Saturday, January 23, 2010


Entering the Apocalypse.
There he is, lying on his side, passed out on a friends bed. The mattress is soaked with all imaginable body fluids: sweat, vomit, urine, blood, and possibly even more.

If that's not enough, he has managed to projectile vomit right up in to the upper most corner of the room, a good 2.5 metres from where he is lying.

Whilst his friends carry him out to the stretcher, he gets a bit of a wriggle attack; they manage to just miss the bottle of Bourbon on the bookshelf, the neighbouring picture frame is not as lucky.

On the way out he has a silly attempt of coughing, vomiting and spitting at the same time, lightly covering my colleague in delicious mucous.

During the whole time, home, transport and hospital, he has a nasty smirk on his face. I wish he would realise that he is using up precious resources: an emergency ambulance, the emergency department, and our wasted sleep.

I wish him an extremely awful hangover and some friends that will whack some sense in to him.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Time: Afternoon
Place: Back of an Ambulance
Person: Yours truly looking after an elderly gentleman
"Do you have any allergies, sir?"
"Yes, but she's at home."

Friday, January 15, 2010

I want my...

Big brute, tough guy. Shaved head, beard, tattoos; the person you don't want to encounter on your own in a dark alley.

"Who should I put down as your next of kin, sir? Your (grown up) son?"
"My mummy."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


As a part of our uni course, the first years (pre employment/full time uni students) are get mentors from the second year student pool - so all Qs can be answered, a little guidance can be given etc etc. A good idea, unfortunately not everybody has been making the most of this teaming up...well, you can't force people.

Luckily I got a Protégé who is pretty keen, has an open mind and is thankful for any tips, tricks and exposure. He starts practical training next week, and is due to hit the road in three months, so he came along with us as an observer on a day shift to check out what life is like on a metropolitan ambulance. We had a relatively easy shift, nothing out of the ordinary...but anything from nana transfers to minor road accidents with no injuries he lapped up with unstoppable enthusiasm.

It was refreshing to have a student with me in a position that I was in 12 months ago. I see a lot of myself in him, the anticipation of not knowing when the next job will come in, what it will be. The thrill of the wailing sires, driving on the wrong side of the road, the eagerness to help us. Talking to patients, checking vital signs. A real pleasure (and help) to have him out with us.

'Twas also a great comparison of my advances over the last 12 months. I realise that I have picked up a lot of information, hints, tips'n'tricks along the way (that I love passing on!). Sure, I don't get massively excited about so called 'run of the mill' calls anymore, but: I still love coming to work every day, I am full of anticipation on nearly every single call that I go to (those three o'clock callouts can be an exception...), and no matter who I deal with, I am always polite and friendly to them. I try to get some further education going on, read articles, blogs, magazines to keep up with the times, talk to other paramedics.

But - I realise I still have a long way to go. Some jobs still chuck sand in my gearbox, grinding me from step to step, or making me forget some simple steps alltogether. I have a high expectation of myself, and want to be good at my job. Every job that I do give me a tad more experience. It is a slow process, and slowly but surely I pick up things along the way...and all of a sudden I take a step back, take a look back and realise I've come one step further.

A never ending trip forwards. And enjoying every step of it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Big(ish) One

It's absolutely scorching hot at the moment. The temperature during sunlight hours does not drop below thirty degrees celsius; generally around midday it reaches anywhere between 35 ad 40.

Boy am I glad that I'm on nights tonight.

- ~ -

So, there we were yesterday, heading back to station when we get a job sent down. Appears to be a resus at a beach - and I'm attending, plus we're the closest crew.
I discuss our plan of attack with my partner. This is my first resus where we are first on scene. It's also my first beach job. And just the previous day I was telling my girlfriend I haven't had a job that gets me all excited and nervous in a while. I'm definitely excited and nervous and ready to pounce - adrenaline a pumpin'.

Grab gear, dash off, and there is a good walk to the water. Let me remind you of the 39 degree heat in the shade. There is no shade on the beach.

Two kids have been washed out at sea, and were pulled in by lifeguards. My patients. 100 metres away another person has been pulled out of the ocean, my partners patient.
My kids are breathing and on oxygen (you lifeguards are a bloody brilliant bunch), on their side, plus their heads being stabilised. Thing is, with people being dumped by the waves in the ocean, they might have neck injuries, so we have to go the full monty with spinal precautions until proven otherwise.

ABC, ABC, ABC. All I can think of doing. Airway, Breathing Circulation. Kids are whimpering, chests heaving, pulse palpable. Not much more I can do without backup. Minutes pass, then a Team Leader and another ambulance arrive, followed by another ambulance. I can hand one child over to the second crew, and together with the lifeguards we pop my patient on a board, then on to the back of a beach buggy and I get to walk next to it stabilizing the kids neck. Up to the parking lot, hand over out patient to another crew who eventually takes the kiddie to kiddie hospital.

Time to find my crewmate...he's in the back of our van, attending to another patient, a guy who tried to save the kids and got washed away himself. Ended up taking him to hospital, and finding out that all patients apparently got out of the whole situation with nothing more than a shock, some bad memories and hopefully a lasting message to SWIM BETWEEN THE FLAGS.

What did I get out of it? A good chunk of experience, enough Vitamin D to last me the rest of the year and an ambulance so full of sand that I could have built a 1:1 replica of the the Neuschwanstein Castle. Thats why you try to attend on jobs like that - it's the drivers responsibility to keep the van clean :-)

So excuse me Taz if I didn't see you, I was caught up in my own little world...