Emergency Services Needs To Address This Issue

, , , , , | Healthy | December 18, 2019

(Leaving the fast-food drive-thru window, I am overwhelmed with a wave of nausea and dizziness. I manage to pull across several parking spaces and wait, hoping I’ll feel better. I don’t. I think I might pass out, and wish I’d throw up because that might make me feel better. Clearly, I can’t drive, and I have no idea what was wrong. Dizzy, scared, and disoriented, I call 911.)

911: “911! What’s the address of your emergency?”

Me: “I have no idea. I’m at the [Fast Food Restaurant] on the corner of [Highway] and [Cross street].”

911: “But I need a specific address.”

Me: “I can’t give you a specific address. I’m in pain and scared. I’m at–” *repeats cross streets* “Please help me!”

911: “We cannot help you without a street address, ma’am.”

Me: *losing my cool completely* “Okay, start at the hospital. Drive north on [Highway] a few blocks. When you get to [Major Store], look to the east, to your right. You will see [Fast Food Place] with a car parked across several spots. That’s me!”

(Funniest thing, they did find me! It turned out to be a kidney stone.)

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When Laughter Is NOT The Best Medicine

, , , , | Healthy | December 11, 2019

(I am a paramedic.)

Me: *to a patient* “Let me borrow your arm for a blood pressure check, please.”

(The patient extends their arm.)

Partner: “Don’t worry; she’ll give it back.”

Me: “Yeah. I got in way too much trouble last time for not giving it back. The police even chased me!”

Patient: “The police chased you?”

Me: “Yeah! For armed robbery!”

Partner: *groans and slams back doors of the ambulance while walking away*

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A Very Testing Environment

, , , , , , | Learning | September 13, 2019

When I’m in high school, my school undergoes a campus change due to various issues with the current campus, mainly size. The change from the fifty-year-old original campus to the brand new campus occurs partway through my sophomore year, but we are still at the old campus for the first half of my sophomore year.

I’m taking a test in World History class around November when the fire alarm blares. My class dutifully leaves their tests and we exit the building. A fair bit of us are grumbling, since it’s pretty cold and breezy out and most of us are just in jeans and long-sleeved T-shirts. After a few minutes, we get the okay from the teachers to go back inside. We return to our tests and assume that’s the end of it.

We’ve barely warmed up when the fire alarm rings again. We grumble at getting interrupted again — most of us really just want to finish the test — leave the classroom, and go sit outside again until we get the okay to go back inside.

After we get back inside, it’s not five minutes before the fire alarm rings again.

We complain and go to leave the building, but fewer than half of us are out the classroom door before one of the other teachers calls out, “For goodness’ sake, go back to class!”

Everyone finishes the test on time and we get the fire alarm fixed so we won’t have drills every five minutes.

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Blame Canada! Part 8

, , , , , , | Right | June 4, 2019

(I’m a dispatcher on the phone with an irate Boston customer for nearly twenty minutes about the fact that his hot tub will not be delivered until after the Canadian Holiday.)

Caller: “What do you mean, you will be delivering it Tuesday?! Today is Monday, and on Friday, the tracking said one business day until delivery!”

Me: “Yes, I apologize on our company’s behalf. But, as I have mentioned, we have a holiday in Canada on Monday and, therefore, it will not arrive until tomorrow.”

Caller: “That’s garbage! It’s not even a real holiday! Why the h*** is it not being delivered?”

(I’m tired of repeating myself, but I try once more.)

Me: “It is being delivered, sir, but all our drivers are off Monday so they can be with their families.”

Caller: “That’s it! Get me your manager on the phone now! Someone is going to be in hot water here!”

Me: “And it certainly won’t be you, sir. Have a nice day!” *click*

(My boss had to give me a little grief for this one, but after a good chuckle. Yes, Americans, Canadian holidays are as real to us as yours are to you.)

Related:
Blame Canada! Part 7
Blame Canada! Part 6
Blame Canada! Part 5

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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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