A couple of Fridays ago we got a phone call at the station from one of our explorers. He said that there was a vehicle fire up on the grade. We quickly got dressed and headed that direction. When we informed dispatch of what we were up to they told us that Medic Engine 121 was on scene requesting our assistance. This perked up our interest since the only reasons that we could come up with where they would ask for our help were not good (fire into the brush, a large truck on fire, person trapped in a burning vehicle etc). When we arrived on scene we saw a small SUV with the engine compartment and the front of the passenger compartment involved. We also noticed Medic Ambulance 121 was on scene but that Medic Engine 121 was not. We pulled a line and started putting the fire out. The hood did not want to open even with the irons so I grabbed the rotary saw and opened the engine compartment with a shower of sparks. Turns out that 121 had a structure fire earlier in the day and then got busy with other calls. They never refilled the engine after the first fire so they ran out of water. When we arrived on scene they were off filling their tank. It was nice to put out their fire for them. Then when we were getting ready to clean up when we got dispatched to the report of another fire so we let 121 clean up while we got to go play. It turned out to be two different illegal buns. Not much fun but it beats waiting around for a tow truck.
The captain from 121 and Division Chief 5202 look on at our handy work.
Grant Graffius and I putting the finishing touches on the vehicle fire.
Me getting some.
This is a costly engine repair.
Our illegal burn. Boring, but better than waiting on a tow truck.
So Ben is trying to get back into shape...at least better shape. He asked Chris and me if we wanted to go on a night hike. We were both not interested but we offered to wait in the engine while he went for a hike. Ben was grateful for that so we went up to one of our local hiking spits. Before Ben started off on his hike we gave him an extra radio that way he could monitor dispatch and communicate with us on a tactical channel. I climbed up on top of the engine and used my jacket as a pillow. The stars were amazing and I started to count satellites. It was pretty easy for us to keep tabs on his progress since he had two flashlights with him. He made good time to the top. Once he made it to the top we got a funny radio transmission. "Um, guys. There's a bunch of coyotes up here. NO! They're bobcats!!" The last bit of radio transmission was said in a high pitched, panicky voice. Chris and I were laughing pretty hard. We then saw the light from Ben's flashlight move rapidly down the mountain. After about 5 minutes of running we could tell that Ben was looking around him for the cats. He then radioed us and let us know that the largest bobcat was following him. About this time I began to think that if there are bobcats up there, there could be mountain lions up there too. Chris and I both grabbed axes and went up to meet Ben. That night, when we were all in bed, Ben heard a faint mmeeeoooowww. Ben replied with a F*** Y**!! Chris and I busted up laughing. Ben's new nickname is Kitty.
We got a call for a fall with injuries. These types of calls are either really good (patient falling from roofs and ladders) or complete BS (fall with a boo boo on the elbow). I told my fireman that it was his turn to do the patient assessment and if he needed help I'd step in. As we arrived on scene my engineer let me know that he had been here once before about a month ago. He told that there was an old lady here that fell down the stairs, and that she was a little off. So we walked inside to find this nice old lady laying on her couch. She told us that she had fallen down the wooden stairs yesterday (despite the new hand rail that was made with three 2x4's) and that she had a lot of pain in her shoulder and hip. She called us because of the pain and the bruising. I was having a lot of fun watching my fireman stumble through his assessment. He does fine in practice but chokes up on calls. When I tried to find out what medications she takes I was informed that her husband locks them up. I'm guessing that there is some type of psych history there. We treated her the best we could and loaded her up into the ambulance.
The other day we had two calls in a row for severe abdominal pain. The first call was for a man that was on morphine for some back pain. The morphine had caused him to be constipated and he had not had a bowel movement in a week. Unfortunately for him there is not much we can do. We started an IV and transported him to the hospital.
The second patient is one of our regulars. She has some major GI problems and gets severe pain and coughs up blood. There isn't much we can do for her either other than give her some fluids. We started an IV on her and sent her on her way.
Abdominal pain calls can be frustrating at times since there isn't a whole lot that we can do in the field.
Once again we were out in front of our station when several vehicles pulled up to let us know about the fire down the highway. I'm not sure how to get people to realize that there is a simple phone number that they can call to report such things as fires! Anyways, we quickly jumped into our brush gear and tore down the Morongo Grade. Once he got to the bottom we were canceled by Riverside county engine 37. We found out that the fire had been started and extinguished by some CalTrans workers. Oh well. There's your tax dollars at work.
After a long night we were awakened by the tones just before 0700. We were toned out of a person down with diabetic problems. This is usually a fairly easy call to run. All you have to do is a quick assessment and check their blood sugar level. If it's low, start a line and give them some sugar.
We arrive on scene and the patient is laying on his bed. He does try to open his eyes when I call his name. His roommate lets me know that he does have a history of diabetes and that he hasn't checked his sugar this morning. I have him put on high flow oxygen and get one of my firefighters started on vitals while I check his sugar. Much to my surprise his sugar is fine! My first thought was, "Ooohh what fun. It's not a simple hypoglycemic patient!" I quickly start to dig a little deeper with my assessment. The way the patient is acting (a little out of it but starting to come around slowly) makes me think of a postictal seizure patient but the roommate didn't say anything about a history of seizures. I ask roommate one more time and he tells me that the patient was shaking when he first came in the room. And that the patient has been having seizures for the last 2 weeks. I start my line and monitor the patient. He continues to slowly come around. Once MBA showed up we loaded him and sent him on his way.
We got toned out at 0100 for a person feeling ill on the side of the highway with SO (Sheriffs Officer) on scene. This usually means someone is starting to have chest pains because they don't want to go to jail. When we arrive on scene I'm greeted by the SO and a tall man in his forties. The man explains to me that he is in SVT at a rate of about 186. He states that he has a history of SVT and that this time it won't go away with any of the valsalva maneuvers that he has tried. He let me know that he almost always converts with 6mg of Adenosine and if he doesn't, 12mg has always worked. This was one of the easiest patient assessments ever! I hooked him up to the monitor just to confirm what he was telling me and then started a line on him. While I was doing this I had him try another valsalva maneuver which didn't work. I then pushed the 6 mg of Adenosine which didn't slow him down at all. After that his heart rate went up to about 210. When I pushed the 12mg of Adenosine I carefully watched the monitor. Adenosine can do some fun things to heart rhythms. This time my patient went from SVT to Ventricular Tachycardia, a life threateneing rhythm. Luckily he stayed in it for about two seconds (literally) and then converted to a sinus rhythm at about 120. He could tell that he converted to a better rhythm as well. About that time MBA showed up and we loaded him up. And the reason that he was with SO is that his wife was driving him to the hospital when they saw the deputy do they decided to stop and ask for help. I told them next time to just call 911. It's faster.
We got a call for shortness of breath. Turns out to be the same old lady that we've been on several times. She told us that she was having an asthma attack and that her inhaler was out. Amazing since it was out last week when we came out too. I think I can see a pattern here. We gave her a breathing treatment and then she signed out AMA
The next day we got another call for shortness of breath. This time it was another one of our more frequent callers. This patient has a history of CHF, an MI, and she just got out of the hospital after getting her 12 stints put in. I started a line on her and gave her some oxygen. After that I treated her with some nitroglycerin. None of which seemed to help. MBA finally showed up and we sent her down to the hospital.