A Very Expensive Taxi

, , , , , | Healthy | March 6, 2020

(I worked in volunteer emergency medical services for years. Without charge to anyone, a person would call 911, which would then send me and a crew with an ambulance to provide emergency medical care and transportation to the hospital. Unfortunately, our experience was that during a blizzard, some people would call 911 with a fake medical emergency and then decline transportation to the hospital. This was done because they had learned that a snowplow would be dispatched in front of our ambulance to make sure we had a clear route to the house in question. This way, the person would have their street plowed before others. The request of the woman in this story, however, blows my mind. We arrive at the location following the snowplow that is clearing 18 inches of snow on the road. I trudge up to the door and ring the bell. A young woman with an alcoholic drink in her hand answers. There is loud music playing. This is obviously a “blizzard party.”)

Me: “[Town] EMS, who is having the emergency?”

Woman: “Yes, that’s me. Um, I have diabetes.”

(I know that anyone with diabetes should not be drinking an alcoholic beverage.)

Me: “Okay, let’s sit down and check your blood sugar. Are you feeling badly?”

Woman: “Oh, no, I don’t need anything like that. I already checked my blood sugar. It’s [number that’s a bit high, but not an emergency]. I need my insulin from my house in [Next Town Over]. I was wondering if you’d drive me to get it?”

Me: “Ma’am, we are an ambulance for medical emergencies. We cannot transport you from one house to another. The policeman over here, however, most likely will.”

Woman: “Oh, that’s great. But, um, after I get my insulin, could he bring me back here to the party? I’m having such a great time!”

(I just facepalmed. The policeman did give her a ride home to her insulin… but not back to the party.)

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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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