Football duty. Instant picture, 22 young men running around, and falling down and yelling ‘MEDIC’ at the slightest touch.

Under 18s 5-a-side football. Swap that around. 10 people who refuse to stop, even for serious injuries.

It was not fun getting there. On my bike, I seemed to have to climb the biggest hill in UniTown, to discover I had to head halfway down again to find the entrance to the school. I was not impressed, especially as half of my lunch had decided to drop out of the bag on my bike in the way.

There were three of us there, one youth member, QuietYouth and LittlePara. LittlePara was in charge, so QuietYouth and I were the response team. I like Quiet, he has enough confidence to actually want to treat, and a good helping of caution to make sure he didn’t do something silly.

The event was uneventful at first. Quiet went off to sit by the side of the pitch with a female friend, and LittlePara and I hid in the car, keeping an eye on him, and making the odd teasing comment about ‘young love’ in Quiet’s direction.

The first patient was nothing. A player had received a scrape along his shin through his socks and overprotective Mum made him get us to have a look. We needn’t have bothered. It would leave a bruise, but we can’t do much about that and his skin wasn’t even grazed.

It then went quiet for a bit, giving us time for a leisurely lunch, with LittlePara regaling us with stories from his paramedic degree.

Quiet and I responded to a bad knee, which was unfortunately in the middle of the two pitches. This attracted a crowd which I tried to disperse twice with little effect. Eventually I had to set a coach on them so that we had enough room for LittlePara to examine the joint and clear for fracture. Fortunately it was just a tendon injury, so apart from advise rest we couldn’t do anything for him.

An Astroturf burn brought us back to the middle of the field. Aside from drawing another crowd, this gave me a chance to let Quiet have his first go at wound dressing.

Now there are some things you never say to a patient.

  • You never tell them they’re going to die.
  • You never lie to them (this making the first awkward but not impossible).
  • And you never say you’ve never done the required treatment before.

The last one, while not as serious, does little to boost their confidence, and Quiet’s well-meaning comment caused me to spend some time reassuring the patient that they’re actually in very good hands and that everything will be fine.

As promised, Quiet did a first class job with the graze, and we were about to pack up our kit when another person arrived with a similar wound. Delegating this to Quiet, I was then distracted by someone else complaining of wrist pain (probably a strain or sprain from too long spent playing in goal), several bruises and a cut so small I didn’t even think it needed a plaster. By the time I’d finished those and moved on to checking another ankle while keeping half an eye on Quiet, LittlePara had wondered over to check on us, and I had run out of medium gloves. Commenting to Quiet that we’d just have to use large ones instead, my patient treated us to a lovely comment from my patient along the lines of ‘must have heard about me’ aimed at his friends.

This seemed to go over Quiet’s head, but it drew raised eyebrows from me, and LittlePara threw back a comment about the cold making things difficult to find, much amusing the growing crowd.

This mass of casualties dealt with, all that was left was some idiot who got himself a quite bad graze on his elbow, and then complained when he continued playing and the dressing fell off. Funnily enough this happens when you wave your arms around with a dressing on your elbow…

Then there was just might trip home, thankfully down hill all the way. Well, until I had my more respectable hill to climb…


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About The WalkingPlasterDispenser

So who is the Walking Plaster Dispenser? Well, I'm a volunteer First Aider, working with a well-known First Aid charity to help out random people I've never met before (or, more usually, when) they hurt themselves. This typically involves walking briskly (never run...) around after people who are silly enough to do sports or some other suitably daft activity in their free time. In my spare time, I am a graduate engineer, working my way through a graduate scheme with a big engineering company.

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