One of the myths of EMS is that clean underwear is required before calling. 'Be sure to put on clean underwear in case you're in an accident!' your mother may advise. But, to be fair, I am not the least bit interested in the contents or quality of your underwear. That said, we do appreciate the presence of underwear, as opposed to none at all. And yeah, I've seen plenty of underwear, and most of it is extremely forgettable.
But, I did hear a good story lately.
They were called to a motorcycle accident. The patient had stopped short and layed the bike over. Annoyingly, the weight of the bike had snapped his leg. They arrived to find him sprawled on the ground cursing between clenched teeth, clearly trying to master his pain with careful breathing.
After assessing the patient and getting the backboard ready, it was time to cut his pants off to get a good look at the leg and likely set it with a traction splint. The crew were met with loud objections from the patient. This was unsurprising as most motorcyclists covet their expensive chaps and don't want them to be cut off.
"No, no no. You can't cut them off! You just can't!" He repeated.
"Yes, sir, I know these are expensive, but they've got to come off sooner or later."
"I don't care. You're not taking them off!"
"But if you let us take them off, we'll splint your leg properly and I promise you will be more comfortable."
"I don't care."
"The drugs will only do so much and we've got a little ride to the hospital. I just don't want you to suffer more than you have to."
"I can take it."
"It's your choice."
There was a long pause as the patient thought. "There's no way of avoiding this, is there?"
"Not really. We'll take them off and splint you up, or the hospital will. It's your choice. But if it were me, I'd rather have the splint now."
"Okay then, dammit, I'll just take them off." he said with fresh determination.
"Okay." The EMT stepped back to watch. The patient struggled for a few painful minutes to wiggle out of his pants. He soon gave up and gave in.
"I can't get the goddamn things off! Just cut them then!"
"Great. Listen, I'll cut along the seam so maybe they can be fixed."
"That doesn't even matter!" The patient groaned his resignation, and laid back, closing his eyes.
The EMT carefully cut up the side of the pants, his partner cutting the other leg. They met at the waist where they were met with a surprise. Under the patients black leather pants and black jeans were a pair of women's lacy, hot pink panties. It was quite a shock for both of them, but they adhered to the unspoken EMS rule of 'no eye contact in the presence of something amusing and inappropriate.' They swiftly removed his pants, covered him with a sheet, then deftly applied the traction splint, alleviating the pressure on his broken leg.
"Does your leg feel a bit better now?"
The patient, clearly wishing he were anywhere else was slow to answer a quiet "Yes."
They got through the whole rest of the call, transport, transfer, and paperwork and were back in the ambulance before simultaneously bursting into a fit of hysterical laughter that lasted the rest of the shift.