What A Buckle Head

| Baltimore, MD, USA | Working | December 26, 2012

(My father has just gotten into an accident. He has minor injuries but his motorcycle is done for. When the ambulance arrives, this happens.)

Paramedic #1: “Were you wearing your seatbelt?”

My Dad: “…Where did you find me?”

Paramedic #1: “On the side of the road.”

My Dad: “And what was next to me?”

Paramedic #1: “A motorcycle.”

My Dad: “There you go!”

Paramedic #1: “Sir, that’s no reason to not wear your seatbelt.”

My Dad: *facepalm*

Paramedic #2: *laughs*

My Dad: *jokingly* “And the airbag didn’t deploy, either!”

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Time For Career Path Resuscitation

| Sunshine Coast, Australia | Working | November 5, 2012

(While we’re driving, an old man has fallen over onto the road right in front of our car, pulling his elderly wife down with him. We screech to a halt, just barely managing to avoid running them over. My mum and dad are both emergency consultants and are high-ranking doctors who command emergency wards. Mum jumps out of the car to stop other traffic and my dad heads to the downed couple to help them off the road. The woman is visibly shaken, but the man is incoherent and unable to stand. My dad quickly gets me to call an ambulance and sets about helping the man as best he can. Eventually, the ambulance arrives. A paramedic jumps out and zeroes in on the old man.)

Paramedic: “Okay, every thing’s alright now.” *to my dad* “Sir, are you the one who called the ambulance?”

My Dad: “Yes…”  

(My dad proceeds to give a doctor-handover to the paramedic, including symptoms, current stats and his diagnosis, which is basically that the old man’s heart keeps skipping a beat and he needs to go to hospital right now. The paramedic doesn’t look at my dad the entire time.)

Paramedic: “If you’ll step aside, sir, I can examine the patient.” *to the semi-unconscious man* “Sir?  What’s your name?”

My Dad: “His name is [name]. I just told you. He’s having trouble talking, but his wife told us.”

Paramedic: *to my dad* “Sir, I need you to step away so I can do my job. I know this is scary and you think you’re helping, but—”

My Mum: “Oh my God, are you being serious?!”

(My dad gives mum a look that tells her to let it go.)

My Dad: “Okay, let me help you set up your equipment.”

Paramedic: “No, it’s really very complicated. I’ll do it…”

(My dad steps back to let the paramedic work, thinking that the old man will get to the hospital faster if he just goes along with it. However, the paramedic is fumbling and confusing his equipment and generally wasting time.)

My Dad: “Let me help you with that.”
(Before the paramedic can say anything, my dad kneels down and fixes the equipment. Within about a minute, the entire thing is set up and attached with about a dozen wires to the old man. The paramedic finally looks my dad in the eyes.)

Paramedic: *gasps* “You’re [Dad’s name]!”

My Dad: “Yes.”

Paramedic: *looks a little pale* “I’ve gone to your lectures! I—”

My Dad: “—”worked with me on a few retrievals, I know. Are you ready for a handover yet?”

Paramedic: *embarrassed* “Yes, sir.”

(My dad proceeds to tell the paramedic exactly what he told him when he first arrived. This time, however, the paramedic is following and nodding.)

My Dad: “Oh, and one last thing: when you arrive and someone starts speaking like a doctor, listen to him, or at least look directly at him to check if he’s your boss. Now, get this man to the ED before he dies and we’ll talk about this more later.”

Paramedic: “Yes, sir!”

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A Touchy Subject

| USA | Right | October 12, 2012

(My partner and I are certified EMTs. We are answering a 911 response for a minor having a seizure.)

Mother: “Oh, thank god! My son is in his room and was violently shaking! I think he had a seizure!”

(At this point my partner goes in to see the teenage son, who is sitting in his bed and is not showing any symptoms of recently having a seizure. I am still getting information from the mother when my partner returns.)

My Partner: *to me* “You can stop getting info.” *to mother* “Ma’am, with all due respect needed, you’re son did not have a seizure, he was umm… well, no easy way to put this, but he was masturbating.”

Mother: “That’s impossible! How dare you accuse my son of such a vile sin! He knows better! He’s a good Christian boy and would never touch himself in such a horrible way! You will transport him to the hospital for proper treatment for his seizure!”

Me: “Ma’am, your son is admitting to my partner what he was doing. He is not showing any symptoms of coming out of an actual seizure. There is no medical condition here for anyone to treat. I don’t think there is a need for him to go to the hospital.”

Mother: “You will take him to the hospital! He needs treatment!”

(After 15 unsuccessful minutes of trying to get the mother to cooperate, it’s obvious she wasn’t going to. We ended up having to transport her son to the ER. Needless to say, he was mortified and was quickly discharged.)

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