No parking

“Hey, you can’t park there, that is a handicapped spot” says the guy dressed in the dark green cardigan, conspicuous due to the heat and humidity. “You have to park in one of the regular spots.”

“You mean a regular spot over there?” asks our heroic emergency medical technician, gesturing to the overflowing parking lot at the local convalescent home.

“Yeah, one of those spots. These spots up close to the door are for handicapped people.”

“You mean, like people who can’t walk, and need a wheelchair to get around?”

“Yes, a handicapped person.”

“Like, the type of person who would be bedridden, complaining of chest pain, who called 911?”


“Thanks. Good thing we are driving the ambulance.”


  1. Flash Larry says:

    Oh, completely! I can’t even begin to imagine what people are thinking – or why they’re not thinking – or why they can’t or won’t hink – about what it means to be an AMBULANCE and need a place to take sick people out of a place where SICK PEOPLE LIVE, for God’s sake. By that I mean, does anyone, anyone actually think about these things when they plan. “Where will the ambulanceS park.” (the capital letter is not a typo). No place to pull in, no place to turn around, no place to enter, doors locked or coded.

    “No, we don’t give EMS the codes to the doors,” they say after we’ve waited ten minutes because people ignore us as we’re trying to get in. The next trip we come through the front door. “Hey, y’all don’t need to be coming through the lobby. Use the back entrance.” “We can’t, we don’t have the codes.” “They’ll let you in.” “Actually they don’t.”

    Or the ER ambulance ramps. You have to back in (or back out) at an angle and there’s hardly room for three vans there. Three vans, two mods or one Local Stupid County Fire Department ambulances that are as big as a fire truck (no exaggeration). Or the ambulance ramp that is laid out so you back in laterally on a relatively steep incline so that the right rear door wants to close and the stretcher has to be held in position so it won’t roll sideways down the incline. That, by the way, is because they turned the back in ambulance area into a place where the valet parking people do their thing and people wait for their cars.

    TURN OFF AMBULANCES – oh, yeah, it’s 98 degrees outside and we’re going to have to a. put a patient back in the ambulance, or b. get in it ourselves. Not so much.

    Or a jammed ambulance ramp with no way to get patients to or from the floors without going through the ER.

    Once in the hospital, you’re pinned in because all the doors, elevators and halls are secured by key cards and you can’t get around or get out. Waiting at doors for someone to come to let you in.

    Oh, and there’s the apartment complexes where you get there and the gate codes have been changed, so you sit, and sit, and sit while someone tries to figure out how to get in. TO ALL RESIDENTS: If you have a major emergency in this apartment complex, you will DIE because the ambulances can’t get in because the ignorant management makes no provision for it…

    “I’ll move your ambulance out of the way for you.” “If you touch my ambulance, you will go straight to jail, you idiot. This is an emergency.”

    Good grief. What we put up with.

  2. One of the few advantages to having the fire department with us on most high priority calls is that they don’t care all that much about keys, codes, or stupid valets. Not that we do either, but the fire department has “the irons” and locked doors are not a problem.

    As to parking, I always adopted the “Why don’t you call the police and have them come down.Let me know how that works out for you.”, school of thought.

    One time, and it was over 30 years ago, we had to pull into a pay parking lot. When we had the patient in the back and were ready to leave, the attendant demanded we pay for parking before we left. The police were just arriving and we left as they were explaining things to the now very unhappy attendant.

    It’s nice when you work along side the cops every day.

  3. BadgerMedic says:

    The astonishment to the obliviousness of the general public has worn off – replaced by a wonder how the world still functions…

    I had a partner years ago who detested emergency lights flashing once arriving at scenes. I would frustrate him by always leaving them on when we were at public venues – grandma’s house back in the woods, doesn’t count.

    He finally started relenting when we were parked in a few times not only at the front, but when the back doors couldn’t be opened, let alone a stretcher loaded. All for those who ‘had’ to park in the fire lane directly in front of the establishment. I distinctly remember one who pulled up right to the rear bumper after waiting for us to unload our stretcher!

    TOTW – yes, it is nice when you recognize the officer(s) who show up to re-educate those with no common sense.

Speak Your Mind