Jun 26, 2010

Fades to Black

"Medic two responding" Like I had said countless times before without thinking of what was unraveling that very second for a human being on this earth. Deaths cold dark shadow descending on the house we were heading to. Our lights piercing through the Midnight hour leading us to the scene, The Reaper was peering his calculating gaze into the home of a young man who had so much left to give. Arriving on scene a sudden chill filled the air, the fire medics waving us in to hurry as deaths shadow dripping down the walls of the room engrossed us all, his cold bony fingers snaking across the room towards my patient. Wrapped around the trachea gripping onto this mans last few breaths, the countdown began. Pulling our patient to his knees, lips inches from the nebulizer with life saving meds. The reapers dark cloak drawing past my patients face, pealing the once pale color off to reveal his cyanosis. The patient collapsing to the floor my medic stumbles and fumbles, the pieces of this call slipping through his hands like sand. I place the BVM on this young mans face while death clutches the heart slowing it at will. We begin CPR, fighting against death's plan, My patient's color is returning his heart beating stronger, we are stopping death in his tracks, The Reaper laughs in our face about our efforts. Death drapes his shadowy cloak over the providers, weighing us down, releasing chaos from the inner depths of his being, slowing our advances. Being drawn farther into a loosing battle, we do not realize Death has already won. The room darkens as The Reaper draws the last gasping breath from his victim, this once healthy mans color drains away to grey, his eyes sunken in, his heart stopped by an icy grip, his youth slips away into history. I stand face to face with the Angel of Death unable to stop him, unable to save this soul, unable to protect the family from the news to come.

The once darkened room fades to black, I slip into a safer place within my mind, acting only on the training instilled within, all my remaining moves automatic and instinctual. Death crosses another name off his list and as quickly as he had descended onto this unexpected life he passes through the wall and is gone without a second glance. We continue to shuffle through the motions, loading the stretcher, driving with lights clearing the way and sirens screaming. We arrive at the ER only for the Doc to pronounce. We restock the rig not a word is said, return to service to await the next call, in essence sweeping this one away as quickly as it entered into my life.

I wish I could go back to a world simpler than this, back before this was a job, before I got paid to care. Back when I would have felt the sorrow of the passing of a life, back when I would have shed a tear, or been scared in the presence of Death. Back to a world of innocence but Not this, not empty, not emotionless, not cold inside. Losing the essence of being human we have nothing else to give, no deeper into the depths can we fall, we can only decide to climb out. We look inside our selves and promise we'll learn from our mistakes, we will again give it our all. Because we are human, we will learn from our mistakes and voe to not let those mistakes determine the fate of another's life. I hope the taken soul receives some sort of solace that his life lost was not in vein, nor will it be forgotten.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Jun 21, 2010

Down Time

We have all been there, sitting around in our bus at 200 hours waiting for the hand of the clock to click a second closer to the end of our shift. Surrounded by the darkness of the night, our partner snoring away and the soft gentle glow of a street light far off in the distance. We spend countless moments Stumbling through the vast emotional emptiness of the Internet, grinning at the occasional viral video of a hit in the junk while listening to the chirp of the occasional radio transmission. Watching urban nomads settle in for the night on their park bench bed's and the ladies of the night turning tricks a corner away. Maybe we sit in the confines of a station, flipping channels because we have seen the oxyclean infomercial enough to recite it by heart. Listening as the Fire Ambulance signs off yet another assault victim, we pace to the vending machines to tame a late night hunger. The hum of the air conditioner like a lullaby we fight the need to sleep some of us give in to this desire while others review yet another pile of charts.
When we are left to our own devises and are feeling rather creative we can truly come up with some great and memorable time killers. An impromptu snow ball fight employees V.S Supervisor (which I was on the receiving end of) or sledding down a hill with the backboards at the park. In the summer months we kick back and cast our lines in the river and wait for the bass to bite, or maybe work on our drive with a bucket of balls on the range. Grab a Ball and head down to the courts to play a quick two-on-two game of basketball or even a game of horse. Creating a dance atmosphere with the rigs lights and a radio station. Creating an ambulance dance which much like it sounds reenacts the unloading and reloading of the stretcher.
When it comes to the best down time I have ever had; it is hands down the simplest yet most gratifying moments of sitting around the kitchen table in the station late at night telling stories and rolling off each others jokes. Standing in the kitchen reenacting the story of "The Ambulance Chaser" or chuckling over our Brit and his love of Quiche and meat pie's. Laughing at NH's cat book page only to have NH unable to sarcastically defend his love of cats/ Reminiscing about old school toys like lawn darts, Pogs, and intellivision and than having to explain to the nineteen and twenty somethings what they are. Explaining how it really was a lady on a horse we got directions from, and how much better things really are on this side of the river.
The kitchen table talks have to be the greatest time to bond amongst the crews in the station. Interweaving our personal humors and sarcasms into a gut wrenching conversations. Only to be interrupted by the inevitable squawk of the radio...County: "Have a rig for the city"....Dispatch: "That's affirmative"....County: "stand by one"
Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Jun 20, 2010

Fathers Day

With Fathers day upon us I thought I'd take a minute to tell you how I did not follow my fathers foot steps into a life of service or even how I started in the fire company after being taken on a call when I was younger. A matter of fact I am a first generation Fire Fighter which my father joined after I was already in, and I'm the only one in EMS in my immediate family. I can tell you that my Father is the hardest working man I know, though he may not have been the greatest teacher he instilled in me a work ethic and desire to advance at everything I do. My father has not made the best career choices and has been dealt many hardships in his professional life but he has always been able to provide for his family. At times working two jobs to put my older siblings through college, I would only see him for 30min at the dinner table. I felt shortened of his time and grew distant. My father and I have become closer with the years, and I have realized why he worked like he did, It all became relevant once I had the arrival of my son six months ago. For that I thank my Dad, Happy Fathers day to all the dads out there.
Be Safe out there!!
Ambulance Junkie

Jun 1, 2010

A Lady on her horse

Now as stories go, this is by far the oddest one I have (to date)
It was a late summers day, I was sitting at our East posting location enjoying the nice weather and the Park walkers when we got a Poll for a call. Responding down the highway me and my partner joked about what fun we could have in this distant village of our county. 28 miles to travel just to reach the village's limits you have plenty of time to talk and joke even reminisce about the time we blew out a tire on the highway as we passed the very location. We are told by the county dispatcher that theres no response from the local ambulance and we would likely be handling the call. My partner and I both being from the Urban area of our county are fairly unfamiliar with the distant village let alone its outer lying residance's. We are solely relying on the GPS as we head out of the village and into the country we know we are being cut off from communications. Down side of being "out there" is no radio no cell phone. We turn up a road as the GPS instructs and notice that the pavement turns to stone and GPS informs us our destination is .5miles away. I suddenly begin to take in our surroundings and question the validity of our location in the deep thick pine forest when we come to a stop sign, "OK at least we are still in Civilization" my partner says. "Turn left" the GPS says, as we comply we head down what we think is the Patient's driveway. A long dirt road, tire ruts surrounded with tall grass and thick shrubs. "I bet the house is just over that knoll" I think in a fleeting sense of despiration. We crest the knoll to reveal more thick forrest trailway, but we see a pick up truck in the near distance as we approach we realize that the road we are driving on is nothing more than a logging trail through this forest. "I dont think we're in Kansas anymore" my partner chuckles, "we just passed the one hour mark for a response time" I tell him as we both begin to laugh in a frantic manor. We get turned around on the logging road in hopes to head back to a paved road we out of a little side road we see a dog followed by a large white horse. In amazment we stop and realize there is a lady on said horse. She approaches us with a simple grin says " boys aint from 'round here" We smile and ask for help. The lady then proceeds to tell us she'll lead us to the entrance of the state park and get us back on the road we needed to be on to find the house. "Yaaa" she shouts as the horse begins to gallop up the road, "What choice do we have but to follow the Lady on the horse?" I ask my partner, "If we hear Banjo's, dont stop just keep going" he states. She stops and waves us by, rolling up to her she tells us to take that path to the left and its the road we are looking for. "Thanks" we exclaim, out of the forest we go never looking back.

Be safe
Ambulance junkie

"Ambulance Chaser"

We all know some one who says they are going to write a book about Life in EMS, I my friends am no exception. Here is just a taste of the adventures:

I was dispatched to assist an out of county agency enroute to the Cardiac Center with a full arrest. We headed up the interstate and set to rendezvous just outside the city limits. Sitting there I had no idea what was in store for my medic let alone what was in store for me. As the ambulance pulled up to meet us on the shoulder of the highway we approched with all our ALS Gear. My Medic climbed into the Patient compartment from the side door with his ET kit, I opened the back door and went to place the Drug bag and monitor in. Just as the drug bag was about to touch the floor I noticed something very unusual, The ambulance my medic was now in was progressively getting farther and farther away. Now this is such an unusual and rare occurance for me that I didnt know what to do in the moment. My Medic was in the Big Red ambulance racing away from me down the highway, while I was still holding the Drug bag and Monitor. So what does any self respecting EMT do in that situation? Run! Run down the shoulder chasing the ambulance that is speeding away. Now in retrospect, I fully realize that I had absolutely no chance in catching a motorized vehicle hasten away from me, but I sure gave it "the old college try". Holding the monitor in my right hand and the drug bag in my left I give chase to the ambulance, tractor trailers racing by me at 75MPH. The ambulance finally came to a stop and allowed me to catch up, with back door still open I see a glimpse of Chaos. A peirced IV bag swaying in the background of the rig, soaked providers, and a look of terror in my medics eyes. I gladly place the Drug bag and Monitor inside the rig and with a giant smile on my face look at my medic and tell him "Have Fun" and slam the back door to the ambulance. "Glad I'm not in that mess" I think to myself as I turn back to get in my rig and I realize how far a walk I have left to get back to it. I had plenty of time to laugh at the thought of what the tractor trailer drivers must have seen while jetting by my adventure.
Be Safe!
-Ambulance Junkie