Overheard in the EMS room

Two guys, who work for the same company, but not Local Ambulance:

“You know, I’m thinking of getting out this business.”

“Yeah, me too.”

“No, man, I’m serious.”

“Yeah, right. What are you going to do?”

“I’m thinking of going into acting.”

“What makes you think you could be an actor?”

“I think I’m pretty good at it. I act like I care every day at work.”

Overtime sucks

I never pick up overtime shifts. Except when I do.

Now I’m stuck in this ambulance sitting in the parking lot of some hospital in an unfamiliar county, waiting on some little old lady to finish with her lunch so we can take her back to her nursing home. With a guy that has a strange, slightly unpleasant odor, and a penchant for telling war stories. I just want to take a nap, and this guy is trying to tell me about a bus crash on the side of a mountain during the first Bush administration.

Some war stories are cool. But not this guy’s war stories.

My employer is paying me time-and-a-half for this shift. And that still isn’t enough.


My blog turns three today.


It has been pretty fun so far.

Thanks, Dave. I’ve enjoyed the ride.

Here’s to many more years.

Hurry up and wait

“You guys want to do a SWAT standby?”

“Uh, is the Pope Catholic?”

“Okay, head over to PD headquarters. Briefing starts in fifteen.”

Forty-five minutes later, no briefing. That’s fine. Newguy and I are flicking a paper football across a desk. He’s winning.

Finally the briefing starts. Some guy got mad at another guy for talking to the first guy’s girlfriend, so he punched him, then the first guy stabbed the second guy with a screwdriver and killed him. Now there is a murder warrant, and these nice fellows are going to persuade first guy to come spend some time with them in their Iron Bar Motel.

All over a girl.

Three hours after clocking in, we leave PD headquarters. My stomach rumbles, reminding me that lunch time is fast approaching. I’m always hungry though.

PD makes us stage at the entrance to the neighborhood, not too far from the suspect’s home, but not visible. Except to the dozens of cars entering and leaving. We are hanging out with some fire guys and PD officers. At least the weather is nice.

“We are looking to go in about an hour.”


Now I’m really hungry, but we can’t leave. I make an executive decision and find a phone number after a quick Google search.

“Hey, what do you like on your pizza?”

“Black olives and tomatoes.”

“On it.”

The pizza shop guy takes my order, and seems confused when I tell him I am at the entrance to a neighborhood. “I’m one of the two guys in white shirts, by the ambulance. You can’t miss it.”

The pizza was delicious.

And after thirty minutes of strongly-worded warnings from police, a door being kicked in, and swift SWAT action, the call is over.

The perp wasn’t home.

Best five-hour call ever.


Rule #1

Unless your life is in imminent danger, never, ever, run on a scene.

Running back to your truck because you need some equipment? You look unprepared, and should have either brought the equipment with you, or take the patient to the ambulance.

Running with the stretcher towards the ambulance? You look like you don’t have the situation under control.

Basically, you look silly.

Sixteen years, and I have never been faced with a situation that made me want to run while on a scene.