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Real Life Ambulance Stories Tell stories of your memorable ambulance calls here.

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Old 08-19-2019, 04:13 PM
Derrick Walden Derrick Walden is offline
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Default The Hardest Job

Some time ago , me and my partner were sent on a call for an unresponsive female at her home , with CPR in progress . We arrived on scene a few short minutes later to find both our local PD and FD there attempting resuscitative efforts and we were informed in what happened . Our patient , a young single mother of an 8 year old boy had been distraught all day after a violent breakup with her fiancee and had been drinking and takinpills according to a neighbor . We asked what kind ofkind of pills she took and how much , and a police officer relayed that she had been taking Oxycodone and Percocet and chasing it down with wine coolers . So , we asked if they gave intranasal Narcan . They did with no effect . Me and my partner then started advanced life support treatment by putting her on the EKG monitor and intubating . The fire department had shocked her 3 times with their AED without return of a pulse . We confirmed asystole in all 12 leads and continued CPR with the Lucas 3 CPR machine and automatic ventilator . By then , the boy crying his eyes out asked " Is my mommy going to be okay ? I don't want her to die ! " Somebody had to talk to him . So after an I.V. was set up , I told my partner that someone needs to talk to the boy . He told me if I could handle it . I said that I'll do the best I can . I then called the boy over and we sat down in the kitchen in chairs facing each other . I looked him directly in the eye and said by addressing him by his first name and said . " I am an EMT , and EMTs and paramedics do not lie to people and tell them the truth . I am going to tell you the truth about what's happening with your mom and what we are doing . Right now , we think that she had taken some bad drugs and drank beer with it . It is called an overdose . Did your mom get into a fight with her boyfriend today ? " The boy still weeping answered " Yes . He hurt her and ran away . She was very mad and upset . " " Okay , I want you to be a brave boy and understand this . We are trying our best to try and save her life . But your mom is not breathing . We are breathing for her by putting a tube into her windpipe and using a little machine called an Auto Vent to get air inside her lungs . Your mom doesn't have a heartbeat either and we are doing a thing called CPR and giving her medicine through an i.v. to try to start it , but nothing is working now . Now , we are going to try for a few more minutes to try to save her . If we do , we will be okay and so will you . If we can't we will all be sad . Is there somebody else in your family or an adult Friend that can be with you that we can call ? " The boy screamed " I want my mommy back ! " His crying got more intense and I started to feel sorry for him . No child that young should witness the death of a significant other and I knew that thit will affect him for the rest of his life . We worked on our patient at a feverish pace for another 5 minutes and despite our best efforts , she was gone . Our patient had died . The neighbor lady had showed up at that moment and I led her to the kitchen where the young lad , clad in his pajamas still sat . I invited her to sit down and she sat in a chair next to the boy . I looked at both of them in sadness and told them that we were very sorry and regret to inform them that S had passed away , despite are best efforts to try to save her life . I felt so helpless as that kid yelled and cried out " Mommy's Dead ! " over and over again . The neighbor lady through her tears said she would take care of him until relatives in Utah showed up . I just felt like reaching out and hugging the kid , but I felt empty inside and wondered if we did anything wrong . So when we got back to the station , we reviewed the call with our medical director and said we did everything right we were supposed to do , by the book . Our Critical Incident Stress Management team was called in to go over what happened and let us vent our feelings . We came out feeling a little better about what had transpired but I don't care if you're a rookie or a 20 year veteran of EMS or retired from it . You will never forget about these calls .
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:10 PM
Peter Grave Peter Grave is offline
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I know the feeling having been in the towing business for 30 plus years some of them hurt. The worst was helping the Coroner remove a just married two hours before couple from their car hit head on by a drunk in a pickup. The squashed remains of the wedding cake smeared across the dashboard. Took me quite a while to get over that one.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:21 PM
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Steve Ahlstedt Steve Ahlstedt is offline
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First, thank you for your service.

From experience, I know that your caring and kind words will remain with that young man for the rest of his life. As much as you may have wished, you were not granted the opportunity to save his mother, but you were granted the opportunity to show him that someone did their best and truly cared about his loss.

I pray that your sharing of this story will help provide you and your partner with some comfort and closure.

I have been privileged to serve in several emergency response capacities since 1965 and to me, it appears you and your partner handled a horrible situation in the best manner possible.

Again, thank you for your service and I hope you find the peace you so deserve.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:25 PM
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John ED Renstrom John ED Renstrom is offline
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never fun when kids are involved. you can remain objective about some one who decided to end it all but with a child in the house?? still one thing that stuck with me after then was, it's not your fault. watched co workers refuse service till implied consent kicked in. and on it goes. had a lady tell me she knew it was time to cut back when everywhere she went she could only remember what bad thing happen there. picked up my boss in arrest one morning. call-in to let them know what has happen. when i got in I was threaten with having my pay docked for being late for work we did it as a volunteer. money going out of your pocket not in. got to say I enjoyed every minuet of it all most
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:55 PM
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David Henry David Henry is offline
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Hardest thing ever was looking into the eyes of a father involved in a MVA and having him beg me to not let him die. All the time in my heart of hearts knowing the gravity of his internal injuries, that death was at his door and telling him I promise to not let that happen.

My heart broke and tears swelled in my eyes as aystole began tracing across the screen of my monitor, I failed, I broke a promise...

Remember, It’s never us who decided life or death, we are mere instruments used in the middle of someone’s crisis with with training, equipment, a wing and extensive prayers
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:11 AM
Bill Anderson Bill Anderson is offline
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I had to transport a dad who tried to save his son from a trailer house fire. The back room was fully involved and he did hid best to save the boy. He had 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his face, chest, arms and legs. I quietly asked the on scene crew if they got the boy out. The answer was no. He refused anymore pain meds and wouldn't let me dress his burns. He kept asking if they found his son. I had to tell him that they were still trying. I wasn't about to give him the bad news. I'm usualy kinda crusty, but this got me telling a white lie to a father who had just lost his son in the worst imaginable way.
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