Friday night I went on my very first ride-along. I will attempt to record each call individually before losing my steam. That being said, here is call one:

The satellite was not very close to a T (subway) station. A classmate and I were driven to our satellites by our dear Captain Scarna. I know photos are expected, but I am keeping all of my EMT photos to myself. Mwahaha. If you want to see them, find me in person. The shifts began at 11pm, Captain asked us to meet him at headquarters at 10pm. Naturally, we were there by 920pm. My classmate and I try our best to overachieve.

The ride there was full of laughs and a bit of information about the radio dispatches and what to expect. Captain dropped me at my satellite about 1030pm. I was alone. Not creepy at all. I was very thankful for the key-card access door. I waited about 10 minutes and when I was in the bathroom, a crew came in. It was the previous shift, coming to stage (wait at the satellite location until another call) before shift change. We watched TV for a few minutes, and then a call came in. The crew was not excited. However, another ambulance took the call and thanks were exchanged over the airwaves. Unfortunately, another call came in for our district not 2 minutes later. There was no one else close enough to take this call for us. Though this was not the crew I was assigned to, they took me with them.

We went to a 911 call for vomiting. On the way to calls I sat in the Tech seat within the patient compartment. This is the seat at the head of the stretcher where the EMT can access both the patient’s airway and any needs for maintaining that airway. You ride backwards in that seat. It was fun to be in the back and watch the traffic pattern. (A big THANK YOU to all the drivers who pull to the right to allow an emergency vehicle to pass. It’s not only the law, it saves countless minutes in the travel to an emergency and to a hospital. Please heed these vehicles.)

We arrived on scene and I put on gloves. We are taught to glove up on the way to the response, but I always sat and buckled in before realizing that I needed gloves. I couldn’t reach the gloves without removing my seat belt. That is a NO NO in the back of a bouncing truck speeding with metal around you. Also, the EMTs would have seen me and I’m sure be none too pleased.

We arrive on scene to find a patient complaining of general malaise and nausea but no vomiting. Now, Boston EMS runs a 911-only system. That means that they only take 911 calls and are not contracted for patient transport between facilities. This turned out to be one of those calls. The patient had been refused access to a facility and instead of arranging for the patient’s transport, the facility called it in as a 911 emergency. Cue sigh.

Upon transport to the nearest emergency department, care was transferred and arrangements begun to move the patient somewhere else. Because there was no medical emergency, the patient could not be admitted to the emergency department. The call took about 35 minutes total. We returned to the satellite around 11:30pm.

I was very calm throughout the response. Our instructor coordinator, Captain Scarna, has drilled into us, “It’s not your emergency.” Not only that, but I was riding third. Meaning that there were two fully trained EMTs on the call and I was not necessary, hence my badge reading ‘Observer.’

Once we entered the satellite, I found ‘my crew’ getting ready for their overnight shift…