EVOC? We doan need no stinkin EVOC!

Wednesday, August 31 2005

In my last post I mentioned how, to drive the bambulance, one needed to practice, take a test, and maneuver an obstacle course. What I meant to say was, “in order to legally drive the bambulance.” Which, by the way, DTs was not, in this gripping tale.

Alas, legality is the last thing on some folks’ minds – if indeed there is anything there at all.

The non-rescue side of DTs’ adventures is conducted through a company which maintains “stations”, or offices, at various locations.

Few if any of these offices maintain a vehicle bay. This is normally not a problem, unless you are, as was DTs, in a medic unit which contained a handy-dandy drug box. The drugs therein respond dismally to extremes of heat or cold. To maintain a happy temperature for the drugs, then, we leave the units running at all times, to cool them during the summer and keep ’em from freezing during the winter.

This is the Way It Has Been for several years, I’m told. Never a problem. Until one day…

Lounging in the station between calls, watching Emergency! on DVD, The Phone Rang. It was answered by the medic in charge.

“Say, are you guys missing your ambulance?” asked dispatch.

“Not as such, no,” said the medic. “A slight twinge and an occasional urge to phone it up, see how it’s doing…”

“Check, please,” said a not-amused dispatcher.

DTs shuffles into the stairwell to peer out the window. Well, sho nuff!

“Hey,” says DTs, “That’s great! It’s gone! Really amazing! Tell dispatch to do it again!”

“You’re kidding,” says the medic to DTs. To dispatch: “Talk.”

“Well, we got a call from Johnny Law, they found an ambulance at the corner of Fubar and Wombat.”

Oh shit oh dear. DTs catches a ride with another unit to bring our wayward bandaid box home. The police seem to have caught the self-appointed valet responsible for our vehicle’s relocation, so visions of CSI stuff with lasers and fingerprint dust and junk like that vanished.

We arrive. Neatly parallel-parked, exactly six inches from the curb, is the unit, with nary a scratch. Interior is pristine, no cabinets have been vandalized, all the expensive equipment is still where we left it – ‘cept for being Mongo miles away from the parking spot.

How then, DTs wondered, did the law decide that this person wasn’t the bona-fide driver? Was he weaving, speeding, wrong-waying down a one-way, playing with the lights and sirens, what?

Turns out, I’m told, the police nabbed “a suspicious male, attempting to burglarize a church, dressed in a short bathrobe and a sombrero.” Notice he was not “oddly dressed, including a bathrobe and sombrero.” Since he did not have the flair and dashing good looks that is sported by all bambulance personnel, but did have keys that said, “Rescue 52” on the key chain, the cops went “Hmmm.”

Now, I didn’t meet this fellow, but whatever he was going to find in the church would I think pale against what he had in hand – $30,000 Lifepak, drug box with narcotics, a FREAKIN AMBULANCE… Thank god, “probably couldn’t pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel.”

However, I am pleased to announce that there are myriad policies now in place to make sure that it doesn’t happen again – locks, drug safes, the whole deal.

And yes, it could have been much, much worse. Just lock up all y’alls own ambulances from now on.

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