herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

A BLOODY NIGHT O N THE FRONT LINE WITH DFB EME RGENCY CREW

Blood is seeping through a bandage around the head of a young man who has become the victim of an unprovoked vicious attack in Dublin city.

Members of the Dublin Fire Brigade are on hand to help the 25-year-old, who is originally from China, whose St Patrick's night has just been ruined.

It's one of the many call-outs that the dedicated and professional crew, who are trained paramedics have been called to deal with in the city centre environs throughout the course of the night.

It's 11pm and the man is sitting in the ambulance that will bring him to St James's Hospital after a bottle was smashed over his head in a pub.

Bandages

"He was hit with a bottle and has lost 500mls of blood. It took five bandages to stop the bleeding," one of the crew treating the wounded man explains.

The man's girlfriend was also assaulted by another individual at the scene and has a minor head injury.

Gardai arrive to deal with the assailants.

It's one of hundreds of incidents the professionals will deal with overnight.

From early on in the evening, the calls have been coming thick and fast into the Dublin Fire Brigade control room which is despatching ambulances and fire tenders all over the city as required.

Moments earlier, they have helped an individual across the street in another establishment who fell down a flight of stairs in an accident.

Liam Hyland (below), a District Officer who has 34 years service with the DFB said that St Patrick's Day is one of the busier days in the city as the numbers are swelled by people from all over the country and abroad, so obviously calls are going to be increased.

He is driving an instant command vehicle.

"We can control an incident from this vehicle - communications wise, vehicle management, staff management, resource management, it can all be done from this vehicle," he explained.

The radio in his car gives a flavour of what is going on all over the city. Throughout the night, there are car crashes, people who have breathing difficulties, cardiac problems, a suicide, in addition to a large number of assaults.

At 10.30pm on a busy city centre street where an assault has been reported to the ambulance service, a young man politely knocks on the window of Liam's vehicle. The officer gets out of the car and examines the young man.

It's a French tourist who looks to be in his 20s, and he says that some guy knocked into him in a shop. He tells Liam that he said 'hey' to the guy, who then head-butted him.

The French tourist says that his girlfriend stepped in between the two of them and the other guy left.

"He was concerned his nose was broken. I don't think it was, but it was starting to swell up a bit," said Liam.

The incident occured not far from where another man was assaulted earlier in the evening. A garda and concerned members of the public surround the young man who is lying on the ground.

The man says that he was assaulted by two individuals, knocked to the ground and his head was kicked and stamped on.

He regained consciousness, but will require observation in hospital.

Elsewhere, Richard Currie, is one of the sub officers with the brigade who responds to a call-out in the north inner city, where a man has been rendered unconscious in an assault in a shop.

"He was knocked out. There was a loss of consciousness. He has come around but he is still not lucid. He was assaulted inside the shop and received up to six punches to the head. He has a cut lip and is bleeding from one ear," he said.

The unknown assailants have already moved on and the victim is brought by ambulance to hospital by the professionals.

The city centre is heaving and many revellers are in good humour enjoying a few drinks with friends.

However, some people do require ambulance assistance

after becoming so drunk that they have collapsed and are unable to get up off the cold pavement.

They too get brought to hospital if required unless they refuse treatment.

But it's all in a night's work for the dedicated Fire Brigade members, who are trained to deal with all kinds of sensitive situations that present themselves.

fdillon@herald.ie

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