We do everyone’s dirty work

Code 2 for man down. It is 10pm and pouring.

An elderly man is down next to his walker in a residential neighborhood. No one is around at all. He is polite and sheepish. He says he has weak legs, hence the walker, but he had a little trouble negotiating the curb in the pouring rain. He lives 2 blocks away and just wants to go home.

We pick him up, easily, since he’s thin, and the police officer insists that the old man let him drive him home. It’s the only right thing to do here.

“I can walk home!”

Yeah, right. You did such a good job.

“Make everyone happy; please let the officer drive you home.”

It didn’t occur to me until later – why is it that people called 911 for him but no one helped him to his feet?

9 thoughts on “We do everyone’s dirty work”

    1. i know. i need to stop wasting time thinking about these things… and why cell phone warriors call us for everything under the sun.

  1. I think about this every day. The best I can come up with is everyone else wants to pass the liability on, so if old mate who fell has an injury and it’s exacerbated by picking him up they don’t get that blame. It’s a blatant waste of resources and time, but it keeps us in a job I suppose.

    1. i love this work, and i love being able to pick this old man off the ground. but i can never understand why – despite seeing him and calling us – no one simply walked outside to see if he was ok.

  2. Why? Maybe because no one was able to check if the man was hurt somewhere and called in the experts to check things out.

  3. I’m not a medical professional. If I saw an elderly person, with a walker, down – my assumption would be broken hip or some other broken bone and would not want to make things worse by attempting to move them.

    1. It’s highly technical. Sort of like when security calls us for a man down inside the ATM kiosk.

      “We couldn’t wake him up.”

      “Hey, wake up!”

      “Uhh, I was just sleeping man.”

      Turns to security guard, “You don’t know the magic phrases, that’s why we’re the paramedics.”

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