Halfway House Only Gets You Halfway There

, , , , , | Healthy | August 19, 2018

(I’m an EMT. My partner and I are called to a homeless shelter/halfway house for a “sick call.” This means a non-life-threatening issue. We arrive and unload the stretcher. There’s about ten stairs and a small elevator right inside the door. I start to open the door of the elevator when I’m greeted by staff.)

Staff: “You’re going to the second floor. Oh, that elevator doesn’t work.”

Me: “Okay. Do you have another one?”

Staff: “Sure, it’s up here around the corner.”

Me: “Great. How can I access it?”

Staff: “Come on up the stairs and go to the end of the hall.”

Me: “That’s not going to work. Do you have another access point? A ramp, maybe?”

Staff: “We have an elevator around the corner here.”

Me: “That’s great, but if this elevator doesn’t work, how am I going to get my stretcher to the second floor?”

Staff: *exasperated* “There’s an elevator right over here! Right around the corner.”

Me: “I understand that. But how would you like me to get my stretcher up these stairs to get to that elevator?”

Staff: *blank stare*

Me: *to my partner* “Let’s just leave it here, see the patient, and figure it out from there.”

(When we got to the other elevator it was so small our stretcher wouldn’t have fit, anyway, even if we folded the back.)

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