Anatomy of a call

Code 2 or 3, depending on how the dispatcher feels.

Drive as carefully as we can. Nine-to-one this is something stupid. No point wrecking for something stupid.

Get there. Sometimes there’s a waver, no matter how stupid it is. It could be a stubbed toe, and there would be someone waving us down.

Almost always upstairs. Almost always in the last bedroom. Almost always through a pile of junk.

“My foot is swollen.” (Still, we’re not carrying you.)

“I have migraines.” (It’s gonna be bright at the hospital.)

“She can’t breathe.” (Anxiety.)

“My blood pressure is high.” (You’re not compliant with your medications.)

“My blood sugar is high.” (You’re not compliant with your medications.)

“I can’t pee.” (Ironically, I feel for these guys, no matter how not an emergency it is.)

“I can’t shit.” (Veggies.)

“I want to kill myself.” (Just don’t kill anyone else.)

“I took 2 Tylenol and I think it’s too much.” (Don’t be ridiculous.)

“He’s drunk.” (So?)

More often than not, we just say, “Get in.” Anything else is just excessive.

“I need my purse.” (Why didn’t you get it after you hung up?)

“I need my keys.” (I’m not your maid.)

“Don’t you need my medicines?” (Not really interested at this particular non-emergency.)

“Turn the lights off.” (Please?)

“Make sure the cat doesn’t get out.” (The cat is going to be hiding in the closet, as far away from the strangers – us – as possible.)

Drive to the hospital as carefully as we can.

“It’s so bumpy!” (Take a cab next time.)

“It’s too cold in here!” (Here’s a blanket.)

“It’s too hot in here!” (Take your jacket off.)

“Can you turn the radio to 93.5?” (We’re not DJs and this isn’t the MTV limo.)

“Can you take a different road?” (Take a cab next time.)

“What’s taking so long?” (Other cars.)

“Why aren’t you using the sirens?” (You’re not sick.)

At the hospital. Triage.

“What’s taking so long?” (You’re not sick.)

“Why are they sending me to the waiting room?” (You’re not sick.)

“Take me to a different hospital.” (No.)

“I don’t want to be in the hallway!” (You’re not sick.)

“Where’s my doctor?” (You’re not sick.)

“I want a sandwich.” (Will your pain go away if we get you a sandwich?)

“I want something for my pain!” (The waiting room is that way.)

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