I’ve spoken a few times about how after dealing with a horrific or difficult job or incident, it’s you colleagues that offer the most support and can help the most to come to terms with stress.
Last week, I was part of the night crew. I arrived on station and found the day crew not yet on station. I stuck the kettle on as my crew mate walked through the door.
“Brew?” I asked.
“Go on then, lad” my crew mate replied.
With that, the day crew walked through the door, both looking a little solemn.
“Evening, everything OK?” my crew mate asked them as I got two more mugs from the cupboard.
“We’ve just been to a ‘one-under’ (an incident where a person is hit by a train – the phrase one-under is mainly used in London Ambulance Service for when someone jumps or is pushed under a tube train).”
“Oh shit, you both alright” we ask.
Our first concern is for that of our work family before asking about the patient. What ever treatment that patient would’ve received would have been first class and in a timely manner, especially by the crew in question, and when hit by a train, their fate is often sealed.
“Did you work on him?”
*shakes head* “The train hit him at 110mph, so no, he was obviously dead.”
I don’t need to reel off the list of injuries the patient had sustained but they were not compatible with life.
And so we managed to sit and have a quick chat and cup of tea before receiving our first emergency. Even though it was only 5 or 6 minutes, it was enough to help them de-stress. There’s some things that you don’t want to tell your family as it’s just too horrific, but your ‘work family’ are always on hand to help.
Best job in the world!