Minor differences

Code 3 for the fall.

“Elderly female fell in bathtub.”

“Now not breathing.”

We go in a neat apartment, make a few turns toward the back bathroom. I turn the corner into the bathroom and stop short. I stop the crew.

“Hold on.”

It’s a crime scene. The woman is in the tub and the tub is filled with water.

Later, I look at the call notes from the communications center, and the very first line – before “Elderly female fell in bathtub” and “Now not breathing” – said, “Possible drowning.”

Umm… I’m not one to run calls based solely on dispatch information, but, ahem, dispatcher person, did you not think that bit of description was at least semi-important? Did you not feel that there was a bit of a difference between just “not breathing in bathtub” and maybe a “drowning”?

5 thoughts on “Minor differences”

  1. Some members of dispatch were NOTORIOUS for leaving very important details until the last moment, like “patient not breathing,” which automatically required the response of the 2nd crew.

    I say dispatch needs to run a shift or seventy with us to understand what we view as important!

  2. Back in the day when priorities were coded “Alpha, Beta, Charlie, Delta” with “Alpha” being the least of our worries….
    Alpha level call for the 12 year old with the laceration to the hand. I arrive on scene to a cop handing me a 12 year old’s hand in a plastic baggie.

  3. We seem to have the reverse problem. Many of our call takers should belong to the Fiction Writers Association. They just plain make shit up. If they can get the address right, I’m pretty happy.

  4. Or the possible cardiac arrest turned CPR in progress to arrive on scene and see deep ligature marks around the pt’s neck. Oh, yes…after the mile long dispatch paragraphs full of numbers and codes, there tucked in between is “possible hanging.”

Leave a Reply