No comprende’

A call for a “person choking” at the nursing home, in the “Memory Care Unit.”

Caring for something that isn’t there any more.

On the way in, we walk through the obligatory keyed-entry door, and Newguy points out a sign just inside the unit.

“New Memories Made Here!”

Kinda ironic.

A crowd of people is gathered around an old feller in a wheelchair at a dining table. Sure enough, he’s choking. As in, not breathing. He’s blue, but looking around. Close to death.

Newguy springs into action like some sort of caped superhero, sans cape, and performs a few abdominal thrusts. Our patient becomes unresponsive, and we move him to the floor, when I swoop in like the superhero’s sidekick with my trusty laryngoscope.

“What the hell is that? Bro, hand me the forceps real quick.”

There’s something in the airway, sho’ nuff. And I’m about to get that junk out.

The forceps go in, grab the food bolus, and I withdraw it slowly. As the food comes into his mouth, the patient starts to gag, cough, and miraculously, his skin changes color. This guy might be a chameleon.

I look at Newguy. “Just who is the sidekick NOW?”

Somebody examines the food bolus, and quickly deduces that it is roughly two-thirds of a lightly chewed Nutter Butter bar.

“Who gave him the cookie?”

“I did.”

“His arm band says ‘Nectar-thick liquids only’.”

“Oh. I didn’t know. I don’t read English.”

Finders, Keepers

“MVA PD VS RED CAR” reads the MDT. Since it involves a PD car, the radio sounds like everyone and their grandmother is responding. We make it to the scene in about 2 minutes.

We were on the way to get ice cream. Not my idea.

Sure enough, there’s two cars, and one of them belongs to County PD. PD t-boned a sedan in the passenger side.

“I’ll take the cop, you check the other car” I say to Slimm as we both climb out of the ambulance.

I make my way over to the driver’s side door of the cruiser. The officer is opening his door and beginning to get out of the car. I see that his airbag deployed, but the wreck doesn’t seem to be that bad otherwise.

Except it appears as if his push bumper has become lodged into the passenger side of a Honda.

He’s okay, just a little shaken up. He doesn’t want a ride to the hospital. He was chasing a bad guy of some sort when the red car pulled out of a side street.

Slimm indicates that the driver of the other vehicle doesn’t want to go, either. He waves me over.

We meet at the back of the car. “This chick is high as a kite, man. Oh, and check out the stuff in the back seat, dude.”

I take a peek as Citycops and Cityfire drives up. We are in their jurisdiction, after all. Bags and bags and bags of marijuana. I thought I smelled something funny.

Not just bags, but lots of bags containing bags. The cheap, plastic bags you get at the grocery store.

Later, as we are getting our required signatures, we notice Citycop putting the driver of the red Honda in handcuffs, then into the back of his car.

“Hey, man, what are you doing?” Countycop asks Citycop.

“I’ve got her for possession with intent, we’re taking her in.”

“She should be my arrest, man. Come on!”

“How do you figure? You’re in our city, it’s our arrest!”

“I found her for you! Whatever happened to Finders, Keepers?!”

House vs. Car

Dispatch tells us the call is for a “car into a house.” In a neighborhood. How this happens, I don’t know, but will eventually find out.

I mean, houses are like, so…big, and kinda easy to miss. But the ability of the general public to do strange things never ceases to amaze me.

Uppity neighborhood. Half-million dollar homes. Three car garages. Manicured lawns. Sidewalks and junk.

We find the home. One of the garage doors is destroyed. With a Hummer H3 amidst the rubble.

Except…the Hummer doesn’t look like it ran into the house. It looks like it smashed out of the house.

Crying and walking around is a young, high-school age girl. She’s on the phone with someone. She doesn’t appear physically injured, so we let her finish the phone call.

Then we find out what happened.

Her parents are out of town for the weekend, and she was late going to meet some of her friends. The garage door wouldn’t open. Neither her remote nor the button on the wall would work.

She thought the best course of action was to drive through the door, so she wouldn’t be late.

I mean, who would have thought to manually open a garage door?

One of the firemen installs garage doors on his days off. He says this is a custom job, and an insulated door. Basically, it’s fancy.

He says some words like “custom” and “carriage house” and “wooden” and stuff.

Ten grand worth of damage to the door alone.

It would be nice to have a rich daddy.

Professional courtesy wins again

That cop should have given me a ticket, and we both know it. I will readily admit as much.

See, I was jamming out to Journey on my way to drop off some cardboard boxes at a local recycling center. I know, I’m so green, right?

I guess I knew there was a stop sign at that intersection, but maybe not since I don’t drive those roads very often. Anyhow, as I mentioned, I was jamming out pretty hardcore to “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Some songs warrant an increased volume on the radio, and this is one of them. I mean, what would Steve Perry think of me if he knew that I turned his music down?

Sure enough, there’s the pretty blue lights flashing their strobey pattern at me, accompanied by a soft chirp from the siren. I dutifully pull over, put the car in park, turn it off, grab my insurance card from the glove box, and get my license out of my wallet.

“You know why I pulled you over, sir?”

“Yessir. Probably because I rolled through that stop sign at Crustybooger Road.”

“Yep. That’s why. Why didn’t you stop, sir?”

“See, what had happened was, I was jamming out to Journey, and I was just distracted. I’m really sorry.” as I hand over my license and insurance info. I elicit a wry smile from the officer, obviously pleased with my honesty regarding my musical choices.

“I saw the sticker on your back window there. You a paramedic?”

“Yessir, I am. I work in Nextcountyover.”

“So you know better than to roll through a stop sign.”

“Of course I do, sir.”

He ponders for a minute, seeming to study my license picture pretty intensely. Hey, don’t judge me, it was several years ago, and I was having a rough morning that day.

“Be safe, Mr. C.” he says as he hands me my license back. “And don’t run a stop sign in front of me again.”

“Of course not, officer. Stay safe, sir.”



A blogger outed

Somebody who knows me found my blog.


I have enjoyed a certain amount of anonymity from behind the veil of the internet, and have been quite fortunate. A few of my readers know my name, and an even smaller number, perhaps 3 or 4, have met me in my life riding on ambulances.

Sometimes I ponder on the benefits of my perceived anonymity.

Would I get in trouble if my bosses knew I blogged?

Would I get fired if they knew?

Have I crossed a line blogging?

Am I doing a good thing for EMS by blogging?

Do my coworkers read my blog?

Do they know who I am?

While that last question has largely been a resounding “no” over the past year, now there is one who knows. Slimm knows I blog, but he doesn’t know where my blog is, what my self-assumed identity is, and he doesn’t care. He will occasionally suggest an idea for a post, typically by saying “you should blog about that one, dude.” But he doesn’t read my blog.

My coworker has assured me that my anonymity will remain, and that he has no ulterior motives. He says he has been reading my blog for several months, and the “stories just clicked one day.”

I trust him to maintain my anonymity, but I wonder.

Is anonymity a good thing in blogging?

Should I head off any perceived trouble by approaching my bosses?

Should I out myself here?

Does it matter who I am, where I am, or where I work?

Can a blogger not just be a nameless, faceless guy with a patch?


I would welcome input from you, my readers.