Stop the charade

Look, I don’t want to be at work either. I come to this place at least twice a week, most frequently on Mondays, and it is always the same thing: a female feeling faint, or with chest pain, or with difficulty breathing.

I understand your boss is a really, really big meany-head, and doesn’t like it when you call out to work because you were hung over the whole weekend, I really do. I get it. I promise.

But every time you call for something like “feeling faint” or “chest pain” or with “difficulty breathing,” we send a fire truck, an rescue truck, and an ambulance to this place.

Ten people, eight EMTs and two paramedics, in 3 vehicles, for one person who just doesn’t want to be at work.

And when you call with one of those complaints, we have to send all those people to this place because it might actually be an ALS call. Then we have to start lines, do 12-leads, give aspirin and nitro, and the hospital has to waste their time doing the same thing.

And I know there isn’t anything wrong with any of you. I’ve been coming here weekly for years. Literally, years. I could drive here in my sleep. It’s like a giant room full of women crying wolf.

So I propose a deal: I will continue being the jovial paramedic who is genuinely concerned for your well-being, and you stop complaining of these things. How about “back pain from a kidney stone” or “nausea” or “pregnancy problem” or something that is BLS, but sick enough for your boss to believe your story.

I will still bring the stretcher to you, because we all know you can’t walk. I’ll still take you to the hospital, and they will still give you a work excuse, and your friend can also get off of work to come pick you up from the hospital, and you can both be back at your house in time to catch Judge Judy.

Stop the charade.


  1. Its seems this is becoming a common issue. Not common in that this goes on in every EMS system. But more common that providers are getting fed up and are speaking about this abuse. Some might say that if you are tired of these calls then go work at Walmart. But why can’t the answer be to figure a way to stop these non emergent calls from dispatching resources better used for emergencies and perhaps even elevate EMS into segments that will also handle these patients without putting people in danger and be more cost effective.

    The podcast this week at EMS Office Hours talked about this some.

    • over it medic says:

      I’ve been a medic for 9 years. I fucking hate it…people are stupid and are full of shit. The only reason isI’m still one is the were I work requires it to move up in the ranks..and my family.

  2. Flash Larry says:

    I think I’ve told this before here but when I was working EMS in the big city, we used to get calls from area restaurants and hotels on Friday nights, Saturday mornings and Saturday nights, less frequently on Sunday mornings. It was always, always the same thing. It was an employee. If male, the complaint was chest pain. If it was female, the complaint was lower abdominal pain. They had figured out what we would always transport. I used to think that it was like the Tarzan movies where they’d beat the drums sending out a message that everyone could hear, all through the service industries of the big city, telling the employees what to say.

    You want the weekend off work? Get carried away in an ambulance and everyone will be sympathetic. Check in a the hospital. Leave AMA (who will ever know?) or after a few hours and you’ve got the weekend off.

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