Friday, July 03, 2009

Assistance

On the way into work yesterday morning, someone pulled the emergency alarm on the tube. One of the things that can really irritate me about people is how they react in those circumstances. When the alarm went off, a number of people tutted and loudly sighed, as though the activation of the alarm was merely to inconvenience them. Admittedly, sometimes alarms are activated maliciously, but the vast majority of times, it is because someone needs help of some sort. Sometimes I want to ask my fellow commuters if they would find it so inconvenient if it was them who needed help and someone pulled the alarm. I sometimes think that we are so busy operating in our own little words, with our noses buried in books or listening to i-Pods or talking loudly on our mobile phones, that admitting that other people actually need to share the same space as us is beyond our comprehension. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an entirely cheerful commuter and have no wish to strike up a conversation with my fellow commuters, but I do think that we should be a bit more generous spirited at times.

Then on the way home last night, I was walking to the station and saw a cyclist collide with a tourist who stepped into the road without looking. The cyclist was just lying there in the road, so I went over to her (as had a couple of other people) and then I called an ambulance for her. By coincidence, an ambulance arrived to deal with an incident a couple of hundred yards up the road, and one of those paramedics came down to see if he could help. By then, the girl had recovered a bit and was able to speak and could sit up, but would have to keep lying down again because she was in pain. She had hit the road really hard and had struck her head and badly hurt her arm and had some nasty cuts. So I waited until the ambulance arrived and one of the other people (a stranger) went to hospital with her and I went home. She was very fortunate that there wasn’t a car coming at the time because she ended up in the middle of the road and could have ended up with much more serious injuries. I think she’ll be ok, if in a lot of pain for a while. The tourist walked away unscathed.

5 comments:

Blue soup said...

I think people need to be prepared for the extra emergency alarms at the moment - the temperatures on the tube are unbearable and lots of people are fainting.

I've always got a bottle of water with me - not only for me, but incase someone else is taken unwell.

Random Reflections said...

Blue Soup - good for you. I am glad that there are people who look out for their fellow passengers.

Hopefully the temperature will start to drop soon. Not only is it really hot, but there also seem to be more people than normal on the tube, making it even more unbearable.

Hope you're doing ok.

Sarah said...

It's reassuring that there are those who can feel compassion for a stranger. Many of us seem to lead such insular lives; the ability to relate to others seems sadly atrophied...

Kahless said...

Wow. I have never been on a train / tube when the alarm has been pulled. I think my reaction would be wholly inappropriate too - I would be excited by the drama!

Random Reflections said...

Sarah - I think, generally, travelling on the tube is very insular, and Londoners (of which I am one) are not a very friendly bunch. Hopefully we can be when it counts though.

Kahless - in this hot weather, it is fairly common on the tube. It loses its novelty after a while!