Booze Brigade

They’ll be running the country in a few years.

Following the tragic and senseless murder of Gary Newlove, Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Cheshire Police, has quite rightly in my view, reopened the debate on under age drinking and anti-social behaviour.

“Alcohol is too cheap and too readily available and is too strong. Young people cannot handle it.” [plus], “a hardcore” of parents “abdicated” their responsibility.”

My thoughts exactly. 3.30 this morning and I was called to a house where someone had fallen down the stairs. Turned out its a 14 year old lad and he’d been drinking. When I arrived he was in a crumpled heap on a small landing half way down a flight of stairs. Claret (blood for the uninitiated) all over the walls and down his head; vomit all over his shirt and covering the stairs; and he’s totally ‘out of it’ – GCS of 7. These kinds of jobs are a nightmare for a solo: what to do? You have to consider a cervical spine injury given the circumstances; you need to maintain his airway what with all the blood and vomit; you can’t drag him down the stairs but he’s thrashing about all over the place (probably from cerebral irritation) so its a case of trying prevent him from toppling the rest of the way down. Things are not helped by Control telling me that “we don’t know where your back-up’s coming from as we haven’t got any vehicles available.” – nothing new there then (remember this one?)

In the end I was with the lad for over 40 minutes before a vehicle turned up. During that time at least 10 other people ‘appeared’ in the house and not a single one of them looked to be of a legal drinking age. All of them seemed a little “worse for wear” and some of them gave me the usual abuse of “where’s the f**king ambulance mate? What you doin ’bout it then, eh?” Plus more antagonising comments of a general nature nicely punctuated with swearing.

This wasn’t the lad’s home either. Did his mother know where he was? Apparently not it seems when the hospital got around to calling her. And where were the ‘responsible adults’ who owned this house? Certainly not on the premises that’s for sure.

I checked back at A&E before I came home to see how he was getting on. They’d intubated him. He’d had a scan and a ‘C’ spine X-ray. All clear. No other injuries so that was a relief. “He’s just pissed” the anaesthetist who was with him told me. “I can’t believe all the time, effort and money the NHS has had to spend on this guy and all because someone let him get drunk at 14!

I went back to station after the job to clean off the vomit that was stuck all over my boots. Someone said I even had blood in my hair, that must be from where he’d flailed out and caught me round the head as we carried him down the stairs. I had to spend the rest of the shift with vomit stained trousers as our service is too tight/incompetent/irresponsible to provide me with enough uniform to leave a spare shirt and trousers in my locker. I’ve only got two pairs of uniform trousers and I’ve been waiting nearly 10 months now for that ‘interim uniform issue’ to reach me.

Ha! was that another pig I just saw go flying past the window?

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