4. A really hard-hitting video on mental trauma suffered by emergency services personnel. This stuff is what the ordinary members of the public don’t see, and the stuff which Mark admitted “sometimes shouldn’t be normal but can be.” When your week can see incredible highs (helping parents give birth) and horrible lows (people taking their lives, or hurting others), it’s hard to keep an even keel on things. My Lovely One doesn’t talk a lot about his job – largely because a lot of it is confidential to patients, which is right and proper. But the small windows I do get can sometimes horrify me.
5. The realisation that emergency services personnel don’t have the option of saying no to people, a lot of the time. The other day I was walking home from the station and saw a policeman talking to a visibly distressed man on the street, who was missing a shoe, shouting and waving a bottle of something or other around. He was clearly not in a good place and the guy speaking to him clearly wasn’t having much fun being screamed at, but the guy in uniform stayed anyway. It seems to me that sometimes we don’t realise that when you call 999, the people on the other end have a duty to make sure you’re okay. And that means that they are the ones on the pointy end of a lot of abuse, and distress, and people who can’t get help anywhere else. It’s not all rescues and crimefighting, in fact, a lot of the time it’s really basic social and medical care that can’t be delivered any other way – but I wonder if that’s the right thing.