It’s been one of those weeks in the Town and I literally have a list of different topics to cover. This one, however, was towards the end of the day on my Friday, so it’s freshest in my mind. And with that, and a preemptive request for forgiveness from Happy Medic, my self-proclaimed “Brother from another Mother”, I give you the following rant….
I’ve previously established my familial history in the Fire Service. I’ve a long standing love and respect for those brave souls who run into burning buildings (nutjobs) and save lives (Heroes). Today, however, I take serious issue with the policies of our Town’s Fire Dept.
I happened to be covering a beat today since someone was on vacation. No problem, it’s been hovering around 35 damn degrees all week, so I’m not gonna bitch about a heater and my iPod. Round about 1400 hours, I get dispatched to a call on our main thoroughfare. It’s a medpd call (Medical enroute, police requested to respond) for an elderly man sitting in his car in front of a business. The man isn’t moving. It doesn’t look like he’s breathing. No problem, I’m 49 (enroute), along with two or three other cops.
I’m about a mile or so away when Dispatch advises Fire is enroute, but they’re going to stage for PD response. What is staging, you ask? Typically, staging is when Fire will wait until PD arrives and makes sure there’s no impending violence (Reader’s Digest definition). For example, ADW (assault with a deadly weapon) or a DV (domestic violence), anything involving firearms, weapons, etc. I get that. They don’t have guns or pepper spray or asps. (Although typically they’re all much fucking bigger than most cops…they get paid to work out on duty (which I think is awesome, by the way)).
Here’s the thing though…we’re talking about an old man, possibly dead, in his goddamn car. Seriously? You’re gonna stage? Give me a fucking brake, you pussies. I don’t care what your fucking policy says. This is a straight up medical call. The only reason PD goes to shit like this is in case the coroner needs to be notified (the coroner is a division of the local Sheriff’s Office).
So, what I’m hearing between the words of my dispatcher advising me they will be staging is that they are either too scared to show up and do their fucking job or…shit, can’t think of the ‘or’ in this situation.
My response to my dispatcher, over the air mind you, was “Confirming Fire is going to be staging for a possible 10-55 (dead body)?” To wit, dispatch responded, “I can call them back and have them go in.” Go in? It’s on the fucking street in broad goddamn daylight. Where the fuck are they ‘going in’ to? I told dispatch, “Yeah, why don’t we do that since this is an obvious medical call.”
This isn’t the first time this has happened either. I’ve been dispatched before to “man down” calls where they staged. These are obvious medical calls where people who are possibly seriously injured need medical attention. Kids, I have basic (and I mean fucking b-a-s-i-c) first aid skills. I don’t have the cool whizbang tools Fire does. How about you come in and do your job!
I’m all about the good natured ribbing Fire and PD give one another. At the end of the day, we’re all on the same side. More often than not, I’m one of the first to defend Fire because of my background. But sometimes they make it really damn hard.
Ok…on to the stupid citizen that reported this little incident. I arrived on scene and there was indeed a definitely elderly man in the driver’s seat of his car. His head is leaned back and his mouth is open. Bitch looked dead as Ceasar. I went over to the driver’s side window and knocked on the window. The result was me scaring the shit out of the nice sleeping old dude. Fucker ain’t dead? Nope.
I canceled all the incoming units. (Fire went back to the house to finish their XBOX tourney or some such thing). I apologized to the nice old man who said he was tired and decided to get off the road (like an actual smart guy). As I’m walking back to my car, I see the dipshit PR (person reporting). He walked out of his business (75′ or so away) and said…I swear to God…”I’m glad he’s alright. I didn’t want to knock on his window.” Holy shit, you fucking coward. This poor old bastard is possibly sucking what, in your mind, could be his last breath and you didn’t want to knock on his window? Are you fucking kidding me? What the hell is wrong with you? Merry Christmas, ya douche.