It's not often I get called up for First Aid Duty - I made the foolish mistake of accepting a £20 a month payrise to administer dressings to bloody heads, wave fans in the face of hot grannies, and provide water to the faint. Every time I get the call, my stomach knots. What's it going to be this time? How drastic? Will I be called on to give CPR? Will it turn dangerous? Will everyone look to me to make some vital decision? How stupid am I going to look?
So, when I got the call today I had the same thoughts, chasing the member of staff across the basement asking: "Do I need to bring my medi-pack?"
We get to her desk, where three other members of staff are gathered - doesn't look too bad... except it's none of them:
They send me out to go check up on him, and low-and-behold I'm certain it's the same guy we hustled from the library some weeks back (he'd been asleep in the reference library, at a far hidden corner). What can a nominated first aider do? I asked him if he was okay - no response - got closer and asked again... he was breathing - but no response. I touched his arm surreptitiously and asked again. His eyelids moved and there was a murmur.
We got into a one-sided conversation then. Apparantly he didn't need any help, didn't want an ambulance and was just very tired! I could only advise that he come into the library if he wanted some help - not much else could be done except call the police, and let's face it. The guys specifically chosen the gradient to hide himself from view of the public, so he must either be a narcoleptic or seriously dog-tired.
I came back inside to advise everyone and they were talking about how they'd decided it was best I went out there since they'd all had their personal safety training and had been given all these horror stories about getting close to psychos - thanks everyone, I guess that makes me the red shirt on this mission.
In the hour he's been there we've only had one customer advise us of his prescence.