Get Ready For The Show

, , , , , , | | Legal | May 31, 2019

While in college I worked part-time as an EMT.

I will never forget this call. It was one of my very first Code 3 calls as an EMT.

It was during the summer. I had just started a few months before and we got a call of a Motor Vehicle Accident with persons trapped.

We loaded up, lights and sirens on, and we tore down the road. The call was only a five-minute drive without lights and sirens, but we made it there in about three minutes.

We arrived on the scene, and it turned out it was a minor fender bender. A young man about 17 or 18 tapped the bumper of the car in front of him after the car slammed on their brakes to pull into a fast food place.

The fire engine pulled up a minute later and they got out and asked me where the trapped occupants were. I had no idea.

We walked over to the car that was hit and we asked the lady who was trapped. She said her husband was, pointing to the man sitting in the passenger seat.

My partner walked over and opened the door, and the man started to complain about pain in his back, neck, and hips. My partner popped his head out and looked at me and mouthed, “He’s faking.”

It turns out they had just left the ER because the husband had cut his hand or something and were on their way home, and because of the medical complaint we had to transport him back to the ER. We decided since he was giving us the complaint of back and neck pain we would give him and his wife the show they wanted.

We got out the backboard, neck brace, and a huge roll of tape. He told us he didn’t need a neck brace or backboard. We told him that since he complained of back and neck pain it was protocol.

We put the neck brace on and made sure it was very snug, and then we put him on the backboard and taped his head down.

We transported him to the hospital and we told the triage nurse that he was a Code TM — Troublemaker. We ran six more calls that evening to the same ER over a period of nine hours, and they still had him strapped to the board until he finally checked himself out.

We found out later that the whole thing was an attempt by the couple to get a huge insurance payout from the young man’s insurance company, but the insurance company refused to pay them a dime.

The young man barely tapped their bumper. In fact, it was so light there wasn’t even a chip in the paint, so they got stuck with the towing fee — they insisted the car get towed to the body shop because it was undriveable — ambulance transport fee, and emergency room fees.

Because of the way she reported the accident by calling 911 and saying there was a person trapped, a huge response was made; three ambulances, a fire engine, several sheriff vehicles, and two highway patrol all responded Code-3 for a bogus call. She was lucky she didn’t get in trouble for making a false report.

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