Cinco De Mayo and we had a full truck. Myself, a driver, and 3 ride-alongs on a lazy Friday night in Spotsyltucky. The ride-alongs were EMT's who have not been "released" to run a truck by themselves yet... they are still "precepting" under another EMT. Tonight, they were running with me because my driver is an EMT preceptor.
We expectantly settled in, knowing that the career staff had run their butts off during the day... thinking that the volume was going to carry over into our shift from 6pm until 11pm. We went out to eat, sure that that would spur some calls... we usually order our meals "to go" even though we stay and eat them there, and ask for our check in advance... just in case. Can't tell you how many times we've had to rip out of a restaurant on a call, mid-bite.
Fortunately, this night was fairly quiet... no calls. We ate in peace, then returned to the station. Still no calls. We sat and either worked on our laptops, watched bad TV, or congregated in the back of the truck and trained. My driver for that night was a good friend... we love to teach... we dubbed our truck the "Learning Truck," and try to make it a place where newbies can feel comfortable asking questions and learning new skills.
We finally got toned out at about 9:45pm on an "Assist Law Enforcement" call. I can't tell you how much I loathe those.. as I've discussed in other blogs. We had to "stage" for a while until the deputies actually arrived on-scene, which means that we find a place to park some distance from the call until the police arrive and declare it "safe" for us to enter. Po-Po arrived, and dispatch told us that it was safe to come in, so we proceeded to the scene.
It's not a great part of town. In fact, it's pretty grungy. Therefore, I wasn't surprised to arrive and find a 40-something male sitting on the curb, drunk off his proverbial butt, and looking like he had just crawled out of a dumpster. No fewer than 5 officers were standing around the guy, who apparently was complaining of abdominal pain. I wondered how someone could feel ANYTHING given how much alcoholic anesthetic was in his system.
I tried to talk to him and check him out, but every time I tried to assess him, he became wild-eyed belligerent and obnoxious. At one point, one of the deputies decided that this was definitely annoying, and immediately pounced on our patient, put his face in the dirt, and gave him a stern admonishment to behave better... as only a 300 lb, 6' 2" deputy can do. After a few more minutes of questioning (I speak fluent Drunk), I managed to figure out that our patient had a kidney stone, a UTI, or some other sundry urinary tract problem. I also found out that he had a serious drug problem involving popping pain-killers like cocktail peanuts. Which he admitted to having been doing since that morning... and washing them down with his good buddy Jack Daniels.
At about the point where we were deciding where to take him, the patient suddenly went "unresponsive" (see previous blog). He became red-faced like he was trying to initiate a "Code Brown" in his pants,and started drooling... and twitching slightly. I called for the cot, and we all pitched in to lift him up on onto it. When we got him on the cot, he decided that he was done being unresponsive, and that a new barrage of slurred insults were in order. As well as grabbing one of the female EMT's ass. Apparently he thought that he presented quite the alluring sex-machine package to our gals at that particular moment. That promptly earned our friend the restraints.
We don't carry commercial restraints on our trucks, so we have to be rather creative. A roll of roller gauze works in a pinch, though. So we pulled one arm up above his head, and prepared to secure it to the cot. Side Note: We are taught to secure patients with one hand up above their head, and one hand below when we restrain them, so that they can't move around and get any leverage. Apparently, our patient took serious umbrage with this, and decided that he would express his displeasure by grabbing the arm of the female EMT that he had previously groped, and squeezing so hard it make her scream.
My inebriated patient acknowledged the depth of his remorse and his intent to be more cooperative by then grabbing the arm of the OTHER female EMT on my crew, who was trying to tie down his other hand. She screamed, and I saw a blur out of the corner of my eye as a Herd of Deputy rushed the cot, and tried their own ad hoc science experiment: "Testing the weight limit of the cot." Amidst a flurry of rather descriptive words about THEIR heritage and overall personal hygiene, the Herd of Deputy quickly ejected all pretense of being "nice," and handcuffed our patient to the cot via multiple elbows to the patient's throat and chest. Of course, when this happens, one of the deputies has earned an all-expense-paid trip to Chez Hospital in the back of our humble ambulance.
We were almost literally a stone's throw from our neighborhood band-aid stand... the "freestanding Emergency Department." It's a place where people go who don't really need definitive care... it's like an institutional "Doc-In-A-Box" that is run by the local hospital.
We dropped off the patient, handed his care over to the overjoyed ER staff, who knew the patient by name. As we made our way to the EMS room (near the ambulance entrance) to start writing up our reports, a nurse popped her head out of the exam room to ask if we had any ammonia inhalants. Apparently great minds think alike. I sent someone out to the truck to fetch one, and in the meantime, heard a commotion down the hall. When I turned around to see what was going on, I was greeted by our patient being escorted down the hall in what HAD to be a very painful hold, followed by the same burly deputy that had ridden in with us. Our patient was quickly relocated to Chez GrayBar.
We spent the next hour or so writing both normal run reports, and then hand-written statements about what had happened when the deputy who graced our presence on the transport stopped in and told us that the patient was being charged with 2 counts of Battery on a Rescue Provider, a Class 6 felony in the Great Commonwealth of the Old Dominion. Guess I'll have to nag the Powers That Be to actually give me a Class A uniform shirt now for court. Knowing that just this once... the bad guy was going to be held accountable for treating us like crap was very satisfying.
Ah, good times. Good times.