Friday, July 17

Students Beware

When responding to a call just after closing time of the local watering holes, I always have one thing in mind: The firewater. I have been face down my fair share this life and expect at least 2-3 more before I reach 55 and after that, all bets are off. But when you are 24, face down in your tiny bathroom and swearing you only had 2 beers, refrain from asking if you can do a ride along.


Caller states that her roommate is screaming for help from the bathroom floor.


Up and out of bed to bright lights and a piercing bell. A voice comes alive describing a person in need of life saving interventions. My Harry Potter book is knocked over as I throw open my sleeping bag and pull on my turnouts. Uniform jacket is zipped up and I see our driver is already sliding down the pole. I follow in safe time and we're away in less than a minute.

We arrive a the scene to our early 20's caller who responds to my opening question of "Did you report an emergency" with "I think so, we just need an ambulance. He's drunk."

Had I known that, I would have taken the stairs.

He is indeed in the bathroom vomiting as we approach. Our patient describes himself as "poisoned" to which I respond in the affirmative. Alcohol is indeed a kind of poison in any amount.
"This is not normal for me," he keeps repeating while I'm conducting my assessment and finding no life threats.

The private ambulance crew arrives and I give my report and then an odd thing happens. My client tries to correct my report.

"He never did a stroke scale on me, what if I'm having a stroke?" the client slurs and all the rescuers within ear shot turned their heads slowly his way.

"What?" The ambulance crew and I ask in unison.

"I'm an EMT student and I think it could be a stroke. Can you do the exam on me? The um...Cincin...Nat...Natti scale?" he slurs from infront of the toilet.

I was at a loss for words. Then, before I could think of something to say, our patient asked an interesting question:
"If I goto the hospital with you tonight, can it count towards my ride along time?"



Anonymous said...

Lucky for him EMT ride alongs aren't pass or fail.

Anonymous said...

Lucky for him EMT ride alongs aren't pass or fail.

Firecap5 said...

That is truly amazing.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing...........


FireCritic said...

Yeah....sorry about throwing in the extra syllable on Cincinnati. I was just trying to look cool in front of my friends!

And yes it was only 2 beers.

The Happy Medic said...

I thought your syntax sounded familiar. Nice Golden Girls autographed poster on the wall, by the way, adds class to the place.

Anonymous said...

I think I am experiencing Déjà vu, sounds so much like a 9-1-1 call I took about 2 weeks ago .....

.... So I am sitting on the 9-1-1 board answering EMERGENCY calls during the busy rush hour home time of day, it just happens to extra busy in the city cause we had a rodeo, exhibition, fair grounds, and all the 10s of thousand extra people in the city at that time.

I pick up the 9-1-1 line to hear a panicking female talking and half yelling into the phone, over her I trying to say, '9-1-1. For what city', but she is still talking over me. I listened for a little bit again before saying something, and she spoke to me again.

Caller: Are you there? Are you going to help me?
ME: Yes, I am here, but you were talking and yelling into the phone, I couldn't get a word in edge wise. You have 9-1-1, what city do you in help in?
Caller: XXXXXX obviously
(Side note: I answer 9-1-1 for multiple communities & cities, not just one)
ME: Okay, what is wrong? Do you require Fire, Police, or Ambulance help?
Caller: Neither, I am trying to apply for a job with 9-1-1, and I was told by a manager that it was going to be up on the web site today, and I can't find it.
ME: (at this point I am a little irritated, and in shock with what I have just heard). Okay, so let me get this right, you want to apply for a job with 9-1-1, and you can't find the application process on the city's web site, so you called me at 9-1-1.
Caller: Yes, that is right
ME:What is your phone number? I will call you on a NON-EMERGENCY number and help you.


That is not how you get hired to work for 9-1-1.

Don't call me on the emergency number to asked about getting hired on with us.

Gasda said...

Little Girl, I have been on the other end of that phone call.
....Well kind of, I called 411 to get the phone number of the Training section for a Fire Dept I had applied for..

911-"Fire, what's your location..."
ME-"Ohhhhhhhhh, is this an emergency line."
911-"Yes, do you have an emergency."
ME-"No, I'm sorry I was given this number by 411."
911-"Ha, yeah it happens ( now the nice part), so what section were you looking for"
911-"Here is the number xxxxxxx"

Gasda said...

To be clear, 411 did not tell me the number the the FD was 911...
They gave me the 7 digit emergency number... ;-)

Mike "FossilMedic" Ward said...


Did you sign his field experience form ... it could have been one of my students (!!)