So it’s 4.15in the morning & I’m reduced to watching the CCTV.
I could be chatting about who’s shagging who, which staff member has gone off with stress or what I did with the family over rest days, but the bosses don’t think it’s important to double-crew radio channels so I’ve got no-one to talk to.
Looking across the control room is like a view into history, a specific point in history just before the sinking of a famous ship, what was its name again? Oh yeah, that’s it, the Marie Celeste; 90% of the radio channels are single-crewed. It’s like the police service took a delivery of really bad deodorant, either that or Health & Safety have decided our individual workspace must be increased by four times. Nobody is near enough for a conversation.
So there’s this guy on CCTV who’s doing a great impression of an ex-human being, flat out on his back beside a bench in the town centre. His girlfriend is cradling him in her arms. He must be drunk because there’s no logs on the box about anyone dying.
Two female paramedics arrive. They stand sufficiently far away from the ‘body’ to be out of reach. Arms folded, they look inquisitively at the body on the ground. I have no idea what they’re saying but they have that look about them of a headmaster who’s just caught Blessington-Smythe minor playing with his bogies during Latin Literature. I suspect this isn’t their first call to a helpless drunk tonight.
Plod arrives & completes a pedestrian circuit of the body. He squats down somewhere near the head & is presumably doing his best biblical impressions but Lazarus isn’t rising. After a minute it’s the copper who goes hands-on & tries to get the body up onto the bench. At least if he rolls off that there will be more laughs in it. It looks like something off a Marx Brothers film. As soon the copper gets one leg on the bench the other falls off. There is so much loss of muscle control that he’s making the rubber man look like a Coldstream Guard. he’s on the bench, no he’s off. he’s back on again, no he’s off.
Nobody wants to do much with a drunk. Everyone knows that as soon as the vehicle door closes it triggers the vomit button & you don’t have many friends when you hand over a vehicle in the morning which stinks of urine, vomit, or worse.
The ambo crew disappear while I’m attending to matters on my radio channel & when I look back the officer is also exiting stage right. The body still looks like the victim of an unsuccessful bungee jump off the Town hall, splattered half on the bench & half in a discarded kebab on the pavement.
He’s still there half an hour later. His girlfriend is leaning against the wall of a charity shop talking into a mobile phone.
I have no idea what happened to him as the CCTV operator got bored & is now watching someone pissing into a traffic cone.