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Karma’s Working Overtime Today

, , , , , , , | Legal | September 8, 2021

My husband and I are volunteer firefighters and EMTs in a rural area of Tennessee. We respond to a 911 call from a VERY scared teenage girl who has run her car into a ditch on a one-lane rural road during a period of very bad thunderstorms.

When we arrive on the call, the young lady’s father is already there, screaming his lungs out at his daughter for putting the car in the ditch. The poor girl is in hysterics, pleading with her father to stop yelling at her. I did the same thing in my husband’s brand-new Lexus SUV at that exact same spot on that road about eight hours ago, so we both have a lot of sympathy for her.

My husband and I confront the father after we make sure that the girl is okay physically. My husband speaks to the father in his VERY loud retired Marine Corps drill sergeant voice.

Husband: “Excuse me, sir! Why are you yelling at your poor daughter over an accident that she probably couldn’t control?! We have been getting calls all day for accidents on this road due to the weather!”

Father: “She should have known better than to travel that fast during this weather! She may have damaged the car that she just bought! Kids shouldn’t make mistakes like that!”

We notice that the car is a roughly twenty-year-old Buick sedan.

Husband: “Yeah, so? My wife did the same thing at this exact spot this morning in my brand-new Lexus, and she had to call a tow truck to get it out. The running board was damaged, but it isn’t a big deal.”

Father: “Your wife must be very stupid to make a mistake like that!”

My husband is getting VERY angry.

Husband: “My wife is forty and she has driven tour busses accident-free since she was twenty-five! Everyone makes mistakes! There was oil on this part of the road when my wife went off the road and that, combined with the wet road and the huge bump in the road, would cause anyone to lose control of their vehicle! Your daughter is just a kid; go easy on her! I am a retired Marine Corps drill sergeant, and I would never be that hard on someone over an honest mistake!”

A sheriff’s deputy arrives and he immediately confronts the father.

Deputy: *To the father* “Calm down! She just needs a tow truck to get her out. I have already called one. It doesn’t appear that she hit the ditch very fast. The worst-case scenario is that the undercarriage is scratched and there are some scratches and minor dents to the body, which I wouldn’t be worried about on a vehicle this old. This could literally happen to anyone!”

The father starts sputtering and the tow truck arrives. The tow truck driver is a high school friend of my husband, and the driver is also an ASE-certified mechanic. The tow truck driver gets the car out of the ditch and looks for obvious mechanical issues on the car. He finds a bunch of minor scratches to the side of the car that hit the ditch and a few scratches underneath, but the car is still drivable.

Tow Truck Driver: *To the father* “The car is perfectly fine to drive! She made a mistake. So what? It’s just a dang car! Get over it! In fact, I am not going to even charge her for the tow because of the way that you are acting! The poor girl doesn’t need any more grief! The car going off the road is probably enough to make her be more attentive when she is on this road!”

The father angrily gets in his own car and starts to drive away extremely fast. The next thing we know, HE ends up losing control when HIS car hits a puddle of water, putting his car in that same ditch about 300 feet down the road. We all go down to check on him and the sheriff’s deputy starts talking to him.

Deputy: *To the father* “You were just yelling at your daughter for the same thing? Based on what you said to your daughter, you must be a first-rate moron! We all told you that it could happen to anyone!”

My husband’s friend pulled the father’s car out of the ditch, and the father had actually hit the ditch so fast that he tore out his brake lines, ripped off part of his front bumper, broke the side view mirror, AND caused numerous dents and scratches to the right side of his car. The father was completely fine physically but looked EXTREMELY embarrassed. My husband’s friend said that the damage would easily cost at least $6,000 to fix and the car could possibly be totaled due to the age of the car. We all hope that he learned his lesson for yelling at his daughter over a minor mistake.

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Instead Of Opening At 9 We Have To Open At 911

, , , , | Right | March 16, 2021

I’ve arrived for my opening shift, but there’s no manager to let me in. I call our general manager, and after some confusion, we realize that our opening manager was hospitalized after an emergency. We manage to find another manager to come in and open, but we unfortunately will have to open late as a result. I’m mingling out front waiting. A few customers try to come in but are understanding after I explain the situation. Until one older woman tries to come in…

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but due to an emergency, we’ll have to open a little late today.”

Customer: *Explodes* “This is unacceptable! How hard can it be to open on time?! I can’t believe this!”

She ranted for a solid minute and then went back to her car. A short time later, I saw police cars swarming around my store and the woman screaming at both the cops and my rather frazzled-looking manager. I ended up holding off on heading over until the scene finally cleared.

I found out later that the lady actually called 911 repeatedly to report our store not being open. I have no clue if she got in any trouble, but I hope she did. Not being able to buy stuff is no excuse to call the cops.

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It’s Not Just In The Media

, , , , | Healthy | March 11, 2021

It is a day or two after my dad has had a pacemaker finally put in after several years of him dying due to an extremely slow heart rate. It is quite early in the morning and I am awoken by my dad telling me to call 911 as he’s experiencing severe chest pain. He goes back to his room and I quickly run to grab the phone and I call 911, which is when things go south.

Operator: “Hello?”

I think I’ve called the wrong number somehow.

Me: “Hello?”

Operator: “Hi. Did you need something?”

Me: “Yeah, is this 911?”

Operator: “Yes. Did you need something?”

Me: “Sorry, it’s just that in the media you guys always say, ‘911, what’s your emergency?’ and you threw me off. Anyway, I need an ambulance to my house.”

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These Paramedics Never Cry Uncle

, , , , , | Healthy | December 13, 2020

A friend who used to live on my street moved out rather suddenly and then moved house again quite a bit thereafter. It was a little strange, but eventually, we found out that her parents divorced and the housing situation was a bit screwed up because it’s Australia and our welfare system is a bit… stupid.

Her dad has finally settled into a place more permanently and decides to host New Year’s. My friend invites me along, and despite having not really met that side of her family, I agree to come and join in the festivities.

On arrival, I’m introduced to an uncle who is probably only five to seven years our senior at best and who has been drinking rather heavily since yesterday afternoon. He gets to chatting and we learn that he has only recently recovered from a nasty car accident that shattered his legs. He’s all healed up and ready to celebrate the New Year, loudly proclaiming to all who’ll listen that next year will be his year since everything has gone so wrong in this one. I’m sympathetic to the poor guy; the accident was 100% not his fault and it was a horrendous and intense path to recovery. With a small child in his care, I can only imagine how hard the recovery must have been, so I don’t begrudge his drinking. Out of everyone present, he probably has the best reason to be overindulging, and he isn’t an angry drunk by any stretch of the imagination.

The night wears on, and we are about an hour away from midnight. The local sports grounds is hosting a fireworks display, and from the backyard, we will have a great seat for the show. Suddenly, the drunken uncle staggers over to the trampoline and claps enthusiastically at the kids all doing little tricks. One of those kids asks uncle if he ever did tricks and the uncle puffs with pride and declares that he used to be part of his high school’s gymnastics team. The kids all ooh and ahh in admiration, and it isn’t long before they vacate the trampoline and start coaxing [Uncle] to show them some tricks. Bad idea.

He climbs up and starts to bounce. My friend’s dad rushes over and tries to convince the uncle not to do anything silly, but [Uncle] is too caught up in nostalgia and alcohol to listen to reason and decides that trampolining couldn’t be that much different from doing flips on a gym floor. He then jumps super high and starts a backflip; sadly, he isn’t very well in control of the bounce and the trajectory sends him off the mark and he hits the ground hard. There is a sickening, cracking crunch on impact, the kind of sound that reverberates in your teeth and reminds you of nails on a chalkboard.

The ambulance is called immediately and they arrive extremely quickly. They pull up and rush over to [Uncle], who is still very much in a good mood; apparently, he didn’t feel a thing and has spent the time waiting trying to convince us all he is fine and attempting to stand up. The paramedics assess his injuries and gather information from the surrounding family, hand the poor guy a painkiller, and set up a stretcher. Just as they heave him up to slide the stretcher under his prone form, another horrible crunch is heard, and the paramedics lower him carefully to the ground again. A female paramedic feels about his waist and hips and realises that there is more than likely some pelvic bone damage and asks the host for a set of scissors.

[Uncle] is still happy as a clam and suddenly seems to register that there is a beautiful young lass attending to his pants line and becomes very flirty. The paramedic allows the flirting as uncle isn’t being belligerent and it seems to be keeping him relatively still while my friend’s dad runs for the scissors. 

Uncle: “So, what’s a sweet young thing like you need scissors for? I hope we aren’t doing surgery here.” *Laughs* “Though, if it’s you, I guess I wouldn’t mind so much. You’re lovely!”

Female Paramedic: *Laughs* “Oh, no need to worry, sir. No surgery here in the grass. I just need to see your hips a bit better in case there’s more damage we couldn’t see through your clothes. I hope you’re not attached to these shorts, though; we need the scissors to cut them off.”

[Uncle] suddenly starts blushing madly, and the flirty tone is now a little fearful and embarrassed.

Uncle: “Oh, um… It’s just, well, it’s a rather unpleasant job… that is… would your partner here approve of removing my pants?! And… and there are children here! Oh, God! Someone take the children away; I don’t want to be a flasher!!” 

The male paramedic lost it, and through his laughter, he assured [Uncle] that it wasn’t a problem, that they were both trained professionals, and that the kids would be fine as they weren’t planning to cut them off in full view of spectators. [Uncle] was blushing and stammering objections the entire time as a screen was set up and his pants were removed in moderate privacy. 

Finally, they got [Uncle] loaded into the ambulance. The female paramedic was gathering some last bits of information from the family and organising a support person to ride along with them to the hospital. I couldn’t help but ask if this kind of thing was routine for New Year’s. The paramedic laughed and said that, sadly, it was their busiest time of year, but if it’s for someone like [Uncle], she didn’t mind so much. He’s lovely.

[Uncle] just blushed all the harder and covered himself more with the blankets piled on top of him. It was an exciting New Year’s, that’s for sure, and the timing was brilliant, as the ambulance pulling away coincided with the fireworks starting.

The poor guy had re-shattered the old injuries and done some rather significant damage to both hips and pelvic bone. I think he needed pins and plates, and unfortunately, the recovery was a lot longer this time around. It was not exactly the best way to ring in the New Year, but at least he had wonderful paramedics who possessed a great sense of both humour and duty of care.

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Do You Have Any Idea How Expensive Your Laziness Is?!

, , , , , | Healthy | November 10, 2020

I volunteer for my township’s all-volunteer first aid squad. We have a designated crew manning the building during the day to answer any calls, but overnight, the designated crew responds from home via pager. My town and surrounding towns are not very big, so we or other towns sometimes have difficulty putting a crew together. For this reason, we have a “mutual aid” agreement with nearby towns. If we do not have a crew available, another town offers their crew, and vice versa.

Many people misuse the 911 system. They think that arriving at an emergency room by ambulance will mean faster service. It does not. I have literally been to a house in the middle of the night for a stubbed toe. There were four cars in the driveway and five people in the house, any one of whom could have driven the “patient” to the hospital… for the stubbed toe.

On one night shift, my pager goes off to respond to the next town over, which also happens to have the hospital that we take most of our patients to. Bleary-eyed, I drive to my building, meet up with my crew, grab an ambulance, set the GPS, and go off on our way.

Dispatch: “The patient is experiencing urinary retention.”

This can be very painful and dangerous to the kidneys.

And where was the house we ended up at? Across the street from the hospital emergency room entrance. And where was the patient? Sitting on his front porch with a packed bag and quietly reading a book. And how long had it been since he had passed urine? About three hours. Grrrrr!

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