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Friday, January 21, 2011

¿Como Está Usted?

We left the Christmas party that was just getting going at the station to respond to a medical aid. In fact, my wife and kids got to see me leave as they pulled up. We had our BC's son with us. He is interested in a career in the fire service and has an EMT license. I told him that this was his call. He looked slightly panicked when he realized I was serious.

As we stopped the engine the slightly petrified ride-a-long made his way across the parking lot to the car where our patient was seated. As I approached with the drug box and monitor I could see that he was already way over his head. Luckily for him my captain was a medic as well. She was there, struggling to perform an assessment in Spanish.

As I moved in towards the patient I informed my captain that I spoke Spanish. Her reaction was a fairly typical one that I actually love to get. Accompanying a look that conveyed her feelings well she said, "Sure you do."

Hehehe. I had the last laugh when I saw her face the moment I started speaking with the patient. It's the look of total disbelief that turns into awe as they realize this white guy does in fact speak Spanish.

As for my patient. She was 20 weeks pregnant, dehydrated and having minor abdominal pain. She and her husband decided to go to the hospital on their own.


Mrs. M said...

Awesome. I love it when Mr. M busts out his Spanish and surprises people.

Hydrant girl said...

I speak pig-latin.... too bad it's never an option on a job application.

Fire Wife Katie said...

The looks are absolutely priceless because he doesn't just "speak Spanish." He has all of the subtleties and speed of a native speaker down. It's awesome. :D

Cristina said...

Usually white guys speak better than we do. Something about learning all the grammar and stuff. I don't know what it is.

Jamie said...

Tom spoke Spanish fluently as well. He loved to stand quietly as the perps spilled all of their secrets and came up with their lies. Then when they'd say, "no speaka Engles" He'd respond as if he was born speaking Spanish. Their jaws would hit the floor as he cuffed them. He also spoke Romanian and Italian. I remember one time when he was called to a crash and when he saw the driver's license, he recognized the last name. He asked the driver if he was Romanian & his beat partner rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah, like you speak Romanian." Little did he know...That was a priceless moment, too!

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

Jaime- I've had those moments too where people get caught saying things about me in Spanish. I usually let them go far enough to really embarrass themselves.

Where did he learn all those various languages? It's impressive.

Jamie said...

Tom was an Embassy Guard in the Marines. He picked up Romanian in the 15 months he spent there and Italian in the 15 months he lived in Rome. Spanish he learned in high school and from living in So. CA. Overall, he was just incredibly intelligent. Languages were easy, photographic memory, math in his head no problem. I see these same qualities developing in my three year old son more and more everyday.

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

Sounds like he was an amazing man. Thanks for sharing.

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