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Old May 10, 2019, 06:58 PM   #25
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Join Date: November 18, 2017
Location: laiceps erehwon
Posts: 165
Just an example of not being allowed to do what you need to do which actually happened to me. It was one of the first calls I had after becoming an EMT.

I was on one night at the Town of Madison EMS. The crew had turned in for the night when, about 2am, the pagers went off for a shooting. We were on-scene within 10 minutes but were told by PD to stay a couple of blocks away until they called us in.

While we waited, we kept getting more details from dispatch about what was going on. The scene of the shooting was in a fast-food place (Taco Bell). Dispatch had one of the employees on the phone. The employees were locked in the office, but they could hear the employee who had been shot moaning in the store outside the office, which told us that the employee was still alive. (As time went on, we were told that the moaning stopped.)

We also learned that the reason that we were waiting off-scene was because the LEOs on-scene didn’t know if the shooter had left or not. They weren’t going to call us in until they had cleared the store.

What they didn’t tell us at the time, but we found out afterward, was that there were three different departments on-scene; Town of Madison PD (primary), Fitchburg PD (mutual aid) and the Dane County SO (in the area at the time?). They were arguing around about who was in charge and how they were going to go in and clear the store!

After what seemed like an eternity to my crew (the crew chief, another EMT and myself), the crew chief decided to call in the Madison Fire paramedics for ALS (advanced life support) when we were called in to the scene. The crew chief stayed in the ambulance talking with Madison Fire while I grabbed the jump kit and ran in the back of the store and found the victim lying prone on the floor with a pool of blood by his head and a hole about the size of a ping-pong ball in the back of his shirt. When I started talking to the kid, he actually answered me! Whew!

Anyway, I started treating the kid with the help of one of the Town officers until Madison Fire showed up, stuck an IV in the kid, loaded him in their ambulance and took off.

In another instance, I was working with a private ambulance service one day when we were sent to a racetrack for medical standby. Well, as fate would have it, there was a heck of a rollover in one of the races. Before the car had even stopped, I was running for it from the infield. When I got to the car (first one there), I looked at the engine compartment and saw small blue flames licking away on the motor. I didn’t even hesitate; I went under the back of the car to where the driver was hanging upside-down, flailing away in a panic. I started calming him down until he got his harness disconnected and I pulled from under the car.

Well, no good deed goes unpunished. I got chewed out by the rescue crew for what I had done and I wasn’t invited back. (No big deal since racing isn’t on my list of things to do.)

So, as you can see, sometimes you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If somebody’s in trouble, I want to jump in with both feet if I believe that it is safe enough to do so, although my idea of what’s safe doesn’t always agree with somebody else. (sorry for the length!)

PS - The kid had been shot in the back with a shotgun slug which lodged in his shoulder, which is where the doctors left it. I was able to visit him in the hospital afterward. I asked him if he remembered me and he goes "Yeah, you were the one who kept askiing me all those questions!"
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