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Benfleet A1

Hector Of The House
Jan 19, 2007
Slade Prison
Since joining my new company things have moved along in the recovery world for me. My gaffer is one of these chaps who wont ask you to do something he wouldn't or couldn't do himself which is in sharp contrast to the last lot. He loaths paperwork and if the true is told, sitting in his office staring at a computor like he is doing something. He much prefers getting out in the cuds, crawling under motors, rigging winches and generally getting covered in muck to get the job done. He can regale us with some pretty mad stories of his exploits in the recovery game but the scary thing is, most of them are true. He is also a magpie and likes nice shiney things, meaning kit. We have some great kit and are ready to attend anything with wheels and most things that dont. We are not the youngest police rota garage in the country for nothing. Trading for just 5 years and covering three Essex Police areas, everything for Essex Fire & Rescue and Essex Ambulance Service is nothing short of a miracle.

He likes to surround himself with trustworthy types who can get the job done without having to have their hands held and has headhunted almost everyone who works for him. I had never been headhunted before and it gave me a real kick to be that highly thought of. Last year in a moment of madness he annouced that I was to be trained up on the streetlifter. This is a damage free lift vehicle, a crane to you and me and probably the most dangerous bit of kit in the business but he saw something in me that I never knew of and after the classroom bollocks and practical I was let loose on the unsuspecting good people of Essex. I love it, I really do, instead of rolling around in the mud I put the grids round the wheels and just lift it up in the air. Its great for badly damaged vehicles, cars with no keys or steering locks that wont come off. Vehicles required for forensic exam are perfect for it as there is a minimal touch rule to adhere to, it makes life a doddle. But like everything there is a drawback. The safety helmet.

Now dont get me wrong, PPE (Personnal Protection Equipment) is supplied for a reason. We have loads of it and are expected to wear it at all times during working hours. Safety boots, Hi-Vis overalls, waterproofs and gloves, our boss supplies the lot and wont compromise our safety in anyway unless the situation absolutely demands it (which it does) and then he will ensure that someone else is watching your back. Its just the helmet. Its a sodding nuisance sliding off your head everytime you bend down, slipping over your eyes the rest of the time, wont tighten up, wont slacken off, rips out your hair, makes you sweat like a pig, nah, its a pain in the bum. Its called the million pound helmet meaning if you get killed while wearing it on a job then thats the payout the wife can expect. I haven't told her that snippet of information.

Whenever I could get away with it I would refrain from putting the damn thing on and take the unlikely chance of dropping a two ton car on top of myself but not anymore. Oh no dear readers, I have discovered to my cost why I should wear Monty Million the Helmet. When the second wave of snow hit us last December we were called to a six car pile-up on the A13. My one had slid into the central reservation and bonced off into the dutch drain oppositewhile the rest had played bumper cars with each other and ended up all over the dual carriageway some 100yards beyond. We arrived on-mass and started the clear up. As was usual with me I jumped out the cab and quickly checked if I was being spied on. My workmates were having their own problems so I loosened the straps and deployed the damage free rig. Being the genius that I am, I was a trifle close to the car so had to edge down the side with a wheel grid. I fitted the first one then edged along to the second, grabbed the grid turned round..........and saw little twitering Grouts. I scored a direct hit right on the edge of the rig with my right cheekbone and saw stars. It was only a matter of time before it happened and served me right but christ it hurt. Just to add insult to injury as I staggered back I slipped in the snow and ended up on my arse banging my elbow on the side of the truck and clumping the back of my head on the balance leg on the way down. I effectively beat myself up but declined to ask if I had had enough. After that little episode I always wear Monty.

Fast forward to 01.00 hours this morning in frosty Brentwood. I got a call to a no insurance vehicle that needed picking up. Arriving on scene the law were waiting and seeing that it was parked under a tree with low hanging branches, I pulled up a little way down the road with the thought of driving it to a better loading position. I jumped out the cab and went over to the OIC who looked a little on edge. I soon found out why. As we were chatting and he was telling me that there were no keys and the little scrot had de-camped a bottle sailed past my ear and smashed over the truck. Being half asleep I didn't really connect to the situation but Monty was soon resting on my barnet, just in case. Plod showed their usual gumption and stood there like spare parts while my football training kicked in and I wanted to charge. Now say what you like about hooligans but at least they have the decenty to pick a fight with like minded people. This little tosspot was taking a pop at people doing their jobs. The said vehicle was loaded with little respect and my controll informed that if he comes back for it then I want to be there for a little chat with him.

So now I know why Monty is called the Million Pound Helmet. Bless him.