c1: (Star of Life)
[personal profile] c1
This weekend was the town's pumpkin festival. I was on duty for part of it.
Saturday night, we had a truck on either side of the town square, and the paramedic interceptor on one side. The director had his interceptor on the other side, making up coverage. As far as the festival, things were low key: people come to enjoy themselves, and generally, that doesn't include ambulance rides and tours of the emergency room. We hung out at the old ambulance bay, supporting the guys selling ducks for the benefit duck race happening on Sunday. Proceeds fill the coffers of our training budget so we can bring in really cool guest speakers. (Saturday morning for A-EMT class, we had a midwife talk to us about field management of OB complications.)
Nice side note was getting dinner at the firehouse. They had pulled two of the trucks out and filled the bays with tables and chairs, and laid out a gigantic spread. There's nothing like firehouse cooking. I can't say it's anything special, per se, in terms of food, but the camaraderie can't be beat.
Did a call before midnight; somewhat minor motor vehicle crash that yielded no patients. Got to bed at around 23.30, and then at around 4am, we got a pre-alert call for a possible MVA, unknown injuries. The dispatch centre calls us on the radio if they're getting something that might require our services, but details are still being hashed out. It's a nice courtesy because it gives us a chance to visit the head, finish eating, get dressed, etc. before the tones drop and we have to beat feet.

For the uninitiated, "tones drop" means something like this:
http://www.emergencyfans.com/sounds/1stctfir2.mp3
Each town has its own tones, and there are automated systems in the building that activate things. So in the station, we have automatic red lights that come on in the kitchen and dorm rooms. The only thing we don't have is Hank Stanley saying "Station 51 KMG365".

The pre-alert was just the courtesy call, so none of the bells and whistles had gone off, but I automatically sat up, shoved my feet into my boots, and had them tied and was ready to go when the radio announced that no, it wasn't anything after all and we could stand down. It took me about 30 seconds to sit up and tie my boots, and all of about 2 seconds to take them back off and get back into bed. Not a single executive function involved. Thinking back, this is somewhat surprising, because it was about 20 years ago when I last did this. I hadn't really "heard" the call, I just saw myself sitting there with my boots on all of a sudden.

Sunday morning, I did my CEVO (emergency vehicle operations) training. I had a discussion with the training coordinator about my progress, and he wants me off training in the next couple weeks. I'm to be driving all calls at this point so they can clear me on that. I'm through phase two, and in the middle of phase three.

Overheard at the pumpkin festival: "that's a female dog, because she's got nipples." I had to point out to the fellow that unless I was mistaken, he himself probably had a pair, so how exactly does that work?
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