Bad dreams

A female smells gas in her home. Dispatch tells us to stage with the engine. We don’t know why, but really don’t care.

A few minutes later, we find out. There was an alleged prowler walking around the trailer park. And now there is a ‘person down inside the home.’

According to the caller, at least.

Finally we make it on scene, after I lose a game of Mahjong, and Slimm finishes his coffee.

The fire lieutenant tells the caller that there is no natural gas hookup

“Maybe it is carbon monoxide?”

“There is nothing in your home that would put off carbon monoxide.”



“Well, maybe I had a bad dream.”


I don’t chase patients

A call for a person “out of their mind.” PD is already there.

“He’s crazy.”

“No joke. The dispatcher told us that. Why does he need to go to the hospital?”

“His mom wants him evaluated.”


“He’s crazy.”

I’m getting nowhere with this guy, so Newguy and I walk into the house and find the alleged patient and his mommy. The patient is in his mid-thirties, so I don’t know why he calls her “mommy” but who am I to judge?

“Ma’am, why does your son need to go to the hospital?”

“Because he’s crazy.”

I don’t even bother asking again. I just turn to the dude on the couch.

“You ready to go?”

“I guess.”

Cut to 10 minutes later, going down the road. The dude on the couch, who is now the dude on the stretcher, hasn’t said a word. He won’t answer my questions, or talk to me at all, so I’m just sitting in my chair catching up on paperwork.

The ambulance comes to a stop at a red light. Newguy is listening to a Handel on the Law podcast, and I’m kinda trying to pay attention to that.

‘Click click click.’

Before I look up, dude on the stretcher is now dude jumping out the back door. He takes off like an NFL running back with an open field in front of him.

I mean, he is gone.

“Med four radio.”

“Med four.”

“Show us ten-eight. Our patient left the ambulance and ran. Maybe PD might want to look for him.”

“Which direction did he go, med four?”

“I think north.”

“You think?”

“Yeah, I don’t chase people.”

Psych eval

Emergency at the assisted-living facility. A little old lady “needs a psych eval” according to our dispatcher. Fire and PD are going with us as well.

Just like every other call.

Walking up to the door, we are met by a corpulent, thick-witted woman with a stack of paperwork and her singular entourage.

“What’s going on?” I ask.

“She in room two-oh-foh’” is her reply.

“Umm. Alright. Why did you call 911?” Perhaps asking the same question a different way will work.

“She been smokin’ in her room.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 911 was called because a resident was smoking in her room. 3 paramedics, 3 EMTs, 2 police officers.

All for an octogenarian smoker. Who, as it turns out, was ‘smoking’ an electronic cigarette.

“Do they sit and think about it, or do they just do it?”

That was the question posed to myself and a fire officer on the scene of a recently deceased gentleman. It was apparent that he had died of his own hand.

His death was both obvious and tragic at the same time.

I was the first on scene, and had made the pronouncement. The officer from the engine came to the scene while the engine remained about 20 yards up the road, and together we secured the scene and covered the body. We were standing there with the responding police officer, who was awaiting the arrival of his detective before entering the scene.

“What do you mean?” asked the fire captain.

“I mean, do they sit there and think about it for a while, or do they just sit down and do it?”

We all stared up the driveway at the covered and lifeless body. We were all cognizant of the gathering neighbors, and could hear their muffled conversations. Aside from the crime scene tape and the covered body, our inaction seemed to make it clear of the outcome.

“That’s a good question. I don’t really know.”

“But why would he do it here? Where his neighbors can see it?”

“Maybe he didn’t want to do it in the house. Maybe he didn’t want to make his wife walk into their house knowing what happened in there?”

“Yeah, but he still did it there, know what I mean? It’s still in the same place.”

I noticed the chirping of several birds, and a woman walking a dog through the neighborhood. Life was going on, oblivious to the traumatic death that occurred only moments before, and just a few feet away.

“We’ll never know, I suppose” replied the officer.

The detective arrived on scene shortly, and took the requisite information from me for his report. The captain and I got into our respective vehicles, and went our separate ways, to be reunited again at a time and place unknown.

We left with many unanswered questions.


Call for a  demented person. No Fire department, just the ambulance and PD. They get there first, of course. Just to be safe.
“He is over there” points the officer. “He’s the one talking to himself.”
Sure enough, there is a disheveled looking dude, talking to himself.
“He being cool otherwise?”
“Yeah, he’s cool. But…”
“But what?”
“He, uh, he thinks he is Jesus.”
“Well, maybe he is. I mean, he does have a beard, you know.”