People associate EMS with strange people who run around taking care of patients with heart problems, asthma, MVC victims and that's it. But there is quite a lot more to it than that. We do a lot of standbys - concerts, carnivals, sporting events (not quite the Olympics, unfortunately), town events like fireworks, etc. And that is not something that we do so much for the calls but for the chance to reacquaint each other from other squads. It's a chance to hang out!
The night did not start out restfully, however. About five or six bites into my Thai Peanut Chicken, we were blown out for a three-car accident on Route 46 by the Holiday Inn. That intersection is bad news. We arrived on scene and the two mainly involved vehicles showed damage more indicative of a rear-ender - but a high speed one. The back end of the first car was seriously crunched and the front end of the second car looked as good.
Our patient, clearly driving without the seatbelt, ran the red light. The patient's upper half was mostly under the passenger-side dash with the head sticking out of the passenger door; the lower half was still under the driver's side. We managed to get the patient collared and boarded (but not without me hurting my back so much more - price I pay) and into the rig just as David and Glenn, two of my favourite paramedics showed up and lended a hand. Lucy was with the other patient in the other car. During all of this, another accident took place on the other side of the same dangerous intersection, rubberneckers who hit one another staring at the commotion on our side. Car 65 came on for that, got four RMAs from that and two from ours and took the second patient along with our O2 tank. They headed to St. Clares and we headed to Morristown, where trauma calls are supposed to go.
We stopped in at the squadhouse for a bit to reorganise things and also to reclaim our main portable O2 tank, but 65 Duty got another call, so we headed up to the Boonton High School for their fireworks.
When we got there nothing had started, so there was time to make sure that we were somewhere near the entrance, and able to get out if we did get a call. Then Lucy went off in search of food (and an ice cream for me) and Shawn went off to find Sandra on the back-up rig, and Kathy was off to find her two daughters and husband. But I was not alone - my friend from Car 65 whom I have not seen in a long time was there so we spent the whole evening laughing at different things.
Fireworks are fun and the last ones, after the fourth of July, were brilliant, but my camera battery died and I got not one single shot. Not so this time. I made sure that I was loaded up with firepower to do this. And I did! And someone's extremely sensitive car alarm went on and off with each successive BOOM of the explosives detenated!
But just as enjoyable was the time spent with the other EMTs I ride with: Lucy, Kathy and Shawn and the EMTs from 65 - Betsy, DJ, and the rest. That is the real fun of doing standbys. My last one will be this Thursday, for the big band/swing concert on Thursday night! Wahoo!