Saturday, March 12 2005
Try to guess the biggest fear of Bambulance Folk.
Is it a fear of getting shot during a domestic? It is not, try again.
Aha! Is it contracting a Deathly Disease from the verminous patients we sometimes run? Hardly.
Is it the Fear of Killing Someone? We’d have to try, literally try, very hard, to do that. Mostly. But no, that is not generally a fear bambulancers harbor.
The biggest fear is the Fear of Looking Stoopid.
Stoopid is different from Stupid. Stupid happens, and is immortalized in a phrase one hears quite often at the firehouse – “Huh. Look what I just did. It must be Stupid O’clock.” A nap makes Stupid O’clock go away, and the world is good and right-side-up again.
Stoopid is something entirely different. Collaring a patient with the collar on upside-down. Wrapping the BP cuff backwards so it unravels from the patient’s arm each time it inflates. Unloading a patient at the hospital only to find, as the cot gets almost to the end of the rig, that they’re still hooked up by their nose to the onboard O2. Sproing! Eager thirds cutting the clothes off a medical patient. Stoopid has endless permutations.
So, here is DTs’ second-best personal Stoopid story – so little has there been otherwise to write of.
Envision January 2003. The City of Woodbridge, VA is gripped in the clutches of six whole inches of snow. It is one of DTs’ first ride-alongs – somewhere in the first five, anyway. Supply your own adjectives to describe his value.
The call comes in – injury from an assault, PD are on the way. The scene is a small apartment, where an extended family consisting of about twelve people is snowbound. Tempers flared, and one gentleman is punched in the nose. PD is on scene when we are, and the one Spanish-speaking officer attempts to restore calm.
The patient does not want to go to the hospital, but our Lead EMT tells DTs, the third, to “get the guy a cold pack”. Cold packs are chemical ice packs – chemicals in a vinyl bag, water in an inner pouch. To use, break the inner pouch, the water mixes with the chemical, voila – it gets cold.
DTs gingerly squeezes the bag, then hands it to the Lead EMT. She is not pleased and tosses it back, “You have to squeeze it harder to break the inner pouch”. DTs squeezes harder, still nothing.
“Hit it”, she says.
Hit it. Right. DTs holds the bag in his right palm and karate chops the sum’bitch with his left hand. The inner pouch breaks. The outer pouch explodes. By curious coincidence it is a shape charge, aimed precisely at the backs of the two police officers between DTs and the family. At 6 foot 4, DTs is slightly taller than the PD. Ballistics assure that the mixed, cold chemical goes straight onto their necks.
I do not know how Law Enforcement is trained, but the training is damned good. I’d have shot my Stoopid Third Ass if I had had a gun. They of course did not. Hell, they didn’t even use bad language.
The Bambulance Driver disappears behind a closet door – so PD cannot see him laughing. The Lead EMT exclaims “Shit!” or some such, then begins fishing gauze and padding from the aid bag, handing same to the PD for their cleaning needs.
DTs is paralyzed – except his mouth. “OhshitohdearohfuckohImsosorryjeezusshitohgod”
By some curious coincidence, this slapstick display seems to be just what the family needed. I’m sure the family tells the tale to this day. Hope so. Anyway, we all traipse out in short order. PD assures me there are No Hard Feelings – after asking the Lead EMT how long I’ve been around.
Because to be that Stoopid I had to be very, very new.