Note: This is a true event and some of the names were changed to protect their ID. I will be posting more ambulance stories in the future.
"Ontario, your ambulance is requested at Igor's on 104 for some sort of bar fight," the monotone voice shattered the silent of the night. It was Frank the dispatcher with his ever glorious charm and demeanor.
Being woken up at two in the morning was hard enough but to be awoken with bleeping tones from a pager followed by what can only be described as "the most unenthused dispatcher on the face of the earth" was enough to make go back to sleep.
Upon rising I found it best to just throw on my uniform, grab my keys and head out the door for the call. Looking back I can see myself now. I was young, twenty years old and a rookie EMT on the volunteer ambulance squad inspiring for a career in the medical field and it was my "hobby." And I never did go into the medical field, for my daughter's medical issues was educational to say the least. But I regress.
Yes, most hobbies are writing, making plastic car models, music and such. My hobby was trauma. Heck, my life was trauma at the time. Alcoholic father, a basement band in the house and some stranger always sleeping on the couch every weekend. Needless to say, the emergency squad was stable in comparison.
Anyways, I could hear my crew chief's voice over the pager, he was already at the base and pulling out the ambulance, WN-90. Now, I adored him. However, Luke had some serious issues as well. For starters he thought I was innocent and never set foot in a bar in my life. Little did he know I was going bars at eight years old.
I arrived at the base with the driver, Janet who lived right across the street from Luke and he still arrived to base before her. I swear that man could fly! Or at least his ego could. The man was never wrong in his own opinion. There he sat perched on his seat, wearing a white jumpsuit and talking to dispatch.
I jumped into the back of the rig and started my routine. Writing down information and getting the equipment ready. As we rolled down the road Luke spoke to me.
"Better watch yourself in this place. It's a real roadhouse," he informed. "It's really tough in there."
Now, my father being a local barfly allowed me access to the bar as well as the owner and the bar tender played drums in my father's band. I did not mention this and simply nodded as I went about my task. And mind you the bar was now closed.
I jumped out of the rig upon arrival, hands loaded with bags. Luke jumped out and headed right for the door of the bar and I was on his heels.
Jim-Bob, the bartender, stood behind the bar cleaning, "Hi Rachel!"
I will never forget the look on Luke's face of shock. He gave me a dirty look wondering if perhaps I was a closet barfly…Or worse.
The owner pointed towards the bathroom, "He's in there."
I followed my crew chief into the men's bathroom where I found the patient, sitting on a stool with a wet washcloth over his brow. He was a bloody mess. He had curly blond hair, was thin and young. Just a few years older than I was.
The initial report indicated that he was jumped by seven men and hit with a beer bottle over his head. We did a "rapid takedown," a maneuver where you use the backboard as a table, standing it up behind the person and literally push the patient down in a standing position, and then strapped him to a backboard where he could not move. We placed him in in the back of the rig and started on our way to the hospital.
As I sat with "Tommy" in the back, I assessed my patient and took vitals. The wounds were very minor but due to being hit in the head we took added measures. I placed oxygen on him and started to chat to assess his state of mind.
Tommy's story started to change as we rode. Seven men dropped to five men, then three, then two and finally arriving at the ER we discovered he was in a fight with his ex-girlfriend over her cat. Yes, he was pussy whipped! In more ways than one.
We unloaded the drunk and started back. Luke seemed rather upset with me for he did not expect me to know what a bar even was. I guess he thought I was an angel or something.
I explained the bartender was a family friend and left it at that. I got back home at five am, just in time to get ready for work!