A Day with Motorcop – Part 3

OK, OK, I kind of cheated making Day 2 a podcast, but it fit nicely with what I wanted to talk about operations wise.

In our next episode we’ll be discussing our last detail of the day, but first I’ll fill you in on more of our day together.

The bromance was in full swing as we scanned passing cars for seatbelts, cellphones, and crazy activities.  When I drive alone, I often scream at drivers who do unsafe things and don’t seem to understand how to merge or yield.  MC gets to light them up and charge them for it.

We were returning to the PD so Mr MC could use the little boys’ room when we witnessed a car exiting the highway.  As she failed to stop at the red light to turn, a car coming the opposite way was making a left hand turn to go the same direction as she was.  Without even looking, the car making the left had to stop in the intersection as this woman cut him off.

FLASH FLASH – WOOP WOOP

And she kept going.  I almost thought we had another chase on our hands, but she eventually pulled into a parking lot.  After passing 3-4 safe places to stop, she finally pulled into a parking place which appeared to be near her place of business.  As MC approached and cited, I wondered if her co-workers would see us and comment to her later.

We cleared and MC was almost doing the pee-pee dance (which was impressive in his gun belt I might add) we were leaving the lot making the left hand turn mentioned earlier.  As we made the turn a van was coming off the freeway and did the exact thing we just cited the other woman for, and DIRECTLY in front of a police car no less!

Oh my these folks were stupid.

His excuse was that he didn’t see the turn signal on the police car and therefore did not feel the need to A)Come to a complete stop, B)Yield the right of way or C) Shut up when the officer has to scream through an open window for you to pull forward and over instead of waving him through the intersection as if nothing is wrong.

I was smiling the entire time I was out with MC and loved the autonomy he has to move from place to place and see what is happening.  It is just that kind of freedom that dispatchers love to take away from us out on SSM ambulances.  Sending you from 5th and Elm, 2 blocks to 7th, then telling you that posting on 6th is “Outside your response area.”

When I had the chance to work as the Paramedic Captain recently I found that autonomy and embraced it.  I would sit at trouble spots and wait for calls to come in so I could be first on scene and cancel the engine.  The buggy was posted a few blocks up from a tourist traffic nightmare making sure I can see if one of my cars decides to post down there (where they know they shouldn’t).  I even called a few crews on the old trick of being “delayed finishing paperwork” at the hospital by dropping in to see how I could help.

I did get to learn ALOT while riding with MC, including all the nifty new technology out there for our traffic friends.  There are new 3D imaging kits that let them collect data at the scene of a collision that can be rendered in a virtual digital environment.  Kind of like CSI has been doing all these years.

Another neat piece of equipment was the Lidar.  While Radar will use sound waves to confirm range and therefore speed, the Lidar uses laser light and is wicked accurate.  Radar will tell you something over there is going a certain speed, Lidar will tell how how far away and how fast the object is the little laser light is on.  This is a great tool for MC, since he can pinpoint a certain vehicle in a crowd and there is no guess work involved.  Little red light on green car, green car is traveling x speed at x distance away.

Even though MC was available for 911 calls, we only responded to one of those, the MVC we will cover on the Crossover Episode 4- A New Hope.

There were surely more differences than similarities between EMS and police, I knew there would be, but the people doing the job are more alike than I expected.  There are supervisors who could use a few more days on the streets, the over achievers, the hiders, the worker bees, the minimalists and those who exceed expectations, but we all lace up our boots and button our shirts with one thing in the fronts of our minds:  Going out there and doing what we love to do for people who have no idea what we’re doing.

A special thanks to Motorcop for letting me tag along in the car for a day.  I hope to reciprocate if the Captain’s gig gets a bit more regular.  I am curious to see what MC would think about big City EMS.

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