(In case you ever wondered what goes on in my brain during emergencies. Here’s a glimpse.)
*sigh* I wish rush hour traffic didn’t happen. Blah blah blah. Its so hot today too! At least I can have my Windows open and music up. These ice packs seriously need to last way longer than ten minutes.
Check my left mirror. Cars cars cars. As far as the eye can see. Always travel in the middle or left lane. Traffic moves faster. Check right mirror. Oh hey! A nice big break behind that semi. Wait. What is that on the shoulder???
That looks like an accident! No emergency crews on scene yet. Not good. Quick pull over. Scan the scene for hazards. Tons of debris. Driver in car appears unresponsive. This could be it. What you’ve trained for. Pull over. In front of flat bed. Notify dispatch why you’ve suddenly stopped.
Who’s this lady? Wow she is freaked out! I guess not everyone is used to seeing an unresponsive person. Wait. She’s saying he’s dead?! Oh great. Dispatch why aren’t you answering me??? Breathe. Take a minute to calm down. There we go. Much better level of adrenaline. Lady please calm down! And stay out of traffic. She’s attracted to my uniform! I’m wearing the uniform that says I have the cool head and I know what to do! Whoa! This is super weird.
Finally dispatch! Gloves. Grab gloves. Ah snap, I don’t have any mediums! Well, I hope these large ones stay on. Well here we go. Walk. Walk. Don’t run. Oops watch out for that stray headlight there.
Oh look another civilian. He appears to be calm. Send him to get flares. He says he knows what he’s doing but we better watch him to make sure. And there’s a lady on the phone with 911. Good. She’s calm too. Giving excellent directions. Approach the car. Look for any immediate dangers.
That second civilian. He’s the other driver I bet! He is! But he’s ok. That’s good. Don’t take control of the patient until you’re sure you are safe to do so.
Extensive front end damage. Steam front the radiator. No windshield spidering. Side Windows are open. Oh. Well. Doors don’t open. They aren’t locked. None of them. Oh hey frantic is back. She can help me try to open the doors. Screw the doors.
Patient isn’t answering me. Come on dude. Wake up. Sternal rub? Nothing! Well ABCs next. Blood coming out of his mouth. He’s breathing. Sort of. Not good. Pull him upright. Get in front. Open airway. Jawthrust maneuver. I wonder if blood will permanently stain my shirt. Lean him forward. Get that blood to drain out. Talk to him. Introduce myself. Tell him what is happening. Just in case he can hear me but can’t respond. Maybe it will help him to not be scared.
Please come soon 911! Oh thank God! A Metro ambulance! My co-workers! Ah that uniform looks amazing coming toward me. And he’s carrying bags! And a fire extinguisher? Ah I could kiss him! Someone who knows more than me!
Yes. A c-collar. Not quite….there we go. Perfectly centered. This makes it so much easier to control his airway! Frantic is back. Fire extinguisher. No don’t use it unless you see open flame. Then yell and fire away. Otherwise stand over there. Hey! That calmed her down. Huh. I’ll have to remember that.
Uniform is back. Yep of course I can hop thru the back window. Not a problem. Hop up and in we go. Take over airway again. Lunch box here. Looks like a construction worker. This guy is young. No cellphone. Wow. He must have hit so hard it popped the CD out! I wonder if he’s diabetic or of he has a heart condition.
Firefighters! At last. Of course. Leave it to them to just wrench open the door. Figures. And the 911 ambulance. Yes. Backboard. Keep c-spine. Nope there has been no change in condition since I’ve been here.
And he’s out on the backboard. Wait! Stop! What is that?? Bone sticking out of his thigh? That’s not good. Better tell the rescuers. I know not a high priority. Still need to note that. And he’s extricated. Phew.
Hop back out the window. Careful. Don’t hit the cop. Too many people around the patient. I’m not needed. Wait. Is he talking? They’re asking him questions?? He’s responding??? Oh hallelujah! Still sounds confused tho.
What did this cop just ask me?? I don’t know if the guy is gonna die! I left my death-o-meter at home today! Should I feel sorry for the officer? He sounds a little weirded out by this situation.
Whew! I’m so tired! And hot! I bet that fellow popping out of the ambulance is curious to know what happened. Oh they were transporting a patient! That’s why they happened to come by. Yes I’m ok. Just waaaay to warm. I’m so warm I don’t feel good.
Oh I should go pick up the bags so they don’t get left. There goes the ambulance. Lights and sirens. Probably taking him to the hill. Here comes the paramedic. He’s tall! Shaking hands with gloves on. This is weird. My gloves stayed on! Cuz of sweat. Haha wow. And the ice packs stayed tucked in my belt! I have skills!
Time to get back to base and write up an incident report. Yay. I did my job. And I did the best I could.