1. Castor
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    Castor New Member

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    UK emergency services procedure

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Castor, Apr 14, 2013.

    Hi All,

    I'm having trouble with the opening scene of my book as I have little knowledge regarding standard procedure of UK emergency services. I'll ask my questions here, but if anyone can recommend a reliable website/forum to get this information I would be grateful.

    The scene introduces the Main Character, a 14 year old boy, and his parents as they drive home from holiday. The scene takes place on a country road at night, around 2 o’clock in the morning, with a river running parallel to the road. The river is running fast due to heavy rain. The driver, the MC’s father, swerves to avoid hitting something and drives into the river.
    Another driver, not far behind the characters car, sees the accident, pulls up and phones the emergency services to report the accident. The driver realizes that the MC is lying on the riverbank a short distance away. The MC is conscious, but suffering from concussion and fever. The police and paramedics arrive at the scene. The MC is treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital.

    My main question is what would the emergency services do regarding the vehicle? Would they send divers down to find the bodies of the parents? Would they, and how would they, get the vehicle and/or bodies out of the water? Would they wait until daylight? How would the fact that the river is running fast due to rain affect the efforts? Which emergency services would be involved in this?

    Also, what other injuries might the MC have suffered assuming that the car rolled down the steep bank and the character managed to escape the vehicle and swim to the river bank? What should the driver who called the emergency services do to ensure the MC’s safety before the paramedics arrive?

    And finally, if the driver only saw the car drive into the river, and the MC cannot remember anything, what would the police assume had caused the accident?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Hope that's of some use.
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of new members come here with the very basics for a story and then ask a ton of questions that are very easily googled. I don't know why.

    The book I am writing is completely alien to me - SF&F - I have never read any sort of fantasy book in my life. I love the research, so much so I have to remind myself to stop researching and write the damned thing.

    For me it's all about the research, and then have even more fun twisting, manipulating and warping that info into something just within the realms of belief.

    I wonder why so many people just can't be arsed and would rather come on here, post a question and wait for answers to flow in.

    PS Wiki has become my best friend of late
     
  4. Castor
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    Castor New Member

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    SwampDog, thanks for your response, I'm sure it will help. Regarding my last question, what I mean is if there is no evidence of anything suspicious and if the only witness simply saw the car swerve off the road, what would the accident be put down to?

    erebh, I know the value of Wikipedia, but I also know the information can often be inaccurate or outdated. I have a fairly good idea to the answers of some of the questions I asked; however I like to validate my information from as many sources as possible. I prefer the actual writing to the research, but I like the content of my writing to be as accurate and realistic as possible, which is why I ask very basic questions. Most of what I asked will probably not impact the actual story, as neither of the two pov characters are present at the scene of the crash, but I like to be able to say "That's how they would have done it" without any doubt.
     
  5. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Assuming there was no mechanical defect, or other source affecting the driver that can be proved, then the driver is at fault. In the absence of any explanation, it's down to the driver. If there are no adverse consequences, then he could go to court for driving without due care and attention (careless driving.)

    If that moment's inattention resulted in going in the river and a passenger drowning, for example, the charge would be upped to causing death by careless driving. If the driver was shown to be dangerous or reckless, then it would be a case of causing death by (the standard of driving proved.) :)

    Obviously there's a lot more to it than that, but that's the gist.

    Hope that's of help.
     
  6. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Exactly. I can't remember ever asking anyone to decide for me what one of my characters might do next or what would happen in any given circumstance - if it's your story then surely it's up to you to write it. Too easy to get someone else to think for you.
    Ditto the research bit and as far as the manipulating is concerned, I've always imagined words thrown on a page to be like a lump of clay thrown on the table. That's your raw material - that's where the fun begins - smoothing them, rounding off the bits that don't belong, strengthening the weaknesses, shaping them into whatever you want them to be.
    It's all good fun.
    Sort of.
     

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