On a recent job I was reminded not only of the ease with which people can put 6 rescuers lives at risk, but I learned the power of the human mind.


A caller reports a man unconscious and unresponsive in front of a local pharmacy.


We get this call all the time and so far, in the I don’t even know how many times, it has been a new arrival sleeping.  When folks get off the bus that their home town put them on as a public service, they arrive broke, hungry and in need of a plethora of services their old location clearly didn’t offer.

Luckily we have a free van service in the City to help these folks get processed into the system here and to shelter, food, medical services, whatever they might need, and at no cost to them or the municipality that bussed them here.

Our client today has chosen to sleep curled up on the sidewalk, and since the police have no interest in wasting resources waking him and having him scoot along, callers often bring out what they know will work and work fast.

“I think he’s passed out or something.  He’s not moving.”

Bells. Engine 99, Medic 99 code 3 for the unconscious, possible recuscitation.

He wakes from the siren, no one has tried to wake him until now and he brushes the long dirty hair away from his face to peer at us confusingly.

He has no medical complaint.

He has no injury.

He simply wants to go back to sleep.

“You think MAP will take him?” Our Engine driver asks from the fresh air near the curb.

We stand him up and he’s a little uneasy on his feet, not unlike I am when rudely awakened when exhausted and I recall past encounters with our van service.

They are staffed by one person with no medical training and the client must be able to walk to the van unassisted.

“No,” I say, wishing he was more steady on his feet, “They’ll take 30 minutes anyway.”

“OK, It was a thought.” He says as I look over his shoulder and to the van pulling up in front of the engine just outside his line of sight.

The MAP van.

“I’ve been looking for him for 20 minutes” says the driver as she runs over to us. “I’m sorry you guys got called on this, he must have gotten up and moved or something.”

The look on our driver’s face was one of surprise and pride.

“Did you just summon her with your mind?” I asked.

“I can do it all,” He replied.

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