Critical Incident - Series 3


Tern Television are looking for stories for the new BBC series of Critical Incident. The series will cover the issue of assaults on emergency service staff. 
Tern Tv - Programme - Critical Incident

Do you have our own story to share?
Ambulance services and the NHS have never been under more pressure. There have been so many stories in the news about how lockdown has also brought out the worst in people, often against the people who are simply there to help. 
If you are interested in participating in the programmes and will be willing to discuss your experiences, please contact the Producer, Susie Wright:

Tern Television has been commissioned by the BBC to make a third series of Critical Incident. This 15-part documentary series tells the true stories of paramedics, police officers and firefighters who have been attacked and injured in the line of duty, with an emphasis on their recovery and return to work. It also considers how and when the criminals responsible are brought to justice.

Although the focus is to highlight the issue of assaults on emergency service staff, we also want to talk to paramedics, ambulance technicians, dispatchers, and other ambulance staff who have had “near misses” – experiences that could have put them in harm’s way – as well as exploring the impact that other incidents such as verbal abuse, coughing, spitting etc. have on ambulance staff. We hope that in sharing these experiences with the tv audience, they will better understand the incredible bravery and dedication of the men and women working in the ambulance service, especially during the pandemic.

The TV Process & Programme
The original series of Critical Incident, which broadcast in 2019, was developed with the assistance of the Police Federation of England & Wales and used the #ProtecttheProtectors Campaign as the blueprint for the programmes. Several officers who featured in the campaign agreed to take part in the series, which was nominated for ‘Best Daytime Series’ in the 2019 Broadcast Awards.
We are keen to keep building on these relationships but also use the success of the first two series to establish new connections and keep finding stories from ambulance services in other parts of the country.

After an initial research chat over the phone, we would like to interview ambulance staff on camera. With your permission, we would also like to approach their colleagues, senior officers and family members. In the first instance however – we will only ask to talk to the person involved. This gives our key interviewees time to get to grips with the programme they are being asked to take part in and fully consider whether it is right for them.

Wherever possible we use bodycam, dashcam, helicam, radio comms, CCTV and/or UCG, to illustrate the gravity of the incidents that the officers were involved in. This impactful archive, alongside poignant testimony, is a key element of the series. It would be hugely helpful if, later down the line, you could provide any related footage. We are aware of the sensitivities around this type of archive and have rigorous legal and compliance protocols in place concerning its transmission.

A key moment in the series will be to show the return to work – whether it’s the first day back on shift, getting back behind the wheel, working on a particular route or back in uniform. This is designed to reflect the dedication and bravery of men and women at the frontline of keeping the public safe. Where relevant, we would also be interested in portraying elements of rehabilitation and recovery for those staff members who have required medical treatment.

We worked closely with emergency service organisations from all over the UK to make the first two series. These included: Ambulance Trusts in the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and the South West as well as Humberside FRS, Tyne & Wear FRS, Kent Police, GMP, West Midlands Police, The Met and many, many more.

Duty of Care
We want our audience to understand the demands of working in the ambulance service and therefore we want to hear what staff have been through - in their own words. We have filmed with many paramedics and ATs who had been through disturbing and traumatic incidents and we understand that for many, taking part in these interviews and reliving harrowing incidents can be incredibly difficult as well as rewarding.

We have a highly experienced team of programme makers in place, who ensure the highest standards of duty of care at all times. We will always treat anyone who takes part with the utmost care, respect and sensitivity. All calls will be handled in complete confidence.

• We anticipate that filming will take no more than 1-2 days per story and we will work with you to minimise disruption and fit in with your shifts.
• The filming period for this series will start in June and is likely to carry on until February 2022.
• The series is due to be aired in Spring 2022.

Safe Filming During Covid
Tern Television has stringent safety protocols in place specifically designed for this production in order to ensure safe filming at all times. The production team (maximum two crew per shoot) will operate a series of safe-distancing measures, including conducting all interviews from a 2m distance and we can film outside if necessary. Prior to each shoot, we will work with you to risk assess each location and incorporate any protocols and instructions you have in place.

We will closely monitor the health and exposure of our team and the contributors, including any underlying medical conditions, symptoms of illness and social contact in the 14 days preceding the filming date.

Our overriding principle is that health will always take precedence over filming needs and we will only ever aim to film what is necessary for the programme using the precautions laid set out in the protocols, to mitigate against the risk of Covid-19.

The production crew will have been required to have successfully completed the safe filming awareness training certification course provided by ScreenSkills prior to starting filming.

The series has been commissioned by the BBC to go out in the Spring 2022 schedule in the 9.15am slot immediately after the BBC Breakfast Show. The first two series were regularly watched by an audience of at least 1.5m viewers. Over its run (date TBC), the series will be shown every weekday for three weeks and each episode will be available on iPlayer immediately after transmission.

About Tern Television
Tern Television is an award-winning television production company with an international reputation for making high-quality programmes.

We take pride in how we work with contributors and will always seek to portray their stories in a truthful, accurate and sensitive way. As well as putting your staff’s well-being at the heart of this production, we will also work closely with your organisation throughout the process to ensure the highest levels of truth and accuracy when it comes to telling these stories, and that filming is kept to a minimum to avoid any disruption to daily and professional lives.