A woman has called reporting an elderly woman has chest pain.
As the fire engine winds through the residential streets, narrow and difficult at normal speed, we’re now blaring the siren and blowing the horn hoping to shave seconds off of the critical cardiac care clock.
We arrive at the house and are out focusing on quick evaluation and confident treatment. We’re met at the door by a care taker from a private health care company who removes her reading glasses and looks around us at the fire engine, lights still flashing.
“Do you have an emergency?”
“I need help getting my patient back into bed.”
Are you kidding me? All this to help someone into bed?
Upstairs our patient is an apologetic elderly woman telling us how sorry she is she can’t get up on her own. A quick check confirms she has no injury or complaint other than being on the floor.
The caretaker hasn’t said a word.
After getting her back into bed I ask the caretaker for a business card so I can contact her agency and advise them of the conditions at the house. If she is unable to care for her client, shouldn’t someone from her agency come by to help her lift the woman back into bed?
No, she tells us, she was told by the office to call 911.
I looked back through the dispatch information and the caretaker told quite a yarn to get the call classified as an urgent dispatch. Each question was classified as most urgent. Our actual 26A1 was called in as a 6D1.
Once again we’re picking up the slack the “free market” supposedly has a handle on.