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Wednesday, April 9, 2008


For the second week in a row the tones went off before 0730 on Thursday. Luckily for the crew getting off duty, my shift was all there and we took the call. It was a call for a man with chest pain and while we were responding dispatch informed us that the patient may want to go to the hospital in his own vehicle. When we got there we found a man that had chest pain and was spitting up some blood that wanted to go to the hospital without us. After trying multiple times to get him to go in the ambulance, which by this time had arrived on scene, we signed him out AMA. This is where the call got interesting. The hill that we were on was very steep. So much so that the engine had a hard time staying in place even with the wheels chalked.

The EMT driving the ambulance tried to make a three point turn on a little side road but never made it to the third point. He got high centered on the dirt road and buried his rear bumper in the dirt. The problem was that the ambulance was now blocking our only way out. So we tried to get them out. First, by digging them out.

Then, by putting rocks under the tires so that they could get some traction (which almost worked).

We then tried cribbing (pieces of wood used for vehicle stabilization), which didn't work.

A frustrated EMT.

We then decided that we had to risk using the engine on the steep slope to pull the ambulance out. The ambulance paramedic (Melissa) seems a little embarrassed. As you can see in this shot we are on a good size hill with a nice view.

With the use of some large rocks we kept the engine from sliding down the hill while we jacked the ambulance out of it's ditch. Everyone was a little dirty after this call. We still are waiting for our ice cream from this ambulance crew.


Quest said...

Well if the your truck did slip, at least it would take out the ambulance and the cute little red car...

BTW, in the second to last picture what's the rig parked behind the ambulance?

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

The engine would have done that!

The vehicle in question is a water tender. A lot of the community does not have access to fire hydrants so if we need more water than what we carry on the engine we have to bring it to us using the water tenders. This one was driven to the scene by our fearless leader (fire chief).

Reena said...

As far as I'm concerned, anyone in the U.S. who lives at the top of that kind of hill with an unpaved and ungrated road clearly has a permanent Do Not Resuscitate/Do Not Come Help Me Ever Because I'll Just Drive Myself (Even if I'm Coughing Up Blood) sign on their house.

However, if they're driving a little red toy car to maneuver in the wilderness, maybe they have a sense of humor.

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

I tend to agree with that. The people that live in the middle of no where do have to put up with delayed response times. That little red car was driven by my patients ex wife. It was obvious why ther were ex's.

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