Dave Hughes: My List

I have been lucky to serve people as a paramedic and fireman in urban areas for almost 25 years.

All of the following questions are being answered by firefighters all around the world as you read this. There are a couple of things you need to know. Yes, we will hold your hand, light your pilot light, show you how to put your car in 4-wheel drive, explain that you need batteries in your smoke detector, all with a smile on our faces. Because at the end of the day we love our jobs. Also, do not feel too bad about Ray Rae. He is like the kid in kindergarten that runs around with marbles in his mouth; you simply can’t get too attached to him. It was a miracle that he made it as far as he did.

1. Yes, if your legs work, I am going to expect you to walk to the ambulance.

2. Yes, if your legs work, I tend to think you don’t need an ambulance (disclaimer: you may still need to go to the hospital, just not by ambulance)

3. Yes, if you took your seizure/diabetic/blood pressure/asthma medication, like you were supposed to, I would not have to come to your home at 2 am for your seizure/diabetic/blood pressure/asthma “emergency“ (Remember, an emergency is by definition an unforeseen event, so let’s be clear, your failure to take responsibility is NOT an emergency).

4. No, sneezing twice probably doesn’t mean you have the “Aryan flu”. Now go to bed.

5. No, throwing up once does not require an ambulance ride. Now go to bed.

6. No, having a headache does not require an ambulance ride (I know because I have one). Now go the fuck to bed.

7. No I don’t know why your coochie smells like salami or week old carp.

8. And for the love of Pete, cover it up!

9. Yes, if you are getting the feeling that I don’t give a fuck, there is a really good chance I don’t give a fuck.

10. If you think Ray Rae laced your weed again, I suggest you take it up with him.

11. Yes, Ray Rae, I think it’s highly likely that you deserved to get shot.

12. If you are an adult and are unable to answer the question, “Do you want to go to the hospital?” after YOU called the ambulance…you either: don’t need to go to the hospital, or you have emotional needs that neither the emergency room nor I can help you with.

13. Yes, save your amputated body parts in plastic bags.

14. No, do not save your stool samples in plastic bags.

15. No, I won’t know why you have that rash, because I am a fireman, but you know who might know? Your fucking doctor.

Finally on a serious note, if you find yourself questioning the customer service you received from the highly trained, aggressive, professional individuals that showed up when you call day or night 24/7/365 (i.e. You don’t like tattoos, they didn’t smile enough, they didn’t ask if you wanted slippers on before they carried you down three flights of stairs). Then perhaps it is because you have forgotten that we are here to mitigate life-threatening emergencies, and that people in the throes of a life-threatening emergency don’t give a shit about customer service, they want highly trained, aggressive, professionals. Are you following me here? Perhaps you are not having an emergency, you self-involved asshole, though I promise you, while we are here, someone out there is.

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6 Comments

  1. I can’t breathe I’m laughing too hard. Because it’s all true. I’ve worked in hospitals and Dr’s offices and it is so very true. 🙂

  2. Yep. Just like you. People putting cigarettes out by stomping them on their own carpet. Backs of television sets undulating with waves of roaches and no lamp in the baby’s room just an automechanic’s hook light (light bulb enclosed in a metal cage) hanging over the crib. When I wasn’t in the rig I was in the ED (EMT-P RN) and no you can’t see your son, it would not be a good last memory (half of the body charred to a crisp). Dave I know what’s BS and what is a real. Thanks man!

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