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‘This is what their unit was designed for, so they came in with the equipment for full major incident triage such as blast dressings.’The three paramedics then set about dividing a pack of triage cards marked in red, yellow and green for priorities one, two and three respectively, attaching them with elastic to the casualty to flag them up for colleagues outside at the clearing station.‘It became apparent quite early on that were there were a lot of young people but it was a while after I arrived that I learned who had been playing at the concert – I saw a T-shirt with Ariana Grande’s name on it.‘I have a nine-year-old who loves Ariana Grande and it just hit me that the people attending would have been very young.‘I can’t tell you how long it took for everyone to be moved but when they had been, there was just an eerie silence. It’s really difficult to express how awful it must have been for everybody who was there and utterly terrifying for the people and the families.’Now back at home with his wife Lucy and three sons – Sol, 15, Zac, nine, and five-year-old Sam – Paddy has tried not to dwell on what he saw on Monday.Theresa May’s pledge to enshrine “Brexit day” in law appeared to be unravelling last night after a minister signalled that it could be ditched in the face of a Conservative revolt.About 20 Tory MPs are thought to be willing to vote in parliament against the move, which was announced by the prime minister a week ago. Theresa May’s pledge to enshrine “Brexit day” in law appeared to be unravelling last night after a minister signalled that it could be ditched in the face of a Conservative revolt.People were helping them but everyone was conscious and stable.’But with each step forward it began to dawn on Paddy that the closer he got to the arena the more severe were the injuries he was encountering. ‘The police officers I met told me there were multiple serious casualties upstairs in the foyer and confirmed it was an explosion of some sort,’ he said.‘While all this was going on, people were running, screaming and terrified, and as I got closer the degree of fear from people was far more palpable.‘I made my way up the stairs.I was still the only paramedic there but I knew my colleagues would be coming soon.Paddy told how the devastating scale of the bloodshed slowly dawned on him with each step he took towards the arena foyer where crazed suicide bomber Salman Abedi blew himself up on Monday evening.Pictured, an ambulance at Manchester arena ‘There were bystanders there helping them who were doing an incredible job.
The injuries were similar – lacerations possibly from glass or shrapnel to arms or legs, but thankfully without massive haemorrhages or underlying fractures, chest or abdominal injuries.‘It was a really rapid assessment: checking they were conscious, breathing and that their pulse rate was within an acceptable limit.At that stage, I still didn’t have a handle on what had happened or where, or how many people were involved.Just outside the foyer there were some people with very, very serious injuries, consistent with a bomb – severe impact and shrapnel wounds to multiple parts of their body.I needed to gather information to pass back to my control because this was something far bigger than we could possibly have expected.‘The next person on scene was my colleague, consultant paramedic Dan Smith, and there couldn’t be anybody better to arrive at an incident like that.’But because the police feared other bombs or attackers, Dan and other paramedics who were arriving were not allowed into the ‘hot zone’ where Paddy was.Two paramedic colleagues from the specially trained Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) were allowed through after a time.‘I cannot tell you how grateful I was to see them,’ Paddy said.