Monday, February 12, 2007

Babies First

I like to drive fast, not so fast as to push the limits of the vehicle, just enough to feel it. I have had Emergency Vehicle Operations training, I used to race sports cars, and of course I was complete fool growing up. The constabulary has issued me enough citations to paper a medium wall. I relate this to confirm my bonafides only, and don’t recommend the behavior to anyone.

The township where I ran rescue had it’s own dispatch system, and emergency phone number. There were several dispatchers with overly developed motherhood tendencies. They would mother every emergency responder, or LEO in sight.

The most senior, and most professional of the crew was Boopsie. She spent the day dealing with drunks, irate citizens, inept politicians, and what have you. All with nary a ruffled feather. She most always smiled, except when quick freezing an idiot with a stare. She was unperturbed by calamities of epic proportions.

With the foregoing, you can imagine the response if you hear fear in her voice. I was sitting in the squad room when she came on the air with a call for us. When she spoke her first word it was obvious something was bad wrong, and Boopsie was trembling. I listened with one ear while getting the unit fired up and outside.

Toddler, choking, not breathing, and they are four miles away at a shopping center. I buckled in, put the unit in drive, held the brakes, eased down on the fuel, and felt the suspension load up as the torque came through to the wheels. I waited, but not for long, a car with a red light on the dash slid around the corner, into the parking lot and stopped about three feet away. Two of our members hit the seats so hard the unit rocked to the side. I released the brakes and nailed the throttle. As we rounded the corner the guy in the front says “I’ll have a ticket when I get back. “ About that time we passed one of our LEO’s with a Jeep pulled over. He must have thought he was watching a movie being filmed, cars sliding around corners ambulances screaming by a second later.

A word to the wise, if there are babies involved, frenzy ensues. We make a determined effort to avoid incedents, but don't get in the way, it's a good way to get scared silly. That move to the right and slow down thing, thats a good start.

This officer was new, but pretty quick on the uptake, he figures this is Not Good, tells his collar to drive safe, and eases back to the PD for an update and to stand by for…whatever.

As he walks in Boopsie tells him, baby call, he nods and waits. He has children too.

All ambulances are not equal, and this one didn’t have the room that some do but, it had the speed. I don’t know how much because of the stupid little pin that gets in the way of the speedometer needle at the bottom. I didn’t have time to look anyway, from tone to arrival was four minuets. As we rolled into the strip mall, we got the word from Boopsie that the kid was breathing again. There had been no traffic on the way, I'm glad. I would have had some explaining to do.

It seems that the toddler had escaped parental oversight long enough to snag a sea shell shiny thing and munch on it. Teething, I suppose. A shell popped off and blocked the airway, daddy was the resourceful sort and turned baby upside down and shook him by the feet. The shell popped out, baby started to breathe. We transported the family to the ER to ensure there was no reason for the throat to swell later.

The ER staff aggravated the poor sprout ‘til they had to change his diaper. He had great lungs.

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