101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Wednesday, January 21

Your vehicle is unsafe to operate

We just wanted an oil change.
Turns out the reason Medic Van 99 has felt rough recently was only visible from below. Part of the frame was cracked. We look for the obvious stuff, sure, but mechanics we are not. What do you think this is Boston?

So the oil change guy at the City yard tells us the vehicle has been "Red tagged" and is not safe to operate. Then he gives us instructions to drive the red tagged ambulance to the mechanic's yard a few blocks away. OK.

When we arrive at the mechanic's yard, they have no spare ambulance for us. "You'll need to drive over to the ambulance storage yard and get a relief piece, then bring it back." We're told.

This is too priceless. So I had my buddy in the seat snap a pic. It's not the clearest and I still have my helmet on, but you can just make out the tag as we're driving along.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"So the oil change guy at the City yard tells us the vehicle has been "Red tagged" and is not safe to operate" Once this was said.... that unit is towable - not drivable. I know you are a Happy guy, but can you convince a Jury that you did the right thing by driving that vehicle if it were to crash? Thats like our shop told us to drive the Engine up to HQ to get out of adjustment brakes adjusted - yeah right! they came to us!

The Happy Medic said...

We had already noticed this "bad ride" for a week and this was the oil change that had been scheduled for a week ago.
No excuse not to wait for the wrecker, except there wasn't one coming.
WE took the chance figuring 3 blocks on city streets was safer than the 75 we had been doing on the freeway with the same defect.
We were out of service 3 hours total.
Had we waited for a wrecker, then someone to give us a ride to get a new rig, then back to restock would have been 6-7 hours, easy.
All the while hearing dispatches to code 3 runs, "Medic to follow when available."
We took a risk, for sure, but no bigger risk than over the last few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Well, now that the patient gave us the full story, a better decision can be made...:-)

I would have done the same as you did, knowing what I know now.

Keep up the good work!

Tell Dad, Kirby said Hi!

mac said...

Nice blog!
From another fellow Paramedic blogger in the UK.