Protocols: They’re not that complicated

Code 3 for the unconscious.

We get there, and fire’s doing CPR. The lieutenant meets us at the door.

“Hey, we’ve just been told by the higher-ups that there’s a new protocol that if the patient’s in V-fib, we have to do 2 minutes of CPR before defibrillating.”

“Yeah, OK, whatever you guys want.”

I wasn’t aware of that protocol, but I’m easy. Except that when I look over, I see something very wrong.

“Uh, you guys…”

When I’m at work, I start a lot of sentences with that phrase, since some fire crews are always doing something dumb. I’m too nice to say directly, “Hey, you fucking idiots!”

Besides, it pays to be nice; some days I don’t even have to lift a single patient or carry a single bag. (Thanks, guys.) And who am I to act like I don’t do stupid things? Anyway…


“Uh, she’s not even on the monitor…”