Pulled duty last Tuesday night.

I got my official approval as Senior Ambulance Technician and I can ride the officer seat in our Ambulance now. Yay! J was there that night as it was the monthly meeting night. She's warming to me. She teases me a lot more and it's a friendly way.

After the meeting, she was going to leave. I told her she couldn't. Who was going to drive the ambulance in that special way she does if she leaves?? (see last post below). J griped and moaned but opted to stay for "Frasier" and "Scrubs," two TV shows she likes.

Sure enough! Within the first 10 minutes of "Scrubs" we got a call. Female at local restaurant who collapsed and complained of dizziness. History of heart failure. Us and an ALS unit are dispatched.

The restaurant is also a popular bar in the area and local PD has taken to stationing someone there at all times. One of the officers, W, volunteers at our station as an EMT/FF. Cool, he's already got the patient in a stable position, getting SAMPLE history and vitals when we show up. J takes the lead as she's in the door first. She's breaking out gear and W is really running the patient care at that point.

J to me: "ETA for ALS, backboard and stretcher!" and she sets up O2 via NRB and starts talking to the patient. Out the door to the ambulance for the stretcher and one of the other cops there comes right along to help. Right on! Our local PD has never failed to be fantastic and at least 3 of them volunteer at my firehouse.

Back inside: her vitals are normal and she's responsive and oriented. Hyperventilating a little bit and obviously distressed. We get her on the backboard then on the stretcher. When we go to raise the stretcher, a rather immense woman seated in a booth next to me goes to stand up. She's been watching all the goings on and if she did get up, she'd topple the stretcher, me and just about anyone nearby. I've got both hands full of stretcher and I'm lifting so, I tell her, "Do not stand up ma'am." Clear instructions, firm voice direct delivery. I call it my "cop voice."

"Can I go in the ambulance?" She asks

"No." Delivered in the same clear, no-argument tone. She becomes meek and sits right down.

As it was there wouldn't have been any room for her. We got the patient, her husband myself and J in the back of the ambulance when the medics arrived and took over. I've heard a lot of stories of snotty medics, uncaring medics, incompetent medics and medics who think that EMT-Bs are the bane of their existence. These two medics were great! Both were calm, professional, caring and courteous to the patient and to us. They talked to the patient, shifted her off the backboard, had her sit up, got a 12 lead hooked up, BP, pulse, listened to lung sounds and checked her from head to toe. All vitals within norms.

The patient is now looking very, very embarrassed. She refuses transport and the medics urge her to go to the hospital. We encourage the husband to take her there and he pulls his truck right up to the door of the ambulance. She leaves under her own power and off she goes.

I help the medics stow their gear and they seem pleasantly surprised that an EMT-B is doing so. It makes me think that the stories of rude medics have some origin in the teller. One of them asks me what I do for a living and I tell her I'm going to school to be a paramedic. She smiles, shakes my hand and wishes me luck. The other medic, tells me and J that we did a good job getting her on the board, stretcher and in the back of the ambulance. They then spent a couple minutes giving us feedback and answering questions about why they did what they did.

I was delighted for the learning opportunity and I sensed that they were pleased to find volunteers that were interested in more than burning buildings.

Panic attack was the general consensus for the patient's incident. I feel bad for her. It must have been extremely embarrassing and I wouldn't be surprised if she's hesitant about going out in public again any time soon.

Well, no duty this Friday. Going out of town. Thanks for reading and keep me updated on what you think.


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