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Adventures of the "Ambulance Man"

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We were sent to a home on a possible OD call. When we arrived we were led to a woman about 20 y/o lying on the living room floor and unresponsive. There had been trouble in the family the day before and there were also a few empty pill bottles on the kitchen table along with an empty gin bottle. My partner and I both being paramedics traded off every other day on teching and driving and I was the tech that day so while my partner was doing most of the above I was checking out the pt. and securing the airway with a manual airway as the pt had no gag reflex at this time but was breathing.


My partner determined that the pt could have taken a bunch of pills and as much as a half pint of gin from the time she was left alone about 2 hours before. About that time the breathing stopped so I dropped an ET tube down her trachea and started in with an ambu bag hooked to O2. We then called into medical control and gave them the vitals, history and suspected meds. While waiting for a response from medical control my partner then popped her with a 16 gauge in the right anticubital (vein inside the elbow). We usually tried to hit the right side so we could have the left side open while in back of the ambulance.


Medical control came back on and decided there was nothing in our box we could give her and transport at once. We decided we would go to the local hospital about five miles away and transferred medical control there. I bagged her all the way in and with luck she did not code on me. She was stabilized in the ER and transferred to ICU for a while. I was at the hospital later that evening and in the hall I passed a nurse taking the same pt in a wheel chair to the upper floor unit out of ICU. I stopped and told her that she was looking a lot better now and hoped things would work out for her. She asked who I was and the nurse said "this is the paramedic that saved your life this morning. I smiled at her and she looked at me and said, "Thanks for nothing you son-of-a-bitch...next time mind your own business and stay out of mine". Well so much for good feelings.



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We were sent to a home on a possible OD call. When we arrived we were led to a woman about 20 y/o lying on the living room floor and unresponsive. There had been trouble in the family the day before

Keep sharing here. We love it and this can later be developed in to a book. For real.   Wow..... Thumbs up   Seems you have chosen many jobs that call for lots of adreneline ups. Can you spea

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Good grief...I hope you told her a simple thank you would suffice! :)


I am enjoying the stories...please continue.


Free popcorn while we wait?? :)

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These are interesting stories, Gilbert, thanks for sharing. I'm hoping you have tons more too.


I bet poor rookie Ricky never got over that incident, or were you medics kind to the new EMT and didn't spread the story around with gusto?


That woman you saved, hopefully she was able to work through whatever made her so desperate and is today thanking you in her heart for what you did for her.

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Every morning the oncoming and offgoing crews would have a brief meeting to discuss any of the previous days events, problems or upcoming events. There was always an unofficial contest to top the news of the previous day. If you had a news topper you didn't hold it back. It was quite some time before this story got topped but eventually it did.



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The Story of Radar Healy.


First some background. The county ambulance service I worked for was started when the ambulance providers in the county decided not to upgrade to meet the new federal demands that would take place on 1 March 1976. The county took over the service and it was and still is ran by a local hospital. At the beginning I was based at that hospital trying to help the new director get things going. There were a bunch of newly graduated EMTs working for us at that time and we had our share of "ricky rescue cowboys".


We tried to get as much public notice as we could to get the word out about us and we were lucky that one morning a reporter from one of the local TV stations came for a story on the new service. We showed him around the place and ambulance and the equipment and set up a mock run so he could make a code 3 run with us. All went well and we were anxious to see the results on the 6 oclock new that evening.


About an hour after the reporter left a call came into directly to the directors office. I was sharing that office at that time and was working on treatment protocols and policy. The director got a surprised look on her face and just stammered around a bit and finally said not to worry it will be taken care of and hung up. She just sat there for a minute until I asked if something was wrong. She said that the caller was the reporter that had just left and as he was going down the highway towards Newburgh he got pulled over by one of our ambulances and was given a ticket for speeding. The reporter then asked if we wanted to hear about this on the news report or take care of it ourselves.


One of the crew members of the Newburgh station know as "hotdog Healy" had taken his partner to the police station and picked up a cop and went out on the highway and set up a speed trap with the ambulance and caught the wrong person. We quickly decided that the person now known as "radar Healy" would quickly become a former employee of the service and called that crew in and also called in a replacement for Radar. The ticket was taken care of and the reporter notified. The news report went just like we wanted it to go though we were holding our collective breaths through that report.

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Poor hotdog radar Healy: good idea but lousy timing!!! I'm glad your news coverage turned out in your favor. Did you have to pass around the oxygen bottle to take "hits" as you were waiting to see what would show up on the TV? :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

this time a fire story


Before my paramedic career I was a fire fighter-EMT but mainly a fire fighter. The fire department was all volunteer. We protected the west side of the county with three stations and 12 pieces of equipment. In 1974 our operating budget was just around $500,000.00 per year. Last year the department made just over 600 runs.


One Satruday afternoon during a storm we got a call to a rural area where lightning had hit some crude oil storage tanks. The area was in bottom land and surrounded by farms. The tanks were small holding about 10,000 gallons each and were in a tank farm of eight tanks. Lighting had hit three of the tanks on one end blowing the tops off and setting the tanks afire. One of the tanks also had a hole in the bottom about three inches across where the lighting had gone out of the tank. This also set the containment area on fire and was fed by the leaking



I was on the second truck in but we had all the foam equipment. The first crew in was already cooling down what they could but their water tank was going dry fast. The area also did not have hydrants so we had to set up a portable pool and shuttle water from a lake about a mile away. The chief on the scene told me to get a crew together and to make an attack with a portable foam generator. In about ten minutes we had the containment pond put out and were ready to attack the three tanks. The walkway was about ten or twelve feet up and I took four others along with one of them dragging a high pressure water line for a backup. I want to make a note here that as a captain and training officer I was supposed to be in charge of the hose crew but it was my habit that when a good worker was going that I got the knob and tried to get some trainees to go with me so they could get the feel of the heat.


We advanced the line on the catwalk between the eight tanks to the nearest burning one. I then got the foam generator close enough to get foam into the tank and put the first one out in about five minutes. While working on the second tank my eyes started burning bad and I noticed that the air was going bad on us. One of the crew with me tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the ground. A bystander had come along and had picked up a hose and was spraying the containment pond. He had broken down our foam cover and the pond was now ablaze and beginning to cook those of us on the catwalk. I dropped the foamer over the railing to build up the foam again as another crew was setting

up another foamer to do that also. But no one had noticed the new hose jockey yet so I told the fireman with the high pressure line to roll him. It was 850 PSI of straight stream to the gut at about 100 feet away and that sent the guy half way back to the station house. The fireman I took along with the high pressure hose was also a very good water ball player.


Turning back to the tanks we were starting to foam the third one when we all noticed a bulge developing in the lid of the one next to it. A few rivets popped and the following hiss told us all we needed to know. We dropped the equipment on the catwalk and headed for the stairs. Everyone of us went down those stairs without touching a single step and joined the others getting out of the way also. A few seconds later the tank blew it’s lid and lit up. These tanks are made with a weak part in the top so the top will blow off and not the tank blowing out. We were now back to two burning tanks and got back to work. The last two were then put out within a half hour without further incedent. The owner of the tanks told us he didn’t think they could be put out and that we saved a lot of oil there. He showed his appreciation a few days later with a very large check made out to the department.

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Gilbert, I swear you should write a book with your adventures. Your stories and your writing skills are unreal. This was fascinating and I found I was hanging on every word. I was totally THERE with you.


Thank God all of you came through this okay.


By the way, I love the way you put it about the guy, LOL! (I edited this because I had originally put in something which gave away part of the story line).

Edited by Denisefh
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