Why do people still insist on not wearing seat belts?

Is it ignorance? Is it laziness? Or is it because they don’t like the government poking its nose into their cars? I mean, I’ve heard that line about E-ZPass plenty of times when people choose to sit in traffic and avoid discounts instead of going through tolls without slowing down.

The week before Thanksgiving, a family traveling to Disney World lost 5 members after a wreck. Six were ejected and 5 of them died. None of the 6 were wearing seat belts.


Look at the passenger space – that is a totally survivable rollover if you’re restrained.

If only 85% of drivers remember to use their ignitions, do you know how much better traffic will be?

On a related note, thanks to John, have you heard of anti-seat belt laws crusader Derek Kieper?

I can believe it even if you can’t

Code 3 for auto-ped.

It’s raining. Hard. And it’s dark.

“I can’t believe he didn’t see me! I had the walk sign!”

“You’re crossing the street on a rainy night in dark clothing.”

I’m not saying it’s not the driver’s fault, because it totally is. I am saying it is very naïve to have so much faith in other people*, especially people who are operating 3000-pound pieces of metal capable of reaching 100 miles an hour.

Assuming this pedestrian got hit at 20 mph, the kinetic energy of the vehicle just prior to impact is roughly 54000 joules. One joule is approximately the energy required to lift an apple vertically from the floor to your belly button in air.

So, I’d recommend being a little bit less trusting.

*The same kind of naïveté that gets people mugged or raped

Everyone with history of seizures needs ambulance and ED

Code 2 for ETOH. At the downtown mental health clinic.

A woman in her 30s is sitting in a room, crying. She’s on a psych hold.

Apparently she drove drunk to the clinic for a regular appointment after having a bunch of alcohol. So the psych staff placed on her a psych hold. Which doesn’t make any sense. Apparently cops aren’t the only ones who don’t understand what a psych hold is.

“Shouldn’t you be calling the cops out here for the DUI instead?”*

“She has a history of seizures, so we called 911 for an ambulance.”

Mishearing her, I ask, “You put her on a psych hold because she has a history of seizures?”

“No, we called 911 because of her history of seizures.”

“Well, neither one of those makes any sense.”

*Not that I believe any cop is going to write her a ticket

A-hole: Lay low

A reader sent me this news segment from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It is a pretty damn good one.

What is it that causes people, many of them, in fact, to think that it’s OK to drive on a suspended license without insurance while not even trying to keep a low profile, starting with not committing a simple traffic violation?

Personally, I think the debate over capital punishment is misplaced. Sometimes in my fantasies, I think maybe we should put to death assholes like this one in the video who do asshole things. Not every murderer is an asshole, certainly no more an asshole than a person who shows up on a video like that, or that Florida road rage guy.

I bet no one would miss these assholes. We know the death penalty doesn’t deter hardened criminals, but it sure will deter assholes and asshole behavior.

Yours is not the only call in the world

Code 3 for unknown.

As we arrive at the convenience store parking lot, a man on a bicycle rides up to us and tells us that there’s a traffic collision involving 2 vehicles a couple of blocks down. He is calm and articulate, even though he looks like a bum. He doesn’t know if there are injuries. We even joke that he’s better than a couple of the dispatchers we have.

“Alright man, we’ll call another unit. Thanks.”

“OK. Thanks.”

We still have the original response with the cops. It’s a combative psych call. This person trashed the convenience store for no reason. Stuff is everywhere.

As dumb as it is, we don’t get to just leave and go to the other call. I don’t agree with it, but that’s how the current rules are until someone finds the balls to write more sensible ones, including ones where we can tell patients to buck up and take a cab.*

So while we’re here restraining this subject with just about all hands, one civilian after another comes up to us to tell us about the wreck the bicyclist already told us about. Like we’re standing around doing nothing but eating donuts.

I mean, you can even hear the approaching sirens of the responding units.

Finally, the fire captain steps out in front, loudly, “Yes, yes, yes, can’t you see we’re busy here? I already told you someone else is going to that crash! Now back up!”

In a city of millions of people, civilians, does it ever cross your one-dimensional minds that there is always more than one active incident and there is always more than one unit available to handle those other incidents?

So, what was the disposition of the wreck that the civilians were so worried about that they kept interrupting us to tell us about it?


Thank God someone responded to that wreck.

*Will probably never happen

Typical idiot EMS managers

Even though Call the Cops – “America’s 27th Most Trusted Source for Public Safety News” – is The Onion of emergency services, this piece is nonetheless an absolutely accurate description of spineless, gutless EMS management:

Once in the office EMS director Richard Goinu told Muldowney he had gotten a complaint about her driving. According to the complaint a citizen said he ambulance was traveling well over 95MPH down highway 15.

“I was in shock. I told him that the ambulances govern out at 70MPH. There was not way I could have been going as fast as the citizen says. He then tells me that the citizen is a local business owner so the citizen is more trustworthy than I am.”

Director Goinu was not able to comment on this story citing HR department policy about employee privacy.

For those of you who are aspiring EMS managers, grow a pair, figure out who your good employees are, and tell civilians to bugger off when they call you with frivolous complaints.

This is insanity

Code 3 for unknown.

Fifty-seven seconds later, “M14, the reporting party is requesting cancellation.”

So why the fuck were we going code 3 in the first place? Anyone?

What a fucking ridiculous system.

If it’s not an Echo, GET RID OF RESPONSE TIMES.