04 June 2007

Running Amuck

It was about 4am when we had returned from a call and I had just snuggled back into my sleeping bag, happy to be last up. Another medic came in and woke up his partner.
“We have to go,” he said. “Someone is smashing into peoples’ cars outside.”
Suddenly, I was awake, but awake as I was I couldn’t remember where I had parked my car. I hastily put my boots back on and followed the rest of my curious colleagues outside.

Most of the parking for work was on the street, and there were a few spots behind our building. By the time we were led outside I remembered that I was parked on the street and vulnerable to this mysterious car smashing. Luckily, we headed in the opposite direction of my car, to where two cars were parallel parked on the street. It appeared that someone (in their vehicle) had rear ended the car parked on the end. That car was pushed into the one in front of it. The first car was pretty much destroyed. The frame was bent, the front and rear bumpers...well, the rear bumper was totally off, and the front one was wedged underneath the car in front. They both belonged to employees, one to our supervisor.
In a matter of minutes, despite the odd hour, everyone was awake and standing outside speculating about the incident. The owners of said cars were absolutely stunned to say the least. It was soon suggested that a drunk driver was out there running amuck in the streets and it was only a matter of time until their antics caught up to them.

Literally minutes later, the tones went off for a car accident mere blocks from the station. I had never seen an ambulance tear out of the station more quickly. It was my supervisors call and you could tell he couldn’t wait to see the perp. Cooler heads prevailed and another truck went to relieve them of the call.
It was indeed the driver who had smashed up the cars. He had made a few more hits going down the street before his car became incapacitated. He was also predictably very drunk. He was taken to the hospital, I’m sure very securely, on a backboard, and my friends car was towed away in the morning.

03 June 2007

Battery Access

We got a call for a fall. It came out as an ‘alpha’ response which means that the call was categorized as non-emergency and we go sans lights and sirens. The call was in a local apartment building. We got into the building easily as it was the middle of the day and there were lots of people milling around the lobby. We got upstairs and to the apartment and heard a tiny voice coming from the other side of the locked door.
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get to the door!”
Crap. We both tried the knob again in vain, just to make sure. I went back downstairs, certainly someone there could get us a key of some sort.
“Um...do any of you know where I can find the leasing or maintenance office? I need a key.”
“Sure. Are you a relative?”
I look down at my uniform and radio just to be sure they were still there. “No, someone called 911 and we need to get into the apartment.”
“Oh, well whose apartment is it?
“Um...I don’t no.” I said slowly as I glanced at the ambulance outside.
“Oh right, well the maintenance office is over here, he’s not in, but I can call him.”
“Great.”
Minutes passed. More minutes passed. Not only will our dispatch notice that we haven’t transported yet, let alone made patient contact, I know that there is an old lady on the floor of her apartment wondering where we are.
Finally the maintenance man emerged. He held the elevator for us, and some other residents tried to bustle onto it.
“Sorry, this one’s an express.” he said, escorting them away. I was relived to see that at least one person realized that someone in the building called an ambulance and that might merit a sense of urgency.

We got into the apartment no problem after that and found a lady on the floor of her bathroom. She said that she tripped over the rug and simply couldn’t get up. She didn’t appear to have any injuries so we picked her up and walked her to her living room. We asked if we could do anything else for her. She said as a matter of fact, yes. Pointing to her answering machine, she told us that it kept telling her she had a low battery, but she couldn’t get the battery cover off. I pulled out my trusty knife and unscrewed the battery compartment. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any fresh 9 volts so we had to leave her without a replacement. But we got her in a chair she could safely get out of, and made sure the remote and newspaper were within her reach. Sometimes we get to just help people.