In the event of a major medical emergency the London Ambulance Service normally dispatches two units.   A Fast Response Unit (FRU) and an Ambulance.   The thinking is that a smaller vehicle will make better time to the scene, providing medical assistance sooner.  A bonus is that, when the Ambulance arrives, there is a third medically trained person at the scene.   This is why you often see these units together at an incident.*

In London the FRU’s are a mix of estate cars and motorcycles, normally referred to as Paramedics.   There are also Cycle Response Units (CRU) in Inner London where the traffic is heaviest and there are also a number of large parks making normal road access difficult.

Outside BudgensFRU and Ambulance attending a collapsed person at a local supermarket

At Wingate & Finchley

Attending an Incident at Wingate & Finchley FC.

There’s a bit of a story behind this shot… A player collapsed on the pitch and the Ambulance was summoned.  The Paramedic and Ambulance arrived within a couple of minutes of each other and tended the player in the dressing room – it turned out that he had a bad case of concussion.   However, when it came to time to transfer him to Hospital the Ambulance crew discovered that the rear tyre of the ambulance was suffering from a slow puncture making it unsuitable for patient transfer.  So a second Ambulance was called.   On arrival, the replacement ambulance mistakenly dived into the next door Rugby club and the paramedic was dispatched on foot to fetch them round to the correct location.  In the photo you can see him returning with the second Ambulance behind – squeezing past his FRU vehicle.

Time for a ChatSometimes an incident proves to be less of an emergency than at first thought.  So, it’s a chance for the hard working crews to take a 5 minute break and chat before the next shout 🙂

This post is dedicated to the crews of the London Ambulance Service who save lives every day around the capital.

*The information given in the introduction is my understanding as an observing member of the public of how things work and not a statement of official LAS policy.   More views of LAS vehicles and crews can be found on Flickr in the London Ambulance Service group.

I have, since I was a child, kept Budgies as pets.   I don’t have an aviary but I always buy 2 at a time so that they have company – Budgies are very sociable birds and having a companion is good for them although they’re very quick to strike up relationships with humans in the absense of fellow Budgies.   They are usually great fun if a bit noisy when you’re trying to watch something on TV.

Each is an individual character – I can remember one we called Christine wrestling with my Mother’s needles while she was knitting and another, Micky, who liked to pick up objects on the table and drop them over the side then wait expectantly for me to put the object back on the table so that he could repeat the process!

Like humans they come in different sizes and our current two (both male) are physical opposites.  Peter is a great big lump who hates to come out of the cage and views flying as something for the cats 😉   Paul, on the other hand, loves to perform daredevil flying displays around the room.   So yesterday evening I opened the cage door to let them do their thing and encouraged Peter onto the top of the cage.   Paul then came out of his own accord as usual except…

I couldn’t believe it – he clearly had no directional control whatsoever  and wound up crash landing behind the TV!   I went to investigate and found him, looking a bit sheepish, sitting on the scart cable.   Unusually, he let me pick him up – he’s normally very independent.   Investigation revealed that this moult he’s shed all his primary flight feathers at the same time on one side – no wonder he’s got no directional control!   I guess he’s going to be flying around in ever-decreasing circles for a while 😉


I subsequently discovered that Paul probably had a night-fright. Something spooked him overnight and he had an argument with the cage, knocking out a set of flight feathers. Apparently this is quite a common occurrence with Budgies though it was a first for me in over 40 years of keeping them!