I am ‘getting on a bit’ but. after suffering a nasty fall indoors at around 2am last Tuesday, when I did fortunately manage to stand up again, I was able to unlock my front door, knowing that the ambulance crew were on their way.
Normally, even during the day, I do tend also to leave the ‘safety chain’ across the door, and this prompted my question to the paramedics –
“How do you guys manage if you come to a property where the door is unlocked, but the safety chain has been left on? Do you carry any bolt cutters in the ambulances?”
“No”, came the answer, “we call the fire brigade!”
Which seems a bit daft really, with someone inside in need of immediate life-saving medical attention. It must surely be cheaper to issue cutters to every ambulance rather than to pay for a fire crew to attend – and not even a fire occurring.
Inevitably, my mind turned to 15th April 1989, and that dreadful public order debacle at the Hillsborough stadium. There were finally 96 persons dead and 766 were injured, all of which might have been avoided, if only the groundstaff equipment had included a set of stout bolt-cutting equipment to open up the front ‘gates’ to those terraced areas, allowing supporters to spill out safely onto the pitch.
I don’t recall that being raised as an issue during the public enquiry.
(The last time I mentioned this on social media I got a bit of abuse from one family who had been bereaved at Hillsborough, which was unfortunate, because my point was not against their relatives’ situation, but supportive of them and how those poor people could have been saved.)