For the Paramedic Students…

My name is John and I am 63.

In just over 3 years time I’m going to be driving through your jurisdiction just as you are sitting down to your first meal in 12 hours.  As your order hits the counter I will experience an odd tightness in my chest and dismiss it as gas.

When you take your first bite my wife of 35 years will watch me clutch my chest and stop the car on the side of the road.

Just as you begin to think your bad day is finally slowing down, the worst day of my life, and possibly the last, has just begun.

I’ve slumped over in the car, releasing the brake pedal and the car drifts into a signpost, discharging the airbags.

My wife is hit by the passenger side airbag as she is leaning over to help me, noticing my unconsciousness just prior to her own.

A passerby has stopped and is now describing a motor vehicle accident to your dispatcher.

Lunch is still warm in your hands when your radio alerts to the accident.

You are tired.

You are hungry.

The kids have been keeping you up late.

The rent is past due.

Big deal.  I’m about to die.  While you’re cursing me walking to your rig, my MI is moving and my wife’s head injury is complicating what is already going to be a difficult airway judging by the amount of teeth on the floorboards.

As your rig negotiates traffic, my respirations are rapid and shallow, my wife’s now non-existent.

When you pull up to the scene I need your A game.  I need you trained to the point where what you are about to do comes as naturally as breathing, because we’re having a bit of trouble in that department.

This is not about you.  It’s about me.  It’s about us.

So back to your studies, we’ll meet again before you know it.

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50 thoughts on “For the Paramedic Students…”

  1. Okay…enough ego stroking. Here’s the problem. “Drifting into a signpost” and “discharging airbags” do not happen under normal circumstances. “Smashing/Driving/Careening/Hauling Ass into a signpost” and “discharging airbas” is much more likely.

    Gotta have a significant force to blow those suckers…otherwise every fender bender would have more deployed airbags.

    Someone has to keep you honest, famous boy! :-)

    By the by…expect more razzing on the 12th. Although vastly outnumbered, I will (hopefully) be the only one to carry a gun. Just so we’re all on the same page.

    1. MC is coming to the premiere event? Armed? That’s hot.
      “4×4 wooden highway post down the offramp” is distracting. I took little note of where they started from or their speed, I wasn’t there for that part. I was at the Blake’s enjoying a green chile bacon cheeseburger but indeed, they don’t deploy for just anything.

      Not a challenge to your specialties, Sir, I’m sure this accident investigation was complicated since neither Pt seemed to have a presentation matching the car.

      PS – Love the new video feature at http://motorcop.blogspot.com

      1. Wow! Spoken truly like a cop…loosing sight of the IMPORTANT stuff to focus on the minutiae. Hey, when doing traffic control at a fire scene do you park in front of the hydrant because “there’s always a spot there”…they’re all the same….

        (heh, just giving it back at’ya)

  2. good post, made me laugh out loud.. hit the books medic students! Don’t miss that MI.. assessment and history are key.

  3. Okay…enough ego stroking. Here's the problem. “Drifting into a signpost” and “discharging airbags” do not happen under normal circumstances. “Smashing/Driving/Careening/Hauling Ass into a signpost” and “discharging airbas” is much more likely.

    Gotta have a significant force to blow those suckers…otherwise every fender bender would have more deployed airbags.

    Someone has to keep you honest, famous boy! :-)

    By the by…expect more razzing on the 12th. Although vastly outnumbered, I will (hopefully) be the only one to carry a gun. Just so we're all on the same page.

  4. MC is coming to the premiere event? Armed? That's hot.
    “4×4 wooden highway post down the offramp” is distracting. I took little note of where they started from or their speed, I wasn't there for that part. I was at the Blake's enjoying a green chile bacon cheeseburger but indeed, they don't deploy for just anything.

    Not a challenge to your specialties, Sir, I'm sure this accident investigation was complicated since neither Pt seemed to have a presentation matching the car.

    PS – Love the new video feature at http://motorcop.blogspot.com

  5. good post, made me laugh out loud.. hit the books medic students! Don't miss that MI.. assessment and history are key.

  6. Thats a pretty powerful post.

    Having been in an accident, it seemed like things moved in slow motion (or at least they did for me) and every SECOND felt like minutes, every minute felt like hours up until the point where my car stopped moving after impact. I know the Police and EMS response time to the accident I had was under 5 minutes (probably 2 or 3 minutes), and I was grateful to the men and women who responded and took the time to help me when I needed it most.

  7. Thats a pretty powerful post.

    Having been in an accident, it seemed like things moved in slow motion (or at least they did for me) and every SECOND felt like minutes, every minute felt like hours up until the point where my car stopped moving after impact. I know the Police and EMS response time to the accident I had was under 5 minutes (probably 2 or 3 minutes), and I was grateful to the men and women who responded and took the time to help me when I needed it most.

  8. Wow! Spoken truly like a cop…loosing sight of the IMPORTANT stuff to focus on the minutiae. Hey, when doing traffic control at a fire scene do you park in front of the hydrant because “there's always a spot there”…they're all the same….

    (heh, just giving it back at'ya)

  9. Happy!

    Emailed your post to my Tuesday/Thursday EMT-Basic course, it will be the opening act of this Tuesday’s quiz.

    Powerful stuff. Did a little editing (along the lines of MC’s comments) to make it work for the topics we are covering.

    Mike

  10. Happy!

    Emailed your post to my Tuesday/Thursday EMT-Basic course, it will be the opening act of this Tuesday's quiz.

    Powerful stuff. Did a little editing (along the lines of MC's comments) to make it work for the topics we are covering.

    Mike

  11. Very good – maybe it should be the last thing that students are shown before being “let loose on the public”….

    ….having said that, some of the old timers would benefit from reading it too!

  12. Very good – maybe it should be the last thing that students are shown before being “let loose on the public”….

    ….having said that, some of the old timers would benefit from reading it too!

  13. The Sad, yet obvious truth is, Life is a fatal disease, the ultimate frustration of the job is the battling of the inevitable.
    Day one first thing in Paramedic school the Teacher stood up and said,
    “There are 2 rules for Paramedics,
    Rule1. Everyone dies.
    Rule 2. Paramedics Cannot change Rule 1.”
    I only hope, if I someday die on some other unfortunate medics shift, that he doesn't blame himself for my mortality….

  14. The Sad, yet obvious truth is, Life is a fatal disease, the ultimate frustration of the job is the battling of the inevitable.
    Day one first thing in Paramedic school the Teacher stood up and said,
    “There are 2 rules for Paramedics,
    Rule1. Everyone dies.
    Rule 2. Paramedics Cannot change Rule 1.”
    I only hope, if I someday die on some other unfortunate medics shift, that he doesn’t blame himself for my mortality….

  15. The Sad, yet obvious truth is, Life is a fatal disease, the ultimate frustration of the job is the battling of the inevitable.
    Day one first thing in Paramedic school the Teacher stood up and said,
    “There are 2 rules for Paramedics,
    Rule1. Everyone dies.
    Rule 2. Paramedics Cannot change Rule 1.”
    I only hope, if I someday die on some other unfortunate medics shift, that he doesn't blame himself for my mortality….

  16. Oh my. This is the truth as we know it. Although written with a jolt of reality, there is no room for thought on a call of this nature…. and we should all be confident in our ability, skills and knowledge because there is NO time to think, just do what you do best, what comes natural. If you are lacking in any of the three things I mentioned, don't go out on the street as a Medic!!!! Thanks for the reality check!

  17. Oh my. This is the truth as we know it. Although written with a jolt of reality, there is no room for thought on a call of this nature…. and we should all be confident in our ability, skills and knowledge because there is NO time to think, just do what you do best, what comes natural. If you are lacking in any of the three things I mentioned, don’t go out on the street as a Medic!!!! Thanks for the reality check!

  18. Oh my. This is the truth as we know it. Although written with a jolt of reality, there is no room for thought on a call of this nature…. and we should all be confident in our ability, skills and knowledge because there is NO time to think, just do what you do best, what comes natural. If you are lacking in any of the three things I mentioned, don't go out on the street as a Medic!!!! Thanks for the reality check!

  19. Oh my. This is the truth as we know it. Although written with a jolt of reality, there is no room for thought on a call of this nature…. and we should all be confident in our ability, skills and knowledge because there is NO time to think, just do what you do best, what comes natural. If you are lacking in any of the three things I mentioned, don't go out on the street as a Medic!!!! Thanks for the reality check!

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