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Goodbye Jesus

Winter Time Warriors


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Gonna be another shift swamping out Bambulance ’71 after our Crewdogs had several bad runs, one after another on our icy roads.


Taking hot water from the knee breaking tap jutting from the old Station’s wall, filling mop bucket, dunking mop and readying to clean floors was a comfortable routine at beginning of shift.


Partner, Floyd, had cot and bed apart outside Bus, cleansing and sanitizing the various bodily fluids and parts never wanted to be identified off structure and padding. Scrubbing cart parts was something no one wanted to do, he was new guy, got to do the scutwork.


Looking over interior, noticing the last shift had haphazardly restocked supplies, made mental note of things to scrounge out of the lockbox in supply room.

Paramedic has renewed stocks of her drugs and chemicals, now all secured under locked glass in Bus. Most of the Basic and Intermediate gear was untidy, would need taken down, spread apart, restored to the regular spots and positions.


Floyd called out something, breaking my inventory work. “Yo! Fatass, we NEED to replace the big onboard O2 bottle!”

“Oh FUCK! Floyd find some help, we can’t lift that one out and put a full one in without help.”

“Yeah, OK, I’ll see if I can call I some of the Fireguys and get a hand on this one.”


Back to work, looking at the floor, wondering who swamped this mess out at Hospital after the last critical run, seeing how much “ick and mire” had been stomped into the mud, dirt, blood and Petrol/Oil/Lube products tracked over inside the patient area and drivers seat and floor.


Getting to work with the brush, carefully gloved up, cleaning the mess of the past several critical care Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs) that our guys and gals had run proved to be most of an hours work.

Several different layers of garbage had been run well into and under the cabinets under the seats and into the cracks around the edges of the flooring.


Taking a break after second bucket of bleach and cleanser, gloves off, coffee in hand, I work with Floyd, showing him where and what we needed to restock the Bus with.


“What a fucked up way to spend my Saturday, with your Fatassedness here in an antique gas powered ambulance.”

“Yeah Floyd, I LOVE working with newly minted know-it-all EMT Basics with nary a bit of street smarts..”

“Well bubba, if you quit crying about work and look outside, suspect before shift is over we’ll only wish cleaning the Bus was all we did today.”


Knowing Floyd has some strong religious preferences, I tuned the Station PA systems radio to the local rock ‘n roll station and turn it up about five notches above what was permitted by the Chief.


Rocking out the next hour or so, we listen to the neighboring Fire District and Department get hammered with accidents due to weather and sloppy drivers.


With Bus ’71 clean, restored and ready, I tell Floyd to gas the truck up at the neighboring station, check oils and fluids, and hop on that chore. Just got that “itch”, knowing that all too soon it will be our turn to hit streets.


Turning attentions to Bus ’72, notice that last shift has done a decent job of sanitizing and ‘stocking.

“Gotta award those kids a GOOD DOG! When Chief is around next.”

Looking over outside of ’72 notice that we’ve got a headlight out, and worst of all interior lights are flickering. Looking over at our Vehicle Bitch Board, notice these and several other complaints are written up. Most harshly the last driver notes that the power steering is “gone flat”.

Checking under hood of the Bus 72 indeed shows that fluids are light all over.

Fill the truck back up with oils and fluids, noting that there is a huge goddamn puddle under the right side engine compartment.


’72 is now tagged out of service. I call Chief, and then the Station mechanic, duty shared with me when I am not on call as today.


’71 and Floyd open the bay door when I hear the undeniable “click” of our frequency being opened up. Station PA radio quits, and dispatch starts with the tones, then calling “Station One, Busses ’71, ’72, Rescue ’65, Chief ’91, need Teams, Trucks, Rescue and Police to Highway 224, intersection of Gladstream, this four car MVA required Advanced Life and all the Basic Life Support you can mange”



Five miles from scene here at Station One.

I tell Floyd with hand signals to stop backing in.

Grab my heavily laden rescue shit bag, my harsh winter coat, and tell Floyd to go grab whatever gear he wants and get ready to DRIVE like hell ‘afire.


Snow since this morning has gone from a skiff to almost 8 inches in just a few hours.

As I go to get into our ride, notice that my boots are breaking a crust of ice.

“Aww goddamn SHIT!”


Kick Floyd to the navigators’ side; take the wheel, knowing that he doesn’t yet have the experience to push this old crate through the snowy crap on roads.


Dispatch demands a response. “’71 is rolling, ’72 out of service, personnel are responding to other rigs.” “Dispatch, I am calling for Mutual Aid, and please call Hospital tell them there is a possible Trauma Alert.”

Dispatch tells me that our local hospital has everyone there now, day has been too busy to release any of their staff. There is NO backup, we are the medical response.


Floyd looks at me and gives me a green faced newbie look, as all of us have done on our first “You are the ONLY help they are gonna have today” run.

On the way out I keep Floyd busy working the scenarios over that I want done, what, when, where and why. Reminding him that the only thing I need for him to do is remember that “Airway, Breathing, Circulation” is what we do.

He doesn’t calm down, but does start to focus and handles radio traffic while driving hazards increase as we get to our destination.


Arrival was nothing exciting, snow blanketed our accident scene, making things seem oddly quiet and calm.

Had Floyd park the Bambulance ass towards the scene, sent him to set flares a good one hundred feet back away from any potential fuel spills, warning drivers and directing our crews into where around the bend in roadbed we were.


Dispatch was told of our arrival, then bad news of three more cars additional added to accident scene, some sliding off road, looking at the wreck, one slamming at high speed into the last car over the back in the deep ditch.


First Medic on scene is Triage Officer, job to size up the scene, direct where resources and people go.


I looked out at carnage of broken steaming vehicles and bodies, moving and not, and wondered simply if the gods of EMS had taken my number and shit on it.


Wondering quickly with the triage tags and radio, quickly found there were 23 persons involved in this wreck site, more to be added if the Police or the Fire sleds did not quickly block off the road.

Two people, first car, easy to black tag. His head was no longer round, her torso a quickly clipped in half pair of cooling parts.


Walking though tangled messes of vehicles, found one car on its back, half submerged, its nose broken through the ditchwater.

Occupants were happily frozen, yelling for help.

These folks told ‘Help is coming, quit rocking the car, it may slip rest of way into the water.”

Marked this car with an orange dye pack, indicated the were alive and in need of immediate rescue.


Continuing through, finding those alive, talking, walking wounded, sending those that could to the Bus to warm up.


Called on the cell to the Ladies Volunteer Auxiliary, requesting that they work up a few post of coffee and some hot or heatable foods to be sent out with one of the Trucks.


Too many things to see, finally watching as Rescue and Chief roll in, bringing the Crewdogs out and getting more of our people on scene.

Soon every vehicle was engaged with people working to remove, untangle and remove metal from away the victims of this ganged up mess.


Called back to the Bus, was confronted with a herd of EMT Basics tending to the less severe wounds and injuries.

Events going as we tried to plan, Floyd taking lead spot as assigning the injuries to the Medics as those wounds were taken care of.


Shit never happens when you want it to do so. Nothing prepares you for the “Oh fucking jesus, you’ve GOT to JOKING!” events..


John N., one of our more talented Rescuemen has just finished stripping the nose and top off a little import car that had been crunched hard, its occupants were put on the last to be treated list due to their intensive injuries, lack of consciousness and blood loss.


He yelled, and called for “MEDIC MOTHERFUCKER, NOW GOODAMNIT!”

John N, never uttered a single “cuss word” aloud in public e v e r.


I grab the “Oh Shit” bag and slip and slide down that icy road bank on my ass, sliding to the wreck.

John is holding a baby, can’t be more than a few months old, too small to be any older.

When he holds that little one out to me, see her face is smashed hard across the nose, her breathing stilled, but her little heart racing.


Opening bag, there is nothing small enough to compel an airway to open again.

Tell John to grab my cell, dial the Hospital, I have a screaming need to cric this little one, but I’m not yet certified. “No cell service under this rock Fatman!”


“Fuck!” Now…. Or never.. She is still viable, but for a small hole to breath with, something through all the damaged crushed structure of her formerly pink neck and face.

"Pink GOOD, Blue BAAAAAAD!" This little one turning blue in our arms.

Open bag, pick out a tiny syringe with the locking needle, open package, have John hold her again, pry needle off the syringe and gently hold her struggling hands across her tiny chest, apply the needle into her throat, push.


Finding the right spot, gentle wheeze of desperate needed air in to her lungs rewards John and I a few extra moments which we use to buddy walk up the slick road banking.

Calling for the Chief, screaming over sounds of rescue equipment and radios, engines working, we get to the Chiefmobile, beg him to put us on Priority, no, take us NOW to get this little one in.


He looks at the needle in her throat, blood and tape, tosses my bag in, sends John N, back, and helps me into the truck.

With O2 blown gently over the needle’s entry to help her, I try my best to find any place to set an IV. Working in back of Chief’s Suburban is tough, when I finally find a spot that gives me flashback, IV sets very gently, normal saline, warmed under my clothing begins to help warm my ward.


Most of half an hour later, we arrive at Hospital, hands take my baby patient. I don’t know what to do now. Hands are covered in blood baby, shit and piss, and still half frozen from working outside for hours.


Friendly hand gives me a steaming mug of coffee and some hand wipes, voice whom I cannot attach to a face guides me inside ER, sits me down, and lets me know “Our patient is going to make it, your slightly irregular cric saved her life”.


Wasted and tired, wash up and properly clean off the messes. Chief has my bag, repacked by the Nursing staff in hand, tells me to “Get off my ass, more folks out there need us..”


By then it was dark, the scene mostly cleared up, Bus 71 long gone, Rescue Crewdogs taking bigger chunks of the autos off the road itself, making one lane opened for backed up traffic. Not much for me to do, direct traffic, take care of some wounds Rescue folks received in their workings.


Ever so slowly our work was finished. Police finally tell us to head back to the Barn.


Riding back with the Chief, we both are silent, staring out at the snow, trying to plan for the inevitable “Next Big One”….


“Bus ’71, Rescue, and Transport back at Station One, Ready to Roll!”


Proud of that Kid, he “done good” this harsh baptism by blood and steel…



(syntaxt corrected, spellinK erorz either intentional or just not yet caught)

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Excellent post. Good job. It really is a war zone there.


Now go clean that ambulance again !!!!

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