There were so many things about this detail that made it blog worthy. I’m not really sure where to start, so I’ll just explain as they happened.
Last week, one of the beat guys had a 5150 call. No, not the seminal (snicker…I’m like a 13 year old) album from Van Hagar, but a possible crazy person call. I had just cleared a traffic stop (imagine that) and was closer than the beat officer’s cover, so I took the cover.
When I arrived, my partner was already inside and Fire had just rolled up about 30 seconds before me. The detail was dispatched as the PR/V (Person Reporting/Victim) called to report she had taken a dozen Darvon pills. Darvon is more or less a mild narcotic analegesic for relief from mild to moderate pain. She is prescribed three….she took 12.
When it comes to crazies, you never know what’s going to happen, so I just parked the bike, switched it off and headed into the house…helmet and all. I walked in and saw Fire standing by waiting for my partner to finish talking to Nutters (gentle euphemism). I walked past them. Nutters saw me and the following occurred:
Nutters (points accusingly): You gave me a ticket.
MC: Nah, couldn’t have been me.
N: Do you ride a motorcycle?
MC (knocks on helmet…still on my head, mind you): Nope. I fall down a lot.
She seemed to accept the explanation and then Fire stepped in to do their Medic thing. Now, I know HM (Happy Medic for you uninitiated) occasionally has issues with PD sloughing off details to him. We, the Po-Po, in return laugh when you Fire guys/gals stage for what is obviously a Fire/Medical detail. It’s a never-ending roundabout. At the end of the day, however, we’re all on the same team. It’s like sibling rivalry…all meant in good fun. Having grown up in the Firehouse, I have an affinity for Fire and I’ve never had issues with them. At every call we meet at, I’m handing out HM’s blog address along with mine. On this particular detail, I got to meet a new Medic and further instill my faith in HM and those of his ilk.
But first, PD’s policy with respect to 5150. Let me cut to the quick here…we’re looking for a very basic statement. Something along the lines of “I want to hurt myself” or some very obvious overt act to accomplish same. Does ‘accidentally’ taking more pills than you should qualify? Maybe. Maybe not. We’d all be happier if there was some other signs of depression or distress. Nutters wasn’t cooperating. Enter HM’s brother from another mother….we’ll call him Cool Medic (CM) because his feathers were never ruffled and Lord knows I always appreciate a cool demeanor over a stressed one.
CM and his partner checked vitals and called doctors and did everything they could medically do to convince Nutters she needed to go to the hospital to get checked out. No one there was a doctor and couldn’t speak with any kind of accuracy what exactly Nutters had taken and how much of it since she had a number of prescription bottles. Nutters wasn’t having any of it. She emphatically shook her head and repeated, “Nope, nope, nope, nope” whenever CM tried to convince her to get her crazy ass on the gurney for a ride.
Whilst all of this is occurring, my partner went out to the patrol car to start some 5150 paperwork…just in case. If articulated properly, we could 5150 her if we had to. Neither us, nor CM wanted to leave Nutters alone because we didn’t think it would have ended well. While my partner was in the car, Nutters started to exhibit some behavior that just got progressively weirder. I walked out to let him know we’d most likely end up 5150’ng Nutters. He agreed and we both walked back into the house where Nutters has now decided she does indeed want to go to the hospital….but mostly because she’s on the ground twitching. I looked down at CM as he and his partner began assessing the new turn of events. We made quick eye contact and I said, “Well, that makes it easier, huh?” CM smiled, said, “Yup” and went to work.
It was cool watching a Medic work. Both CM and his partner remained calm and professional. They talked to each other calmly and asked Nutters questions to ascertain her level of consciousness. They started an IV and I offered to play the roll of bag holder/extra pair of hands. All in all, Nutters came back ’round and CM carted her off to the hospital.
Had it not been for CM and his partner and my partner and I following through with what we all knew was the right thing to do (get Nutters to a doc), she could very well have DFO’d (Done Fell Out…read died). We could just have took her at her word that she would “ride it out” and left it at that. Had we been lazy or just dumb it could have ended up much worse.
So, I left the detail with a new found respect for Medics and their dedication to seeing that their patients are well taken care of…regardless of how batshit crazy they are. And of course, I left with the hopes of garnering a new reader of a couple smartass blogs in the EMS world. Drop us a line CM…let us know you’re out there.