EMS has come a long way when it comes to reinstating spontaneous breathing and circulation of patients preordained for celestial earthly emancipation. I remember a time when CPR stood for Can’t Possibly Recover. Not that your first compression has, or ever had, a favorable prognosis for coffin evasion by your patient, but I can honestly say my cardiac arrest patients are beating off angels more than ever before since the implementation of the 2010 AHA Guidelines—despite my paramedic arrogance.
Once you read the table of contents in this month’s JEMS and saw my column’s title, I bet you created a gentle breeze as you rapidly flipped to this second-to-the-last page. You sickos! But because you’re here already, let’s explore the “You wouldn’t believe the call I just had!” aspect of our job. I speak of accidental acts of human behavior that traumatically impact one’s integumentary, reproductive, muscular/skeletal, and dare I say, distal portal digestive system.
October and November are supposed to be the worst months for certain types of collisions, but the entire animal kingdom as of late has collectively made it their mission to impact, and I do mean impact, my personal space. It all began about a month ago when I was driving home during the wee hours of the morning after working a late shift. Just blocks from my house, a herd of deer, possibly jacked up from snorting aspen fungus, had in their mildewed state of mind decided to play a game of chicken with whatever rounded the next bend of my neighborhood road. Bam!
With officers supporting him under each arm, the nervous looking male was led hesitantly down the hallway toward the small, drab room at the end. One wall had a small, square window that a few witnesses stood behind. They had gathered early—each trying to position themselves for a good view.
As the snow thaws and saddened skiers and snowboarders begin to melt away, a new breed of travelers make their way to our fine state. “Flatlanders,” as we call ’em, are drawn here, of course, by our picturesque Rocky Mountains and panoramic highway view of a million other RVs just like theirs. I’m not trying to be arrogant here when I say that we look down on these flatlanders from an 8,500-foot elevation; in our neck of the woods, we literally do. Tourists are good for any state’s added revenue, and this naturally includes the coffins of EMS.
It never fails. Regardless of where my lectures take me, this cartoon always brings the most laughs and applause. The strong message here: I’m one heck of a funny guy. Sorry, that was my superego talking, which is what this article is about. I’m referring to our fragile EMS ego-system. And when it comes to egos, paramedics seem to have taken it to a height not seen since the Hubble satellite made its last transmission 100 gazillion miles away.
Men are do-it-yourself’ers (DIY’ers). Regardless of their ineptitude or lack of common sense, no guy will ever pass up the opportunity to build things. It’s in a dude’s blood to create, erect and assemble stuff to leave behind a permanent visual landmark of his legacy—or at least until the next male comes along to take it down and replace it with his own legacy.