BBC series Ambulance aired a particularly ‘tragic’ episode last night that had everyone in agreement about one thing.
The BAFTA award-winning series follows staff from the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and last night’s episode saw teams responding to suicides and suicide att empts across the capital.
This year they have attended an average of 37 such incidents a day, compared to an average of 22 a day the year before, reports My London.
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Last night’s episode which aired on BBC One at 9pm, started with call handler Erin receiving a call from a distraught mum after finding her 36-year-old son hanging.
The episode showed Erin giving calm instructions to mum, Ursula, on how to perform CPR while ambulance crews raced to the scene.
Erin reassured and guided the mum until the paramedics arrived and swiftly and took over.
As the call ended, the visibly upset 999 operator burst into tears at her desk and was comforted by colleagues, revealing it was her first time ever taking a call of that nature.
We later saw advanced paramedic, Kevin, who has specialist training in life critical emergencies being dispatched to the address.
He was the only advanced paramedic on duty over the 620 square miles of London and 30 minutes away, but several other ambulance crews were near and arrived on the scene within minutes.
As Kevin made his way into the home, the camera showed other first responders around the man desperately performing CPR.
Kevin went to an adjacent room to see Ursula, the mum who had called 999, and broke the news to her that despite attempting to resuscitate her son for 30 minutes, he still did not have a heartbeat and wasn’t breathing.
He told her it was likely that her son would be pronounced dead in the next few minutes and asked if she would like to go and hold his hand.
Tragically, minutes later paramedics stopped trying to resuscitate Ursula's son and he was pronounced dead.
After the episode, people took to Twitter to praise the level of care and kindness shown by the call centre and ambulance crews, and were in agreement that the NHS first responders were all “heroes”.
NicolaD (@nickinidose) praised the calmness and care shown by Erin who took the initial 999 call from the mum.
She said: “What a hero! This young lady was amazing! When I hear about people abusing ambulance workers, it makes me so cross. They save lives. They are the backbone of this country. More needs to be done for them”.
Helplines and support groups
The following are helplines and support networks for people to talk to, mostly listed on the NHS Choices website
Paul (@paulcl99) agreed, saying: “Utmost respect to all involved in this show tonight (especially [this] lady). All heroes. As a brother of someone who’s committed suicide I can only thank you for all you do and the respect you show the families.”
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PipSQueakS (@queak_s) posted: “What they do, for people in crisis especially the mental health fatality. Stay calm, offer compassion and dignity. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to handle those situations. All deserve medals”.
And Shan (@shannonlaot) singled out advanced paramedic Kevin for particular praise: “The way this paramedic is caring for the patient's mother, a kind of respect she will never forget.”