"Personal Injury after an assault, Police on scene."

I love calls that are dispatched like that. They NEVER are boring.

Romeo and I hop in the bus. Before we've gone 100 yards, we're talking about what we need on the call. Romeo has decided to leave behind his idyllic lifestyle as a twenty-something heartbreaker and become a medic in the Army Rangers. He's got an appointment with "Pre-Ranger indoctrination" and he's excited about both being a medic and being a Ranger.

"O2 bag, Aide Bag (our usual "all around" kit) and the suction unit." says I.

"Suction?" asks Romeo.

"You ever been popped in the mouth?" I ask him.

"Oh yeah!" He says. We understand each other.

What this means to me is that he takes EMS as seriously as I do. We arrive at the restaurant/watering hole to see the usual scene of 2-3 police cars and a crowd of bystanders. I'm ready for a belligerent, bloody drunk who's going to alternately complain of life-threatening injuries and swear he'll kill anyone who comes near him.

A person approaches me as I step down from the ambulance. The cops don't even look my way. ...Odd!

"Hey." Says the approacher

"Who's hurt?" I ask. (Simple questions work best sometimes.)


"You called the ambulance?"

"Yeah, I'm hurt."

Mind you, all of this dialogue is delivered clearly and without slurring by a person who has walked up to me with no apparent difficulty. I look around. Nobody else cares that there's an ambulance in front of the bar/restaurant. I guess this is it.

My patient is about 20-30 years old, black and of an indeterminate gender. Complains of head pain 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 after a police officer shoved him/her into a brick wall during a scuffle. A quick examination with my flashlight shows no swelling, bleeding or deformity on the site of pain.

"Let's go into my ambulance where the light's better."


In my ambulance, I discover she's female, oriented and alert and exhibits no signs of being drunk or even drinking. I conduct a physical examination of her head, palpate her cervical spine (feel her neck bones) and assess her eyes for pupil response along with horizontal and vertical nystagmus (shaky eyes that indicate either inebriation or brain damage). She comes up negative on all tests. Physically she's fine.

"Ok. Listen. I'm not a cop and I don't care what happened or why. All I care about is you. You wanna tell me what happened?"

She gives me a detailed, coherently delivered narrative of some silliness of her sister's boyfriend being drunk, the manager, an unpaid bill and a tussle involving drunks, girlfriends and cops. Apparently in the scuffle, she got shoved back and hit her head on a wall. She denies any dizziness or loss of consciousness and only complains of pain.

I tell her that I'll take her to the hospital if she wants. I also tell her that if she was my kid, I wouldn't be worried. She says she doesn't want to go to a hospital but wanted to be seen. I'm seeing that my role is an emotionally supportive one at this point and I'm OK with not transporting her to the local ED. After assuring her that she can call 911 at any time if her condition worsens and getting a signature from her, Romeo and I roll out.

"Dude! So, was he hurt?"

"SHE was fine, man." says the maddog

"Wow! I was feeling kinda weird. I thought she was pretty good looking for a guy."

"Well, Romeo, you are pretty hot, yourself, you know."

"Shut up, man!"

I'm still laughing.


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