Wednesday, July 14

Radio Check

Most people in our agency have one-way “pagers” which receive voice transmissions and “beep” when pre-programmed tones are played. The pagers let you know when you are needed, the nature of the call, etc. Very handy and all that is needed for most of us.

I now have a new (both to me and the agency) scanning two-way radio that allows me to transmit (on three different frequencies that serve different purposes) as well as receive. Our chief bought a few new radios and now a little fewer than 10% of our members have a radio. I guess that the scarcity makes them valuable as for some reason people are really concerned about who has one. I can’t say for sure why the chief gave me one, but it is clear that for some the possession of one of these is some sort of status symbol. Humans have an amazing ability to turn even the most trivial of things into a contest or statement of perceived value. Weird. That said, the radio is cool :-).

Two calls since my last entry:

First came in as a cardiac arrest. Turned out to be an anxiety attack by a guy in is early 80’s who had a recent spike in his PSA and was due to have his prostate removed this week. Given the potential side effects of that surgery I’d be having anxiety attacks as well. Something to be said about attaining and maintaining an erection and deciding when and how often you’ll urinate. Maybe that’s just me.

Second was a non-emergency transport to a hospital an hour away. My agency does not do many non-emergency transports as we leave them for the paid folks. However, in this instance the patient has had a long history of volunteering for a local fire station, and his son is a current chief, so our chief wanted to do the patient and is family the favor. The patient and his wife were really nice and the ride would have been fine but for three things. First, my glasses broke that morning and I was without them, which leaves me a tad dizzy. Second, the trip was considerably longer than I’ve ever spent in the back of an ambulance and was over rolling and winding roads, starting a bit of motion sickness in, well, motion. Third, the patient puked sending the aroma of fresh vomit throughout the patient compartment. The combination got my gag reflex going and I almost managed to vomit myself. The patient’s wife, who also has volunteered in EMS during her time, was cracking up and full of advice (breath through your mouth, stick your head out the window, etc.). I am glad someone saw the humor in the situation.

Work stuff: Calm before the storm. Things are nice and quiet and I know that means August is right around the corner. I have a bunch of paper work to fill out for my trip to Australia in ’06. Seems I actually have to do some WORK in order for them to send me over there. Who knew?