A New Rule Is Born


Or will be in the very near future. I often tell people that the Second Rule of EMS is,

“You don’t want a rule named after you, because they don’t make new rules when people do smart things.”

That also applies to the police and fire services. While that gets a lot of chuckles, it gets chuckles because it’s true. I recently told that to a group of firefighter/paramedics in a class I was teaching. Within 10 seconds, one of the students pointed to another one and said, “Yes, we have a rule named after him.”

Which brings me to this story,

Holy Cow! Firefighter shoots at cow; hits partner instead

TALLADEGA COUNTY — A car versus cow accident on Plantersville Road Wednesday night ended with a volunteer firefighter getting shot in the leg.

The story is short, so that’s all I’ll quote. It seems that the fire department was called to an accident where a cow was struck by a car. The firefighters were trying to move the cow out of the road when the cow became upset and tried to run down one of the fire fighters. Another firefighter drew his weapon, shot at the cow, missed, and shot the firefighter he was trying to save.
Fortunately the injury to the fire fighter was minor or else I wouldn’t be making light of the situation. Still, this seems kind of silly.
In my career  I was never called to an incident involving an injured animal. Which is not to say that my service never was, I just happened not to be working when they happened. In one a deer was injured running into a plate glass window. No one knew what to do, so they did what they do when they don’t know what to do. They called EMS. What they expected us to do, I don’t know. What our crew did end up doing was calling medical control and getting orders to sedate the animal so that it could be dealt with. I forget the details, but I do know that they gave a lot of narcotics to the deer and it eventually died.
The other incident involved a horse that broke a leg on a city street while pulling one of those tourist carriages.  The police wanted to shoot the horse, but they didn’t want to do it to a conscious animal. So, once again EMS was called to sedate the animal. That time the crew included a paramedic who owned horses. She knew a bit about treating horses and administered the drugs. The horse was dispatched and of course a couple of bystanders had to be transported for the emotional trauma.
I haven’t read too far into 25 Things They Should Have Taught You in Medic School… But Didn’t yet, but I’ll bet that dealing with large injured animals isn’t on Dave’s list.
Some day maybe I’ll write “A Thousand Weird Things That Happen in EMS” and include stories about responding to animal calls.