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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

When Do YOU Call 911 For Someone For an Ambulance?

The other day, somebody called 911 for a person who was apparently sleeping near the side of the road. When we got there, we found nothing.
We called the guy back on his cell phone (the caller's phone number comes up on our computer), and we asked him where the person was and how the caller knew that the person needed an ambulance. The caller said he didn't know if the person needed help, he just thought that maybe he did. We asked him if he knew if it was even a person, and he said he didn't know. We asked him why he didn't stop and find out, and he said it was because he was in a car and there was a lot of traffic. The caller was not willing to come back to the location to show us where he thought he saw a person.

It gets worse...

20 minutes later, we got called to the same exact location, for the same exact thing, but it was from a different caller, who was also driving by at 50 MPH, and also didn't bother stopping to check to see if it was actually a person. We looked around and eventually we found was a pile of clothing, which was stacked on top of a bucket, and possibly, maybe appeared to be a person sleeping, from the perspective of somebody driving by at 50 MPH.

We called this second caller back also. He didn't answer, so we left a message, politely asking him to return to the location, and show us where the person is that needed our help. We told him we found a pile of clothes that might look like a person (to an imbecile), but we didn't find a person. He never responded. In case anyone wants to call the guy and ask him what the hell he was thinking that night, his phone number is 512-431-2164, and his name is Chris Simonson.

I dismantled the pile of clothing, and amazingly, we did not get called back to that location again. We should make a law, declaring that hobos hereby may not pile clothing in such a manner to resemble a sleeping person, punishable by banishment to Uruguay, along with the imbecile that called 911 for the pile of clothing.

In our little socialist society, the ratio of basic ambulances to people is about 30,000 to 1. So, when you call an ambulance for a B.S. reason, 29,999 people don't have access to the closest ambulance, if they need one.

So, At what point should YOU call 911 and ask for an emergency ambulance for someone?

1. If you think a person (verified that it is a human) might need a little help, but you're not willing to go find out if he needs some help, cause you're an inconsiderate dumbass, then don't call 911 for an ambulance.

2. If there's a better-than-average possibility a person might need some help, but you're not willing to find out for sure, cause you're an inconsiderate dumbass, then don't call 911 for an ambulance. For example, someone just crashed his car, but you have no idea if he's hurt and/or if he wants an ambulance.

3. If you know a person needs some help, but you also know he doesn't need an emergency 911 ambulance, but you're not willing to take him to the hospital, and you still want to feel like you're a good person, so you think you might just call a 911 ambulance for him, cause you're an inconsiderate dumbass, then don't call 911 for an ambulance.  For example, an acquaintance of yours is sick, he needs to go to the hospital, you know the only thing an ambulance can for him is give him a ride (just like you could), but you don't want to deal with it (due to blood, vomit, coughing, mucous, time, or because you'd have to help him get in the car), so you just call an ambulance, because you're a Christian, and Christians call 911 for people when they want to feel good about themselves.

4. If you know a person needs to see a doctor, you know that the person needs to be moved by a stretcher (because he's an invalid or has a chronic illness), but you also know he doesn't need an EMERGENCY 911 AMBULANCE (there is no life-threatening emergency condition, for which the ambulance has a remedy, and time is not a factor...e.g., he's had a bed sore for the past two weeks...or he has the flu), and you're not willing to go through the hassle of calling and waiting for a private ambulance, so you want to just take the easy way out and call an emergency 911 ambulance, cause you're an inconsiderate dumbass, then don't call 911 for an ambulance.

5. If you know a person is dead, and you know he's been dead longer than 15 minutes (so he can't be revived), but you don't know what else to do, or you don't want to wait around for the police, cause you're an inconsiderate dumbass, then don't call 911 for an ambulance.  If you didn't know before, I'm telling you now. If someone is obviously dead, when you call 911, specify that the person is dead, and tell them you only need the police, not the ambulance. 911 Operators are too dumb/cautious to make decisions for themselves; you need to tell them you don't need an ambulance. Now that you know, tell a friend (along with everything else you learn on this highly educational blog).
6. If you know for a fact a person needs an emergency 911 ambulance (because you've stopped your car and asked), due to uncontrollable blood loss, an uncontrollable airway, a heart attack, a severe breathing problem, a stroke, a need for heavy splinting or spinal immobilization, or any situation where, if the person did not go by emergency 911 ambulance, his condition would get a lot worse, or he would likely die, then you can call 911 for an ambulance.

Here's the key:

To know if someone needs an emergency 911 ambulances you need to ask a few questions...
1. Is it a human?
2. Does the human have a life-threatening condition for which he needs to see an ER doctor?
3. Does the human NEED a 911 emergency ambulance to get to the ER, because without it, his condition would get significantly worse?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Attempted to Commit Suicide...Practice Makes Perfect

We were called to the loft apartment of a 33 y/o BF for an attempted suicide. When we got the call, the notes on our computer said that she was shooting up the place with a shotgun, and she's about to shoot herself. It sounded like a TRUE emergency, so we only took a few more bites of our dinners, before we headed out.
They called the right ambulance driver, because if anyone can talk someone out of shooting themselves, I can. My technique...based on the theory that people usually only kill themselves when they are coming OUT of depression...I use my verbal skills to lull them deep enough back into depression that they no longer have the energy or will to kill themselves.
Her girlfriend (the apparent fem in the relationship) called us because she got scared when the patient fired the shotgun in the house and blew a hole in the ceiling. That would explain why she's the fem...only a fem would be scared of a little gun fire in the house. The patient was pretending like she was trying to shoot herself, and she missed.
When we got there, and after the police made sure the scene was safe for a couple of EMS pansies, the patient and her fem girlfriend were sitting in the kitchen arguing about 'you don't love me' and 'why did you call the cops?' The gun was on the bed in the bedroom, and there was, in fact, a big hole in the ceiling. The police took all of her guns away (perks of the job, I guess...we get free band-aids...they get guns), and forced her to go to the county mental health rehabilitation facility. She did not go easily. The police had to kick her ass a little. It turns out, the patient was a federal police officer, so she kind of knew how to resist arrest.
After about an hour of trying to talk her into going to the hospital, and finally forcing her, she was taken to the county mental health hospital by the police. You would think that would be the end of the story, right? I mean, you figure, if somebody is being rehabilitated by the county, they're going to emerge as a well-adjusted, mentally stable person, right? Plus that, the government took away all her guns...how would someone without guns hurt themselves or others, right?
Two weeks later, we got a call to the same apartment. This time the computer said that the patient was inside the apartment, she had a gun, and she was waiting for the police to break in so she could fire at them, and they would shoot her dead (police assisted suicide).
When we arrived, there was no shortage of police on hand. They love this stuff. I don't know if their motivation was more to save her from shooting herself or to be the one who got to shoot her. They were all dressed in their semi-SWAT gear. A couple of guys had shotguns and assault rifles.
They asked us to breach the door, and when we did, the door only opened about a foot, being stopped by someone standing behind the door. The cops started yelling, "she's behind the door...she's got a gun...put the gun down, mother fuck#r...come out, god damn#t, put the fucki#g gun down..."
They continued yelling at her for about 10 minutes. All the neighbors were poking their heads out of their down and quickly retreating. We, of course, were hiding out 10-15 feet down the hall, waiting for the gun fight start.
After about 10 minutes, one of the officers got really brave and looked in the crack in the door...then...Blam, blam...the officers brains were sprayed all over the wall, ceiling, and all the other officers...the other officers started firing, she started firing, and when the smoke cleared, 2 of the 12 officers were the only ones standing...it was a total bloodbath.
Just kidding, when the officer looked in the crack, he saw a rope and said, "she's got a rope!...why does she have a rope?" Then he got brave again, got closer, and looked again. When he looked in the crack, he saw her looking back at him through the crack. He jumped back, processed what he saw a little, and said, "I think she's hanging by the rope." They looked again and verified that she was in fact hanging by a rope behind the door. We all felt kind of sheepish for engaging in a SWAT standoff with a hanging chick.
We checked to make sure she was dead, which was apparent without even touching her, since her eyes were bug-eyed & all dried out, her face was white (she's a black girl), and there were hardened stalagtites of snot hanging from her nose and mouth. She also had rigormortis. She must have been dead for more than a couple of hours.
It was a tiny bit weird when I got up close and looked at her, in the eyes...allowing myself to wonder, just for a second, if somehow she can still see me looking at her through her dried-up eyes...and thinking it was kind of rude to be staring at someone like that. I also allowed myself to wonder, just for a second, if she could somehow hear the jokes we were telling each other about the situation and...well, about the girl hanging from a rope. (don't count on a bunch of cops and firemen to solemnly respect the dead when nobody else is around...there have been times when we've had to take a second to collect ourselves before walking out a door where the public could see us.)
I left the scene feeling disappointed and confused. I could hardly believe that the government intervention (taking away the guns AND forcing her to go to government mental health rehabilitation) failed to stop a person from hurting herself. I mean, if government can't keep me from hurting myself, who can? I suddenly feel so unsafe, insecure, and scared to be alone with myself. The world is a different place.

Possibly the Saddest Call I've Ever Made (5/17/2007, 19:09)

Possibly the Saddest Call I've Ever Made (5/17/2007, 19:09)
Tire Change, Jack Failed, Family Man Died

Chevy HHR Flipped...They Do That Sometimes (5/17/2007, 2:40 a.m.)

Chevy HHR Flipped...They Do That Sometimes (5/17/2007, 2:40 a.m.)
Minor cuts and abrasions

White Trans Am Vs. Metro Bus (5/9/2007, 17:05)

White Trans Am Vs. Metro Bus (5/9/2007, 17:05)
Metro--1; Trans Am--0

Suicide Cocktail (4/17/2007, 19:25)

Suicide Cocktail (4/17/2007, 19:25)
Another botched attempt.

Jeep Take-Home Test-Drive (4/15/2007, 14:04)

Jeep Take-Home Test-Drive (4/15/2007, 14:04)
It Failed!