An ambulance technician has shared stories of some of his most devastating call-outs in a new book documenting the reality as an emergency services worker.
Dan Farnworth, 33, from Bolton, has been working as an emergency medical technician for more than 15 years, after joining the North West ambulance service in the North of England aged 18.
In 999: My Life on the Frontline of the Ambulance Service, Mr Farnworth recalls how he was once called to treat a mother found dead in a pool of her own blood, and rushed to help a baby who had been accidentally suffocated by his father as he slept.
Dan Farnworth, 33, centre, from Bolton, shares his experiences in a new book. His work campaigning for better mental health support has led to him meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, pictured at an event in October 2016
He also touches on an incident that left him suffering with PTSD. Mr Farnworth responded to a 2014 call-out where he was handed the body of a two-year-old girl who had been severely beaten by her father and later died of her injuries.
Mr Farnworth, pictured, recalls the incident that left him suffering with PTSD
The ambulance technician, himself a father-of-four, now campaigns for better mental health support for emergency service workers.
Toddler girl whose bruised face left him with PTSD
In the book, Dan touches on the case which left him with crippling PTSD in 2014 and led him to heavy drinking, pushing him to campaign with the mental health charity later on.
He recalls answering a call and driving up to an address, only to be handed a bruised and injured two-year-old girl by her father.
He said he could immediately tell something was amiss, writing: 'Her face is black and blue, as are her legs. Her eyes are half closed, her pupils dilated and her breathing is noisy and slow, which is a bad sign,' he writes.
A clicking noise coming from the girl's body also suggested to the pair of first responders that she had broken bones.
The poor girl died of her injuries and the man, who admitted he had shaken her in a fit of anger, was arrested.
Baby boy accidentally suffocated by his father
'We heard a woman screaming, “My baby! My baby!” I grab everything we might need: the defibrillator, an ALS (advanced life support) bag, oxygen, drugs,' Dan wrote.
In a gut-wrenching moment, the emergency technician revealed the baby was 'white, floppy and bleeding from the nose' as his panicked dad attempted CPR.
The boy had been accidentally suffocated by his father, who had fallen asleep next to the infant and rolled over.
Dan recalled telling the hospital, located three minutes away, that their staff only had 60 seconds to get ready while he drove the baby to their services as soon as possible.
The baby later died.
The story, however, did not leave Dan's mind, and he internalised his feelings, 'descending to the bottom of a dark hole.'
'Unless I made a concerted effort to concentrate, all I could see was the face of that poor battered girl,' he recalled.
Recalling that he felt like he was sleep-walking through life after the traumatic event, Dan explains in the book that he turned to the drink to cope with the haunting images of the child.
Dan, who said he thought he was immune to mental health issues before the call about the two-year-old, was diagnosed with PTSD, which changed his outlook on life.
'It wasn’t really until I was diagnosed with PTSD that I realised I was vulnerable. Having made that discovery, I wanted people to know that no one is immune to mental-health problems and that it is OK to have one,' he wrote in the book.
After his diagnosis, Dan wrote a blog post that went viral about mental health in the ambulance service, and has since then become a campaigner, raising awareness on the issue. Dan has worked with the mental charity Mind.
Woman beaten to death and left in a pool of blood
Mr Farnworth once answered a call to investigate a 'female covered with bruises and blood'.
Horrifically, the woman had been beaten to death and was lying in a pool of her own blood while her son, who had found her, was trying to 'keep it together.'
Man who died trying to escape a house fire
Dan remembered how he once 'failed' to save a man who had died in a house fire. The man had his door keys in his hands when he was dragged out.
'He'd obviously been trying to get to the door when he was overcome and was only a few feet from making it,' Dan wrote.
Dan remembered how, when the woman's other son arrived at the scene with his girlfriend, his first instinct was to break the news to them in a room as far as possible from the scene - and sat them down on a sofa.
To his horror, Dan soon realised that the sofa they were sitting on was drenched in blood, meaning the woman was stabbed and killed on the sofa and then dragged across the flat. This meant he had unintentionally tampered with a murder scene.
'I can feel my trousers getting wet with what I assume his blood,' he recollected in his book.
He added that the policemen who arrived on the scene were not too pleased with the 'idiot' ambulancemen, who compromised evidence, and recalled how he kept the son and girlfriend inside to shelter them from the curious looks of neighbours.
999: My Life on the Frontline of the Ambulance Service by Dan Farnworth is published by Simon & Schuster.