Tag Archives: accident


So we get called to a toddler choking on a hotdog. By the time we arrive the kid’s airway is clear again, and his color is good.

4005_press05-001At the house we quickly check the kid over and get some signatures before calling it quits for the day. As we’re standing there I notice two creepy coincidences:

Number One: The walls are decorated with framed, cheesy aphorisms. The most prominent piece, in the living room, reads: “Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away”.

Number Two: The patient’s sister is sitting there the whole time playing with a Corpse Bride doll.

The doll has text book cyanosis.

Why do I feel I’m the only one who notices these things? Well, anyway good thing the kid didn’t die. That would have been weird for everyone.


As the World Burns


Twelve acres of brush fire yesterday. Seven fire departments sent equipment.


Under control in less than two hours. Pretty bad-ass, those fire guys!

Two Hour Extraction

The first thing he asked was how are we going to get him out of there? A reasonable question.


Well, the fire-guys are here, setting up their equipment; they’re gonna’ cut the roof off, I told him.

Little did we know how hard it would be after that. It was a perfect storm of an entrapment: Bottom of car was wedged against a tree; side of car was dug into the hillside; and the pt weighed over 400 lbs.


We each took turns thinking, fuck how the hell are we going to get this guy out of here?


But eventually—after about an hour and fifty minutes—we had him out and en route to the hospital.


Many hands make light work.

MVA with a side of Bees

IMG_2596Three O’clock in the morning and the neighborhood firehouse alarm and/or the 911 app on my phone wakes me up: Car into a tree, with injuries.

Usually after three long days of work, in a row, I would just go back to sleep. But I looked at my phone and the crash was on my street—turns out, less than 100 yards from my driveway.

Okay. So I throw pants on and respond.

Patient is out of the car—walking wounded—but since I’m the first EMS on scene and I have no ambulance in which to assess her, I have her sit on the back step of the fire truck that had arrived.

So I’m doing my assessment—what happened exactly? do you remember the crash? let me check your blood pressure…—and BAM! I get whacked in the back of the neck by a bee or a wasp or a hornet. I don’t know what it was; I only know that it fucking hurt.

I look up at the truck’s scene lights and see a bunch of pissed of bees or whatever. The rumbling truck must have woken them up.

Another EMT arrives with the ambulance and we get the patient to the ER. The whole ride in I’m feeling kind of itchy but think nothing of it.

We hand the girl to the ER and I get my signatures.

“Dude,” says my driver. “What’s up with your face—and your eyes, and your ears?”

What… ? Shut up.”

IMG_1481“No really,” he says. “Go look in a mirror.”

I go to the bathroom and sure enough I’m as red as a stop sign. I lift my shirt and I have hives up and down my sides. Are you seriously? Now I’m allergic to bees?

Lucky for me the call was ALS: I was able to catch the medic before he left, so I could get some off-the-record benadryl; the sun was barely up. It was way the fuck too early for incident reports.

•   •   •

The morals to the story: Always make sure the scene is safe. No good deed goes unpunished. And fuck you bees!

A Game of Numbers

Well, here are a couple of numbers you don’t see every day:


Kind of ironic how my previous post was about the shitty deadly equipment I have to deal with at my commercial job. But at my volley, we just got this brand new rig (chopper not included), and it is dope:


But its kind of scary riding something so nice. No one wants to be the first one to put a scratch on it. Oh wait …. too late:


Well, that didn’t take long. I blame the heat. And the helicopter guys!

’til the Wheels Come Off!

A TRUE STORY: Yesterday, before shift, I’m checking my rig and I notice a couple of treads on my front, driver’s side tire look “funny”. I walk around to the other side to compare it to the passenger side tire—but of course the passenger side tire is completely bald.

From behind me a couple of EMTs and a supervisor are standing there smoking cigarettes and laughing, “you ain’t getting a new tire so forget about it.”

“I don’t give a shit,” I say. “I just don’t want to flip”.

I put my ambulance in service and we get sent to bring a psych patient to a hospital an hour away. We transport without incident. As we’re leaving the ER parking lot I hear a funny clicking noise under the ambulance.

It sounds like I’m dragging something.

I get out to look, and see this on the inside of the front, driver’s side tire:


I’m no mechanic, but I’m pretty sure that is bad. I’m pretty sure that’s a fucking aneurism!

“Dispatch, 880 is out of service!”

“Received, 880. Do you feel safe driving the ambulance back to Station 1?”

“No, dispatch… Correction: Fuck no.”

Oh, the Places You’ll Go …

Elsewhere on the Internet, EMTs post pictures from their ambulances with the headline, “My Office Today”. Usually they’re somewhere fun like a racetrack, a carnival standby or a beach.

In that spirit, here are a few random shots from the front seat of my office from the last few months. Note: we have no beaches around here.

But we do have planes:


… and choppers:


And roads:IMG_2167

… and not roads:mvapickupHere’s the view outside the wall of the local Supermax:FullSizeRender… and from within:IMG_0028Sometimes its hot out there:IMG_2080 … sometimes it’s cold:

IMG_2050Sometimes it’s just plain nuts (yes, there were 40 kids in there):bus

It may not always be glamorous. IMG_2026

But at least it ain’t the cube.