Slimm is in a mood. He hasn’t had his coffee or his sausage biscuit, and it is cold outside. Slimm doesn’t do well when cold, hungry, and decaffeinated.

We are running a call for a “sick person” who “doesn’t feel well” at an office building. Your typical Monday morning call. “Please. I don’t want to be at work either” Slimm mutters as we get out of the ambulance.

We make our way to the patient. She wants to go to a hospital 30 miles away, past 5 other hospitals that are perfectly capable of handling her lack of a medical problem. Coincidentally, the hospital of her choice is around the corner from her home. The patient is playing opossum, which is absolutely fine with us.

As we leave, we get accosted. By a security guard.

“What’s going on? What is wrong with her?”

Slimm responds. “Nothing, ma’am.”

“Is she going to the hospital? What hospital are you going to? What’s wrong with her?” She even has a clipboard in her hand, a pen perfectly poised to record the details of her exciting shift.

“We really can’t tell you anything, ma’am.”

“You have to tell me, I need to put it in my report. I’m in charge of security here.”

Slimm stops walking as a fireman and I continue walking with the patient through a lobby. His voice rises, and we are still able to hear him.

“Fine. She has NUNNYAtitis, her condition can be described as NUNNYA, and we are taking her to NUNNYA Medical Center. Put that in your report.”


  1. Which reminds me of an incident a few years ago. Elderly male fell down a flight of stairs at a local drinking establishment. A loooong flight of stairs. Significant head trauma and needed intubation. The local PD showed up to take a pro forma report. Since the patient was unconscious the officer took his wallet to find some ID. Everything changed when the officer found a police badge and “retired” ID in the wallet. Even though the patient had retired from another PD several hundred miles away the officer called his supervisor and told us he’d meet us at the hospital.

    At the ED the officer and I were exchanging information. Since my agency had a policy of not searching patients for ID, I was getting that information from the officer. The officer in turn was asking me for my unofficial assessment of the patients condition so that he could make a note in his report.

    At this point a hospital security officer showed up and asked for the patients ID. The officer told him it was none of his business since the incident had not happened on hospital property. The security officer asked me and I pointed to the officer. Security got all butt hurt and called for his supervisor. Why, I don’t know.

    At this point the PD sergeant showed up. A guy I knew for over 20 years. Always helpful to me, but I also knew that pissing him off was a bad idea. The security supervisor didn’t know that little fact, but he found it out in a hurry when he started giving orders to the sergeant.

    I won’t repeat the exact wording but the message was that it was none of security’s business what happened, the Sgt didn’t care about their report, and if the supervisor didn’t go away in a hurry, the rest of the discussion would take place at the police station.

    Funny how that works.

  2. Flash Larry says:

    The exercise of the power of the badge is one of the most interesting things to watch. It always works one of two ways:

    1. Those with sense are humbled voluntarily.

    2. Those without it are humbled involuntarily.

    There’s an easy way and a hard way. But there is a way.

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