| It is seven o’clock in the morning and I am stocking my ambulance with supplies that we will need for the day. I am a paramedic for Bryant EMS and I am in love with the job. My job as a paramedic is extremely important to me. I love being a paramedic so much that I rarely take any time off.
I am waiting for my partner, Kane Dalton, to arrive so I am trying to keep myself busy by taking care of the ambulance. I climb out of the ambulance satisfied that we have enough supplies and I have cleaned the entire ambulance until it was sparkling and spotless. I am very anal when it comes to stocking and cleaning my ambulance. Patients deserve the very best, they deserve a sterile environment, and I care about giving the best that I have.
Kane, my partner, finally arrives. Kane is forty-five minutes late and I am not happy about this. I know dispatch is not going to be pleased about Kane being late for they have tried to call us over the radio and I was forced to tell them that Kane was not here yet. I also know Salim Palmer, the station supervisor, is fuming. Both Salim and I are prompt and we are normally twenty minutes early for our shifts. I pride myself on being early or right on time for everything in my life. I am pacing now. This just is not fair what Kane is doing and I know Kane knows this.
Kane walks over to me and he wants to know if I need help with the ambulance. Really? What? Need help? I have already stocked and cleaned the ambulance and I know he knows this. Kane states that Salim ripped him a new asshole for being so late and I agree with Salim. Kane does not like it when I agree with someone else when he is wrong. Kane wants me to always take his side and I am not like that.
It is like Kane does not even realize that he is late. Kane does not even apologize he just stares me down. I say that the ambulance is all set and I am more than irritated with him. Kane always hates cleaning the ambulance so I swear he loves being late so he does not have to clean or stock. That is the difference between Kane and I. I take my job a hell of a lot more serious than he does. I say that we are ready to go when he is finally ready with all his little stops like the bathroom and he makes a big show of this fact. I have a little attitude when Kane finally gets into the ambulance.
Kane is not happy with my snippy remarks but I could care less. Kane rubs his eyes. I notice that they are blood shot so he must have not have gotten much sleep or he was up late drinking. I know he did not come home last night and he would not tell me where he had been. Kane and I have been seeing each other for about five years and we now live together. Kane and I have been living together for a full year now.
We finally announce to dispatch that we are finally on the air. Dispatch is thrilled for I know the cases have been piling up. Kane and I are ready for our first case of the day and we are told to stand by for a moment or two. I am ready and I cannot wait for that first case. I know Kane hopes that we are not busy today but I am hoping that we are. I thrive off of being busy and helping as many people as I can.
I know it is going to be one of those days that is going to be a heavy case load and I am excited. We are going to be running around with our heads spinning. Being busy keeps me grounded and it makes me feel fulfilled. Dispatch gives us an easy case to start our day off with and I hope that this day goes smoothly. It probably will not be slow but at least it will move seamlessly. I too was up late last night for I was watching a few movies. I should not have done that but what is done is done. We do not respond to our first case for it is not an emergency situation yet we are still there within several minutes of receiving the case.
This case, that we are given, is for an elderly woman who has fallen out of her chair. When we arrive at this woman’s elderly complex, we find her still on the floor, and her brown eyes are red rimmed from crying. My heart goes out to this poor woman. I know this woman is extremely scared and more than ashamed that she needs help. This woman, Jayne Alistair, has urinated and she has also moved her bowels. Jayne denies any pain anywhere in her body when we ask her. I know I can trust her words for she would not lie to us at this moment in time.
Kane and I help Jayne up to her feet. When Jayne feels steady enough I help her into the bathroom where I help her clean up. The woman is embarrassed and she keeps saying that she is sorry as I help her off with her pants and underwear. I do not have to be doing this, it is not in my job description, but I genuinely care about people especially the elderly and children. So I want to be here helping her get cleaned up. I assure Jayne that she is okay, that she is going to be just fine, and I also assure her that I do not mind helping her. Jayne tells me where I can find her pants and her underwear and I am off to her bedroom.
After we have Jayne Alistair resting comfortably in her tan cloth chair again, I pat her shoulder gently, and I make sure she has all that she could possibly need. Kane and I leave Jayne as she is channel surfing. Jayne seems happy enough and I feel good that I spent extra time with her. Jayne lives all alone and there is nobody that comes in to care for her. Kane and I return to our ambulance. I wanted to make sure that the poor woman was comfortable and secure with herself before we left her. This annoyed Kane but I did not care how he felt.
Kane and I are both highly sensitive to children and to the elderly for they are pretty much defenseless. Kids and the elderly need that one person to stand by them and help them be their voice but today Kane seems to be a little off his game. I do not know what has gotten him into this state of mind but he better snap out of it and rather quickly for I am not going to take much more of it. Kane is now clearing us from the scene and we are told to stand by which means that we have another case and Kane complains.
Kane and I are sent on case after case for several hours straight. I am on cloud nine, I find each case challenging in their own way, but Kane is not crazy about this. Our cases are drug addicts, drug seekers, a child abuse case, and there are fender benders where nobody wants to go to the hospital. Drug addicts and drug seekers make me absolutely sick to my stomach. I know I am being judgmental with this but with drug addicts and drug seekers it is always the same old thing. They are always in search of that superior high or they have come close to over dosing.
Kane and I have had a couple of drug addicts today that have successfully over dosed. I just roll my eyes. I do not have much patience with drug addicts for I feel that they are pathetic and are constant liars. I do not know if all that is true but in my years of being a paramedic I have found this to be true. With the two drug addicts that passed away today, I do not feel bad for them, for this is the life that they chose to lead. I have taken each addict a dozen times before and all they did was complain that their pain was a ten plus for minor accidents. I shake my head for it is a shame but this is what happens in the drug world and it is unfortunate.
We receive a child abuse case which I dread getting. This case is where the father has beaten his daughter so severely that the little girl is scared to death of every little thing and everybody around her. I cannot blame her for I would feel the same way if I were in her situation. I have successfully calmed the little girl down enough to have her talking about her favorite cartoons. The cartoon is called ‘Black Cats’ and it is about the adventures of these two black cats and the dogs that they meet.
I now look up at the father who is standing beside a few police officers. The father has also sexually abused his daughter or so one of the officers is telling me. The little girl is also covered in bruises and cuts. My blood boils at this fact. This child should not have had to experience any of this. How dare the father do this to her? I am about to snap but I cannot do this in front of this poor little girl for it would only traumatize her more.
Child abuse really does a number on me to the point that I want to hurt the parent who has this to the poor child. I despise cases that involve child abuse for I get overly protective of that child. I am a strong woman but this is just crazy. I do not understand how someone could beat upon someone who cannot protect themselves. At the moment I look from the father to the little girl and I am attempting to control my anger and frustration.
In the ambulance this little girl clings to me. I let her sit on my lap for this comforts her. This child is barely seven years old and she tells me what her father has done to her after a lot of questioning and scary story sharing. She tells me about where it hurt especially in her private parts and I want to kill the father but I restrain myself. The police will take care of the father and he will pay. The little girl did not want to tell me at first about her private parts but I gently push her into giving me the details. I did not push hard all I did was ask if he touched her any place else.
The little girl’s father tries to charge Kane and I but Kane blocks the attack as I usher the child into the ambulance. I leave Kane to deal with the father who swings at Kane and that was a huge mistake on the father’s part. Kane instantly restrains the father so the man is on the ground and on his stomach. The police finally get into gear and they arrest the father. The father bellows that Kane is hurting him and nobody feels bad for him.
The police thank Kane for restraining the father for he is a major threat. The father is now in handcuffs and he is forced into the back seat of one of the police car. Kane and I slowly transport the little girl to the hospital with no lights and sirens. We know that the lights and sirens would only make the little girl more anxious and nervous. It is not worth making this little girl more traumatized for she has already been through enough.
DCS, the Department of Child Services, is called by the doctors at the hospital and DCS will be removing her from her home and from her father’s care. I glance at this small child one last time and my heart breaks for her and I wish I could do more for the little girl but sadly I cannot. I hope this disaster does not scar her for life.
We also have had this psychiatric patient that is sectioned twelved, the law states that they have no choice but to go to the hospital, and the hospital stay is a mandatory fourteen day stay. We enter the patient’s house with a police escort. There are satanic symbols all over the place, rotting food which smells like someone shit all over the house, and there is filth every place you look. The living room, where we are standing with the police and the patient, whose name is Chase Evans, is dusty, dark, and the black shades are pulled down so the room is extra dark. This man has Bipolar, or so our copy of the section twelve states, and he is also a known cutter. The therapist also stated that he has attempted suicide several times in the last year alone. I see the scars all over his arms and legs and I try not to judge him.
Kane and I get Chase Evans onto the stretcher with some struggle for he does not want to go and he is fighting us every step of the way. The police have already cleared him, in other words the police patted him down, and he did not have any sharps or weapons on him. Kane and I load the filthy man into the ambulance and we are finally able to bring him to the emergency room. Kane is in the back with Chase when the he starts to swing and scream at the top of his lungs. Chase attempts to get off the stretcher and jump out of the back of the ambulance. Chase screams some more and he is screaming that the aliens are trying to get him and they want to steal his manhood.
What the Chase does not realize is the doors in the back of the ambulance are child proof. The ambulance’s back doors cannot be opened from the inside of the ambulance and this is to protect the patient and the EMT or paramedic. Kane forces the Chase back onto the stretcher and he is sweating like a freaking pig. Kane restrains him to the stretcher and the Chase spits and yells some more. Kane ignores the man and this makes the man even madder and more frustrated.
Chase starts to turn maroon with anger and Chase holds his breath until he starts to turn a bluish tint. This man is acting like a child and says that he wants to run and play in traffic. I roll my eyes as I am concentrating on the road ahead. Chase is feeling like he is not being heard for he does not want to be going to the hospital. We know Chase does not want to go to the hospital for he has told us at least fifty times that he doesn’t want to go.
Chase then threatens to kill Kane and Kane just shakes his head and he smiles just a little. Once at the hospital the nurses and doctors restrain the Chase’s arms and legs which is called a four point restraint, Chase is not happy, and he struggles against the tight restraints. Chase is furious that he cannot move much and he has yet to calm down. Chase is becoming more and more violent as time goes on.
It is two o’clock in the afternoon now. Kane and I are extremely tired from going, going, and going all day long. I can barely keep my eyes open but I keep pushing myself beyond the comfort zone. Kane and I both could use a nap and we need to stretch out our bodies. Our muscles ache like nothing I have known before. But dispatch has other plans for Kane and I. Dispatch comes over the air and the dispatcher calls our ambulance number which is thirteen. It is a severe single MVA, motor vehicle accident and only one care is involved, and we are informed that the patient is in a critical state. We use the lights and siren to respond. As we pull up onto the scene, less than four minutes later, I do not believe my gray eyes. I rub at my eyes and I look at the scene again.
It takes me a moment to take in the magnitude of the scene. Our patient, I am told our patient is a young man and he is only sixteen years old, and he is trapped in the windshield of the car. The obstacle here is that the car is also on fire. Is this young man still alive? If he is, he must be close to death, and I am unnerved by this scene but I am in charge of the medical aspect of this case and I am more than a little scared for this poor young man.
My gut screams that I must get to the patient now. I look at Kane who appears to be just as anxious as I am. I can smell burned flesh, a smell that you will never forget and it gets burned into your nose and your brain, and I feel my stomach turn. I have smelled burned flesh many times before but this is still the worst smell in the world. I run back to the ambulance and I grab my medical kit. I return to the edge of the scene and I stand next to Kane.
Firemen are attempting to extinguish the fire while other firemen are desperately trying to extract the patient, a young boy, from the windshield. A police officer reports to us that the patient’s name is Logan Wallis who is only sixteen years old. I have had to turn my nose off. The burned flesh is an overwhelming smell and it is also mixed with gasoline. I am a little light headed due to all of the smells that are assaulting me all at once. I want to run to the boy, I want to start medical care right this second, and I want to assure him that things will be okay.
I cannot go to the boy until the scene is safe and I want to say to hell with this. But the firemen have to tell Kane and I when it is safe for us to approach the vehicle and this is the law that we have to obey. I am antsy waiting for them to clear us to go in. I am pacing around and anxious to get in there and to do my job. This poor boy needs Kane and I and he needs us at this very moment. He will not survive if we do not get to him soon.
Twenty-five horrible minutes later the car fire is extinguished. I am ready to pounce into action. The firemen yell in loud voices that the scene is safe so now we can deal with the patient. We help the firemen remove Logan from the windshield. The boy moans and I can see his dull green eyes pleading with me. This boy wants the pain to stop. Logan, the boy, wants to be put out of his misery. I will help take some pain away by giving him a shot of morphine when he is in the ambulance. Logan, our patient, has extensive wounds from the car crash itself as well as from the fire.
Logan has broken bones, bruises, and gashes. Blood is everywhere and his wounds are bleeding profusely. This poor soul also has major burns from the car fire. Majority of the burns are third degree and I realize that this boy should really not be alive right now. Amazingly enough this young man is clinging to life which shocks the shit out of me. He must have an intense will to survive. I have little hope that this boy will survive though for his young body is starting to shut down. Logan moans again and my whole body aches for him. I want to take away his pain but I physically cannot do that. I give the young man an injection of morphine to help with the pain that he is feeling.
Come to find out from one of the police officers, he just got his driver’s license, and he was on his way to pick up a few friends to go out for a joy ride. The officer obtained the boy’s name and address from the boy’s driver’s license. We position Logan on a back board, we place a cervical color on him as well in order to stabilize his neck, and we secure him to the back board. We then lift the back board to the stretcher and we strap Logan to the stretcher. We lift Logan and the stretcher into the ambulance and I am instantly in the back of the ambulance with Logan. I tend to the unfortunate boy’s wounds and my soul cries for this boy. I am covered in Logan’s blood but that is part of the job from time to time.
Kane uses lights and sirens as we race to the hospital. Even with lights and sirens it will still take us several minutes to get to the hospital. I do not want to let this boy go but Logan is going downhill rather quickly and I am fighting for his life. I beg Logan to hold on until we can get him to the hospital. I promise that the doctors are highly skilled and will be able to do things that I cannot.
I am worried this boy will not make it. I am actually surprised that he is still alive with his extensive wounds and burns. Logan’s dull green eyes meet my eyes. Logan asks in a weak, horse voice for me to tell his mother that he loves her. Oh my God, he really wants me to do this, and my heart cries. Logan is worried that he will not make it either and I feel the same way. I promise this boy that I will relay this message and I have tears in my stormy gray eyes. Within two minutes Logan’s eyes close and he codes, he actually dies, and I leap into extreme action.
Logan’s body is shutting down and he stops breathing. I start CPR. I yell to Kane that Logan is slipping away. Kane understands what I am saying and he pushes the ambulance faster. No matter what I am doing I cannot seem to make Logan start breathing on his own again. I want to scream, pound on his chest, and I want to fight for his young life. Death cannot have this boy or his soul. I say this aloud and I am refusing to give up. I feel for a pulse and I cannot find one.
Logan’s heart has stopped beating. I decide that I am not going to let this boy go. I am fighting for him and his life. I am sweating from doing CPR for so long, the sweat pours from my forehead and from my scalp. I feel my back sweating and soaking my shirt. I taste the salty tears that I am crying. I do know that this boy has slipped away, Logan has passed away, but I still work on him despite the simple fact that he is already dead. I just cannot accept the fact that he is gone. I keep pounding on his chest and breathing for him. I mutter a come on as I continue CPR.
We arrive at the hospital and the two doctors that meet us at the door ask me why I did not pronounce the boy dead five minutes ago. I could not do that I say. I had to keep working on him for he was only sixteen years old which is much too young to die. The doctors in the emergency room understood what I was saying but they still pronounce Logan dead at fifteen thirty or three thirty in the afternoon. I turn my back and I tremble. My heart breaks for this poor boy that lost the battle and my heart hurts for him. What else could I have done for this young man? Why could I not have saved him? I should have been able to save him. Where did I go wrong? Could I have done something more? Did I do something to cause him to die? I just cannot do this and I am aching all over. I am trembling slightly but I am able to somewhat control the shakiness.
I leave the emergency room and I find my way to Logan’s mother who is sitting anxiously in a private waiting room. Logan’s mother is waiting in this small room totally alone. Her arms are folded over her chest and she appears to be extremely worried. I introduce myself as Jace Banks, the paramedic that worked on her son, and she gives a weak smile. I ask if anyone else is going to meet her here and she replies that Logan’s father passed away two years ago from lung cancer. I am also told that Logan is an only child and there is nobody else that would come to her aide. No family would come to her aide?
I sigh for I am going turn this woman’s world upside down and inside out. I want to turn around and I want to leave this little room. I do not want to do this. I do not want to give this woman the news that her son has just passed away. I want to run and hide from the world. I do not want to crush this poor woman, not at this particular time, but I promised Logan that I would give the message to his mother. Logan’s mother asks me how her son is doing and I burst into tears at that exact moment. This is so not fair but the doctors in the emergency room are tremendously busy and cannot make the notification at the moment so they asked me if I could do it for them. I reluctantly agreed to do so for this is also another horrid part of my job. This is not a pleasurable moment but it has to be done.
“Ma’am, your son asked me to give you a message.”
Her eyes brighten a bit, “What is it?”
I look down at the floor as I say, “He wanted me to tell you that he loved you dearly.”
Logan’s mother croaks out and I see her tense up, “Loved me? As in past tense?”
I reply, “Yes ma’am.”
Still in disbelief she asks, “Is my son okay?”
I sadly reply, “No he isn’t ma’am. I am very sorry for your loss.”
Logan’s mother glares at me, “What?”
I say, “I am so sorry for your loss.”
The woman is still not understanding that her son has passed away, “Can I see him? I must speak to him.”
“Logan, your son, has passed away in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. His injuries were very severe.”
The woman screams at me, “You’re lying to me!”
I look into her deep brown eyes and say, “I wish I were lying.”
Logan’s mother shakes even more now and tears are streaming from her eyes, “No, this is not possible.”
I look down at the floor again and say, “I am really very sorry.”
Logan’s mother demands to know, “Did he suffer?”
“I sincerely hope he didn’t,” I say with intense feeling and thinking back to the hideous accident.
She is trembling even more so and I have her sit in one of the several chairs as tears flow from her deep brown eyes, “Did you do your very best for my son?”
I sadly say, “I did everything that I possibly could and I went beyond the call of duty ma’am. I did not want to let Logan go. But Logan’s injuries were just so extensive that it was not possible for him to survive. It was just more than his poor body could handle.”
Logan’s mother asks, “What happened?”
“Logan was severely injured in the motor vehicle accident and the car’s engine caught fire so Logan had burns to his body as well. The burns were mostly third degree.”
She shakes her head, “He could not have survived?”
I confess, “I had been surprised he lived as long as he did ma’am.”
Logan’s mother says, “Thank you for telling me all of this, it truly means so much to me, and I am happy that he had you there with him so he wasn’t alone.”
I gain control over my emotions as I repeat, “I’m very sorry for your loss.”
I go into the closest restroom and I enter a small metallic gray stall. I dry heave, my body is trying to throw up but nothing is coming up for I have nothing in my stomach, and then I sit down on the toilet. I start to cry I mean I really ball my eyes out. Within a few minutes I am jumping to my feet and I dry heave several more times and then I cry even harder than I ever have cried before. No sooner than I started to cry I stop and I am dry eyed by the time I exit the restroom I am dried eyed and fully composed. I leave the hospital like nothing has happened in the last couple of hours. I despise crying but when I have the need to do so I usually hideaway and then I let the tears flow out of me.
I join Kane at the ambulance and he is behind the steering wheel. I feel extremely depressed and completely helpless at the moment. I feel worse than I have ever felt before. I feel tired and withdrawn. My body has had it, my body does not want to go on, and it refuses to do more than it absolutely has to. I could not have saved Logan and I attempted every single technique I knew and that was not enough. I climb into the passenger seat of the ambulance and I realize that I simply was not enough to save Logan. I feel like nothing really matters anymore. I am also tremendously angry that this boy died before his time. Some people might say that his time was up but I totally disagree. Logan should have lived to a ripe old age. Logan basically died in my arms and I am not likely to forget that any time soon. I just do not understand why Logan had to die and it just was not fair. I feel like crying again but I fight back the tears.