Sep 01


Tag: AmbulanceKal @ 10:51 am

I am writing to alert you to a dangerous new phenomenon called JFA that is sweeping the nation, requiring several 999 emergency ambulance calls every week. This frightening condition causes patients to suffer an acute reduction in consciousness and, if an attack takes place while driving, swimming, operating heavy machinery or handling dangerous animals, may result in serious injury or death.

Patients who are JFA can be recognised by its distinctive presentation:

Decreased neurological status.

Closed eyes (often with flickering of the eyeball and lids)



Deep, slow breathing (often with sonorous upper airway noises).

Sufferers report intense visual and auditory hallucinations, often with associated uncoordinated thrashing movements. Patients’ family members states these movements can occur when least expected and cause injuries to other people.

Young sufferers of JFA can experience loss of bowel and bladder control and parents of young people with JFA struggle to manage the unpredictable nature of their condition.

The diagnosis is a simple one to make and after a brief examination, most clinicians will quickly conclude that a patient is Just Fucking Asleep.

Thankfully, this diagnosis is one that can be made in the community by appropriately trained members of the public. On finding a positive JFA test, one can rest assured that it is unnecessary to call 999 and cause emergency personnell to put themselves and other members of the public at risk by driving under high speed blue-light conditions to someone who is clearly Just Fucking Asleep.

In the past, JFA patients who find themselves suffering an attack in public were protected under the social structure of CBS (Common Bastarding Sense), but following a recent increase in the FGC (Feckless Glaikit Cunts) population in major urban areas, we can no longer depend on CBS to ensure that police and ambulance resources are not wasted.

To this end, I have generously produced a guide to recognising patients who are JFA, so that you too can make this complex diagnosis.

Before we start, please be aware that this guide is not for everybody. You may be excluded from the training programme for several reasons. Please answer the following questions carefully.

“I can cross the road on my own, with a success rate of =>99.99%”

“I am able to solve common household problems, such as running out of loo roll, independently.”

“I am aware, through personal/anecdontal experience and/or exposure to the world in general (including mass media in all its forms) that homelessness exists and that people who fall critically ill in public rarely do so with the astounding good fortune to do so under a sleeping bag, with a pillow under their head and all their worldly belongings around them.”

Did you answer “Yes” to any of the questions above? Then I’m afraid this guide is not for you, as you are clearly CBS positive. Thankyou…enjoy your day.

Now, as for the rest of you? Let’s just double-double check that this training is suitable for you. Your set of questions:

“Sometimes my tongue goes dry and itchy because I let my lower jaw hang slackly on my chest as I breathe noisily in and out through my gaping mouth.”

“In my spare time I enjoy drinking hydrocarbons and/or sucking on lead fishing weights.”

“Hnnngh? Hnnnnngh.”

“When faced with a minor crisis,I like to roll on my back like a slutty possum and let someone else deal with things. Responsibility and independence frighten me to the point that….Ooooooh! A digger!”

Does that sound like you? Oh dear. Don’t worry, snookums, help is at hand.

Kal’s guide to diagnosing someone who is Just Fucking Asleep.

Step 1 – Notice this person, notice the presentation of closed eyes, limp limbs and deep breathing.

Ooooh….that looks like unconscious people you’ve seen on the interminable reruns of Holby City you spend your days off watching while NOT TOUCHING YOURSELF.

Unconscious people are super-duper sick and you should phone for an ambulance.

Step 2 – Dig out your phone…you remember your phone? That’s the thing you never answer because your dub-step ringtone is your favourite song ever.

Step 3 – Wait….what if this person is JFA? We should find out.

Step 4 – Inhale deeply and then express that air through your larynx, forming the words “Hello – are you alright? Wake up!” You’ll probably want to do this quite loudly and repeat it a couple of times.

Step 5 – Place your hand on the person’s shoulder or arm, give it a bit of a squeeze and give them a little shake. Try not to slam their head back and forth against anything, but make it a firm shoogle. Repeat your shouting from step 4.

Did they miraculously recover? Did they “regain consciousness” , apologise (or tell you to fuck off) and fuck off?


Having made a diagnosis of JFA you’re basically a doctor.

Go home and phone the local evening rag, maybe you’ll get your picture in the paper.

NB: Clearly, this is not accurate guidance and should be read as satire – if you are following this blog for sensible emergency care advice then saints preserve us all – BUT if you can’t wake someone up with a firm shake-and-shout, please phone for an ambulance on 999/911/112/whatever number applies in your locality. Thankyou. Back to the ranting.


Concern: “Carer’s arm is moving, but making no impact on patient.”
Problem: Carer’s hand is not in contact with patient’s body. Carer is “waving” as opposed to “shaking”. Waving at patients with closed eyes is frequently ineffective.
Solution: Move closer to patient until tactile feedback is felt through carer’s hand.

Concern: “Insufficient volume in shouting phase. Unpleasant sticky sensation on carer’s face. Carer’s mouth and tongue unusually moist. Tickly nose.”
Problem: Carer has gaffer tape across their mouth. I have no idea why.
Solution: Remove tape with satisfying ripping sound. Reapply lips.

Concern: “Patient appears unduly hairy with grossly swollen ears. Unable to find patient’s hands or arms for shaking phase.”
Problem: Patient is a donkey.
Solution: Leave petting zoo before police are called.

Concern: “Patient woke up, stood up, apologised for nodding off and explained that they have just finished a fourteen hour shift and are waiting for their spouse. Patient insists they are not unwell and do not require an ambulance. Should carer phone an ambulance “Just to get them checked out”
Problem: Carer is a twunt.
Solution: Fucking stop it.

Concern: Patient not responding to shaking or shouting. Delicious smell of white wine, clams and rosemary in air.
Problem: Carer has deviated from JFA testing plan and is making paella.
Solution. Return to step one and try again with a grown up.

There! Easy, right? Feel free to print this out and carry it with you for emergencies, safe and secure in the knowledge that you are now officially cleverer than TWO SEPERATE GROWN ADULTS IN EDINBURGH ON TWO SEPERATE BLOODY OCCASIONS WITHIN THE SAME BLOODY WEEK.

And exhale…..

23 Responses to “JFA”

  1. Rachel says:

    Brilliant! Brought a smile to my face!


  2. Bulk says:

    Well it is festival time in our fair Capital!
    I particularly like “step 5″ on the application of a “firm shoogle!”


  3. Chris says:

    dammit Kal, you had me till end of first paragraph. good one mate, sound advice that should be taught to the general public.


  4. Lady V says:

    FGC – I’ve met a few of them in my time and it will now be my favourite acronym, ever. Very funny post Kal, you should do a wee street show while the Festival is still here – you could even act it out…oh wait, you did…


  5. insomniacmedic says:

    Oh, this is sooo being printed out and stuck up on the station walls… Thanks for a brilliant giggle :)


  6. Fee says:

    I saw the application of CBS just last week, on a 33 bus. Driver was alerted to a ‘collapsed’ patient on the back seat. The driver, at a safe location, brought said bus to a complete stop, hopped out of his cab, and applied a rigorous shoogle to the ‘collapsed’ passenger. He was clearly possessed of messia-like abilities, because the hitherto near-dead chap was transformed in an instant, to some poor bugger who’d missed his stop! Never underestimate a Lothian Buses driver (and never, ever get in their way).


  7. Pam says:

    Ooohhh! A little annoyed are we? Amazing the difference between American and Scottish obscenities. Got a little language lesson on the side…. :-)


  8. David Precious says:

    Brilliant stuff, thanks for a good laugh!

    As it was building up I was expecting JFA to be Just (a) Fucking Alcoholic :)


  9. Utility says:

    Fantastic mate, that makes for excellent reading.
    I’m hurting from smiling just now. :-)
    Joe public, they need so much looking after…


  10. Carrie says:

    I feel very special since you read this to me over the phone this morning while I was at work. You are brilliant at reading stories too which made it twice as funny. I do love it when you test drive stories on me. My colleagues were so curious about what I was giggling so much at that I had tears running down my face that I had to let them read it. Cue more laughing and probably a new reader or two for you.

    My favourite post in a while pal. Thanks for calling me!



  11. Duncan Blair says:

    Got to love the festival!


  12. Cath says:



  13. Tom says:

    Brilliant. I cottoned on with the JFA warning but got the A component wrong. I thought it meant Just Fucking Arsed. Sorry, it must be my foul language.

    Laughed so much I have incurred my own JFA. Just Fucking Abdo from laughing.


  14. Sewmouse says:

    “if you are following this blog for sensible emergency care advice then saints preserve us all ”

    Except it was Diet Coke. Owie.


  15. Titflasher says:

    Loved this Kal, am so sharing :-)


  16. Loki says:

    What is “Glaikit”?
    I’m pretty sure I know what twunt is and I’d like to thank you for expanding the ‘fun’ category of my vocabulary :D


  17. Nathan says:

    Hey Kal,
    I only found your blog about a week ago. In that time I’ve read nearly every word here. You’ve sharred your infectious love of the job, and shown me that I don’t have what it takes to do what you do. You’ve also sharred a lot of valuable (and apparently hard-earnt) pearls of wisdom. I’ve gained a lot of respect for the local ambos through your words. And to boot, I’ve had a damn good laugh in places too.
    If you ever find yourself in Melbourne (Australia), know that there are guys and girls here who respect you and your work, and will happily buy you a cold beer (or many).


  18. Winter Wiccan says:

    Yet again you have made me laugh out loud while supposed to be sitting at a
    desk doing paperwork!

    Nice one!!


  19. kiri says:

    At last a post. I was stuck at home revising for two weeks with no Trauma Queen to distract me.
    Can a person fall asleep whilst swimming?


  20. Vinaigrette Girl says:

    Two? In one week? Flippin’ ‘eck.

    Quite like paella as a cure for JFA though.

    Now that I’ve stopped coughing and laughing I am going to duck and run like the wind after saying “Pa is a rat!” WTF? I hear you cry. Separate, sePA[is a]RATe. You’ll never misspell it again. Pa is a rat.


  21. Picassofish says:

    I did a drowning-prevention course and they never mentioned falling asleep while swimming. Also, before you grasp the punter to give a firm shoogle (love it!) we were told to make sure they aren’t still connected to the mains or lying in a quicksand or being used as bait by a gigantic spider.
    Good luck with the CBS agenda!


  22. Emma says:

    On a note totally unrelated to the content of this post (which is fucking hilarious – I’m sure the guy who writes Paramedic’s Diary would appreciate it greatly, too), thankyou kindly, Kal. I needed a nice string of abuse today which I could employ without sounding too bitter or humourless, and “aggravating glaikit twunt with no respect” fit the bill perfectly!

    Still deciding how glaikit should be pronounced, though.


  23. Tina Biscuit says:

    Excellent stuff, a good laugh and a language lesson all in the same post (I’m a softie Southerner, I had to go and look up what glaikit and shoogle meant!)


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