Saturday, September 20, 2008

Recovering From a Major Hurricane...

I won't say which city I work in, or which storm it was, but there was a hurricane that passed through our town. This storm wreaked havoc, turning thousands of people into worthless, inept, entitled, begging, victims, waiting for government programs to bail them out of their lack of preparation. Then, when they got their handouts, they actually complained that the government was not doing enough to help. How did it ever become the job of the government to ensure that everyone is well-fed, warm, dry, housed, healthy, and generally happy? The RIGHT to life, liberty, and property is not the same as ENSURING life, liberty, and property. Also, these victims couldn't be happy that they got a LITTLE help from a charitable organization (which collects its donations with guns and force); these losers are actually irrate that the charitable organization didn't do more or do it quicker.

The following are some of the ambulance runs I made during the storm recovery...

House A Blaze
8:44 Electricity came back on at a house that wasn't quite ready for it. The electricity shorted out some stuff in the kitchen, and started a small fire under the cabinets. We hung out for a little while, watched the brave firefighters extinguish the blaze, and then took off.

911 Call, Then Got Tired of Waiting For Their Emergency Taxi
9:22 Someone called 911 for a breathing problem, but when we got there, somebody told us they got tired of waiting, and they ended up having to get their own ride to the hospital. I felt so bad that someone had to ride in their own car to the hospital, instead of being able to ride in the highly contaminated luxury of a gubment-funded ambulousine.

"That Light Was Green; I Swear it Was"
9:58 We responded to a car accident at a light-controlled intersection, in which the light was not working, due to the storm. One dude stopped at the intersection, and then he proceeded through the intersection. He did what he was supposed to do...he stopped...he just didn't bother to check to see if any traffic was coming before he proceeded. Some lady was coming the other way, and she didn't even bother stopping. She told us, "That light was green; I swear it was." The traffic light was completely wasn't red, yellow, OR green. The lady had a sore rib, and the other guy had a hurt wrist. Neither of them felt like they needed an ambulance, but the guy with the hurt wrist needed a little education on what an ambulance can and can not do for a hurt wrist. At first he wanted to go to the hospital in the ambulance, but he finally realized he probably didn't need an ambulance, when we informed him that we didn't have any Ibuprofen. He decided he would just go with his wife who was on scene with her car.

Using a Chainsaw to Cut Debris...Oh and, A Little Bit of His Foot...
10:23 We responded to a 40 y/o HM who was cutting tree limbs from in front of a bank with a chainsaw (motosierra). He hit a knot in the tree, and the motosierra bounced back and hit his foot. The motosierra cut through his shoe, his skin, and some of his bones and tendons. The entire area was painted with blood. When we arrived, he was in his friend's truck, with his foot wrapped up with shirts, sitting in a pool of blood. We left the wrapping in place, added some pressure dressings, applied pressure, and hauled him to the hospital. The saddest part is that from the time the injury occurred to the time he arrived at the hospital was about 45 minutes. It would have been about 15 minutes if he would have just gone in the car he was sitting in. The guy let me take a picture of his foot after we cleaned up most of the blood...

Imagine Yourself Calling 911 For a Giant Zit
1:22 We responded to the apartment of a 26 y/o HF CO being bitten by a spider approximately 5 days prior. She said she would have gone to the doctor, but there was a storm, so she didn't go. She didn't know whether or not she was bitten by a spider; she just assumed she had been bitten because it was such a big, nasty, pus-y, discolored, swollen mound of flesh. We gave her a $500 taxi ride to the hospital (with no treatment...we've got nothing for a big infected wound), and when we arrived, the nurse diagnosed her spider bite as a giant zit, and she sent her to the waiting room with the other 50 victims of the storm (in one way or another).

Emergency Elevator Service
12:53 We were called by a 75 y/o WM, living in a high-rise assisted-living home. He lived on the 9th floor. Somehow the assisted-living home did not have a contingency plan for when the elevators were out and a 75 y/o guy, living on the 9th floor, wanted to get downstairs. So, they called 911. We carried him down 18 flights of stairs (2 per floor). When we got downstairs, he asked us to get him close to his car. When we got close to the car, he stood up, walked to his car, got in his car, and drove himself to the airport for his trip to New Orleans. I guess he'll call 911 when he gets to the airport, so they can carry him to his plane.

Warning...Do Not Cut Your Arteries With Broken Glass
18:01 We responded to a 33 y/o HM who was moving some broken glass (from the storm), and he dropped it on his leg. By the time we got to his house, there was blood all over his house. You could see the storyline of what happened and where he walked by following the trail of blood. His blood pressure was kind of low (around 90 palpated), so we loaded him pretty quickly and took off for the hospital. He said it was actually squirting blood, which means it was probably an arterial bleed. He had applied duct tape as a tourniquet, and he had wrapped his wound in duct tape. However, even with all the duct tape, there was still quite a bit of blood coming out all over the stretcher and ambulance. The hospital staff put on their riot gear and un-wrapped the wound.....only to find that the artery had apparently retracted, and it had stopped spraying blood. Very disappointing. I didn't even bother taking a picture at that point.

I Don't Think I Want To Go To The Hospital, So I'll Just Call 911
19:49 We responded to the home of a 42 y/o WF CO dizziness while she was running several miles. She said she has heart arrythmias, and she also might have anxiety. She told us she didn't really want to go to the hospital; she just wanted us to come look at her and let her know if she really needed to go. I guess that's what 911 has become...a step between going to the hospital and not going to the hospital.

Crazy Chick With a Tummy Ache
21:47 Responded to an apartment complex for a 24 y/o WF CO a tummy ache for the past 5 days. She didn't want to go get looked at until now because of the storm. She had no other complaints, and her vitals were normal. She was, however, very crazy...taking all kinds of crazy meds. We took her to the hospital, and they sent her the waiting room to wait with the other hundreds of tummy aches.

$500 Debit Card Prank
My favorite part of the whole storm recovery was when some pranksters actually got a rumor going that FEMA was going to give out $500 debit cards to victims of the storm (I swear it wasn't me...there are people far Crusty-er than I am out there). Thousands of people showed up along with News crews. There were no debit cards, and the people nearly started rioting. They were quoted as saying "FEMA neeta pay us fo da gas we use ta drive hee-ah ta git ah checks" and "FEMA ain't heppin us out nough; dey neeta give us mo'...ah people is suffrin!"


MonkeyGirl said...

Love the quotes at the end.

Love the whole thing, but really love the quotes at the end.

Nice to know the "spider bite" crowd doesn't let a major storm get in the way of their stupidity.

fuzzys dad said...

The gimmie you owe crowd never ceases to amaze me.

LCourage said...

Paramagicians support the use of duct tape in all forms of trauma.

Matt M said...

When IKE battered the neighborhood I live in in HOUSTON, for the first two days it was neighbors helping neighbors.

As soon as the winds had died down to tropical storm force many of us were out in the street, clearing limbs and branches, and cleaning out the storm drains so that the knee-deep water could drain. When the rains stopped we were checking on each other. Later on people who needed power (for medical reasons) were hooked up with those with power. Old ladies had trees cleared from their homes. The wife of a cop who was at work for 48 hours straight had her doorway cleared for her by her neighbors.

After two days we started looking for help from the local government. But not before.

Also, there were some near misses with chain saws and heat exhaustion, but we didn't call you, Crusty.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Houston x 3 years:)

Crusty said...

Matt M, Thanks for not calling me. I'm sure it never even crosses the mind of a guy like you. It's nice to hear that there are some people out there that actually do things for themselves...people who still believe that doing something nice for someone else does not involve the government.

LCourage, I'm thinking we should just issue every American a roll of duct tape...who would ever need a paramagician or his Crusty side-kick (the EMT-B) again?

Me said...

LOL Love it! I'm a paramedic in a large Canadian city. I can't help but laugh at the fact calls are the same, no matter where you are.

Not long ago I had a call where a man phoned 911 stating he had chest pain and SOB. Flick on the lights and sirens, pull up to the curb and the man is standing there, coat on, suitcase in hand, no SOB, no Chest pain. He wants to go to a specific hospital because he has an appointment in 30 mins! when asked why he said he had chest pain he said " I knew it would get you here faster" no... ppl don't misuse the system. Yet another fun day on the cabulance.

Nyxmyst said...

This is my new favorite blog to read. Crusty, you're fabulous.

And when you do finally lose it and we hear about an ambulance rampage.. I can say I knew you when.

Veronika Octane said...

I'd rather watch a show about you ...

My reality show would be just like every other female looking for love, you know, except I am awesome, witty, charming quirky and not obsessed with shoes or some shit like that.

Seriously, you'd make a better show

Me said...

Love the pic of the foot btw.

chainsaw vs foot.... chainsaw always wins.

Smithers said...

Proud to say I was part of the ERT for a few of the photos at the bottom. Espically proud of the Chronicles "Money Shot" for the Metro incident. I have seen Crustys Jive skills, there real and there spectacular (Second only to Barbra Billingsly).

My post was GRB for the post-hurricane Free Hotel Exraviganza. I called the wife and kids, told them to get on one of the busses... they were going to see Aunt FEMA in Austin for a couple of weeks. Sad to say they were turned away.....Guess they checked my voting record.

Elle said...

It looks like you run into a lot of "unimportant" people.

Anonymous said...

you might wanna try some International Air Ambulance Service some day. they might refrain us from seeing those kinds of pics.

Crusty said...

Smithers, you know too much. Who are you? Identify yourself. E-mail me at CrustyAmbulanceDriver at

Elle, you're wrong for calling people "unimportant" (I realize you were actually satirically blaming ME for that). There's no such thing as an unimportant person. There's an important distinction between unimportant people and people that abuse the all-important gubment services for very unimportant reasons. The latter makes me feel like it's less important to pay my taxes to the ever-increasingly indispensibly important gubment.

Medic Sierra said...


NONE of my patients are unimportant to me. It is just very hard to deal with the fact that someone misused the system to 'get a ride' when there is another person down the road having a heart attack and the closest ambulance (besides us) is 10 mins away.

That's all I was saying. In truth, if it ever comes to a time that my patients become 'unimportant' it's time for me to get a new job.

*note* I was 'ME' I didn't realize that is what I put for a name. I've changed it *Obviously*

Anonymous said...

I think its obvious your in Houston Tx.

Anonymous said...

Please---if they are too dumb or stubborn to leave when told to leave, can't you just ignore their calls for a bit??? Lord, when did we become a nation of tittibabies waiting for the guvnermints milk and honey to come save us from our stoop-pid-did-tee?

Dreamer said...

When I was stationed at Parris Island, South Carolina as a Hospital Corpsman, I remember the Commanding Officer of the Charleston Naval Hospital making a video of lessons learned after a major hurricane created a lot of havoc on the city. The one thing that always stands out is his bluntness that people need to wise-up and realize that if they can't drive themselves to the hospital because of roads being blocked by downed trees, telephone poles, sink holes, that the ambulances would run into the same problems. He said something to the effect that if it wasn't safe for you to drive yourself to the hospital he wasn't going to dispatch ambulances in the same dangerous conditions. I was impressed with his matter-of-fact statements.

Anonymous said...

I remember all of these ficticious calls that day.

I forgot about them. I usually forget about them by the next day anyway.

My favorite one was the "green" light. It was across the street from the exxon right?

Crusty's side kick.

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