Episode 8 Real Rescues


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Episode 8

Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin follow the work of the emergency services. A family's weekly wash is set alight by the cooker, and a teenage girl breaks her jaw playing rugby.


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Today on Real Rescues, the dangers of rescuing frightened animals.

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-Aghh!

-Everyone back! Everyone back!

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This horse is trapped and freezing in cold water

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but doesn't realise its life is being saved.

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And the rugby player trampled on during a game.

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She's struggling to breathe and may have broken her jaw.

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Are you able to use this arm to show us where it hurts the most?

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Right in there.

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Welcome to Real Rescues.

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This is The Hub, as it's known.

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South Western Ambulance Control provide emergency medical care

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for nearly three million people and were recently named Ambulance Service of the Year.

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The 999 phones never stop.

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Now, the dangerous rescue of a horse stuck in a muddy bog.

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Arnie has wandered into a stream.

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The freezing water is up to his shoulders and he's been semi-submerged for almost an hour

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and light is starting to fade.

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It's early evening on a cold January day.

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Hello, Control?

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-'One large cob trapped in watery mud.'

-Right.

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'No vet in attendance as yet.'

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Animal rescue specialist Jim Green is on his way.

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It's happened at a stable in a village near Southampton.

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A crew of fire-fighters are already there. In charge is Group Manager Jerry Leonard.

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He's come in by the field, gone the wrong way and he's in to his shoulders.

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He's resting his head on the bank, just where the boys are now, actually.

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Immediately, Jim sees the position Arnie is in.

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It'll be extremely difficult to get him out.

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It's one thing hauling 450 kilos of Welsh cob out of mud,

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but there's a further problem. They have to work around four scaffold poles

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which make it even more dangerous for horse and rescuers.

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What we don't want to do is stimulate him so he starts thrashing

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and damages himself on one of those.

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-Have you seen what sort of bottom's to this?

-No, we can't see.

-No.

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'Around Arnie there were scaffolding poles'

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that had been driven into the ground.

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They were exposed about 12 inches.

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'We didn't know the purpose of the scaffold poles

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'but it was clear if he was stimulated and he reacted badly to our presence,'

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he would quite easily impale himself on these poles and we'd have a disaster on our hands.

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There's also a high risk of hypothermia.

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The cob is standing in almost five feet of icy cold water.

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He's already been stuck an hour.

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Daylight is dwindling and temperatures are due to plunge overnight.

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Jim doesn't have long to get him out.

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If you're going to try and pull him out here,

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you need to take quite a lot out of there.

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Getting the poles out of the way will be more beneficial than taking a long time to do this.

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What we have got to do is be mindful of keeping him nice and quiet.

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Is your vet local?

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Yes, he's in Bishopstoke.

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So in the same way if we went to a car crash we'd work with a paramedic,

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-we like to have a vet here.

-Am I phoning them or are you phoning them?

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If you could phone, that's great.

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It's very traumatic for Louise.

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She's only had the cob a month and she saw it all happen.

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She watched on helplessly as he stumbled into the ditch.

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He just literally walked in.

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He literally walked in. There was no falling or anything.

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'He'd just gone down the bank for the grass and it was a lot deeper than he thought.

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'And deeper than I thought at the time.'

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But it was bizarre. I just thought, "Oh, God! What am I going to do now?"

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I just then raced and got my mobile and phoned 999.

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They can't risk pulling or pushing half a tonne of horse until it's sedated. As they await the vet,

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they attempt to get the poles out of the way.

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An animal's natural instinct is to escape at any cost

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and every so often it looks like he's about to give it a go.

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This is why we need to only have a few people

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and see if we can get these out.

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He's in a bit of a pickle and we haven't got a huge amount of room to work with these here.

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If we can get them out, I'll be a lot happier.

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-Me, too!

-Yeah, you, too. Don't worry.

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The light is slipping away

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and Arnie is getting colder.

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'He felt very sorry for himself.'

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He was like, "Oh, help me, help me!"

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And I just couldn't.

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There was nothing I could do to actually help him out.

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Night has fallen and the vet is delayed. The fire crews cover Arnie's head.

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It should help calm him, allowing them to continue digging out the poles.

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See if you can do that one there.

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The fire crews closest to the water

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are protected by dry suits and safety ropes.

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They can be pulled away quickly if Arnie were about to start thrashing about.

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It's just as well, as that's what keeps happening. This horse hasn't given up the struggle.

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Steady, boy. Steady, Arnie. Steady.

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-Agh!

-Everyone back! Everyone back!

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Right. OK. Calm down, now.

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That's better.

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Although trapped, this is a very powerful animal.

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Arnie won't be concerned about anyone who might get in the way.

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But the experts have prepared for such a scenario. Everyone is safe

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and somehow Arnie has got himself in a better position for the rescuers to get him out.

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The vet is only moments away

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so they'll wait for the horse to be sedated before they try anything else.

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Arnie's been stuck for two hours now.

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There's still a long way to go before he's free.

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Sedating that horse turns out to be pretty dangerous, as we see later.

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I've just had a demonstration of how busy it is here.

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I was talking to these four people minutes ago,

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having a chat, and guess what, they're all on the phone now

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except for Genna, who'll have to take the next call to 999.

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Let's talk quickly. A man had had an accident after putting petrol on his bonfire and he called here.

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-Yeah.

-What had he done?

-He decided to light his bonfire with petrol.

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It obviously blew up on his forearms and in his face.

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The caller, a lady, had decided to run a cold bath for him

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to submerge him in the water.

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Which you might think is the right thing to do, but isn't.

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It sounds logical, but the best thing is running water, like a shower head.

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Cool, tepid water, not too cold, so test it on your own skin first.

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-And not a power shower because...

-I hate to ask why that is.

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The skin is really delicate.

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Running tap water, really, but if you can get it out of a shower head.

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-Do we make it really cold?

-No, just tepid to cool water.

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If it's too cold, and it's going over the whole body, there's a risk of hypothermia.

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Should you do that even before you call 999, get them under the water?

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The quicker you can do it, the better,

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because the skin is constantly burning, even if it's just in the cold air.

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When the fire isn't even near your arm, your skin is still burning.

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-And you'd send an ambulance out to that sort of thing?

-Yes, for sure.

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-We sent an ambulance and they were there within minutes.

-And he was OK?

-Yeah.

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Genna, I'll leave you. Everyone else is on calls and I don't want to disturb you.

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Thank you.

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Teaching children to dial 999 in an emergency can be a life-saver, whatever their age.

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Thank heavens mum Laura Kirby has got a bright little boy.

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She was at home watching TV when she collapsed.

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But her son took control.

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Here we are joined by Nathan and mum, Laura.

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-All right?

-Fine.

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-What did you think? You were listening to that. Did it sound weird?

-Yes.

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How come you know how to phone the ambulance when your mum gets sick?

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-Because I just said that my mum's had a... What was it?

-A seizure.

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-A seizure.

-How did you know to do that?

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I don't think all little boys know to do that.

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-My grandma told me.

-Oh, is that right?

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-And is it right, you said you knew how to do this since you were...

-Three.

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Three? Really?

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Do you know what an absence is?

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-No.

-You just know that you should say there's an absence.

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-Yes.

-OK. Amazing.

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It is amazing. I'm so proud of him, I really am.

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He's a wonderful little boy. I don't think all children of eight would know what to do.

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He was very calm, very collected.

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-He knows exactly how to help me.

-How often do these things happen?

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-It's usually about...

-Six weeks.

-Every six weeks.

-Is that right?

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So he's had a lot of practice getting used to it?

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He has, yeah, definitely.

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-Do you have a fit each time you have an absence, or is it...

-Stress.

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Is it really? Is that what you think it is?

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Not every time I have an absence.

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Sometimes I have an absence and a seizure could follow a few minutes or an hour or so later.

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Sometimes it could be up to a week later or I can have an absence and nothing happens at all.

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Is that right? What do you think brings it on, makes it happen?

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I don't know.

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Can you tell when it's going to happen?

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-No. Yes. She doesn't speak to me.

-Doesn't speak, just goes quiet?

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And you know then it's probably time to call 999.

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Interestingly, Mandy, the call-taker, is working elsewhere today and can't join us.

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But she wanted to send a message to you. I'll read a bit of what it says.

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Where are we?

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I was looking to see which bit I needed to read.

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"Nathan did a remarkable job and she'll remember the call for a long time.

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"He remained calm throughout and answered all the questions."

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She says that you were making her job much easier.

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That's pretty cool, isn't it?

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Do you fancy working in one of these places? These are the people you talk to when you dial 999.

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-Which one?

-She's not here today.

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Otherwise she'd actually talk to you.

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Would it be good to be on the end of the phone, sending ambulances out?

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-Being an ambulance driver.

-Yeah, I think that might be fun, too!

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-Smashing. Thanks for coming in to talk to us.

-Thank you.

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-Well done, you.

-Football.

-You want to talk football now?

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They're cheap to buy, they cost nothing to install.

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A smoke alarm is a genuine life-saver.

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But they can also save our houses or flats as the homeowner in this rescue found out.

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Reports have come in of a fire in a first-floor flat in a busy residential area.

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Where that car's just gone.

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-Down here?

-Then first on the right.

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Adrian Johnson is crew manager of Green Watch.

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They're the second unit to arrive.

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They're starting up!

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"Starting up" means they're getting ready to go in wearing breathing apparatus.

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There's no sign of smoke outside yet but there is a fire.

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Adey, what do you need?

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-Covering jet.

-Covering jet, guys.

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Watch manager Adey Butts has confirmed the kitchen is filling with smoke.

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As the first team enter the flat, Paul Shepherd prepares another jet. The fire could flare up at any time.

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We're going to do the services now. Shut off the electrics.

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Adrian needs to isolate the mains gas and electric supply.

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He's hoping a neighbour will tell him where they are.

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But it's all over before he even gets to the door.

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One of the fire crew is coming out carrying the cause of the fire.

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It's a basket of laundry. It started smouldering after it was left on an electric hob.

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So the clean and neatly folded clothes are going to get another soaking.

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They reached such a high temperature that with the slightest breeze

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they've burst into flames.

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The usual accidental, doing their domestic duties.

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Gone off, leading a busy life.

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Nearly had quite a nasty fire.

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Fire-fighter Tim O'Donnell is going to use the covering jet after all.

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Unusually, the seat of the fire has been brought out to him.

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Although the fire was small, if they hadn't got to it quickly, the entire flat would have gone up in smoke,

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creating deadly fumes.

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The owner of the flat is out, but the crews inside have retrieved one casualty.

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They've found Cookie, the pet guinea pig,

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who almost lived up to his name. The smoke detector has done its job.

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The guinea pig looks fine. I'm a bit worried about its welfare out in the cold as it's January.

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The flat owner, Diane, has arrived.

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It turns out her daughter's fiance, Gary, called 999.

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I'd been out doing a bit of food shopping.

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I had to stop at Diane's flat on the way home

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to get laundry she'd done for me and my other half.

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When I got out the taxi, I heard the smoke alarm going mad.

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I opened the door and smoke started billowing out

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so I thought I'd better come away and dial 999.

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I was worried that the flat might go up.

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Fire-fighters have cleared the smoke with a fan.

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It's left a nasty mess on the hob.

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But it could have been so much worse, as Diane is only too aware.

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A massive shock. You don't think it's going to happen.

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You think it's safe, you can go out

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and all of a sudden, something like this.

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If not for my son-in-law, I wouldn't have a flat now. I wouldn't have anything.

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Diane had been in a hurry to get out.

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I was more interested getting my shopping for the week.

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I moved the basket onto the cooker

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and I mustn't have switched the switch off properly

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and I must have knocked one of the things.

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And it caught alight.

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So easy when you're not thinking. And I'm the first for safety.

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I've always turned everything off.

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-And the guinea pig's all right?

-The guinea pig's fine!

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My daughter loves that guinea pig. I'm not even sure about the cat, actually,

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if the cat's around!

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There's relief all round that the damage is confined to the laundry basket.

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It's now safe for Cookie to return, as well.

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Poor little thing!

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-He don't know what the hell's going on!

-He's hiding in his box.

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It's a case of wash-day blues,

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although Gary's timely arrival certainly saved the day.

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Luckily the smoke alarm went off and someone found it.

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Could have been a lot worse. Easy mistake to make,

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but it's all about being vigilant.

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If you're going out, those hobs are typical. You can't tell if they're hot or cold.

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Just check around.

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But very lucky. Could have been a nasty fire.

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Go on!

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And right on cue, the cat turns up.

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Home safe and sound, too.

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Diane has been told the switch on her hob was faulty and could have caused that fire.

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She's since had it replaced. Cookie, the guinea pig, did some sneezing and coughing

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but is now back to normal.

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Still to come on Real Rescues.

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Arnie is now sedated, but is still fighting against the rescue team.

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Just keep his head over that way.

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No-one said this job was going to be easy, when you took the Queen's shilling!

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And the rescue hovercraft that's saved hundreds of lives

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and the odd floating car!

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Children with little fingers have a habit of trapping their hands into nooks and crannies.

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More often that not, they manage to pull them out. But not always, as in this case.

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The fast response ambulance car is heading across town.

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A two-year-old boy has his hand trapped in a bathroom door.

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A fire crew is already at the scene.

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Yes, fine. We'll go and assess.

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We'll let you know what we need to do. Thanks.

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Mark Ainsworth-Smith is one of the most senior paramedics in the service.

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He arrives to find the firemen have freed the boy, but he might have done some serious damage.

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Lovely. Thanks for your help.

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Hello, my name's Mark.

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Bless him. He looks all right now. He looks a bit better.

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-It was horrible.

-Someone's being very brave.

-Good boy.

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-Tell me his name, first.

-It's Harry.

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Harry? I've got a little boy called Harry. How old is Harry?

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-He's two.

-Is he normally fit and well?

-Very well.

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You're very brave, Harry. Did you get your finger stuck in the door?

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-Did you? Is it this hand? It's that hand?

-The one he won't let you see!

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Let's have a look. I'm not going to hurt you. Can I see this side?

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Harry's fingers were trapped in the gap by the door hinges.

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Mum could not release them and the little chap was screaming with pain.

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Harry, can you squeeze my fingers for me? Oh, you star! Well done.

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Is that hurting? A little bit sore?

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Mark now has a better idea of what sort of injuries Harry may have.

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But first he needs to ease the little chap's pain.

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We should give him some Calpol, to settle him down, if that's OK.

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I think he's going to use his fingers fine. I don't think there are any fractures or anything.

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It's been a traumatic afternoon for two-year-old Harry.

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He's a bit subdued.

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Do you like strawberries? Do you?

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The liquid paracetamol should help pick him up.

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-Clever boy. Well done.

-Good boy!

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Mark has to check and rule out all possible injuries.

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He can only do this once he's seen exactly where Harry's fingers were trapped.

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It was this door just here.

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In desperation, Mum, Danielle, had hoped that the frozen peas

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would reduce the swelling and free Harry's hand.

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So, let me get this straight. He had his hand here.

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-He poked his fingers in, then his brother came down and said...

-I see.

-Harry'd caught his fingers.

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There is a bit of a gap there, even when it closes.

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A fairly big gap. So lucky guy, lucky.

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-Right.

-Are you going to eat my peas?

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-There's a few peas all down the stairs as well!

-I just grabbed them.

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They're going to use the peas as an improvised ice pack for Harry's fingers.

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Danielle goes to fetch a cloth so they can apply them comfortably.

0:20:440:20:48

While they wait, Mark proves he's not just magic with medicine!

0:20:480:20:52

See this? You're going to like this!

0:20:520:20:54

Are you ready?

0:20:540:20:56

Hey, is that cool? Do you like that? Do you want to have a blow?

0:20:570:21:01

Let's take your dummy out and have a blow.

0:21:010:21:03

Have a blow.

0:21:030:21:05

Yeah, you've got a strong breath, haven't you?

0:21:050:21:08

The pen does the trick. Harry is smiling.

0:21:080:21:11

Yeah! And again. Blow it out.

0:21:110:21:14

Blow it harder this time. Can you help? Both of you?

0:21:140:21:18

Well done, that's excellent.

0:21:180:21:21

Mark's proving to be quite a hit with his audience!

0:21:210:21:24

Harry, what I'd like you to do, mate, is put your hand gently on there for me.

0:21:260:21:31

The frozen pea ice pack will reduce the swelling

0:21:310:21:34

as well as the pain. Mark continues to examine his fingers.

0:21:340:21:38

And this side? Can you feel that, yeah?

0:21:380:21:41

Well done. Your nails look nice and clean.

0:21:410:21:44

Usually, if there's a fracture, it's so painful, they stop using them.

0:21:440:21:48

He's clearly using them now, so that's good.

0:21:480:21:51

# How I wonder what you are... #

0:21:510:21:55

For a final check, Mark gets all the children to sing a favourite song, with actions.

0:21:550:22:00

Harry, can you do that?

0:22:000:22:01

Are you going to show me?

0:22:050:22:07

-I think he's using it fine, yes.

-He's bending it, isn't he?

0:22:070:22:11

-# How I wonder what you are. #

-Very good.

0:22:110:22:15

Harry's improving all the time. In fact,

0:22:150:22:19

he might have revived a bit too much!

0:22:190:22:22

Oh, no, they've gone a bit hyper!

0:22:240:22:26

-Oh, God!

-Sorry about that!

0:22:260:22:28

It's all the excitement.

0:22:280:22:30

Out you come to this side. Out this way. Come over here.

0:22:320:22:36

Harry has the all-clear. As a treat, Mark lays on a blue light drive-past so there's no bad memories.

0:22:360:22:42

Harry, are you going to wave with your... That's it!

0:22:420:22:46

Lovely! That's what I want to see!

0:22:460:22:48

Mark's worked his magic.

0:22:480:22:50

-Bye!

-Thank you!

0:22:500:22:52

He's now off to prepare for his next call-out.

0:22:520:22:55

Let me introduce you to Bertie. She's 14 years old. Say hello.

0:22:570:23:01

-Hi.

-Is it OK to call you Bertie? Roberta.

-Yeah.

0:23:010:23:04

-Bertie.

-Bertie.

-Lovely. Thank you.

0:23:040:23:06

We have something in common. We're both rugby players. Bertie, here, as she's known to her friends,

0:23:060:23:12

was in the wars recently when one game didn't go quite according to plan.

0:23:120:23:17

There's an ambulance on the pitch and this rugby match is now over.

0:23:190:23:23

All attention is focused on injured 14-year-old Bertie.

0:23:230:23:27

Any tenderness?

0:23:270:23:29

As a keen player, she's used to the rough and tumble,

0:23:290:23:32

but the pain has reduced her to a whimper.

0:23:320:23:34

Your jaw, are you OK to move it a bit?

0:23:340:23:37

SHE WHIMPERS IN PAIN

0:23:370:23:40

What's happening now? Have you got pain?

0:23:400:23:43

-Mmm!

-Take some deep breaths in for me.

0:23:430:23:46

Bertie was stamped on during the game. As the match continued, she left the pitch.

0:23:460:23:51

Her friend and team coach Ros was immediately concerned.

0:23:510:23:54

Bertie just walked off to the side, sat down and then lay down.

0:23:540:23:59

I realised something was really wrong.

0:23:590:24:02

Any pains in your chest? SHE GROANS

0:24:020:24:05

Can you use this arm to show us where it hurts the most?

0:24:050:24:08

Right in there.

0:24:080:24:10

'I went over, tried to get her to talk,'

0:24:100:24:12

but she wasn't talkative, which is very unlike her.

0:24:120:24:15

She told me it wasn't her head, it was her jaw and she was having trouble breathing.

0:24:150:24:20

Bertie appears shocked and frightened, finding it difficult to communicate.

0:24:200:24:24

But paramedics Danny Millum and Jason Brown need to know exactly where the pain is.

0:24:240:24:29

-Anywhere else? Your tummy OK?

-Mm.

0:24:290:24:32

-Chest?

-It hurts here.

-Does your jaw hurt?

0:24:320:24:36

You look a bit swollen on the left-hand side.

0:24:360:24:39

Bertie will have to go to hospital.

0:24:390:24:42

The injury is to the front of her neck and jaw, rather than her spine.

0:24:420:24:46

The paramedics are happy they can move her safely onto the stretcher.

0:24:460:24:50

OK. Are you able to sit up?

0:24:520:24:54

Take your time.

0:24:540:24:57

That's it. Excellent.

0:24:570:24:59

But this Bertie is a far cry from the one her team-mates know.

0:24:590:25:03

Bertie's normally very loud, very funny, very happy.

0:25:030:25:08

She's always the first with a joke, always very animated.

0:25:080:25:12

Sit yourself down. That's it.

0:25:120:25:14

Having to see her like that, very pale, not moving a lot,

0:25:140:25:21

not saying a lot, was very disturbing.

0:25:210:25:23

Jason needs to go through some basic checks on her jaw.

0:25:270:25:30

But Bertie can't bear to move her mouth.

0:25:300:25:32

Can you poke your tongue out and open nice and wide?

0:25:320:25:36

Show me exactly where it hurts again.

0:25:360:25:40

Is it here?

0:25:410:25:42

Very painful?

0:25:420:25:44

If you had to score that pain in your jaw out of ten,

0:25:440:25:50

ten being the worst pain you've ever felt, what would you give it?

0:25:500:25:54

-Nine.

-You'd give it a nine.

0:25:540:25:56

OK.

0:25:560:25:58

We understand she's been playing rugby, kicked in her jaw, got pain in her jaw,

0:25:580:26:02

so we need to manage the pain now if we can.

0:26:020:26:05

Before they subject Bertie to the bumpy journey off the field,

0:26:050:26:09

they want to give her morphine. Ros is on hand to offer support.

0:26:090:26:12

Even with the pain, Bertie is very anxious at the thought of the injection.

0:26:120:26:17

It's really important not to leave someone on their own, even if they're with medical people.

0:26:170:26:22

They're doing their job, getting everything sorted for Bertie.

0:26:220:26:26

Let me know when that starts working.

0:26:260:26:28

I've been there without someone with me and it's quite lonely.

0:26:280:26:32

You don't know what's going on. You need someone to reassure you and keep you calm.

0:26:320:26:37

Let me know when you feel a bit better and the pain starts to go.

0:26:370:26:41

With Bertie more settled, she's ready to go to hospital.

0:26:410:26:45

It's not the way they wanted her to leave the field, but her team-mates give her quite a send-off.

0:26:460:26:52

APPLAUSE

0:26:520:26:55

-They gave you a round of applause!

-Yeah.

0:26:560:27:00

That's cool. What's with the needles, then?

0:27:000:27:02

I'm pretty needle-phobic, myself. I don't like needles.

0:27:020:27:07

You're such a wimp!

0:27:070:27:08

I was... Truth is, I am a bit of a wimp! Yes, you're right.

0:27:100:27:15

The thing you were most worried about there was the way your hair looked!

0:27:150:27:20

-Yeah, well, I looked a mess.

-You'd just been playing rugby!

0:27:200:27:25

Yeah, but mud everywhere. And I looked a mess.

0:27:250:27:29

That happens when you play rugby! Plus you'd been trampled on!

0:27:290:27:32

How did you get into such a state, then? It was an important part of the game.

0:27:320:27:36

-Yeah.

-You were camped on your own line, defending your own line.

0:27:360:27:40

Ball pings down to you. What then?

0:27:400:27:43

I caught the ball.

0:27:430:27:45

Then before I had the chance to run with it or dispatch it off,

0:27:450:27:52

everyone just sort of jumped on me to try and get the ball.

0:27:520:27:56

It was sudden death and we needed a try.

0:27:560:27:59

Then I just got trampled on. Everyone was on top of me.

0:27:590:28:05

They piled in. So where did you get hurt? Did they tread on you?

0:28:050:28:10

Yeah, I got kneed in the neck and trampled on the chest and stuff.

0:28:100:28:17

Then I managed to get up and someone just swang and elbowed me in the jaw.

0:28:170:28:23

-That's not very nice!

-No!

0:28:230:28:26

-Did they do it on purpose?

-Of course not!

0:28:260:28:28

-They were trying to score a try.

-And did they?

0:28:280:28:31

-Yeah.

-That's annoying!

0:28:310:28:33

So you guys got wrote out anyway, on the sudden death.

0:28:330:28:36

-We got medals.

-Did you?

-Yeah.

0:28:360:28:38

-They got medals, you were off to hospital.

-I still got a medal.

0:28:380:28:42

Still got the medal. So you won't be playing any more?

0:28:420:28:45

Of course I am!

0:28:450:28:47

-Really?!

-Yeah!

-What happens if you get hurt again?

0:28:470:28:51

-Aren't you worried about that?

-No.

0:28:510:28:53

That's rugby, isn't it? It's not exactly ballet!

0:28:530:28:57

That's true enough!

0:28:590:29:01

OK.

0:29:010:29:02

Would you recommend other people to try the game?

0:29:020:29:06

Yeah, it's a great game.

0:29:060:29:08

If you have strength, or you're really good at running, get in there!

0:29:080:29:12

OK. Don't worry about how you looked in that. You're looking nice today.

0:29:120:29:16

We've seen both sides of you.

0:29:160:29:18

-Thank you.

-My pleasure.

0:29:180:29:19

I'll forgive you for calling me a wimp!

0:29:190:29:22

Louise?

0:29:220:29:23

She's got music, hasn't she?

0:29:230:29:25

We see all manner of rescues, but rarely by hovercraft.

0:29:250:29:29

This one is based near Burnham-on-Sea.

0:29:290:29:31

Over the last eight years, it's saved hundreds of lives.

0:29:310:29:34

Here it is in action.

0:29:340:29:36

A family of five from Bristol were rescued after getting stranded on mud flats 1.5 miles from shore.

0:29:400:29:46

They'd driven onto Brean beach but had gone too far and got stuck in mud.

0:29:460:29:50

The father managed to walk back to shore to alert the coastguard

0:29:500:29:53

who called in the rescue hovercraft.

0:29:530:29:56

And it's not just cars that get stuck in the mud.

0:29:570:30:01

The coastguard got a call about a yacht stranded in mud.

0:30:040:30:07

The yacht didn't have any radio so the coastguard and rescue hovercraft went to check the owner was OK.

0:30:070:30:14

He'd only just bought the yacht and didn't have any charts.

0:30:140:30:18

Thank you, Dave. Nice driving. Thanks to your assistants Julie, Chris and Chris.

0:30:290:30:34

Tell me about your hovercraft and where you operate from.

0:30:340:30:38

We operate in the Bridgewater Bay area, based in Burnham-on-Sea.

0:30:380:30:42

We operate from Bridgewater round to Weston-super-Mare,

0:30:420:30:47

-on the mud flats.

-That's the key, isn't it?

0:30:470:30:50

How does this make a difference on those mud flats?

0:30:500:30:52

We can go across the mud no problem.

0:30:520:30:55

Straight from sand onto the mud at speed.

0:30:550:31:00

You deal with a vast area on those mud flats?

0:31:000:31:04

They tell us when it's fully low tide, there's 30 square miles of mud flats.

0:31:040:31:10

That's an awful lot of mud!

0:31:100:31:12

People get into trouble on those flats. Do they wander out?

0:31:120:31:16

They wander out following the sea. Because it goes out so far,

0:31:160:31:20

holidaymakers think they can see the sea not far away,

0:31:200:31:24

but usually it's the reflection of the sun on the mud!

0:31:240:31:27

They keep walking and eventually they go a little way and then suddenly they're down.

0:31:270:31:33

It's all in different spaces.

0:31:330:31:35

At that stage, the coastguard call you in because it's easier for you to get there?

0:31:350:31:39

If anyone sees these people in distress, they dial 999.

0:31:390:31:44

The coastguard will check it out and if someone's in the mud, we're asked to take the coastguard out.

0:31:440:31:51

You've got one example where a man was stuck up to his waist? What was going on?

0:31:510:31:55

One evening, he was stuck up to his waist and the tide was lapping around him.

0:31:550:32:00

We managed to get out there. He was lucky if he had ten minutes before he was submerged by the tide.

0:32:000:32:07

How do you even find somebody in that vast area?

0:32:070:32:09

-People have told you where they are?

-People ring 999 and they're supposed to stay there then

0:32:090:32:15

until the coastguard or we arrive, so we can pinpoint it.

0:32:150:32:18

He must have been pretty pleased to see you?

0:32:180:32:21

I think so, but he was getting a bit cold by then and didn't know much about anything by that time.

0:32:210:32:27

So this little hovercraft has saved lots of lives?

0:32:270:32:31

This one and we have another one, Elena. Probably since it's been in service,

0:32:310:32:36

it's getting on for 200 lives saved from the mud.

0:32:360:32:39

-You love driving this. You're a volunteer.

-Yes. We're all volunteers.

0:32:390:32:43

-It's good!

-Thanks for showing me around.

-Thank you. Pleasure.

0:32:430:32:48

Fascinating stuff, that. Hovercraft. You never know those things are around.

0:32:480:32:52

All kinds of different vehicles being used.

0:32:520:32:55

I'm going to chat with Ben. Ben's life, since you became a call-taker, has changed considerably.

0:32:550:33:02

Yes, it was nice to get experience. I looked at going into the medicine side of things.

0:33:020:33:06

But getting experience on the front line, the first person they talk to,

0:33:060:33:11

taking choking calls and helping people stop and giving CPR advice,

0:33:110:33:15

actually helping people at the front line,

0:33:150:33:18

has made me want to go more towards not so much the GP side of things, but more the A&E.

0:33:180:33:24

Get out with the basics doctors, as you've shown.

0:33:240:33:27

The basics doctors have featured considerably on Real Rescues over the years.

0:33:270:33:32

So that idea of you being trained up to help people at the side of the road.

0:33:320:33:36

Would be fantastic. We have a few minutes where we help them on the phone then hand over to the crews.

0:33:360:33:42

Then they hand over to the hospital

0:33:420:33:44

and seeing that process, being on the road doing it

0:33:440:33:47

then following it through.

0:33:470:33:49

I'm fascinated. You're so involved with such an emotional part of people's lives

0:33:490:33:53

for a brief spell but then it gets taken over and taken away.

0:33:530:33:57

Do you spend time after the call wondering what happened?

0:33:570:34:00

You do. Sometimes the crews feed back through

0:34:000:34:03

and they say well done, you helped them out, or unfortunately...

0:34:030:34:08

Things like that. To let you know what happened with it, the basis behind it.

0:34:080:34:12

It's good to get an idea of what's going on, but you're surrounded in the emotion of the call.

0:34:120:34:18

How are you combining work and managing to do your study as well?

0:34:180:34:23

-I don't start till September.

-So you'll keep going till September.

-Yeah.

0:34:230:34:27

Earn some pennies to get through Uni.

0:34:270:34:30

Good luck with it. It's a great line to go into.

0:34:300:34:33

Good luck. Interesting, how it can change your life, being involved in a job.

0:34:330:34:38

Now, back to Arnie, the 14-year-old horse stuck in a freezing muddy bog.

0:34:380:34:43

The specialist rescue team have spent three hours trying to encourage him out of the water.

0:34:430:34:48

But the fading light and falling temperatures mean their only option is to sedate the horse

0:34:480:34:53

and try to pull him out.

0:34:530:34:54

-Hello, how are you? My name's Jim.

-I'm Zoe.

-Hi, Zoe.

0:34:540:34:59

Equine vet Zoe Turner has arrived. Her expertise will be vital if Arnie is to make it out of here.

0:34:590:35:06

Animal rescuer Jim Green briefs her.

0:35:060:35:09

This isn't going to be straightforward.

0:35:090:35:12

We'll probably have to sedate very heavily. Probably about nine.

0:35:120:35:17

-That's right.

-OK.

0:35:170:35:18

The quickest method of sedating Arnie is to inject straight into a vein.

0:35:180:35:22

But that's a difficult and risky job. Zoe has to get up very close.

0:35:220:35:26

Arnie's desperation to get to his feet

0:35:320:35:34

is making him much more agitated and difficult to work around.

0:35:340:35:38

Zoe's very concerned about how cold he is.

0:35:380:35:41

There is only a certain length of time

0:35:410:35:43

that the body can keep its own temperature

0:35:430:35:46

above a critical level.

0:35:460:35:47

It's similar to a person getting dropped in a frozen lake.

0:35:470:35:51

There's only so long they can survive

0:35:510:35:53

before the body just shuts down.

0:35:530:35:55

The fire-fighters do all they can to keep her safe.

0:35:550:35:59

Attached to a rope, she makes her way down to the horse.

0:35:590:36:04

It's a tense moment.

0:36:050:36:07

But Zoe's managed to administer the drug successfully.

0:36:070:36:11

Now there's another wait until the sedative takes effect.

0:36:130:36:17

Despite the drug, Arnie tries again to break free.

0:36:180:36:21

Zoe's pulled away to safety.

0:36:220:36:24

Keep his head over that way.

0:36:240:36:26

No-one said this job was going to be easy when you took the Queen's shilling!

0:36:260:36:31

It's a very difficult situation.

0:36:310:36:33

This horse is still fighting to save itself.

0:36:330:36:36

That's making it even more dangerous for the rescue team.

0:36:360:36:40

Sedation doesn't work as well in stressed animals in any situation.

0:36:400:36:45

He was clearly cold and in shock.

0:36:450:36:47

He had very high levels of adrenaline.

0:36:470:36:50

All these things combined and reduced the effectiveness

0:36:500:36:53

of the drugs given.

0:36:530:36:55

The initial dose given was a high dose for his body weight

0:36:550:36:58

but it wasn't enough to restrain him sufficiently to allow the firemen to do their job.

0:36:580:37:04

They had no choice but to up the dosage of the sedation.

0:37:040:37:08

Everyone quiet, now, please.

0:37:090:37:11

The adrenaline is fighting the sedative.

0:37:110:37:15

The more he struggles, the more he's going down on that back end.

0:37:150:37:19

That's really not good.

0:37:190:37:21

Again, valuable minutes go by as they wait for the drugs to work.

0:37:220:37:26

Now he's starting to go.

0:37:260:37:28

That's better!

0:37:280:37:30

Everyone with dry suits, get stuck in to this.

0:37:300:37:33

Finally, after two and a half hours in the water,

0:37:330:37:36

Arnie is subdued enough for the team to work safely.

0:37:360:37:40

There's a chance he may start to suffer from hypothermia.

0:37:400:37:44

They waste no time activating their plan.

0:37:440:37:46

We've got a forward skid on.

0:37:460:37:48

Back round, this in, forward skid straight out.

0:37:480:37:52

They've moved in with inflatable pathways to work safely in the mud.

0:37:520:37:56

Then strops, or pulling straps, have to be put into position.

0:37:560:38:01

-Got it?

-Yep.

-Well done.

0:38:030:38:05

They're now ready to heave the large horse out of the water.

0:38:050:38:09

Let's try it.

0:38:090:38:10

14 fire-fighters pull with all their might to free Arnie from the water-filled ditch.

0:38:100:38:15

He's going.

0:38:170:38:19

Go on.

0:38:210:38:22

Go on, fellas. Well done.

0:38:220:38:24

Well done, everyone. Well done.

0:38:270:38:30

They've done it. Now they can reposition at the front

0:38:300:38:33

They're going to use the inflatable pathway as a slide.

0:38:330:38:37

Go with it!

0:38:370:38:38

Greased by the slippery mud,

0:38:380:38:40

Arnie can be slid up onto solid ground.

0:38:400:38:43

Keep going!

0:38:440:38:46

-Rest there!

-Rest!

-Well done.

0:38:530:38:57

Arnie was in the icy water for over three hours.

0:38:570:38:59

He's freezing, exhausted, and still under the influence of a lot of sedation.

0:38:590:39:05

It's clear to Louise that he's not out of danger yet.

0:39:050:39:08

'When he came out of that water,'

0:39:080:39:11

he was a bit of a wreck.

0:39:110:39:13

He wasn't good at all.

0:39:130:39:15

He was so cold, he was so wet, he really, really was in a bad way.

0:39:150:39:20

Now is the tensest time.

0:39:210:39:24

If Arnie has any chance of survival,

0:39:240:39:26

he has to get up on his feet.

0:39:260:39:28

He's trying to come round. It's a matter of time, really.

0:39:280:39:32

It takes time to ease off.

0:39:320:39:35

Good lad.

0:39:360:39:38

Jim and the team, Zoe and Louise, are all willing him on.

0:39:390:39:43

It's a long 15 minutes

0:39:440:39:46

before he finally hauls himself up.

0:39:460:39:49

He staggers to his feet.

0:39:550:39:58

Turn him round. Turn him round.

0:39:580:40:00

Well done. Turn him. Nice and gently. Nice and gently.

0:40:000:40:03

Stand. Stand.

0:40:030:40:05

Steady, boy.

0:40:050:40:07

But it's going to be touch and go for Arnie. He may be out of the icy water,

0:40:070:40:12

but there's still a real danger of hypothermia.

0:40:120:40:15

The next 24 hours are going to be critical.

0:40:150:40:18

It continued to be a very difficult night for Arnie. But this story does have a happy ending.

0:40:190:40:26

Cold and shivering, Arnie was eventually taken to his stable.

0:40:260:40:30

Once he was back in his stable, both his front and back legs cramped up.

0:40:300:40:35

It's called exertional rhabdomyolysis, or tying up,

0:40:350:40:38

and this was very painful for him.

0:40:380:40:40

We had to give him strong pain relief.

0:40:400:40:43

This was while we were giving him fluids for shock at the same time.

0:40:430:40:47

He had a lot of fight in him and he wasn't going to give up!

0:40:470:40:50

The vets were brilliant.

0:40:500:40:52

They worked all through the night with him.

0:40:520:40:55

It was touch and go at one point whether he was going to make it.

0:40:550:40:59

But the vet was so happy when she came down the following day.

0:40:590:41:02

Just three weeks on and Arnie is back doing what he loves,

0:41:100:41:14

parading in the yard with Louise's daughter, Kaylee.

0:41:140:41:17

He's fine. You wouldn't believe he'd been through all that.

0:41:180:41:22

I couldn't believe how good the recovery has been with him.

0:41:220:41:26

Arnie being his name, he must be a Terminator, cos he's recovered remarkably!

0:41:270:41:33

I couldn't believe it.

0:41:330:41:35

And Louise has made changes to make sure it will never happen again.

0:41:350:41:39

I wouldn't let it happen again.

0:41:390:41:41

My brother and dad came down and put a fence up.

0:41:410:41:44

I've taken that one out of the equation cos he can't now!

0:41:440:41:48

-I'm glad he's better.

-You're a softie with horses.

0:41:510:41:54

-I am a softie.

-You're a rider, aren't you?

-Yes.

0:41:540:41:57

It's dangerous! It's a dangerous sport. People fall off horses.

0:41:570:42:01

-Have you fallen off?

-Yeah. Don't be a wimp!

0:42:010:42:03

What is going on? That's twice in one programme! Not happy with that!

0:42:030:42:07

-Maybe I was told!

-Isn't it interesting what Ben said,

0:42:070:42:10

about how you can get led into a change of lifestyle and take off in a different direction.

0:42:100:42:16

I love the fact that they'd all like to know what happens

0:42:160:42:19

at the end of these calls, and if people are OK.

0:42:190:42:22

Even the paramedics were saying only one in 100 ever write and say they'd like to know.

0:42:220:42:27

-If you get helped out by someone, drop them a line.

-Absolutely.

-Say thank you.

0:42:270:42:32

-That's a good idea.

-Yes. "Wimp"!

0:42:320:42:35

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

-Bye!

0:42:350:42:39

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:120:43:15

A family's weekly wash is set alight by the cooker, and a teenage girl breaks her jaw playing rugby.