I strive to keep “potty keyboard” to a minimum here because some people focus on the words and miss the message. My friends know I’m rarely at a loss for words, but in this case I couldn’t think of a better, cleaner phrase. Please pardon my lapse and read on.
We all know them and we all work with them from time to time. EMTs or medics around whom things just happen. Weird stuff, once in a career stuff, but to them it’s more like once a week or heaven forfend, once a shift.
I worked with such a creature several years back. I had been banished to the deep dark night shift by some manager I had angered. Out of sight out of mind was the prescription, he apparently having never heard Vito Corleone’s admonishment regarding enemies and proximity. While I whiled away shifts contemplating whether they were seriously planning an involuntary exit strategy for me, I was approached by the night shift manager. He knew of my plight and perhaps hoping to rehabilitate my image he told me he was assigning me to work with two relatively new guys. Seems that they were heading down the wrong path and the supervisor wanted “an experience guy I can depend on to keep them out of trouble” to work with them and keep them on the straight and narrow. Irony, thy name is management.
So, I packed my gear and headed out to the station where my career had started years before. Irony had to put on extra shifts to keep up with the karmic demand that week.
Both of my new partners were good eggs and more importantly, both were pretty good EMTs. We settled in to the normal routine of night shift calls without much adjustment on anyone’s part.
One partner in particular seemed to attract “those” type of calls. One night we were sent to meet the police for a psyche patient in the back yard of a residence several blocks from our station. We arrived on the scene to find that the incident had started out as a police pursuit of a drunk driver who stopped her car in front of a random address, ran up the porch stairs, into the house, up three flights of stairs, through the top floor apartment, and out onto the back porch. Then she jumped over the railing and landed on a pile of scrap iron in the back yard. So, instead of a psyche patient, we had a trauma patient. Surprise! Talk about shifting mental gears. My brain stripped two or three on that call.
That’s just the sort of thing that happened to this kid.
In our system we average about one fatal motor vehicle accident a year per EMT or medic. That’s a rough number, but it’s pretty close. During the six weeks I worked with this kid, I did three. That’s three dead right there, toss a sheet over them,traffic accidents. That’s bad enough, but to make it worse all three of them were people who were trapped in burning vehicles. In all the years before and after my time working with him, I’ve done a grand total of ONE accident like that.
When he works we can expect burning buildings, bus loads of hemophiliacs crashing into glass service trucks, boats capsizing, people being attacked by Gorillas that escaped from the zoo, and stuff Irwin Allen couldn’t imagine.
Just don’t expect to get any rest.
I’ll bet your service has a guy just like him.