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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Honorary Stories...

A while ago there was a CPR training course at a local community college. As they were doing their scenarios a person not in the class happened to walk past. The person doing the scenario checked the mock victim for a pulse. Upon discovering that the victim had no pulse he directed the passerby to go call 911, which he actually did. The call came in for a full arrest with CPR in progress. When the paramedics got there they found a confusing situation where people were sort of doing CPR but there was none of the urgency normally associated by people in this type of situation. When it was all straightened out the CPR instructors were told to make sure that the right people were told to call 911 during their scenarios.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Intersting people

In my line of work I get to meet some interesting people. The other day we had a ride along (an EMT student that rides on the ambulance for the day) come in for her shift. She instantly started a debate among dispatchers and paramedics as to her real gender. Luckily for our argument we have to get ID for all ride alongs. When she presented her CA drivers license it was a paper license without a photo. Under gender it said female. When asked for a picture ID she presented us with a New Jersey license. The picture was of a guy with a beard. I guess that's why he/she came to Los Angeles.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fall Victim

I picked up an extra shift this last Saturday. The only call that we had was in the afternoon for and 87 year old woman that fell out of bed. We did a quick assessment. She was ok except for a skin tear on her right leg. We bandaged her up and sent her to the hospital with AMR. It was a pretty slow Saturday.

Mutual Aid

LHHFD has a mutual aid agreement with LA County FD which means that if there is a call the is closer to us even though it's in their area we will get the call. It also means LAcoFD calls us when they are out of paramedics.

We were busy last Monday night. Our tones went off for the first time at 10:30pm. We responded on a mutual aid call into the county area for a fall victim. We arrived on scene to find an LAcoFD engine company assessing the patient. The captain asked if we were the "Heights Medics." When we said yes he informed us that the call was BLS (basic life support, or no paramedics needed) and canceled us.

About an hour later the tones went off again. We had a call in our own area this time for a 25 year old male with chest pain. Our patient met us at the top of his driveway (which is a good sign that he is fine). We discovered that he had a non-provoked non-radiating chest pressure that had been going on for an hour. All his vitals were stable. His only history was anxiety and he took medications for the same. Even though I am sure he was just having an anxiety attack we had to do a total work up because of the symptoms he was describing. We finally got to bed a little after 12:30am.

At just before 2am we got our third call of the night. We were responding to the far side of the city for a "medical aid" which means it could be anything. We arrive on scene and find a driveway that is about 400 feet long that leads to a house that is 100 feet above us in elevation. Talk about a climb! We get up to the bedroom and find a 68 year old man that had passed out in the hallway. He is now alert and oriented but wants to get checked out anyways. He has a significant cardiac history as well as blood pressure problems. He tells us that he was hospitalized a week ago for the same thing. We work him up and get him to the hospital. We got back to sleep around 3am. It was a long night but it was nice to actually run a few calls.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vehicle vs City Hall

This last Monday we were doing some training in front of our apparatus bay behind city hall (our fire station is located directly behind city hall). As we were cleaning up we heard a small crash followed by a large boom. A firefighter and I quickly went forward to investigate and found that a Chevy Tahoe had run into the city hall multipurpose room. The firefighter, not realizing that I was with him, yelled for the medics. I informed the captain on what we had found and went to the squad. I donned my turnouts and pulled the squad around to the front of the building for better access.

The driver had been traveling northbound on Hacienda when he had a seizure. He lost control of the Tahoe and veered to his left. He ran over the City of La Habra Heights sign, missed 5 or 6 large trees, a couple of steel poles, entered the building without hitting any major structural members and came to a rest on the far end of the room. Thanks to his seat belt and airbag he was not complaining of any injuries. We put him in full spinal precautions and transported him to the ER.

After the call the Fire Chief selected me to talk to the one cameraman there. It turns out that he was an independent photographer and sells his shots to whoever will take them. I found out later that I was on the Fox 11 news at 10 pm. I'm trying the get a copy of the broadcast.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ill Person

One of the calls that I hate the most is the call for an ill person. Most of the time they are just that, sick. They're not dying, no pneumonia, no heart attack. They just have a cold. We got a call just like this the other day. The elderly woman was complaining that she was nauseous all morning and that she still didn't feel well. She told us that she wanted to go to the ER so that they could give her some fluids. She was feeling dehydrated. I really wanted to give her a glass of water and tell her to take two Aspirin.

I've heard that a dog will start to take on the qualities of its owner over time. This lady had a Cocker Spaniel that was missing an ear and very sickly. We all thought, "like owner like pet."

Lacerated Finger

The call came out for a lacerated finger. In plain English, a cut. When we got there our patient was sitting on the curb holding half of his right thumb in his left hand. Our patient informed us that it got caught between the chain and the sprocket on his motorcycle. He also stated that he was not on very much pain so out his finger on ice (really it was a cold pack) and we transported him to the local trauma center (with his finger). The doctors said that they had a good chance at reattaching it.

I couldn't help but think to myself that he was being a wimp. My dad cut off his finger and didn't even call 911!
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