what we usually do.

0:34:030:34:05

It was a few years ago, so it was a bit quieter then.

0:34:050:34:08

But at the time, I thought, "I can't do this, I cant leave the dogs in the car overnight."

0:34:080:34:14

And do you often call your mum and dad and ask them to do favours like that?

0:34:140:34:18

-No. It was a one-off.

-And how long did they look after the dogs for?

0:34:180:34:21

It was only for 24 hours, then a family member came and picked everything up.

0:34:210:34:27

But it meant that she could relax a bit while she was going to hospital.

0:34:270:34:30

The other thing is, if you're injured, you still worry

0:34:300:34:33

-about your loved ones, your dogs, don't you?

-Exactly, yeah.

0:34:330:34:36

She was happy, I was happy.

0:34:360:34:38

But it's not something we usually do, I must say.

0:34:380:34:41

People shouldn't expect to be able to call up, should they?

0:34:410:34:43

-No, definitely not.

-Erica, thank you very much.

-That's OK.

0:34:430:34:46

Nick, where are you?

0:34:460:34:48

I'm in another emergency control room,

0:34:480:34:50

only this one's mobile and can be sent to the scene of major incidents.

0:34:500:34:57

It still co-ordinates the emergency operation but can do so on the ground.

0:34:570:35:00

And this camera looking down on me is just one of the gadgets on board.

0:35:000:35:04

Come and have a chat to Tony Savill, who can tell us more about it.

0:35:040:35:09

Tony, why do you need a mobile truck like this to go to an incident?

0:35:090:35:13

It allows us to have eyes on the ground so we are able to be there,

0:35:130:35:17

co-ordinate what's going on at the scene and see

0:35:170:35:20

exactly what's going on.

0:35:200:35:21

There's more than one camera. This is the one you put on the incident commander, is that right?

0:35:210:35:26

-Absolutely.

-So you get his view.

0:35:260:35:28

If you look at the screen, his view is the one on the right.

0:35:280:35:31

And the one on the top of the truck is the one on the left.

0:35:310:35:34

There are so many different emergency services there,

0:35:340:35:37

-so having a control room like this actually does the job for you.

-Absolutely.

0:35:370:35:40

-Take us through this incident. This is one that you attended at Exeter airport.

-In Exeter airport, yes.

0:35:400:35:46

We had reports coming in of a plane coming in with undercarriage problems,

0:35:460:35:49

but it was quite a large plane and we had some notice,

0:35:490:35:52

so we made the decision to deploy the vehicle in advance.

0:35:520:35:55

Let us have a look and see how it progresses.

0:35:550:35:57

We gave our incident commander the headset, got everything ready

0:36:000:36:03

and got in.

0:36:030:36:05

We were there while he was circling to get rid of fuel

0:36:050:36:08

to make it safe to land, and eventually he comes in.

0:36:080:36:12

We're looking on the right because that's the incident commander on the bus.

0:36:120:36:16

What's the bus for?

0:36:160:36:17

It was there to take the other emergency services

0:36:170:36:20

and airport staff to the scene of the incident.

0:36:200:36:24

As you can see, the plane's just coming in here now.

0:36:240:36:28

-And there how many people on board?

-50 people on board that plane.

0:36:280:36:32

-You can see one of the tyres has gone on the left-hand side.

-Yeah.

0:36:320:36:35

-So the pilot did an amazing job of getting that down.

-Completely.

0:36:350:36:39

It was a difficult landing, I would imagine.

0:36:390:36:42

However, if that had crashed, and that was the worry,

0:36:420:36:44

you've got a plane with 50 people on board skewing across the runway,

0:36:440:36:49

which is why you had so many people there.

0:36:490:36:51

Absolutely. We were there in advance, ready for it to happen.

0:36:510:36:54

Everybody was pre-deployed, so if the worst had occurred

0:36:540:36:57

we'd be in a position to deal with it.

0:36:570:36:59

Why is this of use? I can see you're filming here, great for training purposes,

0:36:590:37:03

but in terms of a live feed back to the command centre, how does that help you?

0:37:030:37:06

It allows commanders who are looking after the incident,

0:37:060:37:09

as well as the other counties that we deal with,

0:37:090:37:12

to have a view of what's going on. If you can see it,

0:37:120:37:15

it's much easier than reading it on the screen.

0:37:150:37:17

-How important is this kit for you?

-Very important indeed.

0:37:170:37:20

Smashing. Thanks very much, Tony.

0:37:200:37:22

It's an old stereotype that firefighters spend their time

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rescuing cats up trees and on high roofs,

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but is it really a good use of their time?

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The problem is owners will go to any lengths to save

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their much-loved pets, whatever the risk.

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A professional rescue ensures everyone stays safe.

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This black cat is going nowhere. She's climbed as far as she can.

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It's at least 30 feet down and this animal's clearly in no mood

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to attempt a descent.

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It's a job for the fire service.

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How are you doing, fella?

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-In charge is animal-rescue specialist, Buster Brown.

-Come and have a look.

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Judging by its neck attire, this cat is not any old stray.

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In fact, she's a much-loved pet

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and has been the subject of a missing-moggy campaign.

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Her owner, Andrea, was delighted to find it had worked.

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I got a phone call from a neighbour down the road -

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she's about 20 houses down - saying that they

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could see a cat from their bedroom window.

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They got their binoculars out and they thought, "Oh, it's a cat."

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I didn't know what to do. I automatically thought, "I can't get up there."

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Luckily, it's being left to the professionals.

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If it's been up there that length of time, it's really not going to make its way down

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without some assistance.

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The reason we are going up there

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is because members of the public will put themselves at risk,

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climbing the roof themselves.

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On this particular pitch here, it would be quite easy for someone to climb up onto the wall

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then onto the garage roof and try to stretch up and climb up the tiles unaided.

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By us removing the cat, it takes away the risk that they might endanger themselves.

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I was amazed.

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I was laughing at one stage for the sake of,

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"I can't believe it's my cat."

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For the sake of sheer shock that, "That's my cat on that roof."

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This is potentially very dangerous work.

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I'm going to climb up the ladder

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wearing this harness,

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and I'll clip this onto the ladder that I'm on

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and I'll stay on the ladder or on the ridge of the roof so that basically I've actually got

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some method of securing me to something tangible.

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Should I slip, I'm not going to fall off the roof.

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A bit more, fella.

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First, they have to clear the drive to get the ladders in place.

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That's great. Well done, mate.

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Gill the cat has remained pretty much rooted to the spot.

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She barely turns a hair when the ladders are put up.

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I think it will come to me quite easily.

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Hello.

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Buster needs a good head for heights.

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30 feet may not sound very far but this is what it looks like.

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Puss, puss.

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Come on. Come on.

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Good girl.

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Gill senses that this is the only route to safety,

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making Buster's work a little easier.

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Yeah, hello. Oh, mate.

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You're beautiful.

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However, putting a cat in a basket 30 feet up is potentially stomach-churning.

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Tried and practised, tried and practised.

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He's done it.

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Gill is in the basket and on her way down to earth,

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straight back to an RSPCA inspector who hands her over to Andrea

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and her family.

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I was so pleased to have her back down. It was amazing.

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She's a lovely cat and I couldn't live without her.

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Everyone comes round to see Gill more than to see me.

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It's lovely to have her home.

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And Gill, it seems, is happy to leave the high life behind.

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She's quite homely now.

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Whether it's down to the weather or whether it is down to

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her incident, she's a cat that wants to stay home.

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Honestly, that answers a question that I've often had,

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which is, when you look at these units - I love animals and don't want to see them come to any harm -

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but is it worth all that money to send people out do this?

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It is if somebody's going to follow them and fall out of the tree.

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Would you follow your cat up onto the roof to try and rescue it?

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-Oh, I... I don't... Maybe.

-Yes, you probably would.

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There would be an ambulance at the bottom to get you back.

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-Maybe I wouldn't now.

-Have you learned anything today?

-I didn't know that triage...

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what it meant... I didn't know it meant sorting.

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Yes, it's a posh word. If you're told, "I'm going to sort you," you're not happy.

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But "You're going to see the triage." "I'm happy, thanks."

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-That's all for today. Join us next time for more Real Rescues. See you then.

-See you.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:280:42:31

E-mail [email protected]

0:42:310:42:34

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.

This episode sees the multi-service rescue of a badly injured pilot who has crashed his plane into a house and suburban garden, and the reason why firemen rescue cats from roofs and trees is revealed.