Body: ***DISCLAIMER: The following message was posted by a man who had the balls to put into writing what the entire E.M.S. world has wanted to say for years.
Thank you Ron for spelling it out for the world!***
For those of you who work in EMS or have anything to do with EMS, you are going to appreciate this. For those of you who call EMT's and Paramedics 'AMBULANCE DRIVERS' please read this carefully and completely. Now I was hoping this was going to be short and sweet, then as I was driving, I kept thinking more and more what to put. So if you have to, read this in parts. But I want you to completely read this post. Please do not notice my grammar errors, as I can assure you, there will be many.
The whole idea of this post was to make people think of what 'AMBULANCE DRIVERS' really are and do.
First and foremost, here is a couple terms that will be used throughout this post.....
1). AMBULANCE DRIVER = usually an EMT or EMT-I and Paramedic. Right... What the F is that? EMT is EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN. EMT-I is that same, but an INTERMEDIATE Level, and Paramedic is the highest level of Emergency Medical Service provider certifiable.
2). EMS. EMS is not one word, it is E.M.S. Meaning Emergency Medical Services. (Contrary to the common believe that it stands for Earn Money Sleeping or Extra Marital Sex).
3). EMT 's can perform BASIC LEVEL CARE, EMT-I's can perform a level above that...start ivs, intubate people, give a few medications...and PARAMEDICS are the ones that can do it all, ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT. Terminology lesson: Para=Before Medicoctor. Paramedic=BEFORE DOCTOR.
With that out of the way, the following is what the person you call AMBULANCE DRIVER does on a daily basis:
4). That 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' is they guy, or girl that can give you drugs, through an IV started in your vein, that will stop your heart, yes thats right, STOP YOUR HEART. Hopefully it will restart in a better condition than before we stopped it.
5). That 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' is the person that will start that IV in your arm, or neck, or hand, or leg, or bone... BONE? Oh yeah, that guy you know as 'ambulance driver'...they can take a device and put a needle in your bone to use as a last resort 'IV.'
6). That 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' is the guy that if you get in a wreck and receive a pneumothorax (collapsed lung due to air build up)...that 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' can put a needle through your chest in the intercostal space of your ribs to DECOMPRESS the pneumothorax allowing trapped air to escape.
7). That same person is the one, that if you or your child quits breathing...can (using a 'blade')put a tube in their throat and with skill, pass it through their vocal cords and into their trachea creating a secure airway and allowing another 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' to breath for them using a BVM connected to 100% oxygen.
8). Speaking of children, you know when your driving along and you see this square thing come up behind you, and its making noise and has flashing lights...and you dont want to pull over because you are running late for work, or because some other ambulance cut you off and your pissed at all ambulance drivers nation wide. WELL CONGRATULATIONS, that's the ambulance enroute to your kids daycare because they got stung by a bee that they were allergic to, and now their throat is closing up and they are no longer able to breathe. Thats the ambulance that has medication, equipment, and the trained people on board to stop and reverse the allergic reaction on scene or on the way to the hospital that is 45 minutes away.
9). HEART TROUBLES? How about, NO HEART BEAT, DEAD, DRT (DEAD RIGHT THERE)...that ambulance driver guy...that's the guy that can legally shock you with up to 360 joules of electricity in attempt to start you heart again... PS on this one...EVERYONE THAT GOES INTO CARDIAC ARREST DOES NOT GET SHOCKED! So if we don't shock, don't think we don't know what we are doing. Rescue 911 is over, that's the only place everyone gets shocked. We are PARAMEDICS, not God (we have to get the walking on water thing down, then we may talk about changing names)...um, Lord, Forgive me, but we DON'T bring every dead person back to life.
10). Curious to know how we know what to shock? Okay. Ventricular Fibrillation (V-Fib) is shocked, Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia (V-Tach) is shocked. That's it scooter. You only get 2 rhythms that get shocked, or DEFIBRILATED.
Rescue 911 didn't tell you that did they?
11). Oh, if your loved one is laying in the floor, clutching their chest saying 'IT HURTS' and you call the 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' to come load him up and rush him to the hospital, think again, he is in Unstable V-Tach. Sounds bad huh, don't worry, that 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' came with more than an ambulance and drivers license, they have their defibrillator with them, while he is conscious just laying in the floor in an unstable rhythm, determined by the paramedic, from the rhythm shown on the cardiac monitor, your loved one is about to receive 50-100 joules of ELECTRICITY, known as CARDIOVERSION, hopefully saying to the heart. 'SLAP!!! .. bitch, act right!' Maybe they will get a little valium before hand, but probably not, especially if you called us an 'AMBULANCE DRIVER.'
12). OH, in case your the guy that has been beating the CRAP out of your 3 year old, that 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' is the guy that will pick up on CHILD ABUSE and get your 3 year old put in a better place. Little Johnny says: 'SPANK AWAY DADDIO' cause he knows that 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' is just going to drive on over for 'burns' (because Little Johnny pulled hot boiling water off the stove and somehow managed to burn the back of his legs) and knows what's REALLY going on and get Little Johnny in a better home.
13). That 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' is the one who knows how to drive safe in bad weather. They have to come get you from your car, that is now upside down through a house, and take you to the hospital. Yep that's it, just drive you to the hospital. NOT. You get the full meal deal, or FULLY PACKAGED. C-collar, back board, head rolls, all that jazz plus a few straps snugged in here or there. And because you were silly and weren't wearing your seat belt, you were thrown from the side window and landed against a tree. Which is the reason your bone is sticking out of your leg and you feel weak because you have lost TONS of blood. That's okay, we will just start 2 14 gauge IV's(biggie sized) in you maybe in your arm or neck or somewhere so we can get that fluid replaced...
14). Another thing, if you called those ambulance drivers because your mom had a heart attack 3 years ago and shes showing the same symptoms now like she did 3 years ago, don't be alarmed if your mom all of a sudden falls and you see that 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' check for a pulse then rare back and punch the shit out of her right smack in the ticker. That's okay, we are trained professionals, we're are not beating up dead granny cause she died on us, we are knocking the heart out of the fatal rhythm its in. She will be breathing again and talking very soon. Bye.
Enough of what we do...now I want you to take a few things into consideration when you call those Ambulance Drivers 'AMBULANCE DRIVERS':
1. We (Paramedics) went to school for about 2 years to get where we are. That's not bad right? Not until you consider that a Registered Nurse went to school for the same amount of time, and in some places is making double what a paramedic is. That's understandable though, that NURSE is working their ass off in the air conditioned ER. Never mind the Paramedic that makes less than you is outside, in the rain, upside down in a vehicle holding c-spine while his paramedic partner is on the other side, upside down, in the rain, intubating the trapped patient because the Fire Department hasn't made it there yet, and their patient isn't breathing. Understand Im not knocking nurses...for crying out loud, they make almost twice as much as a paramedic and have to put up with taking orders from a doctor. (PSST, the paramedic you are calling an 'ambulance driver' has to make split second decisions, such as what drug he should give you, of the 60+ he knows by memory, or what he can't give you because you are allergic to sulfa drugs, and nitrates, and latex and ASA and whatever else. He has to make these important decisions because he has no doctor there writing orders for him. Paramedics have protocols with 'standing orders' which means we make the decision on when to use what and are responsible for all decisions for treatment).
2. In most cases, your average 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' works 24 hrs on and 48 hrs off. Sure we get to sleep. But at 3 in the morning when your drunk neighbor decides to come in and play BANG BANG with you, we are the sleeping guy that has to get woke up in the 2 minutes it takes to get to your house and be able to act QUICKLY to keep you alive, all while trying to preserve the crime scene.
3. Also, isn't it nice to sit down and eat a nice dinner with your family. And you see those 2 'AMBULANCE DRIVERS' sitting next to you and you say to yourself 'wow, that must be nice, eating out and getting paid' Think again turbo, hear that noise, thats not the dinner bell, that's dispatch paging them out to a church bus rollover with 19 patients, I would like to point out its 7PM and there is no food in front of them, oh and at lunch time, they were taking Sue Ann to Pensacola because she is only 20 weeks pregnant and already contracting.
4. If you see an ambulance coming up behind you, move over TO THE RIGHT HAND SIDE..NO MATTER HOW MANY LANES OF TRAFFIC THERE ARE, they could very well be going to a car wreck with your family in it. Or a football game your son was playing until he was tackled and fractured his spine.
5. If you are passing a wreck scene and you see patients laid out all over the ground...don't stop and look, and DEFINATELY dont keep driving AND look at the same time. One it is SUPER rude and inhumane to stare at something like that, and two, those 2 'AMBULANCE DRIVERS' cannot deal with you wrecking because they are the only ambulance around for 20 miles, and already have 7 critical patients.
6. Go back and think about some of the things I said the 'AMBULANCE DRIVERS' can do, Intubate you (put a tube in your throat), give you drugs to stop your heart, give you medicines to cause vaso dialation so your chest pain eases, put a needle in your chest to relieve your pneumothorax...remember those, take a wild guess at who else can do that to you...GIVE UP? Well its not the milk truck driver, in fact, just about the ONLY other person that can do a majority of a PARAMEDICS skills is a MEDICAL DOCTOR. Yeah, that's it, not a NURSE or Fireman.
MEDICAL FREAKIN' DOCTOR WITH 12 YEARS OF SCHOOL!
7. Remember hearing on the news about that plane crash? Remember everyone saying Thank your local fireman and policemen, DO THAT, but also try and remember the PARAMEDICS and EMTS that were there also, keeping the survivors alive.
8. Alot of your troops are TRAINED... as what?? Ambulance drivers... don't forget that!!
9. If you are pregnant go to the Doctor. You do not want to be like Shaqueesha was when she delivered her first baby in the back of an ambulance, and Jeff the 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' says to Randy the other 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' PULL OVER NOW, she's having ANOTHER. Yeah, neither little shaqueesha nor her baby's daddy knew she was having twins, because she didnt go to the doctor. But happy ending... Dequarian and Ludacris Sebastian Chow Chow Tay Tay are doing just fine.
10. If you are in walmart and see cashier Cathy have a seizure don't stick a spoon in her mouth, i PROMISE she will not swallow her tongue. Disagree? Ok. Swallow your tongue, yes do it now........Yeah LOOK HERE...YOU CANNOT SWALLOW YOUR TONGUE! Oh, but when those 'AMBULANCE DRIVERS' show up, and they say EXCUSE ME...MOVE OUT OF THE F'ING WAY! We are the freaking 'AMBULANCE DRIVERS', let us in.
11. If you are the person sitting here reading this thinking Wow, they can do a lot, I could save money and just have those nice little 'AMBULANCE DRIVERS' come to my house, treat me and leave. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!!!! We do really drive ambulances, and we all have one rule, if you call us you go, ABSOLUTELY NEVER will we give you medicine or treatment on scene and leave.
12. Yes, I said we will take you to the hospital, but DO NOT call us because your toe hurts, or you have an earache. GO TO THE DOCTOR IN THE MORNING, but, If it is an emergency to you, don't wait till 3 am to call, do it at a decent hour, and we will come pick you up, take you to the hospital, drop you off, then cuss you and make fun of you for getting yourself a $800 bill because you kicked the step to your trailer and your toe hurts. We understand you don't have a car to drive to the hospital because your baby's daddy is in it working at Food World.
13. Remember, try not to piss your 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' off, we don't have to give you valium, morphine or any of that other stuff, it really is our decision. Oh, and we are also the ones that decide what size IV to start, small size or garden hose size. AND IF YOU EVER SPIT ON ME...you will get a oxygen mask on your face with NO oxygen attatched! Yeah, if get spit on, you get that whole suffocation effect. Oh, is that you that fakes passing out? We have ammonia stinky caps to fix that...
14. Try not to vomit in the presence of your 'AMBULANCE DRIVER', or in the ambulance, cause if your 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' is like me or most others, we will puke too, that is what makes us sick, not brains splattered on us or blood squirting out of you in 10 different places, but the smell of your vomit. (and it is vomit, not VOMIK.
15. Don't call 911 and try to talk in Ambulance talk, it does you no good to tell us you need an ambulance code 3. We decide that tonto. not you.
16. If you call an ambulance and have big dogs, put them away. We do not come in if there are big dogs barking at us. Also, another thing you can do, CLEAN YOUR FLIPPING PIG STY. We cannot maneuver our stretcher in through your tiny house to get 500 lb Bubba from the back room when you have shit strolled everywhere.
17. If you call us and are really not sick, remember you are taking an ambulance away from someone that really needs it, we are not going to stay and talk and discuss if you are going, you are or you arent. If you are, your walking to the ambulance, my back hurts, I'm not lifting you because you have fever.
18. One last thing, if you ask for pain medicine (and even name the ones that work best for you), you definitely are not going to get any. That 'AMBULANCE DRIVER' decides who gets pain medicine and who doesn't. The back of an ambulance is not a self-serve pharmacy. If the 'AMBULANCE DRIVER', who has been extensively trained on medications, decides that Toradol (IV drug in the Motrin family) is best for your complaints, then that's what you are getting. This isn't Bob's Bargain Pharmacy and Medi-Taxi.
Okay, I'm tired of this...I'm sure I could go on forever, but I don't want it to be too long.
REMEMBER: We do drive ambulances, but we do a little more.
Tell your AMBULANCE DRIVERS thank you every now and then, cause once again, people going back and meeting people and saying thank you is only a fairy tale from Rescue 911. It rarely happens.
Did you notice some of the terminology used? Yeah, your average UPS driver doesn't know that.
Oh yeah: If you ever have to call 911, do not be rude to the dispatcher, they are the ones who tell the ambulance driver to go to you. Give them directions, answer their questions, and everything will be okay. Yes, the questions get annoying, but I promise you, that is not keeping an ambulance from coming to you in a real life emergency, the dispatcher is not on the ambulance. Oh, and DO NOT, EVER ask a 911 dispatcher if they can hold, you called 911, WE DO NOT Hold! If you do that to me, I can PROMISE you I will hang up on your rude ass. Another note on calling 911, most dispatch centers do not have a EBONICS translator on duty, EVER. You need to speak slow and clear. And my LORD, if someone is having a seizure, do not freak out, they will stop in a few seconds and be ok. Know what else? if it was a real seizure, im sure they pissed their self and maybe even a little poo...go check it out.
*DISCLAIMER: In no way am I trying to make AMBULANCE DRIVERS look like heros, but I am indeed pointing out that it is, to some, a little insulting to be called an Ambulance Driver. Try EMT or Paramedic. Nurses are cool, Rescue 911 is cool. Paramedics and EMT's will always be cooler.
Thank you for reading,
PS. If you are or are not affiliated with EMS, please re-post this, my goal in this posting is to somehow reach out to the uneducated people that AMBULANCE DRIVERS are more than Ambulance Drivers, don't abuse them.
and one last PS to everyone else.
AMBULANCE DRIVERS can legally cut your clothes off, shock you with electricity, stop your heart with medicines, paralyze you and cease your breathing with drugs. Don't piss us off, cause if you do, we are also the guys that decide wether or not we want to administer morphine to you to ease the pain of the fence post going through your thigh.
Ambulance Drivers also party often, its stress relief, so if you see one at a party, do not expect them to help you if you fall down drunk, they are wasted do you want them to help you? Ok, im sure they will!