Hold Tight! - Emergencies
Chapter 7
Page 63
Hold Tight!
Chapter 7
City Transport
57 A different world
58 Portswood
59 Decisions
60 Home and away
61 Shirley routes
62 Football
63 Emergencies
64 Centenary
65 Driving school
66 End of the road
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
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When I started on the buses I was warned that every conductor at some point had to deal with a birth. I was told tales of babies arriving into the world on dark winter nights, a million miles from anywhere. My plan for this was simple. I would leave the driver in charge and go for help. No matter how far, no matter what the weather. I would be brave.
In the event I was never put to the test. In all the years I worked as a conductor nobody gave birth on my bus and I never knew anyone who actually had this happen to them. But still every new recruit was told that sooner or later .....
If births can be unpredictable, sadly death can hit suddenly too. My first fright was in Eastleigh when I had been in the job only about a year. It was in the evening and we were quiet. A passenger upstairs had gone past the stop he had asked for. I went upstairs and he appeared to be asleep. Suddenly he fell forward and I realised something was wrong. Fortunately the ambulance crew revived him.
On an early morning bus to the docks a young man collapsed. A diabetic, he had been late and had skipped breakfast. Another ambulance, another fright but a good outcome.
And then one Saturday morning on a busy trip into the city from Shirley, a passenger was taken ill upstairs. This looked serious and I immediately called for an ambulance. We were only a few minutes from the ambulance station but it seemed to take forever for them to arrive. Another passenger tried to help but this time it was too late.
We had no training for this kind of thing and no counselling afterwards. We were just expected to take it in our stride and of course that was what we did. Whatever happened we filled in the appropriate forms and then took on our next bus.
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