Recent call:

The buzzer rings once. That's the signal for a "rescue" call. That means that I'll be going out on the ambulance. I stand by the printer, waiting for it to spit out the paper that will give me more information than the scrolling LED screen above the TV set in the lounge.

"MVA, Injuries after accident" Ok, does that mean they got out of their car and fell down or did they discover they were hurt AFTER the accident? I don't care. We roll and I'm ready for spurting blood, broken necks and flail chest. That's what I do, right?

Cap'n Jack, one of the "Old time" firefighters happens to be driving my ambulance this evening. I've never ridden with him and he's a quiet sort. I call him Cap'n Jack because, as I discovered later, he loves sailing as much as I do and moved about 40 miles away so he'd have a place to dock his boat by his house. I can appreciate that. The Cap'n is a quiet sort who manages to exude the air of competence without saying a thing. He does everything as if he was born to it.

We arrive on scene to Suchandsuch Interstate to find the patient sitting on the guardrail next to her mildly deformed car. She's got a shoulder that is about 3 inches below the other one and she doesn't want to go to the Emergency Room. Mom, Dad, husband and many others are there and they are trying to tell me to take her there NOW before I can even look at her.

Of course, I get her into the ambulance because it's "Safer." (Really, I want to get us away from the family members who are giving me a headache!)

Of course, all 20 family members want to come in too.

I'm so glad the doors have locks.

While I'm assessing what I think is the obvious patient, Cap'n Jack discovers that her 4 year old son was in the back seat (in a fully restrained child seat) during the accident and begins assessment. A quick glance tells me that I only have to worry about one patient myself. I LIKE working with The Cap'n! He's regularly looking to me for affirmation and confirmation of his diagnoses. He's been fighting fires since I was 8 years old but he looks to me on the medical. Wow!

Nobody's going to die, Mom's got pain, Son's got a small bump on his forehead but fully with it and alert. Dad (who showed up later) looks like a complete Gangsta or rap star on a bad hair day rides in the ambulance with us.

I never cease to be pleased and surprised by how people do not live up to the expectations set by their appearance. Here's a big, scary looking man, the visual archetype of inner city thug, who's entire attention is tenderly focused on his wife and his son. He's bigger than me but he's so gentle with them both. I am an ass for thinking what I thought when I first saw him on scene.

The entire time we're transporting, the son is fixated by the gear and mechanisms at the "Action Station" in the ambulance. That's where we keep most of our tools and materials close at hand. I joke with dad that this kid's going to be an EMT some day and dad says, "That would be cool."

Right on!


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