Four off-duty NHS workers rushed to the aid of two stricken Circus of Horrors dancers who had plunged onto the Victoria Hall stage in a failed routine. They left their seats to try to treat the two performers as screens were erected around the acrobats.
But one of them – an off-duty ambulance crew member – says they were sent away and told their help was not required. And when an ambulance had still not arrived minutes later they returned to the auditorium to again be told to leave.
West Midlands Ambulance Service says it took 15 minutes to reach the city center venue on Friday night. One of the dancers suffered ‘potentially serious injuries’.
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The NHS worker said: “I was at the show and when the accident happened myself and a fellow off-duty ambulance crew member, plus two nurses, went to the stage to help the injured performers to be told by a manager that our help wasn So we all went outside and it took 15 minutes for paramedics to arrive due to the normal high demand on A&E crews.
“In the end, a paramedic response unit arrived, then an ambulance, and shortly after a response doctor. I even went back in and explained that it was a high demand time for West Midlands Ambulance Service and we could help until they arrived but they still said the ambulance crew are on their way.
“As an emergency ambulance crew member for St John Ambulance full time my only concern was for those two women who had fallen 30 feet to the stage and not being able to help was very frustrating. The other ambulance person worked for West Midlands Ambulance Service and the nurses are part of the NHS. This was a very poor decision and I hope the two ladies are OK.”
Audience members had been enjoying Friday night’s show at the Hanley venue when disaster struck as the two performers were suspended in the air on ribbons before plunging to the ground. The auditorium was cleared following the incident.
John Haze, owner of Circus of Horrors, says the production was not aware that off-duty NHS workers had been turned away.
He said: “The Circus of Horrors were not aware of this.
“We called the ambulance to come straight away and they were very quick.
“We asked for both girls to be taken to hospital. One had no injuries but we wanted her to get checked over and they did a CT scan and she was fine.
“The other girl fractured her wrist and hurt her pelvis. She is being treated at the local hospital and she will be there for a few days.
“I want to thank people for their well wishes, we’ve had so many nice comments from people at the show wishing them well, that the show was amazing and fantastic. The accident happened right near the end of the show.
“I want the girls to get better. Luckily nobody was seriously hurt.
“The accident looked worse than it was, but I appreciate for the audience it must have been scary.”
Victoria Hall theater director Frazer Hoyle added: “Following on from Friday night’s performance of Circus of Horrors at the Victoria Hall we can confirm there was an accident involving two performers.
“We are pleased to say that both are doing well and we wish them a speedy recovery. One was checked over with no injuries. Our thoughts are also with anyone affected including our customers, the Circus of Horrors Company and venue staff. At this time we would also like to thank everyone for their kind words and well wishes.”
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