Lights & sirens

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
The craziest place to work in emergency medicine. The big Apple, the city that never sleeps. Have you ever wondered what EMT's and paramedics go threw. Well read this story and find out for yourself.

Submitted: May 31, 2017

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Submitted: May 31, 2017

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 Lights & sirens 


The smoke from my Marlboro light hit the headlights of my ford F-450 ambulance making it look like something out of a movie. The air was crisp like stepping outside of a cabin in the middle of a Vermont forest. Today was a big day for me because after four long years of busting my ass in school I was finally doing what iv always wanted to do. My uniform is black with a patch on the left sleeve and on the right Brest was my name and on the right in big bold letters FDNY, but the part that made me feel better was the words on the back of my uniform. It says, FDNY paramedic. So were was I, oh yeah. The area that I worked in or what we like to call "zone" was park Chester which is in the Bronx. I took a peek at my watch and the time was 10:50 almost an hour after I started my first shift. My partner in crime was sitting in the drivers seat of my ambulance, a young kid from Staten Island around the same age as me but he is a EMT and I'm a paramedic hence the reason why he was sitting in the drivers seat.  
As I took a drag off my cigarette the "EMC" or emergency medical computer lit up. My partner Brian O'Neil opened the passenger side window and told me that we were receiving our first call of the night. God was I excited, I threw my freshly lit cigarette to the ground and didn't even bother to pick up my Starbucks coffee that I had placed on the curb. I hopped into the passenger seat and took a look at what the call was. On the screen it said "attention emergency, 7119 south Colin's avenue, caller requesting Advanced life support or ALS for short, police are on scene be advised that there is a 37 year old female with multiple stab wounds to the chest, ambulance 705 medic lopato please respond". At that moment my brain stopped working for a minute. I'm 21 years old freshly out of school and the first call I get is to a multiple stab victim. But the crazier thing to me was that they wanted me to respond. 7119 Colin's was from our location exactly 8 minutes away so we got moving. The lights turned the city streets into a EDM show plus with the mixture of the sirens it made it sound like a bad trance show. My mind raced as i thought of a way that I was going to proceed with this call. The only problem was I could think of every possible situation but most of the time they are useless because once you arrive it's always a more complicated problem especially if you are working on a advanced life support ambulance. We turned onto Colin's and the street was lit up from all the police cruisers that sat outside of the apartment building. Brian threw the bus into park and we hopped out and proceeded to the back end of the ambulance or as we liked to call it the "ass" and grabbed all the necessary equipment that we would need. We grabbed two different bags, one with trauma pads and about one hundred different sizes of gauze, the second bag contained saline and banana bags. Your probably thinking why is it called that, well it's 
Exactly What you think. First let me tell you what a banana bag is, there is also another name for it which is a "rally pack" but most people who use that name are nurses and doctors. The banana bag contains three main minerals, thiamine, folic acid and between 3 and ten grams of magnesium sulfate. This specific bag is used to shock the body when you are dehydrated. One other thing I grabbed was my intervenes medical kit, which contains ten different size needles, IV lines and fifty different kinds of medication. One of the biggest differences between a emergency medical technician and a paramedic is we can perform certain invasive procedures and also dispense medications including narcotics. The main narcotic pain killers we use are, morphine, Hydromorphone aka dilaudid, and oxycodone. We also cary a few non narcotic painkillers as well. We grabbed our gear and headed to the front door of the building when a police officer walked out. "Misha long time no see". That police officers name is Kevin Doyle. Kevin and I had known each other for almost nineteen years but I had not seen him for almost 5 years because I had gone to school in Williamsport Pennsylvania. I said to Kevin, "kevin what's up man what do we have". He proceeded to tell me that the woman in apartment 108 had been stabbed like she was a piece of meat at a butcher shop and that there were six other NYPD police upstairs dealing with the situation and are waiting for our assistance. The stairs in this building were super steep and narrow which meant that we could not use a stretcher, so I sent Brian back to the ambulance to get the jump chair. The jump chair is a foldable heavy duty metal chair that's used to Carry patients up and down stairs. The chair also have multiple straps so that the patient can't fall out of it. The apartment was on the second floor of the apartment building which meant we would have to carry her down two flights of stairs which would suck, but we had no choice. As I reached the landing on the second floor I noticed a trail a blood leading from the staircase into the apartment which means that the stabbing did not occur in the apartment. At this point I knew I had to go in there or else this woman would die. I entered the apartment and every step I took the trail of blood got larger and larger. The sound of radios signaled me directly to the south side of the apartment, and standing in the hallway were a whole mess of blues. They moved out of the way so I could enter the room to asses the situation. Kneeling on the floor were officer heather Kline and officer Tim savage, who both were probationary officers. I put my bags down on the floor and pushed officer Kline out of the way so I could be next to the patient. I asked if they had gotten her name yet, heather responded, " her name is faith". "Hi faith my name is misha I'm going to be helping you today and getting you to the hospital as fast as I can ok, so I need you to do me a favor and just lay back and relax so I can help you ok". Her response was what I expected it to be. " please don't let me die". I responded, " faith that's not going to happen ok". I opened the tech bag that contained my trauma pads and gauze. The first thing I did was asses how many wounds her body had, the second thing I did was pull out a pack of quick clot which is a powder that stops bleeding by clotting the blood. After I had administered the quick clot I pulled out five 5 inch by 9 inch trauma pads and placed them onto every wound I could find. Once Brian got into the apartment with the chair I had him finish small tasks for me because for the first time in my career I would be giving a live human a IV and a intravenous narcotic. I moved my Bag that contained the IV bags and pulled out a banana bag because just giving her a bag of saline would not be enough. I also pulled out a fresh IV line and a new 16 gage by 1.25 needle and a needle catheter to protect the needle so it would not pop out of the arm. I found a vain within a matter of seconds and taped the needle down and proceeded to insert the IV connection, now for the best part. I opened the case that contained the medications that I would be using. The first medication I used is called Aprotinin which helps the blood clot from the inside out. I pulled out the vile from the bag and proceeded to use 50 milligrams, once I finished administering the Aprotinin I then decided on which painkiller to give her. The first thing I had to do was check her blood pressure which Brian did, after he did that I decided to use morphine because her heart rate was extremely low and the morphine would not lower it anymore, were as if I used daludid or oxycodone those narcotics would raise her blood pressure. My left hand that held the vile of morphine shook due to me being scared about actually using the drug in real life. I took a deep breath and inserted the needle into the vile and pulled back the plunger filling the chamber with 200 milligrams of what we paramedics call "devils nectar". I pulled out the needle and proceeded to insert it into the IV. The amazing thing is immediately after giving her morphine she calmed down ten fold. Once we stabilized her I decided it would be better to use a flat stretcher aka "backboard" instead of the one we use most of the time in the ambulance because I did not want to risk  anything happing to her in the jump chair. So after about five minutes Brian brought the flat stretcher in and proceeded to help me with placing her on the backboard. Once we strapped her in the police that were in the apartment helped us Carry her down to the street which let me tell you was a task on its own. I got to the ambulance before the police did because I had to open the back doors and set the stretcher up for faith so once they got to the ambulance we could put her in and go because fifteen minutes have gone by and I needed to get her to the emergency room. On a little side note the average EMS response to the call then to a hospital is twenty five minutes so I cut the time in half, pretty good right?. He police and Brian reached the ambulance just in time because I noticed that faiths breathing was faint, which means that her body is failing and she needs immediate emergency surgery in order to see another day. The police put her on the gurney in the ambulance and I asked one of them to ride with me because I needed a second hand and Brian had to drive so I chose the best person for the job. Officer Mitchel blinks has had emergency medicine experience from his three tours he did in Iraq. A combat medic knows his shit so he hopped in and placed is cap on the bench next to the gurney and sat there waiting for my instructions. He closed the door and we took off. I checked her pulse and it was low extremely low which worried me. There could have been a few reasons why but I didn't have time to go threw all of them so I did what I thought was right. I placed leads that were connected to a EKG machine so I can manage her heart rate and a oxygen monitor on her right pointer finger, then I decided to give her a pint of blood because the most likely reason for her drop in breathing was the lack of blood. I pulled out a bag of blood from the cooler and started a new IV. About two minutes after giving her blood her breathing and heart rate went up forty percent which is excellent. "Faith how are you doing sweetheart". Her response almost made me cry. " I actually feel a little better, you saved me". In that moment I knew that this job was for me. I told her to rest and that we would be arriving within a matter of a few minutes. We pulled into the emergency entrance of westchester square medical center and standing outside were what seemed liked four hundred nurses and doctors but really it was around seven. 



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