The following entertaining little anecdotes come to us from an EMS provider working in Texas. Specific details are removed to keep in line with HIPAA. If you want to share a good story please email us!
1. A local retired fire captain died one winter down here in Texas. The evening of his funeral his wife had a heart attack and was transported by one of our neighboring departments. His two daughters were following the ambulance on the icy roads, unusual for down here. They totaled their car and were both injured. We transported them. All three women survived but it was a somber day for all involved.
2. I once responded to a man who was struck by lightning. While cooking dinner. In his kitchen. In his home.
3. An intoxicated man chose to walk home from a local bar instead of drive. While walking he fell and broke his leg. Part of our conversation went like this:
Patient: Tell your driver to slow down you four-eyed fucking bitch!
Me: Don’t you wear glasses?
Me: Do you have any psych problems?
Patient: Yeah, I wear glasses.
Me: No, psych problems.
Patient: What do you mean? Like, you give me something then you take it away? PSYKE!
Me: Psychological Disorders?
Patient: Oh, no.
Me: Let’s get some haldol.
Patient: Well aren’t you a billy badass.
4. It was the night of my brother’s graduation. I asked him was he was doing that night and he said he was going drinking. When the tones went out at 2:17am for an MVA with entrapment I ran, in fear of finding my dead brother in his crumpled BMW. In the rush I left my phone behind, so I do not have pictures of the accident, but this is what I found. 3 intoxicated young men (ages 21, 22, and 23) in a Suburban were racing a red sports car. Running a red light they hit an 18 wheeler, cutting the truck in two, horizontally, decapitating all three men. The truck continued to roll about 100 yards and the other car fled the scene. My report read “unrecognizable anatomy scattered throughout the scene”. The rig driver said it felt like a little bump in the road. We had a student that night doing his clinicals. It was his first shift. He never returned.
5. After Hurricane Ike we had some problems responding with the down branches, trees, and flooding. A late night call came in and while rushing to a neighborhood on the far edge of our territory we had to turn around twice with the aid of law enforcement and their spotlights to avoid backing into the deep flooded ditches on either side of our country roads. Our usual 4 minute response time became 15 minutes. The emergency? The patient wanted us to take his temperature.
6. I responded to a diabetic emergency. Husband and wife were watching a movie in bed. When the movie was over the wife could not wake up her diabetic husband and called 911. While obtaining IV access and administering D50 the fire crew made him a sandwich (yes, we often made ourselves at home in the kitchen of diabetics to whip them up something to eat). When he awoke it went like this:
Me: Do you know where you are?
Me: Do you know why we’re here? (FF with sandwich is standing beside me.)
Patient: You came to make me a sandwich?
In that department at the time we did not charge for non-transports. As he became more alert and enjoyed his meal we explained that to him, he signed a waiver and we were on our way. The next day he came by in his Ferrari to thank us and give us a thrill ride. Very cool man.
7. Respond to abdominal pain. 14 y/o african american female. No further information. Upon arrival patient is found in distress. Placed on O2, found to be in labor, crowning. Her boyfriend and father are present. Neither knew she was pregnant. To make it even worse, baby is born healthy, but initially white. Boyfriend was angry, to say the least. I had to explain he would get his color, just wait a minute. I have to take a deep breath just thinking about that one…
8. Again, after Hurricane Ike, we respond to an unknown problem approximately 10am. A man is sleeping in his neighbors driveway in one of those haul-away dumpsters. We approach and ask what’s going on. He replies, “Just waiting on my neighbor to get home.” Then lifts his pillow to show us his rather large handgun. I said, “Okay, have a nice day, sir!” Got in my box and called for SO.
9. This isn’t actually a call, but crazy. During the hurricane, once the winds reached 70mph we were shut down and stopped receiving calls in fears the units would overturn. After the storm passed, between 5-6am, when they allowed calls to come back in, we received all the calls from throughout the night all at once. One after the other. The tones didn’t stop for about 20 minutes. Luckily everyone survived but I was terrified when I heard there was a family who’s home had collapsed and they were in their garage with 7 children and flood waters rising. All were okay. BUT – when I awoke to these tones on the second story of our department I stood up and stepped into water. My thoughts went straight to the images of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I knew we were under water. We weren’t. The firefighters were hot so they opened the windows during the storm, allowing rain to come inside and soak the floors. Gotta love firemen.