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EMS, Patient Care

One of those nights

I’ve been busy preparing for the premiere of the Chronicles of EMS and haven’t been sleeping well.  When I do sleep, it is shallow, poor sleep, at least at work.  At home Mrs HM tells me I sleep like a baby rock log.

But a few days ago at the table after a long night at work I had to ask the firefighter on the engine, “Did I get in trouble last night?”

As I remember it, we were running back and forth on our usual compliment of folks unclear on the concept of an emergency.  The engine was dispatched to a reported motor vehicle versus pedestrian.  At 4 AM it could be bad, so we were ready to work when we arrived at the intersection to find a man laying on his back between 2 parked cars.

A quick approach shows no damage to the vehicles around him and no fluid on the ground.  As we approach we see his feet crossed and he wipes his chin with a dirty hand.

“Sir!” I call out as we arrive at his side.

“Ah, you made it.  Man, I need a place to sleep, this is killing me.” He replies as he rises looking past me to the engine. “Where’s the ambulance? I asked for an ambulance.”  No distress, no problems.

I assessed his clean clothes and unstained shoelaces, a clear sign he has not been on the streets long.  He told us all about how he was a local and grew up in the neighborhood, but couldn’t name the school he went to or what street he lived on.

We get a lot of folks coming to town thinking it’s all wine and roses on the streets of the big City.  Many other cities appear to be using us as their dropping point for folks they choose not to help.

This guy clearly expects an ambulance to take him in.  As we confirm he is not injured, I spot a $20 in his pocket.

“You have cab fare, just call a cab if you want shelter.” I tell him as the boss code 2s the ambulance.

“You can’t tell me what to do, now call me an ambulance and go away.” He said laying back down between the cars.

I lost control for the briefest of moments and threw the BP cuff at him from a short distance.  I was fuming, rage kept deep for so long bubbling up to the surface and I know I have to leave.  Across the street I walk and sit down.

“What the hell are you doing?” The boss calls out to me.

“I’m done with him.  Call the EMS Supervisor and the BC, I’m not coming back over there, I might do something more stupid than I just did.”

Hours later I’m sitting at the kitchen table, sipping coffee, still angry.  The firefighter is pondering my earlier question, clearly thinking about it.

“No, I don’t think so.  Did you kill someone while I wasn’t looking?” He answers, looking back to the metro section.

“Did I throw a BP cuff at that guy in the street?”

His head looks up and he smiles. “Threw a WHAT? Are you feeling alright?  Have you thrown anything, like, ever?  No you didn’t get in trouble last night.  We didn’t  run a guy in the street.”

The boss has heard the tail end of the conversation and chimes in, “Bad dreams huh?” and he offers to fill my coffee.

Bad dreams indeed.

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0 Comments

  1. Jeremiah Bush January 31, 2010 5:07 am

    I have had nights like that. Our station’s slogan was “Out all day, Up all night” and it was true. On the rare nights that were quiet, I would dream of running calls or think the tones went off and would be half dressed before realizing that the lights were off and every one was still asleep.

  2. Jeremiah Bush January 31, 2010 1:07 am

    I have had nights like that. Our station's slogan was “Out all day, Up all night” and it was true. On the rare nights that were quiet, I would dream of running calls or think the tones went off and would be half dressed before realizing that the lights were off and every one was still asleep.

  3. Little Girl January 31, 2010 1:39 pm

    Just the other day we were talking about this at work. It seems to be very common for new dispatchers to have nightmare about dispatching. Personally when I became a fire dispatcher I would have nightmare of the fire station number attacking me, or of the station number appearing on the map and hearing a mean nasty voice say ‘What station is this? What apparatus work out of this station’. When I became an EMS dispatch the nightmares were completely different – I was dream about typing commands into the command line, and I would see one character at a time appear in my head and a space the looks just like the CAD command line.

    All I can stay is STOP WORRYING about the premiere. Everything will work out perfectly fine, and you know it. You need to relax when you are on and off duty – try some yoga or a few stiff drinks. 🙂

    • Subham November 25, 2012 10:40 am

      WHAT THE HELL!!! this cant be the ending! blecah is the highlight of my week. ichigo has to get his powers back and become the strongest shinigami ever.if the show gets cancelled then they have to make a new movie every week with each one being better than the last

  4. Little Girl January 31, 2010 9:39 am

    Just the other day we were talking about this at work. It seems to be very common for new dispatchers to have nightmare about dispatching. Personally when I became a fire dispatcher I would have nightmare of the fire station number attacking me, or of the station number appearing on the map and hearing a mean nasty voice say 'What station is this? What apparatus work out of this station'. When I became an EMS dispatch the nightmares were completely different – I was dream about typing commands into the command line, and I would see one character at a time appear in my head and a space the looks just like the CAD command line.

    All I can stay is STOP WORRYING about the premiere. Everything will work out perfectly fine, and you know it. You need to relax when you are on and off duty – try some yoga or a few stiff drinks. 🙂

  5. Little Girl January 31, 2010 1:39 pm

    Just the other day we were talking about this at work. It seems to be very common for new dispatchers to have nightmare about dispatching. Personally when I became a fire dispatcher I would have nightmare of the fire station number attacking me, or of the station number appearing on the map and hearing a mean nasty voice say 'What station is this? What apparatus work out of this station'. When I became an EMS dispatch the nightmares were completely different – I was dream about typing commands into the command line, and I would see one character at a time appear in my head and a space the looks just like the CAD command line.

    All I can stay is STOP WORRYING about the premiere. Everything will work out perfectly fine, and you know it. You need to relax when you are on and off duty – try some yoga or a few stiff drinks. 🙂

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