101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Thursday, October 8

Oh No. Not Again

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, two missiles are improbably transformed into a suprised whale and a bowl of petunias. The whale embraces his new identity, while the bowl of petunias, while falling to the ground from space says, "Oh, no. Not again." Adams then tells us that had we understood what the bowl of petunias meant we may have a better understanding of the nature of the universe.

I recently discovered that just saying that phrase, "Oh no. Not again" means your night is about to get interesting.

THE FIRST EMERGENCY

Automatic fire alarm activation

THE FIRST ACTION

The engine arrives on the scene just before 3 AM to find no alarm bell ringing and no strobes flashing. The building is secure and we prepare to pack up as a small man dragging a shopping cart makes a mad dash across four lanes of decently busy road to reach us.
He waves and waves and I lean out the window to ask him his trouble.
"I am out of medication." he tells me, not even a hint of a wheeze or shortness of breath. There he is, no distress whatsoever, apparently he thinks we have a pharmacist behind the hydrant jumper lead in the hose bed.
"We don't have medication refills here, do you have an emergency Sir?" I ask wondering if I;m really having this conversation.
"I need more medicine, I need 911." He tells me, refusing to get onto the sidewalk, preferring to stand in the street.
"Do you want an ambulance, Sir, you seem OK."
"No ambulance, no hospital, I need medication from 911." He tells us, looking from my jump seat to the ladders on the side of the engine, still waiting for the pharmacist to pop out.
"We have no medicine refills on the fire engine, so if you don't have an emergency and don't want an ambulance, we're going to go, OK?"
"OK, but where is 911?" And he grabs the dirty cart and scurries (Yes, he altered route and speed at random) back across the street and around the corner.
"We're going to see him again, I can feel it" I said into the headset as we pulled away and back to the house.

Just as I got my turnout pants unbuttoned, the lights are on and the bells are ringing.

Oh no. Not again.

THE SECOND EMERGENCY

A cell phone caller reports a man short of breath at the doughnut shop.

THE SECOND ACTION

The doughnut shop in question is not the high quality place mentioned in other posts, but the 24 hour place on the other end of town.

Off the engine I can see only two customers in the shop. One on the phone and drinking coffee, the other remarkably familiar and scurrying again, this time out the door towards me, not away.
"No, no" He's waving, "I no need firemans, I need 911 for medications,"
"What medicine do you need Sir? I have medicines for sick people...are you...sick?" I ask trying to chase him through the parking lot.
"My brain pills are gone. GONE! I am needing more." he tells me over his shoulder, zig-zagging through the lot. There's no way I'm letting him get away just to call us back all night long, so I'm in pursuit.

The only thing that slows him down is the sound of the approaching ambulance from at least 5 blocks away.
"My medicine is coming!" He tells me.

Good Grief.

The ambulance crew gets my "Don't kill the messenger speech" to which they sigh and wave us off. I pay careful attention to the radio traffic when I hear the ambulance report that their patient has disappeared down an alley and they are going back in service.

Not ten minutes later, we're backing into the barn when the bells ring.

Oh no. Not again.

7 comments:

The Grumpy Dispatcher said...

< evil >

You could always forcibly hustle him into the cab, run over across the line into Engine 98's first-due, and drop him off. Different stories? Who are they gonna believe?

< /evil >

Dang those pesky AVLs, though.

Ben Yatzbaz said...

HHGTTG... The BEST book ever!!! I spend many of my Insomniac hours rereading it, so much so that I'm already laughing 10 lines ahead of the next funny bit!! :D

medicblog999 said...

Firstly, Im touched by the banner at the top of the page...sniff!
Im feeling much better now, and I promise not to bring any nasty germs with me in 4 weeks time!!

Its odd you mention the HHGTTG though, I had just got in from the car, and had a quick peek at your blog. In the car I had been listening to a radio programme about the follow up to the HHGTTG which has been written by Eon Colfer (the author of the Artemis Fowl series of books - read all of them...love them!!)

Anyway, just thought I would share the coincidence!!

See ya soon!

Ckemtp said...

I like the Grumpy Dispatcher's idea. I also like the "evil" meta tag. I just likes it so much.

Of course... out here in the country I'd have to drive him like 20 miles... and they'd probably still call me for an ALS intercept.

Oh well..

< /defeat>

Betsey said...

My brain pills are gone. GONE! I am needing more

Truer words were never spoken...

the observer said...

After I got done laughing my behind off, I thought, "My tax dollars at work. Ugh."

Triple Beeper said...

Dispatch wishes we could tell them no for you, too.