101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Wednesday, August 5

You can't pee?

The universe has a strange way of evening things out. Every time I have a rough night on a busy engine or ambulance, I think about a time when I had a great day and I call it even. I smile and I'm a Happy Medic. This particular job came in at 3:30 AM on a busy engine company downtown.

THE EMERGENCY

Severe respiratory distress in a mid 40s male.

THE ACTION

The renovations to the low income housing are somewhere between a college dorm and a mid range hotel. Nice lobby, 24 hour security and a large bonus room on the ground floor. We were directed to the elevators and to the 7th floor, all the while discussing how nice the renovations were and wondering if the pricetag was where our budget went last year. In the back of my mind are my procedures for nasal intubation. It's been awhile.

As the doors chimed open a man is standing in the elevator lobby. "Are you rescue?" He asks, giving away he is not from these parts.
"Did you report a life or death emergency?"
"I can't pee." he says handing me a mess of hospital discharge forms.
Before I can speak the engine boss grabs him by the shirt and pulls him into he elevator.
"If I don't pee, I'll die. Did you know that?" He's asking me. I see no distress in his breathing and he is standing steady.
"Not untrue, but why do you think we can help you? Don't you think you should wait for your doctor instead of calling 911. Wait a minute. Have you tried to pee at all, are you...well...blocked?" I ask wondering what his proof might be that his plumbing is in order.

"I need a shot to pee." he stated as the elevator doors opened and the ambulance crew welcomes their new friend. He recounts the tale to them and they wave us back in service while trying to guide him back into the elevator and back upstairs.

I smiled and the firefighter asked me what could possibly be so funny about this kind of abuse of the 911 system. I told him this story, and the universe and I were equal once again. It lasted less than 3 minutes.

2 comments:

Ckemtp said...

I work for a "Rescue Squad". As a matter of fact, I've worked for two of them. The first was a true "Rescue Squad" that did their own rescue, auto extrication, and had the tools and a truck to do it. We did the EMS and Fire did just that, fire only.

Now the "rescue squad" that I work for only does EMS.

I still think that it's silly to call the ambulance the "Rescue Squad" but hey, when in Rome.

TBChick said...

What comes to mind is that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction!!

One who can, one who can't; and you're the lucky guy to deal with both.

No matter how many times I hear it, I'm still amazed at some people's reasons for calling EMS.