No, not me, but a recent client of mine.


Units were sent to a reported fire in a building.  The caller is describing flames coming from a room and he must evacuate.  This being in a residential hotel in an older part of town, a fire here will engulf the building quickly and our crews know it.


The first engine reports nothing showing on arrival to the multi-story type 5 building, but the trucks aren’t waiting to get the sticks up and supply lines are being stretched by second and third due engines.  All this happening within 4 minutes of the report of fire.

The reporting party is in the lobby, stating that there is no fire, but that he had been shot, and didn’t want the police to come.  Telling a first due working company that their chance at getting some fire turned into a medical is like telling a 5 year old Santa took the year off on Christmas morning.

As the ladders came down and lines are drained the medic unit assigned to the first alarm is brought in to assess the patient.  Not surprisingly he is uninjured and well known to our crews for calling in a variety of ailments, not a one of them actually happening to him.

Since I was in the area (poaching really, Captains are dispatched on reports of working fires) I decided to swing in and see what they had going.

When the medic unit advised the patient they saw no evidence of a GSW and asked him to remove his shirt for a better assessment they were barraged with a string of profanity and threats that caught the attention of a nearby police officer.  I waved him over and said to our patient, “Tell him what you told us.”  The story changed from being shot to being in a car that had been shot AT a few days ago.

And then he asked for us to be arrested.  Arrested for not taking him to the hospital.  Seriously.  Then the officer did something that, if I did it, I would be an insensitive care giver and subject to losing my license:  He broke out in hysterical laughter and walked away.   As the medics gathered their smirks and giggles I asked what our patient wanted us to do if he was unharmed and uninjured.

“I want to speak to your supervisor.” he says

“I am the supervisor,” is my reply and he gives me a once over.

“I want your badge number, I’m calling the Fire Chief and reporting this whole ordeal.”

blink. blink.

My hand instinctively went for my phone and I pulled it out. “I’ll call her office right now. I want to hear you tell her about calling in a fire, lying about that, then lying to us, TWICE, then asking to have us arrested.  You tell her I’m here, S-C-H-O-R-R.  Here.”  I didn’t dial the office, which would have been awesome, but it had the intended effect.

“I don’t want to get you in trouble, you’ll get fired and it will be my fault.” He’s scrambling to his feet, eyes darting around the lobby as if looking for the exit, which is squarely behind me and my ambulance crew.

“So now you don’t want to go?” the medic asks and our patient asks to sign the form.  He’s seen it so often he can likely fill in his own ePCR.

Calling his bluff and ending his BS is not in my job description, as a medic or as a temporary Captain, nor is it listed in my protocols, but it was the right thing to do.  Many will say we open ourselves to liability in having such conversations but I will gladly stand in court and defend my actions against his words any day.

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