101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Thursday, June 25

Round 1 - the Dispatch


The next 3 posts will cover 3 distinct parts of a rather interesting job.

Round 1 - The Dispatch

1:15 AM and the MDT tells me you've cut your hand. It also tells me you're in your twenties. It doesn't tell me if you're seriously calling 911 for this. I assume you know more than I do about who needs an ambulance and away we go.

THE EMERGENCY

A man has accidentally cut his hand.

THE ACTION

This was a perfect storm of mystery, intrigue, alcohol and lies. The building is older and has a large partial S staircase leading from the street level to the first floor door. So when we start our trek up the dark staircase, the front door is out of our sight above us and to the right. I stood there at the bottom of the stairs, tired already from the first 16 hours of the shift, waving my arms at the motion sensor light that, apparently, has yet to be installed. Warning flag #1.

The door is open and I hear high pitched voices speaking, nay shouting, in a language I do not understand. As is habit I scanned the floor for blood. I see none. In the next room is Bubba. (See Glossary of Terms)

Bubba has his pants half way down and has a towel tied to his thigh with twine.

"Hi there." I say, hesitant to put anything down quite yet.
He mumbles in response. Even just this slight mumble sends a waft of alcohol breath my way that would have caused me to fail the brethalyzer right then and there.

He's telling a story about opening a can of oysters and missing, hitting his leg. Then, after a few questions he tells a different story about how he got cut. All the while I'm telling him I know he is lying. And all the while the mother and the girlfriend are shouting and won't leave the room until my associate for the day finally convinces them to give us peace and quiet.

His leg is cut, not his hand...warning flag #2.

Using my Happy Medic skills we've convinced Bubba to come to the hospital to have the 5cm wide 2-3 cm deep wound from the chef's knife examined.
Oh, did I skip that part? After arguing with the landlord Bubba thought it would be a good idea to get wasted drunk, grab a couple of knives from the kitchen and wave them around like a child demaning more dinner. Darn it if those things are sharp when you get a little too animated.

His mother and his girlfriend, who hovered over my discussion with Bubba in the room are still shrieking in their native tongue and Bubba is trying to shout back at them as I'm guiding him towards the front door and down the stairs.
Quick aside, the wound is wrapped, not bleeding and he flat out got angry when we tried the chair. Warning flag #3.

Halfway down the dark stairs I have my hand under his arm to help him balance, as I offer to everyone I treat. I have Bubba in my right hand, one step ahead of him and the electronic PCR in my left. I looked away to check the bottom steps. When I looked back up...warning flag #4, a swinging elbow coming my way.

Coming soon - Round 2 - the Struggle

7 comments:

MotorCop said...

Where's the Po-Po?

Eagerly anticipating Round 2!

Bernice said...

Not gonna lie... my first response was OH HELL NO! Heh. Hope you came out on the winning end.

The Road Doctor said...

Bubba isn't in the Glossary... What now???

The Happy Medic said...

Sorry about that, Doc. Bob, in Erma's basement, has a younger brother, Bubba. Updated in the Glossary.

Little Girl said...

I have to place devils advocate here - people lie to dispatch all the time.

When you arrived on scene, if your spidey sense was going crazy, why didn't you hold back, request police, and then inform your supervisor why you were holding back.

Dispatch can only provide responding crews with the information they are initially supplied with. Also, it is our responsibility to protect our responding crew to the best of our ability - if we hear arguing in the background, we ask what is going there, if we think the patient is intoxicated, we note that and tell the crews, and if the patient is be difficulty on the phone, once again we tell the crews that.

I have no problem getting police for my crews. I don't care if my crews hold back as long as it a valid reason.

The Happy Medic said...

Little Girl,
(giggle)
If I held back every time my Spidey Sense tingled, half my life would be on standby. We get all manner of odd 'round here and Bubba wasn't giving that vibe at all, just the idiot drunk vibe. Stupid, but not violent. And don't let the term "Bubba" lead you to a stereo type, it's just my label for this kind of activity.
And yes, even though there was screaming in the background of the code 3 request, radio still asked, "Code 2 or code 3?" we were to busy to answer.
But they did their thing, I did mine.

Little Girl said...

HM -- I have a few medic who are scared of their own shadows, and others who are fearless. I am completely happy with a medic who is somewhere in between 'Scared of my own shadow' and 'Nothing scares me, my safety vest lives under my bed at home'.

On a side note .... I see you are still giggling at my nickname .. All in good :) I still have a smile on my face. :P