Friday, July 14, 2006

We are not a giant taxi

Oh good lord, people... an ambulance is not a taxi service. Wow, I feel better. I forgot how much people abuse us poor paramedics. Please, I ask all of you, the public, to think before you pick up the phone and dial 911. Think about the abdominal pain you have had for 6 WEEKS, then think about how you make car payments every month to have a working vehicle in the driveway, and maybe you have several working vehicles. Do you know where the keys are? Now, pick up the keys and drive yourself to your doctor. There is really nothing the ER is going to do for ABD pain you've had for 6 weeks. They will give you a GI cocktail, do some blood work, and tell you to go to your regular doctor. This is not a hard concept, the same thing is held for "chest pain" times several months (I said Months, not Minutes...see the diffrence) arm pain since January, and neck pain after falling asleep in the recliner. Why , oh why, must you wait until 3am to call an ambulance for something like this.

Acute cases are diffrent, the onset of Chest Pain 15 minutes before can be critical, you just might need us. And if you suddenly can't speak, or lost use of your arm or have a massive Headache all at the same time, that too can be critical...and that too may need an ambulance. If you internal difib is going off, like a recent patient we had, you need emergency care. So, do we all see the diffrence between the above cases. Acute onset, meaning is just came on=Emergency, which=911. We don't mind the truly sick or hurt, or even the not so sick, but the scared, thats our job, thats what we train for hours for. What we don't like are the ones that treat us like a taxi service, who abuse us. Who call us in the middle of the night for say toe pain (yes, this really happens) or because you want rehab, at the three in the morning on a Tuesday, after you have been drinking since last Tuesday, you aren't going to get it, you are going to sit in a lock-down room for many, many, several hours, until you sober up and Palmetto opens its doors again to accept you. And this isn;t just the public, it can also come from theother public servents we work with. Police can be bad about this. Now, before you start bitching at me, I know you guys have policies too. And I know it all comes from above. But come on guys, use that common sense I know you all have. A small laceration on the arm or a driver from a MVA with no complaints does not need EMS. Think about your fellow officers. When you call us for that MVA to "check out" a party that has no complaint to begin with, you are putting an ambulance and the crew basicly out of service. That is one less ambulance not covering their area. So what happens when one of your co workers gets attacked or worse yet, shot, and the closest ambulance is 20 minutes away? I'm not telling you we don't want to help you out, that's not it. And we really do apprciate the help and protection that you provide. There has been a few of you that have saved my ass on calls, kept me from being killed, quite literally, on one call several years ago. I am just asking you to use your brain and think "Would I call an ambulance for this if it was me?"


Anonymous said...

I'm sure those complaints ring true from coast to coast. At least they are also true here on the "Third Coast". Since the first of the year I have been on a paper cut, an earache, and countless uninjured drunks (there's nothing quite like a university town).
I'm sure some of my more liberal friends would disagree with me but I run into a lot of sub-acute (Medicaid)welfare recipients who call 911 semingly because they know it's free.

painter in hiding said...

Oh yeah I too live in a college town. So I get it. Your drunk, not dying. you may feel like your dying, but trust me, your are not dying