Wednesday, February 11

Whose call is it anyway?

If the following had not ended with no serious injuries it may not have been funny to me. Being new to EMS I just assumed agencies worked together in a friendly and professional manner to ensure the best care possible without interpersonal or political concerns. I am clearly in need of some schooling…

“X” = one local volunteer fire/rescue squad
“Z” = another local volunteer fire/rescue squad
111 – X’s ambulance radio call number
110 – X’s chief’s radio call number
221 – Z’s ambulance radio call number
220 – Z’s chief’s radio call number

Remember – These are all volunteer units, including the chiefs.

Control sounds the tones for “X” and then:
Control: “X ambulance monitors, reported 2 car MVA with personal injury at intersection of routes “A” and “B””.

111: “111 to control”
Control: "control’s on for 111”
111: “111 is out of service ALS”
Control: “111 out of service ALS 13:22.”

[context: 110 and 220 are not on the scene and do not respond to the call – they just get involved via radio]
220: “220 to control”
Control: “control’s on for 220”
220: “control, cancel 111 and tone out for Zs ambulance as the accident is in our district.”
Control: “220, our map shows location indicated by 911 caller is in X’s district”
220: “It’s on the line. The call may have been in theirs, but the accident is in MY district! Roll 221!”

Control sounds tones for Z: “Z ambulance monitors reported 2 car MVA intersection of routes “A” and “B” with personal injury”.
Control: “Control to 111”

111: “111”
110: “110 to control”

Control: “110 please wait one. 111 you can stand down and return to quarters as the call is not in your district”
111: “111 copies”.

Control: “Control’s on for 110”
110: “111 KEEP GOING! Control, that call is in X’s district. Please tell 221 to stand down”.

220: “110 this is 220 - The call belongs to us!”
110: “220 the call originated in our district and you are not even there to know whose call it is!”

More childish bickering combined with some understandable confusion on the part of the crews involved, all displayed proudly on the public airways listenable to anyone with a scanner. In the end both ambulances responded to a scene where everyone signed off (refused treatment).

I don’t know why the turf war broke out between the two chiefs or why it wasn’t handled more professionally.

I do expect that
A) We have a real east-county/west-county “thing” going on here.
B) Drivers and medical personnel will now start wearing bandanas in their pockets and flash signs to their peeps.
C) Soon people in EMS gear will be selling glucose on the corners and using drive by intubations to protect their turf.

Got to do what you can to keep them giving you your props. Word to you and peace out.