Carmelo Alongi

Carmelo Alongi is a student who has just started his training at University with the London Ambulance Service to become an EMT and eventually a Paramedic. Hopefully this blog will allow an interesting insight for everyone into the process of training tomorrow's Paramedics, and a chronicle of my life as I progress. I blog under this name as a tribute to my Italian Grandfather, Carmelo Alongi.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Day On the FRU.

So. During the week, the Xfileman (of The Paramedic's Diary fame) was kind enough to take me out for an observational shift on his FRU.

First call was to a ?abdo pain in a tube station. The traffic was a nightmare, crews were radioing in delays left right and centre as the volume of traffic was just immense. While we were on route we were stood down from the call, but soon enough the MDT started ringing again, and off we zoomed again to an elderly lady who had a ?fall. We both scratched our heads a little as when we turned up there was already an FRU on scene, equally the Tech who was with the lady seemed just as confused as to why we were there and not an ambulance. Needless to say we didn't stay there too long.

The next call was a bit disturbing (as it was the first domestic abuse call I've seen) was to a police station. I won't go into too much detail about it for privacy/criminal reasons, but suffice to say hitting a woman is the pretty damn low, however then proceeding to kick and punch her further is even lower. Men (and women) who do it should be strung up. Full stop.

Next a 15 month old boy with ?heart problems. When I saw that flash on the screen my heart rate immediately skyrocketed.
Kid. Ah. F**k.
Everything calmed down a bit once we went in the flat and he was crying, so at least he was breathing. We drove behind the crew to A&E, just in case anything happened on the way, which it didn't. Thankfully.

Then a stint on standby in Trafalgar square, which was nice, if a little odd due to the giant wooly mammoth model in the middle.

We were there for 10 minutes, if that, before we got a call to guy with back pain in a coach station. We arrived and found the guy sprawled on the stairs of the office, as apparently that was the most comfortable position. Xfile tried to get the guy to move to an upright position by himself, but the guy struggled and gave up. After some Entonox he was sitting, but that was all he could do. Xfile decided to pop a line in and give the guy some morphine so he could stand, by which time the ambulance had turned up. It was nice to see a fellow Uni bod crewing the bus, he was looking a bit nervous. I think I would too. He was only a year older than me. The only thought that was in my head was "Hell, that'll be me in a year if I do things right". The idea scares the whatsits out of me.

Off we went again to a girl hyperventilating in a large department store's nail bar. Bless her, the only cure she needed was some relaxed talking to in the back of the car and chocolate. Xfile stood down the crew who were also on the call once we were there, but it was too late, as they had just pulled around the corner before receiving it on the MDT. I felt bad for them, but I'm guessing that's just the way things work.

Then, my first drunk. Sprawled outside some steps around the back of a pub, the barman was apologetic about the call, but he was worried as the gentleman hadn't moved for quite a bit. We woke him up, he was very confused:

"What the f**k am I doing here?!"

However, as we got to know this gentleman he became the most self-aware drunk I had ever met:

"Why are you doing thish?! There are people lying about in za street bumped an' bruised, go and help them! I brought thish upon myshelf, look I have money! (proceeds to pull several notes out of his pocket) I can get myshelf home! Lishten, jus go! Heck I'll pay you!"

As we carried on talking to him, Xfile became increasingly concerned about the fact that the gentleman didn't have a clue how he had got there. I must admit I was very, very, very impressed with Xfile's approach to him, it was extremely professional. A seasoned pro, for sure. We transported him to A&E, just to get him checked out. In the end he was a very smart man, he wasn't an idiot. He knew what he had done to himself, he mentioned about cremating his wife and how she was the one, but she was dead now. That was pulling on my heart strings. He needed help, but we both suspected he probably wouldn't get it.

The last two calls were uninteresting, and to be honest neither really appeared to need an ambulance.

All in all I had a great day, flying along the famous streets and squares across central London, squeezing through traffic all in an effort to help someone. I didn't mind being a pack-horse for Xfile at all, I thought it was the least I could do for him. I learnt a lot too. Like just how stretched the service really is, and how in reality there is no real time for a break. Thanks again Xfile, I really appreciate it. If I end up even a quarter as good at this job as you are, I hope I should be alright.


  • At 12:01 pm, Blogger caramaena said…

    chocolate cures hyperventilation? Must remember that ;)

  • At 11:00 pm, Anonymous ecparamedic said…

    Entonox cures it too! ;-)

  • At 8:47 am, Blogger Dianne said…

    The only thing that might cure mine is Jooles Holland or James Spader ;~), I realise you can't carry everything.

  • At 9:30 pm, Anonymous ecparamedic said…

    I know what you mean about Domestic Violence, I covered something similar in one of my first posts.

    I've since heard that the bloke in question got time for his little outburst.


  • At 8:33 pm, Anonymous The Missus said…

    Happy Birthday to my wonderful man! Have a lovely day! :) Love you xxx


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