The dynamic duo is back

Slimm and I are going to be partners again.

We had to pull a lot of strings, call in some favors, make some offers, and do some shift trading, but we made it happen. A well-executed plan is quite something to be a part of.

I’ve enjoyed working with Newguy for the past few months, but I need to be back with my partner.

I wasn’t going to last much longer without Slimm.

We are already planning on hugging it out before our first shift back together.

I’m very happy.

A long story, Part III: The Poignant Question

…continued again from the other day, and the other day’s other day…


So while we are all sitting in front of my friend’s garage, watching the big red truck and the small red truck pull up to the house, Bubba looks confused. I don’t have much to say, because things are going to get busy in a few seconds, and I’m trying to stay out of the way.

They unload their equipment and make their way up the driveway, introduce themselves, and begin to work on Bubba.

I’m standing somewhat back, ready to answer any questions they may have, but the situation is very well in hand. I’m not a paramedic right now, I’m just a guy standing with a patient.

I can see Bubba looking at their patches, and we all notice the ambulance’s arrival at the end of the drive.

“Y’all from the fire department?” he asks. It sounds more like “fur duhpurtment,” but we all are fluent in Southern drawl.

“Yessir, we are.”

“Well, what are y’all doing here?”

“Sir, you called nine-one-one. We come to all emergency calls.”

“Well that’s just stupid, ain’t it?”

“Why would you say that, mister Bubba?”

“I called for an ambulance, man, not a fire truck. Why did anyone send a fire truck when there wasn’t a fire?”


Later, I told him that I’ve been asking that same question for somewhere near fifteen years, and when he found the answer, to let me know.

A long story Part II: The Mix-up

…continued from the other day…


So I gave Bubba some aspirin, Vicki chilled the hell out, and we moved Bubba outside near the garage. Mainly to keep everyone away, but also to make it easier on the first responders.

Stairs and all, you know.

So the responders arrive, first the big red truck, followed by the small red truck, and then, a few minutes later, the ambulance. It was at this point that Bubba asked a very poignant, pertinent question, which I will save for tomorrow’s post.

These guys are doing the whole ALS thing to him. The guys in the small red truck leave seem anxious to leave, but the guys from the big red truck have their cardiac monitor, so they can’t go just yet.

Bubba’s getting a 12-lead.

One of the guys from the small red truck is looking at it, and he turns to one of the guys from the ambulance and says “looks like a real slow sinus brady with a real long first-degree block.”

“Hmmmm” says the ambulance man.

Mind you, I took Bubba’s pulse several minutes ago, and it was in the 80s. Bubba doesn’t look like a guy would have a “real slow sinus brady.”

“Can I see that real quick?” I ask.

One of the guys from the big red truck looks at me quizzically, as if to say “what the hell does this strange fellow want to see the EKG for?” but the ambulance guy hands it over to me, as they start to move Bubba onto the stretcher.

It’s pretty clear that it isn’t a sinus brady at all. And there isn’t a first-degree block anywhere.

I hand it back to the ambulance man. “That rate is somewhere near 80, and there isn’t a first-degree block.”

Before the ambulance man and the man from the small red truck can lecture me on how they know how to read an EKG, and I’m just some doofus with a party hat, I point out the answer printed right there on their paper.

“Your printer speed is set to fifty.”

He looks like I just explained string theory.

“Normal is twenty-five.”



A long story, Part I: The Freak-out

So, I’m visiting a friend’s house for a child’s birthday. I know what you’re thinking: I don’t have any friends. And you are right. Sort of. I have, like, three. And I was at the home of one of them.

His father-in-law was also there. A large, hulking man, built like a defensive lineman. Sort of like a big square with legs.

He comes up to me, and kind of hushed, says “my chest feels a little tight, C. What do you think I should do?”

I ask him about his medical history and all that good jazz. He’s 62, mildly overweight, hypertensive, with high cholesterol. He had a normal stress test a few months ago, and his EKG was “normal” according to the doctors. He’s never had a heart cath, or a heart attack, or anything major happen to him. He takes his medications regularly like he is supposed to, and everything is managed appropriately.

Our conversation is noticed, and his wife comes over and wants to know what’s going on. “My chest feels a little funny, I was just talking to C about what I should do” he tells her.

The next few minutes saw his wife almost have a syncopal episode, fan herself with a paper plate, say “lawdy jeezus” at least three times, and she summoned no fewer than two of her middle-aged concerned friends over. The next conversation went something like this:

“What should we do?”

“Probably put him in a car and take him to the hospital.”

“We should take him to an urgent care center!”

“Urgent care would be a waste of your time. Go to an Emergency Room.”

“Should we call 911?”

“No, just leave now and go to the hospital right up the-”

“I’m calling 911!”
“There isn’t really any need for that, he could be at the hospital before-”


“I really think that he would get there quicker if you just drove to the hospital yoursel-”


“You do realize that I am a paramedic, right?”

“Yeah, but you aren’t working right now!”


I sighed, went off to find some aspirin, and sat down to wait.


To be continued…

So long, Slimm

After three years, and thousands of calls, the end of C and Slimm is here.

Management has seen fit to end the best work relationship either one of us has ever had and give us two new partners.

We did the math a few days ago, and figured we have run 3,285 calls together. Give or take a few. That figures 6 calls per day on a 12 hour shift. We’ve run some awesome calls: together we have almost 25 saves (seriously, he is that good), delivered 5 babies, one being a set of twins, and we even made the news a few times. He looks handsome on film. I just look stupid. We’ve run the bad calls too: nasty car wrecks with fatalities, more than a handful of deceased shooting victims, both homicides and suicides, a person hit by a train, and the man who asked us not to let him die. We failed him.

It’s been more good than bad, and even through the bad times we had each other.

We’ve laughed. A lot. We’ve cried. Not really. We’ve spent dozens of hours throwing a football, and even more arguing about what to get for lunch.

We had lengthy conversations during the Presidential election, and I couldn’t win the arguments. Slimm was hung up on the Mormon thing.

So now I get a new guy. He’s from Minnesota or something like that. Some state that isn’t Mississippi, but starts with an ‘M.’ I haven’t given him a nickname yet. I guess he’s going to have to earn it.

I often call Slimm my ‘brother from another mother of a different color,’ and I mean it. Slimm has become a trusted confidante, and an even better friend. I’m sure going to miss working with him.