Episode 4 Real Rescues


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Episode 4

Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin present dramatic events from the work of the emergency services. An explosion destroys a shop, trapping residents and threatening a row of houses.


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Today on Real Rescues, a fire's raging in a grocers shop. The front has been blown out by an explosion

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and there are people in the flat upstairs.

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It was like a bomb blast. When I came out from my room, there was smoke, I can't see nothing.

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And a night out by the sea goes dramatically wrong

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when a man falls head first between a wall and a beach-hut.

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Today we are at the South Western Ambulance Control Centre.

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They've got a fleet of over 500 emergency vehicles at their disposal

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and the team here are trained to deal with every sort of medical emergency.

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Recently some of the team handled a major incident

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after an open-topped double-decker bus overturned with more than 30 people on board.

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We'll be hearing more about that later on.

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Now, the unpredictable nature of fire means that crews never know exactly what they are rushing into.

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In this rescue, firefighters are called to a fierce fire at a shop in a terrace.

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There's been an explosion and it's not just the people living upstairs who are at risk.

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'5am, Southampton city centre.

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ALARM BLARES

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'White Watch are out on call.

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'There's a fire in a shop.

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'So serious, they're sending two crews.

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'It's just round the back of their station. They get there in just three minutes.

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'The flames have engulfed the ground floor.

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'The shop had been locked up, but now the entire shuttered front is detached and flat on the ground.

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'It's making it easier for the firefighters to tackle the flames.

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'Just as well. People do live in the flat upstairs.

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'Paul Harcourt is in breathing apparatus and gets up very close.

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'Standing on the shop front, he can aim the jet straight at the flames.

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'350 litres of water a minute comes out of a jet.

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'It will empty the fire engine quickly.

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'Luckily, they can access a high-pressure mains supply nearby.

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'Alex Snook joins Paul with another jet.

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'It's like having two water cannons and they soon start to knock back the flames.'

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'Right, come on, people!

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'Watch manager Shaun Cheeseman needs to get a crew upstairs as soon as possible.

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'The flat has two tenants and they may be trapped.'

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I spoke to a neighbour who was stood adjacent to the property

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and asked him if there was anyone upstairs and he couldn't be sure.

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So I committed another crew to look for persons.

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'Matt Broomby and Will Brierton have no idea what they might be facing upstairs.

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'With breathing apparatus and a hose, they navigate the dark, smoke-filled stairs

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'up the side of the burning shop.

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'Their colleagues Paul and Alex venture inside the shop now the flames have been knocked back.'

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The first crew had to deal with a lot of congestion.

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This was a food type shop

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which was crammed to the rafters with stuff in the aisles

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and cages that are normally out during the day and dragged in at night time,

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so they had a lot of stuff to wade through. In a common shop,

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you're going to get aerosol cans and things like that, so they're working in very arduous conditions.

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Hoses are always getting stuck somewhere or other

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so you need extra crews to actually help them pull the hose through the building.

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'The team in the flat open the windows to get rid of the thick black smoke.

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'They'll search every part of the building for anyone who may be trapped.'

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It was a very unstable area. All the crews were made aware

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that some of the floor spaces had been weakened

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and in some areas holes had appeared.

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There was still a necessity to search around the rest of the building.

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We will look everywhere that a person could potentially hide.

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Particularly with children, they may hide under a bed or in a cupboard and hope the problem goes away.

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Unfortunately, it doesn't, and so we have to be mindful of where they might hide.

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-Have we got anything from upstairs yet?

-No.

-Can you try and locate the team upstairs?

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'Shaun's also worried about the houses along the road.

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'This is a terrace. The gases could've spread along the roof space.'

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Get a short extension ladder, up into the loft space.

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-I'll check that and get back to you.

-Yeah? All right.

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'Neighbours have been evacuated from their homes but a tiny baby has had a narrow escape

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'after smoke travelled along the roof and down into a bedroom.'

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A neighbour came out two doors up from the premise who said that their young baby was coughing.

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It was only about three months old. They had smoke in their premise.

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The young baby was taken to the ambulance and was suffering from smoke inhalation.

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'The baby's being given oxygen and is recovering well.

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'Shaun's found out how the smoke managed to travel so far.'

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Although this is all terraced premises,

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there was no separation in the loft space itself. It was just one big open space.

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Unfortunately, that would allow smoke travel, or even fire travel if it got up there, into other premises.

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'They're still waiting to hear no-one is trapped upstairs.

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'At last, Matt and Will emerge from the building.'

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-There's definitely nobody in there?

-'It's good news.'

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There's a flat with a couple of locked doors, but there are no casualties.

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So we've opened a few windows to ventilate and that was our role.

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'The firefighters can now concentrate on finding out what caused the fire

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'and what blasted off the shop front.'

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They're just hitting a few damp spots and I'm looking shortly to get lighting and a fan in there

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so we can actually start to look at the investigation side of things.

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We've got Fire Investigation en route as we speak.

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'All the indications are it was started deliberately.

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'But at this point, the firefighters are unaware that the upstairs tenants

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'and the crews have had a very narrow escape.'

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Later we'll find out just what caused such a massive explosion.

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-Before that, I want to talk to Erica. Are you OK to chat?

-Yep.

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About a little boy who had an accident on his scooter. What happened?

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I think he must have been on his way to school

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and Mum phoned to say that

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a car had come really fast down the road

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and hit her little boy.

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And the car had disappeared, so hit and run accident.

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So we get into the call and she's giving us all the details

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and the little boy's crying in the background. We thought he'd been hurt seriously.

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And it turns out he was more upset about his scooter being mown over

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than he was about his foot injury. SHE LAUGHS

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Does that happen often, that people are more concerned about... Dogs we were talking about before.

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It does happen occasionally. And when you hear it, you feel like you want to go and buy him a new scooter

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-or whatever the incident is, but obviously we can't do that.

-Not on every case!

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Yeah, it's really sad when something like that happens.

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-I think he'd had it for his birthday and it was his first run out on the way to school.

-Oh, was he OK?

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He was fine, yeah. He was taken to hospital for a check-up.

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-But the scooter was totally ruined.

-What a shame. Nick.

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It was a Friday night when Tom and his mates went out on the town in Lyme Regis.

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They wanted to get to one last pub before closing.

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So they took a diversion - over the top of a row of beach huts.

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That's when it went horribly wrong.

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Tom fell, ending up wedged head-first between a beach hut and the beach wall.

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He's in real trouble. His friend Max made this 999 call.

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HE WEEPS

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Max is clearly shaken.

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He has realised he needs to do something to help Tom breathe.

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He hands the phone to his friend Joe who continues the call.

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Joe goes to find the rapid response vehicle

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and hands the phone back to Max, who by now has regained his composure.

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And the voice you're hearing there is Ali Keay who's a call handler.

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He sort of went into... Oddly, he became more frightened as he got into it.

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-You have a term for that.

-Yeah, we call it a refreak.

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It's when somebody who's removed themselves from the scene

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who then goes back to the situation,

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sees it all again and it just sets them off into a panic again.

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-And this is a regular occurrence?

-It can happen, yes.

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Why do you think it was happening? Why do you think he lost the plot at that stage?

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It's his best friend he's seen in such a state.

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So it's his best friend and knows he needs to help him

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and seeing his friend in such a mess, it just set him off again.

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So you can understand it, but by the same token, you've got to get him to start working on his friend,

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so you're very firm with him and you said, "If you can't do this, give the phone to somebody who can".

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It's advisable to find out if there is somebody else there that can help.

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If somebody is panicking that much, find out if somebody else can help.

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OK. Well, let's introduce you to...

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Would you like to come in and introduce yourself? Come and join in.

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-You sounded terrified.

-I was. Absolutely petrified.

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You just don't think something like this will happen to you.

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Yeah. This is Max, by the way, who was making the call. This is who you heard having a "refreak".

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Yeah, it was. As I said, you just...

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It was a night out, it was all going perfectly well, laughing, chatting

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and just a freak incident like this and before you know it,

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it's a complete catastrophe.

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I think I overheard you saying, "He's dying".

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You were convinced he was dying or dead.

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Absolutely. He wasn't breathing so as far as I was concerned, he was dead.

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It was either instant death or if we could manage to get him breathing,

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then it could've been brain injury, he could've been paralysed.

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-You just don't know.

-You just signalled towards him there.

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Let's get Tom in here to come and say hello. Tom, not the best idea you ever had

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to jump across the roofs of these beach huts.

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-How much do you remember of the accident itself?

-Er, nothing, really.

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-Nothing at all?

-I remember leaving the pub, er, briefly,

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sort of vague memories, and then waking up in hospital two days later

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and not knowing where I was and not knowing what had happened.

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Do you know it took eight men to move that beach hut to get you out?

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Yeah. Stupid place to fall really, isn't it?

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Yeah. How was it then, trying to get eight people to...

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Well, that's the thing.

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When I realised that he'd fallen off the beach hut, it was actually getting to him.

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The space was so small, you could only get one person in there at a time,

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so as soon as the first response turned up,

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there was only one paramedic that could get there.

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So it was only when the fire service turned up

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and some guys helped us move the hut,

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then we could organise more of a team to work on Tom.

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-You must have been very pleased when you saw the RAF helicopter turn up to take him away.

-Yeah.

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-It's like international rescue when all of these emergency services come.

-Yeah, it's fantastic.

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-The first response were there within four minutes, which is incredible.

-How was Ali with you on the phone?

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-You were listening back to it there.

-Yeah, listening back, going through my mind was,

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"He's dead. What's happened? This is horrendous. How will I tell him mum?"

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And trying to portray this to Ali, who's trying to assess the situation

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and me being so distressed.

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Ali was doing an absolutely fantastic job of pulling me together.

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Yeah, absolutely fantastic job.

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And very nice for you. You said earlier, it's nice to find out what's happened.

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That's right, because a lot of the time, we just get the initial contact with the casualty,

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so it's been really good for me to actually get some closure and find out how well Tom is doing now.

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-A full recovery. Fantastic.

-Aw, that's really lovely.

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Thank you very much for coming in.

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Why don't you just walk along the seafront in future, after you've had a couple of pints.

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-We're going for a pint this Friday if you want to join us.

-I might skip that. Thanks for the invite

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-and take it easy in future, all right, lads?

-Cheers.

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Still to come on Real Rescues, a real DIY SOS.

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Steve was working on his conservatory

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when he fell off a ladder and may have broken his back.

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Now he needs emergency treatment, it's a job for critical care specialist Dr Paul Rees.

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-With the problems you've had in your back before, have you ever had altered sensation?

-Yes.

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I suffer almost constantly from pins and needles in my legs.

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And the fire service warn about the hidden explosives

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in everyone's home that can blow off parts of a house.

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Now back to that big fire. We saw the fire crews tackle the flames in that grocers shop earlier.

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But smoke has spread through the roof space of the entire terrace.

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'The fire is finally out.'

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It would be an idea if you could start using that fan and see if you can clear some smoke.

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'Neighbours evacuated from their homes look on in disbelief

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'at the burnt-out remains of their local store.

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'And for one man in particular, the owner Zulfriquar Ali,

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'it's a distressing sight.'

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Very shock. Very bed shock.

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Very sad. Not just sad, very, very sad.

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'It was a fierce fire in a densely-populated area.

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'Watch manager Shaun Cheeseman now turns his attention to finding out how it started.

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'Out of sight, at the back of the shop, he makes a sinister discovery.'

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-The windows on the ground floor...

-Down that right-hand side?

-Yeah. We didn't open them.

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The windows and doors were smashed in at the back.

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'There are signs of a break-in, but it's the state of the shop front

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'which leads them to draw the most terrifying conclusions.'

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-This shutter was fully attached to that wall before the fire.

-Yep.

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-It's not burnt it off, cos where's the smoke on the inside?

-No.

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-There's no fire damage whatsoever.

-It was blown out.

-Be glad it happened before we got here.

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'The fact that there's no fire damage means the entire shop front

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'must have been blown out by a explosion.

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'If the fire crews had got there any earlier, they would've been caught in it.

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'The force of the blast blew open windows

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'and popped loft hatches, allowing smoke to travel to other houses.

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'It must have been an almighty bang.

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'And incredibly, two men have escaped with their lives.

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'It turns out they were upstairs when it happened.'

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Matey over there, he jumped out of the back window on the first floor.

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And then all of a sudden, he's turned up.

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'Both men are being treated for minor injuries by the ambulance crew.'

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-You were upstairs, weren't you?

-Yeah.

-OK.

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-Was there an explosion?

-Yeah, when we were asleep, that happened.

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-That's why we came out. Like a bomb blast.

-OK.

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'He's confirmed the explosion.

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'Ali had been out clubbing until 4am

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'and had only been asleep an hour when he was violently woken.'

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It was like a bomb blast.

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When I came out from my room, there was smoke, I can't see nothing.

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I was really scared. I came out, there was this big fire

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and I burned my hand a little bit.

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Now I'm OK, but it was scary.

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'It was a close call for Ali and his friend.

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'They could so easily have been overcome by the fumes.'

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One of them, who had some burns to his right forearm,

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he was awoken by a large bang.

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He came downstairs to find the shop on fire

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but he couldn't actually get out of the front door

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because he had some push bikes and things in the hallway.

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Now, he started to move these push bikes out of the way and while he was doing that,

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the fire that was coming out of the front of the shop impinged on him and burnt his arm.

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Luckily for him, that was all the damage he got and got away from the fire.

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Another chap also was upstairs,

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but this chap actually climbed out of the back window, along a roof and jumped off the roof,

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subsequently hurting his back and twisting his ankle.

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'This fire could easily have taken two lives, if not more.

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'As they sift through the charred remains,

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'they build up more of a picture and discover exactly what caused the explosion.'

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There's a gas cooker at the back there

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and there's parts of it strewn over about a ten-foot area.

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One theory is that it was broken into from the rear of the shop,

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small fires set right at the front of the shop

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where we originally saw the flames coming out,

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and on their retreat, they then turned on a gas cooker.

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And obviously, once the gas ignited, it would've caused the explosion.

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'The police and fire services will continue to gather as much evidence as they can.

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-'White Watch can now get back to base.'

-It has now become a crime scene.

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Our Fire Investigation Officer's now turned up. He's happy for it to stay as it is,

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under police guard, until it gets light, so they can see what they're doing. It will continue at daybreak.

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That explosion was caused by gas, but firefighters regularly attend explosions caused by these,

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everyday items we all have in our homes.

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Something as small as this can do a lot of harm and damage when it's put near heat.

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-Can't we, Ian?

-Certainly can.

-You were called to a fire at a flat which was caused by an aerosol.

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Yeah, an air freshener which the chap was using in his lounge.

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He went and put it in his kitchen and put it next to his cooker

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where he was cooking some supper.

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He put it too close to the cooker and the heat made the aerosol can explode.

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-Causing a serious amount of damage.

-Yeah, a lot of damage.

-We've got pictures of it.

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-It blew out the kitchen?

-Yeah, blew out the windows of the property.

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In confined spaces, it can do a lot of damage.

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And we've got lots of these in our houses.

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I wouldn't necessarily think about an aerosol can being really dangerous.

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I guess, on average, we have about 27 of those in everybody's house,

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so that's a lot of aerosols. Shaving foam, air fresheners, oven cleaner, there's lots of aerosols.

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And we did a little bit of an experiment with something a bit like this, a bathroom cleaner.

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And we put it in a fire and it had quite a result.

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Yeah, as you can see, the pressure's raised inside the can as a result of the fire

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and it's gone bang. That's in the open, so it wasn't very dramatic.

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But in a confined space, that would be much worse.

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It's when you spray it, too. You've got a story about man who was trying to get rid of a spider.

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Yeah. They're flammable, there's flammables inside the can,

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-so when you spray them, you've got to be careful.

-What had he done?

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His partner had seen a spider and got scared and called him over.

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He went in his bathroom with the insect killer aerosol can,

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sprayed the spider and he thought, "I wonder if it's dead yet" and he couldn't quite see...

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-And he couldn't turn on the light.

-I guess not!

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He got out a lighter to have a look behind the toilet and it went bang.

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-And he was quite seriously hurt.

-He had some flash burns.

0:21:520:21:55

He was quite lucky, it could've been a lot worse. It's just common sense.

0:21:550:21:58

Be aware, the fumes from these are flammable.

0:21:580:22:01

-And when you spray spiders, don't light flames afterwards.

-Or let them live and they'll kill flies.

0:22:010:22:06

Good idea! Let them live. That'd be a really nice idea.

0:22:060:22:10

Sorry to interrupt. I was just listening to what you were saying.

0:22:100:22:14

It occurs to me, therefore, that if these things are in the home

0:22:140:22:17

and they're by cookers and things, when you go into a house fire,

0:22:170:22:20

are you not worried that one of these is going to go bang next to your head in a kitchen or bathroom?

0:22:200:22:25

It is a concern for firefighters that there are aerosols in the property.

0:22:250:22:29

It's nice to know when we turn up, if the occupiers are aware of where aerosols are, if they let us know.

0:22:290:22:34

If you said, "Is there anything dangerous or explosive in there?" I wouldn't think of those.

0:22:340:22:39

I will now. Now you've told me. I'm going to be changing things when I get home.

0:22:390:22:43

-Ian, thank you.

-Extraordinary. OK, thank you very much.

0:22:430:22:46

Now, home accidents like that account for the biggest number of calls into control rooms like this.

0:22:460:22:52

In the next rescue, the ambulance crew are so worried about a man

0:22:520:22:55

who's fallen whilst cleaning his conservatory, they've called in extra help.

0:22:550:22:59

'Critical care doctor Paul Rees and paramedic Adrian Greaves

0:23:060:23:10

'have been called by an ambulance crew to an accident in a garden.

0:23:100:23:13

'A man has fallen onto decking. He's in terrible pain and can't move.

0:23:130:23:18

'They fear he may have broken his pelvis, a potentially life-threatening injury.'

0:23:200:23:25

I'll just go here, actually.

0:23:250:23:27

Slightly unorthodox parking arrangement, but there we go.

0:23:270:23:30

'Round the back of the house sprawled on the deck is Steven.

0:23:340:23:37

'He's been unable to move since he fell six foot from a ladder platform.'

0:23:370:23:42

He was on that. He slipped because it's wet.

0:23:420:23:46

He's landed on his bum, gone down, been in this position for up to half an hour now.

0:23:460:23:51

-He's got altered sensation starting from these regions.

-OK.

0:23:510:23:55

He said one feels heavy, the other feels light, down to the legs.

0:23:550:24:00

-His abdo is tender and pelvis on the right side.

-OK.

0:24:000:24:05

'Steven has a history of serious back injuries,

0:24:050:24:08

'including a fractured vertebra and two collapsed discs.

0:24:080:24:12

'He knows all about chronic pain at the base of the spine

0:24:130:24:16

'and that's the exact spot which has taken the brunt of this fall.'

0:24:160:24:20

-Can you feel me touch you here?

-I can feel pressure, not much sensation.

0:24:200:24:25

OK. Squeeze my fingers. That's good, OK.

0:24:250:24:27

And move your fingers the other side for me. OK, fine.

0:24:270:24:30

-With the problems you've had in the back before, have you ever had altered sensation?

-Yes.

0:24:300:24:35

-I suffer almost constantly from pins and needles in my arms and legs.

-OK.

0:24:350:24:38

I don't think that means anything sinister this time necessarily.

0:24:380:24:42

-It's just one of those things.

-Yeah, OK.

-I'm used to it.

0:24:420:24:45

'Paul's priority is checking if Steve's pelvis is broken.

0:24:450:24:49

'This type of injury can result in colossal and rapid blood loss.

0:24:490:24:54

'He checks Steven's vital signs.'

0:24:540:24:56

120 over 80.

0:24:560:24:59

Heart rate 74 set of 100. So pretty good nick, really.

0:24:590:25:02

'It's good news. There's no sign of internal bleeding.

0:25:020:25:06

'The pressure to rush him off to hospital is not so great.

0:25:060:25:09

'The next step is reducing Steven's pain.

0:25:090:25:11

'Morgan has already given him some morphine via a cannula.'

0:25:110:25:15

-How's your pain?

-It's still there.

-Yeah.

0:25:150:25:18

I can still feel it. It feels sort of like warmish.

0:25:180:25:21

Get another ten in.

0:25:210:25:24

Cos you're quite a generously-sized gentleman so I think you'll take a little bit more morphine than ten.

0:25:240:25:29

We'll give you some stuff to make you sleepy while we move you.

0:25:290:25:33

It might be uncomfortable when we straighten you out.

0:25:330:25:36

So the more pain relief we can get first, the better.

0:25:360:25:38

'They're going to fit Steven with a pelvic splint so they need to remove his trousers.

0:25:380:25:43

'Paul uses scissors to keep painful movements to a minimum.'

0:25:430:25:46

Lovely. That's good. We'll leave his undercrackers on. There we go.

0:25:460:25:50

Good job you've got your nice pants on.

0:25:520:25:54

Are they Superman underwear?

0:25:540:25:57

-I can't remember this morning.

-OK. Hang on.

0:25:570:26:00

Almost got them.

0:26:000:26:03

'Despite all the pain relief, it could still be agony for him when they try to move his legs.

0:26:040:26:09

'Luckily, Dr Rees is here. He can use more powerful drugs than the paramedics and sedate Steven.'

0:26:090:26:15

-How you doing there? Sleepy.

-Yeah.

-Good man. OK.

0:26:150:26:20

'With any luck, this patient won't remember being moved around.'

0:26:200:26:23

Shall we just gently straighten him now? Cos I think he's pretty much...

0:26:230:26:27

-I'll be able to get the clothes out.

-Yeah.

0:26:270:26:29

-Is that under him, as well?

-Yeah.

-OK.

0:26:290:26:32

Good man.

0:26:320:26:34

Just support his neck, gently support his airway. Don't let him move his neck too much.

0:26:340:26:39

'They put Steven on a scoop stretcher by gently rolling him.'

0:26:420:26:47

-Ready, steady, roll.

-Good. That's fine there. Lovely.

0:26:470:26:50

'It's carefully done. They don't want to exacerbate any injuries.

0:26:500:26:54

-Ready, steady, roll.

-OK.

0:26:540:26:56

Good. Fantastic.

0:26:570:27:00

'Then they fit the pelvic splint and a neck brace. Steven's now ready to go to the ambulance.'

0:27:000:27:06

Just open your eyes for a second. There we go, fantastic. How's the pain now?

0:27:060:27:11

-Not too bad.

-Not too bad. Good stuff. OK.

0:27:110:27:15

'Paul's work is almost done. After a few final checks, he phones Steven's details through to the hospital.'

0:27:150:27:21

He's stable on primary survey but he's got some numbness and tingling in his upper limbs and pelvic pain,

0:27:210:27:28

so we treated him as a query pelvic fracture. He'll be there in 10, 15 minutes.

0:27:280:27:32

'This could have been an agonising ordeal

0:27:320:27:34

'but the treatment and sedation has made it much more bearable.

0:27:340:27:38

'It's not over yet. He will need X-rays and possibly surgery.

0:27:380:27:43

'But at least his journey to hospital will be a comfortable one.'

0:27:430:27:47

Steven was seriously hurt, and what's worse, he fell on a previous injury in his lower back.

0:27:470:27:52

A few weeks after the accident, we found out how he was getting on.

0:27:520:27:56

'Straight away, Steven knew he'd hurt his back quite seriously.

0:27:570:28:01

'He even feared he might be paralysed.'

0:28:010:28:03

As I landed on the deck, exactly in the position

0:28:030:28:06

that I stayed the whole time, from the instant of impact,

0:28:060:28:09

I couldn't move anything below my pelvis

0:28:090:28:12

and my arms were in excruciating agony.

0:28:120:28:15

So the position that I was in was the position I landed in

0:28:150:28:18

and I hadn't been able to move at all.

0:28:180:28:21

'The fall did cause more damage to his existing back injuries.

0:28:210:28:25

'He underwent major surgery and has been recuperating for several months.'

0:28:250:28:29

My coccyx has now been removed. It had to be surgically removed in October

0:28:290:28:33

due to the intense swelling and pressure on the spinal cord.

0:28:330:28:37

The fracture is just being left to heal by itself

0:28:370:28:40

and, at the moment, I'm not sure what's happening with my disc issues.

0:28:400:28:44

Having had the coccyx removed, I now find it very hard to sit down for extended periods

0:28:440:28:50

because all the pressure goes through that part of the body.

0:28:500:28:53

I've been unable to work, as I'm a salesman, I drive around all day in a car,

0:28:530:28:58

so it's no longer physically possible for me to do that.

0:28:580:29:01

So the last few months in particular have been pretty hard.

0:29:010:29:06

But there does now seem to be light at the end of the tunnel following surgery.

0:29:060:29:09

Just waiting on more test results now and fingers crossed for the future.

0:29:090:29:13

'Steven has nothing but praise for the medical team.'

0:29:130:29:17

At the end of the day, I wasn't paralysed.

0:29:170:29:19

There was nothing majorly wrong with me that hasn't been able to be sorted.

0:29:190:29:24

It is just really comforting to know that

0:29:240:29:28

if you need them, they're there for you.

0:29:280:29:31

Having your coccyx removed can't be comfortable, can it, really?

0:29:310:29:35

That's... That's DIY for you. You've got to be careful.

0:29:350:29:38

Welcome to the tropical end of the control room. It brightens up the room a bit, doesn't it?

0:29:380:29:43

Come and have a chat to Richard Waldy who's a senior dispatcher

0:29:430:29:47

who's going to talk to us about the dangers of DIY.

0:29:470:29:50

-It's a dangerous hobby, isn't it? You get calls all the time.

-We do.

0:29:500:29:55

You're dealing with tools that are designed to go through steel, wood,

0:29:550:29:58

-it's going to hurt.

-Yeah. If you get it wrong, certainly.

0:29:580:30:01

Bank holiday weekends... People say, "This bank holiday weekend, we're going to do DIY."

0:30:010:30:06

Do you see a spike in calls as a result of that?

0:30:060:30:09

There is. You've got the extra day, all the shops are advertising,

0:30:090:30:12

everybody goes out with good intentions, they buy something, they don't know how to use it properly,

0:30:120:30:18

-they hurt themselves.

-Give us an example of a DIY-related call you've taken.

0:30:180:30:22

Well, we had one in a very remote area.

0:30:220:30:25

A chap was doing some work with a circular saw

0:30:250:30:27

and ended up slicing himself across the stomach.

0:30:270:30:30

Now, it's quite a remote area. The closest ambulance was about 20 minutes away, so we dispatched that.

0:30:300:30:36

-Who made the call?

-The call was made by his wife.

-Right.

0:30:360:30:39

-And did she say it was serious or not serious?

-To be honest, no.

0:30:390:30:42

She described, as in a lot of DIY, that he'd cut himself.

0:30:420:30:46

-OK.

-So we've no idea how severe, just a cut.

0:30:460:30:50

So we've got the ambulance running, because it is quite a remote area,

0:30:500:30:54

they have their own community paramedic there on a 4x4 vehicle.

0:30:540:30:57

So we sent them, as well. They get there first

0:30:570:31:00

and they're straight on the radio to tell us exactly how severe it is.

0:31:000:31:04

-This bloke had gone right across his stomach. He needed to get to hospital quick.

-Opened his stomach up?

-Yep.

0:31:040:31:09

-So how did he get to hospital?

-Well, the air ambulance that we normally have was committed to another job,

0:31:090:31:15

but the area they're in, there's coastguard nearby,

0:31:150:31:18

so we contacted the coastguard, they brought their helicopter in, we moved him from the house to the helicopter,

0:31:180:31:24

-flew him straight to hospital.

-I've been saying for years "Don't do DIY".

0:31:240:31:27

I interviewed a man who cut off his own arm on a chop saw by holding something like this

0:31:270:31:32

and then bringing the saw down like that. Trust me, spend the weekend with your family. Louise.

0:31:320:31:37

Thanks, Nick, I will remember that.

0:31:370:31:39

We heard earlier how the RAF helicopter was called out to rescue Tom.

0:31:390:31:43

He was wedged between a beach hut and a wall.

0:31:430:31:45

Abi is a call taker who set up that part of the rescue.

0:31:450:31:48

You don't just take calls. You co-ordinate major incidents.

0:31:480:31:52

There was one involving a bus. Can you explain to me where it happened?

0:31:520:31:55

What happened was a car came off the ferry from Poole

0:31:550:31:59

coming towards Studland quite quickly.

0:31:590:32:02

As he came down this road, he was on the wrong side

0:32:020:32:05

and a bus had to swerve quite quickly to avoid hitting him.

0:32:050:32:09

The bus then tipped over, cos it was a double-decker bus,

0:32:090:32:13

and landed in the ditch the other side of the road.

0:32:130:32:16

-With more than 30 passengers on board.

-About 28, 30 passengers, yeah.

0:32:160:32:20

And it was a really lucky thing, cos it wasn't just any old bus, it was an open-top bus.

0:32:200:32:24

Yes, which turned out to be the best thing, really.

0:32:240:32:27

You hear open-top bus and think, "Flipping heck, there's a whole load of passengers"

0:32:270:32:31

but they were all, luckily, thrown into the bushes and the heather in the area

0:32:310:32:36

and the only people that were seriously injured were the ones that were underneath the bus.

0:32:360:32:41

You get a call like that and you hear 30 passengers or so, open-top bus,

0:32:410:32:47

-this is a major incident, isn't it?

-You go into what we called major incident standby,

0:32:470:32:51

cos you just don't know what you've got, really.

0:32:510:32:55

You've got 20 phone calls coming through that all say different things.

0:32:550:32:59

So you start to prepare for what could be a major incident by pulling your resources in.

0:32:590:33:03

Tell us about the resources. You sent a helicopter in.

0:33:030:33:06

We had the coastguard helicopter, who landed here,

0:33:060:33:09

our own Helimed, which landed the other side,

0:33:090:33:12

and there were three ambulances and six cars,

0:33:120:33:16

our fast-response cars, that went to scene and then we treated all the non-serious casualties

0:33:160:33:22

at a hotel that we took over with an emergency care practitioner on scene and an officer.

0:33:220:33:27

So about 20 casualties there. Some of them were airlifted to hospital.

0:33:270:33:31

There was a family of four that was in a car behind the bus involved.

0:33:310:33:34

They were flown to Dorchester Hospital with the coastguard.

0:33:340:33:37

-And the land ambulances took four patients to Poole Hospital.

-Quite an extraordinary incident.

0:33:370:33:42

You were also concerned that somebody might be underneath the bus.

0:33:420:33:45

We had reports that one person was unaccounted for so the fire brigade had to get massive cushions

0:33:450:33:50

that they inflate underneath the bus to lift it up. A double-decker bus is not easy get underneath.

0:33:500:33:57

Fortunately, he wasn't there. He must have just gone off somewhere.

0:33:570:34:01

And given the pictures and the severity of what looks to have happened,

0:34:010:34:04

are you surprised that... People were badly injured, but not an enormous number on them.

0:34:040:34:09

No. I mean, if the bus had gone the other side and landed on the road, it could've been a lot worse.

0:34:090:34:14

-But the heather saved a lot of people.

-What kind of injuries did the people who were thrown out have?

0:34:140:34:19

Scratches and bruises. They were landing in brambles.

0:34:190:34:22

-Quite extraordinary. A lucky escape for them.

-Yeah, definitely.

0:34:220:34:26

-OK, thanks very much.

-Thank you.

-Nick.

0:34:260:34:29

What extraordinary pictures. Now, on Real Rescues we often see people

0:34:290:34:33

more bothered about the inconvenience of their emergency than with their injuries.

0:34:330:34:37

In this next rescue, carer Valerie's been sandwiched in a three-car accident,

0:34:370:34:41

but her main concern is missing a milestone birthday party.

0:34:410:34:46

'It's rush hour on a cold, wet January evening.

0:34:570:35:01

'Hazardous conditions on the road and three cars have come a cropper.

0:35:010:35:05

'Traffic cop Rob Grind is braving the elements to find out what's happened

0:35:050:35:09

'from area officer Gareth Davies.'

0:35:090:35:12

This vehicle's come to a stop. This vehicle's in the middle.

0:35:120:35:15

-This chap's obviously gone into the back of this one and then shunted into the one in front.

-OK.

0:35:150:35:20

-I'm getting details and getting the vehicle checks done.

-OK.

0:35:200:35:23

'Valerie was in the second car. She's got herself out but she's complaining of neck pain

0:35:260:35:31

-'and she's very shaken up.'

-What actually happened as far as you're concerned?

0:35:310:35:35

The traffic was all just stopping, I assume for the traffic lights, and it was slowing down.

0:35:350:35:41

I hit my brakes but it didn't seem to... It just slipped, the car slipped.

0:35:410:35:46

Just touching this car here. Thank you.

0:35:460:35:49

I wasn't expecting the bit from behind, I think that's why...

0:35:490:35:52

-I don't know.

-OK. There's an ambulance on the way, I think. That's them now.

0:35:520:35:57

-They'll check you over, make sure you're all right. Are you feeling OK?

-I just feel a little bit sick.

0:35:570:36:02

'But Valerie's quite upset. This is the first time ever she's had a crash.'

0:36:030:36:08

The ambulance is here now. All right?

0:36:080:36:10

'Her friend Jackie has arrived to give some much-needed comfort.

0:36:100:36:14

'Valerie is a carer herself and spends her working life looking after other people.

0:36:140:36:20

'In fact, she was on her way to help celebrate one of her charge's 80th birthday.

0:36:210:36:26

'But that won't happen now as she needs to be checked over in hospital.

0:36:260:36:30

'Rob and Gareth need to get details of all the cars and drivers involved.'

0:36:320:36:36

-I've passed all the vehicles, I just haven't done the persons.

-That's OK, I'm getting Francesca's details.

0:36:360:36:41

-I'll do the other two persons if you do that one.

-Yeah, cheers. 63, go ahead.

0:36:410:36:45

'Kathryn was driving the first car with her 11-year-old daughter, Jane. Their main concern is for Valerie.'

0:36:450:36:51

I went over to the lady in the middle and checked that she was OK.

0:36:510:36:54

I could see she was in pain and crying, so I phoned the police and ambulance.

0:36:540:36:58

The first thing she said was, "I've got to get to work!"

0:36:580:37:01

I said, "You're not going anywhere, your car's a mess."

0:37:010:37:04

'Jane, however, hasn't got away unscathed.'

0:37:040:37:06

Because we braked really hard, I was on the phone and I dropped it

0:37:060:37:09

and it banged off the side and hit my eye.

0:37:090:37:12

-Does it hurt?

-It does hurt.

0:37:120:37:14

I'm going to post it on Facebook

0:37:140:37:16

and then I'm going to say that on the way home from my friend's house I was in a car crash.

0:37:160:37:22

'The next job for the police is to get all the cars involved off the road.

0:37:240:37:28

'But one car will have to stay.

0:37:320:37:34

'Its driver, rapid-response paramedic Henry Gill, is needed in the ambulance with Valerie.

0:37:340:37:39

'She's had to be put in a collar and on a long board because of her neck pain.'

0:37:390:37:44

She's on a board and feels sick. If she's sick, we need two people to turn her.

0:37:440:37:48

'Inside the ambulance, Rob just needs to reassure her about what will happen next.'

0:37:480:37:52

Just a quick update about your car. Obviously, you're going to QA.

0:37:520:37:57

We'll get it recovered and meet you at QA

0:37:570:37:59

and pass you the details and see how you're getting on. Don't worry about it too much.

0:37:590:38:03

'After a full examination at the hospital, Valerie was diagnosed with severe whiplash.

0:38:050:38:10

'As well as the pain, it's left her feeling weak and very shaken.'

0:38:100:38:14

I'm feeling OK. I'm just a little bit, erm, amazed by it all.

0:38:140:38:19

I've never been in an accident before.

0:38:190:38:22

And I'm just... I'm really...

0:38:220:38:25

I think I was so anxious about what was going on in front

0:38:250:38:28

that I never expected the shunt from behind.

0:38:280:38:30

I really am surprised at the ferocity of it, really,

0:38:300:38:35

considering we weren't going so fast.

0:38:350:38:37

'However, her main concern is for the elderly man she cares for.'

0:38:370:38:42

I have a balloon in the car with 80 on it,

0:38:420:38:44

cos one of my gentlemen, it's his birthday today.

0:38:440:38:47

And that was his gift.

0:38:470:38:50

He'll have to get it tomorrow.

0:38:500:38:52

We've seen dogs get into all sorts of scrapes

0:38:580:39:01

chasing birds over cliffs and going down holes after rabbits.

0:39:010:39:04

Sussex fire service were even able to practise their search and rescue techniques

0:39:040:39:09

when two terriers got stuck down a badger set.

0:39:090:39:11

But Jake here got stuck down a hole through no fault of his own.

0:39:110:39:14

It happened after the ground just swallowed him up.

0:39:140:39:17

That is Jake, 60 foot down after an old well

0:39:170:39:21

suddenly opened up in his owner Greta's garden.

0:39:210:39:24

I'm glad to say, Jake did get out of that well.

0:39:240:39:27

Greta, tell us about what happened. You let him out for a run around in the morning

0:39:270:39:31

-then you heard this strange noise.

-Yeah, almost like a human scream.

0:39:310:39:35

And then I looked back out in the garden to see what was going on

0:39:350:39:40

and just outside my back door, a huge black hole I could see,

0:39:400:39:46

so I walked to the edge and looked down to see Jake standing at the bottom

0:39:460:39:50

what I now know was 60 foot down.

0:39:500:39:53

Goodness me! And he was OK, was he? He was standing up?

0:39:530:39:57

He was standing up and looking round but we knew it was too deep for our ladder,

0:39:570:40:02

so straight away we phoned the fire brigade

0:40:020:40:05

and thankfully they were there in eight minutes and took control of the situation.

0:40:050:40:09

So Mike, describe to us the scene when you arrived.

0:40:090:40:12

An interesting scene where we've got a dog that's 60 foot down

0:40:120:40:17

into a chalk-lined well with a very small opening

0:40:170:40:19

where the dog has gone down through. Quite a technical rescue for the fire service.

0:40:190:40:23

It's outside the remit of the equipment that a normal fire engine would cover.

0:40:230:40:28

So we brought in our technical rescue unit from Poole which has a specialist line rescue

0:40:280:40:32

and confined space rescue to bring the dog up.

0:40:320:40:35

And somebody had to go over into the well, did they?

0:40:350:40:38

Yes. First we had to open up the size of the hole

0:40:380:40:41

to access for a firefighter to go down in.

0:40:410:40:43

This is difficult cos we don't want debris falling on top of the dog and we don't want further collapse.

0:40:430:40:48

Also we were unsure of the fumes or the gases that may be in that well that's been capped for a long time,

0:40:480:40:54

-so any firefighter being committed needs breathing apparatus.

-So he went down in breathing apparatus.

0:40:540:41:00

-Yeah.

-How did Jake react when the firefighter got there?

0:41:000:41:03

Greta had already told us that he wasn't too keen on postmen or fluorescent jackets,

0:41:030:41:08

so we were a bit unsure how he was going to react.

0:41:080:41:11

But we managed to construct an improvised stretcher out of this builder's debris bucket.

0:41:110:41:16

-Right, so you were going to put him in there?

-Yeah.

0:41:160:41:19

The diameter of the bucket is probably about the same diameter

0:41:190:41:22

as the hole at the bottom of that 60 foot. A very difficult confined space.

0:41:220:41:26

So a firefighter is in suspension trying to get the dog into the bucket, into a harness,

0:41:260:41:32

make it secure so he's safe to come up with at the same time.

0:41:320:41:35

-Tell us about the moment he arrived. He must have been really pleased to see you.

-He just looked bewildered.

0:41:350:41:42

We took him... The vets were on standby waiting for Jake.

0:41:420:41:47

And he was covered in mud, wasn't he? How long did it take to get rid of that?

0:41:470:41:51

Well, the vet... He had to have his eye stitched up cos that had been gashed to the bone

0:41:510:41:57

and when they stitched his eye up and he was out, they gave him a good brush.

0:41:570:42:02

OK. Well, you did brilliantly, Jake. Well done. You're very brave.

0:42:020:42:06

-Thanks for coming to see us.

-Thank you.

0:42:060:42:08

Aww! Jake down a well like that.

0:42:080:42:10

Amazing though, there are lots of wells... If you think about it, every village had a well.

0:42:100:42:15

And now where are they? You don't see them.

0:42:150:42:17

We once took up a floor in a kitchen

0:42:170:42:20

and there was a 20-metre well in the kitchen floor.

0:42:200:42:23

-If the floorboards had gone...

-Terrifying!

0:42:230:42:25

Yeah. They were all around at the time but you don't think about it any more.

0:42:250:42:29

-Don't do DIY! I've been saying it for 20 years.

-You do say it all the time. I'm with you.

0:42:290:42:33

-Nobody takes notice.

-I do.

-No-one ever listens.

0:42:330:42:36

That's all for today. Join us next time for more Real Rescues.

0:42:360:42:39

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:440:42:48

E-mail [email protected]

0:42:480:42:52

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0:42:520:42:52

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