We’ve had a whole day of elderly falls – non-injury, almost all of them arthritic knees giving out – but this next one sounds serious.
Fire. Elderly male, fallen. Fire Brigade en route. Please call with early update.
The high street is so stuffed up with buses and cars and scaffolding trucks and crowds out enjoying the sunshine, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an armed mob on a barricade round the next corner. Still, I do what I can, and we get there in reasonable time.
A fire truck is parked up outside the house, but its hoses haven’t been deployed, and everything seems calm. We grab the resus and drugs bags from the ambulance, and scanning the air for tell-tale smoke, hurry past the worried on-lookers to the house with its front door and all its windows open.
Inside, an elderly man is sitting on the hall floor supported by a fire fighter. Three other fire fighters are inspecting the house, but there’s a leisurely feel to the place, and the smell of something burnt in the kitchen.
‘What happened?’ asks Rae, putting her bag aside and kneeling next to the patient.
‘Don’t ask,’ he says. ‘But anyway, nice to see you.’
‘Denis is a little embarrassed,’ says the fire fighter, giving him a reassuring slap on the shoulder.
‘Well – wouldn’t you be?’ says Denis.
The fire fighter laughs.
‘We heard there was a fire,’ says Rae, putting a SATS probe on Denis’ finger.
‘No,’ sighs Denis. ‘I was making some lunch and I burned the toast. The damned alarm went off, and when I tried to turn it off, I fell over and couldn’t get up again.’
He shrugs, and rubs his legs.
‘It’s these damned arthritic knees.'