First Arriving Network
Powered by the First Arriving Network,Reaching 1M+ First Responders Worldwide

Pearls Before Swine

As I mentioned earlier, the very first EMS call Black Cloud and I ran together was a cardiac arrest.

Even worse, it was early enough in the shift that I hadn't even had time to orient her on the layout of the ALS bag, teach her the necessary ALS-assist skills, nor even deliver my standard, "You Are a Thinking EMT and Not a Pack Mule and I Expect Your To Use Your Head and Exercise Some Initiative," talk that I give to all my new partners.

So it was to be expected, I suppose, that the call wouldn't run smoothly.

Except that it did run smoothly, not that anyone noticed.

Did she appreciate the fact that, in the 24+ minutes the pads were attached to the patient, compressions were only interrupted for a grand total of 30 seconds, and never less than 6 seconds at a time, including the intubation and defibrillation?

Did she notice my skill and panache at wielding a laryngoscope as I flawlessly performed a skyhook intubation, done without interrupting chest compressions, no less?

Was she grateful that I queued up "Stayin' Alive" on repeat on my iPhone to help her keep rhythm? (Yes, I really did, and no, the family wasn't offended.)

Noooooooooo, of course not.

All she noticed was how hot it was in the room, and how difficult it was to perform chest compressions on a Real Live Patient.



Comments - Add Yours

  • Lynda Otvos

    Recalling my first run… yeah, pretty dismal outcome MVA on two lane highway with water on both sides. Things got better.

  • Teridar

    Better “Stayin’ Alive” than “Another One Bites the Dust.”

    • Sara McHale

       I agree completely.

  • mr618

    If you hate disco, and think “Another One Bites The Dust” isn’t appropriate, try Weird Al’s “Another One Rides The Bus”… same tempo, socially acceptable, and — as “Law And Order” has shown us — “bus” is slang for ambulance, so………

    • Ambulance_Driver

      Weird Al Yankovic is a friggin’ genius.

  • mr618

    Something seems a little off… when you mention interrupting compressions, you say “never less than 6 seconds….” Do you mean not MORE than 6 seconds? It seems to me that the shorter the interruption, the less time everything has to grind to a halt. Plus, it appears your goal was to accomplish these other tasks quickly. And if it IS never less than 6 seconds, what is the logic behind that? (And I’m really not trying to be a PITA, but you know how quickly stuff changes… and sometimes how illogically)

    • Ambulance_Driver

      Sorry, that was supposed to be “never more than six seconds.”

  • Matt Landry

    No one appreciates when things go well, until they have experience of things going badly. Preferably very, very, VERY badly.