Elementary my dear Watson.
The station alarm went off first, closely followed by the bat phone. “Red call; patient unconscious; possible cardiac arrest. Further details on the vehicle” Must be serious, they’re sending all of us; me on the response car and the girls on the bus. We bailed out the yard, lights blazing, sirens on ‘wail’. The location was a residential home but, being late evening, when we arrived there was no one around. Having rung the bell for the flat, bashed on the door, and pressed the ’emergency services’ bell, we huffed and puffed impatiently hoping someone would let us in. This is a typical feature of residential and nursing homes; somebody dials 999 but it seems to take forever for someone to actually answer the door. Eventually a resident, who was wandering down the corridor, saw us jumping up and down at the door and let us in. On being told which flat we wanted he waved us back the way he’d come “4th on the right”. We charged down the hall, dragging the 3 tons of kit behind us. At the flat we found a rather bewildered chap standing at the door.
“Did you call for an ambulance?”
“Um…No, but I think I called for the doctor.”
“Well he’s sent us round. Is there someone unconscious somewhere?”
He paused for a moment, ruminated, scratched his head, paused a bit more “Oh right, yes, um…er…in here.” And with that he stepped aside and let us in.
Now these residential ‘flats’ are usually little more than glorified bedsits and this one was a case in point. We bundled into the lounge: no one to be seen. C headed for the kitchen, I went for the bedroom while S tried to get some more details about what was going on. No one in the kitchen, no one in the bedroom, in fact no unconscious body anywhere.
“Where’s the person Stan?”
Stan shuffled into the lounge and plonked himself down in an easy chair. He took a deep breath, wiped the hair from his eyes and pointed an arthritic, fag stained finger at the settee across the room. “Its right there!”
We all looked; its a natural reaction; follow the finger. But there was no body there, just an empty settee.
“There’s no one there Stan.”
Another pause for reflection. “Oh well, I guess they must have gone again.”
“Yes, sometimes they just get up and go, though this one’s been there a long time tonight – I think.”
C took charge. She used to work with the elderly.
“Stan, there’s no one there. You know that really don’t you?”
“Well, er…um..yes, I suppose I do.”
“Do you often see people in your flat?”
“But you know they’re not really there, its in your imagination?”
At that point we all sensed ‘something’ in the doorway behind us. We turned as one.
“Arrgghh! Crickey! Wow! Gosh! You made me jump!”
Standing in the doorway was the warden. She’d appeared without a sound. Goodness knows how long she’d been there but she sure scared the life out of me.
“What you been up to now then Stan? Been seeing more people again?”
She turned to us “He’s often seeing people in his flat, doesn’t usually call for help though, the doctor’s put him on some pills for it. Stan, did you press the button round your neck and tell them there was a person in the flat?”
“Er…um… I think so.”
Looks like another false alarm – thank goodness. If it really had been a cardiac arrest they’d certainly have been dead by the time we were able to get in to them. We settled Stan down for the night and got the paperwork sorted out. The warden was going to stay with him for a bit, which was good of her.
We left them to it and headed back to base. It was never that simple for Sherlock.