Happy takes over…Crossover Ep. 1

Hi there Officers, Patrolmen and whatnot,

I’m your resident Paramedic and I’d like to touch on a few issues from time to time. Thanks to MC for hosting this exchange, I hope to live up to his bawdiness.

I’ve got an important subject to cover that comes up very infrequently, but after seeing this image recently it is something I want to cover.

Officer Damon Bandenell is recovering from what are described as minor injuries, even though the car seems to tell a different story. Read more at http://www.kcoy.com/Global/story.asp?S=12792890

When you are involved in an accident, injury or anything else where we will need to treat you, we will need you disarmed. You guys are trained to draw and protect your weapon so much you can do it in your sleep. Unfortunately for me and my associates, this can become a hazard if you regain consciousness and feel threatened. Imagine loud voices, strange smells and you are hurt. Tell me honestly your first reflex won’t be to your hip.

Let’s have two conversations. First, to the LEO who is being treated:

We’re on it. You’re in our comfort zone now, so just go with what we want to do. If you don’t want a cervical collar, but I’m adamant about it, chances are you need it. Remember, you’re in my office now and we’re going to be doing everything we can to get you home safely. You will be uncomfortable, we may need to cut your uniform off. we will do our best to maintain the integrity of your gear by removing your vest, not cutting it, if we can. Motor Officers, we know your boots are the shit (bawdiness) and if we can get them off we will. If they are damaged, sorry man, had to be done. Feel free to walk into the firehouse alive and well and chew me out. Better than wheeling yourself in to thank me.

Speaking of removing things undamaged, this will also go for your duty belt as well as your service weapon and ALL other weapons you have. If possible, I always get another officer to disarm you since they are trained at doing so. usually there are some bars or stripes nearby to take custody of the belt so rest assured we’re not leaving it on the side of the road.

If we leave your backup weapon, mace, taser, etc, you can still be a dangerous person in the ambulance and the hospital or both the rescuers and yourself.
So now you’re half naked, disarmed and on your back.

Hi there.

Everything we’re doing is what needs to be done. Don’t want the oxygen on? I don’t want to fight you but chances are I’m not pulling it out for fun. Hate needles? You shoot people. If I’m trying to stick you, you need it.

Chances are we will have another officer in the ambulance or following closely. I’ve even been graced with a police escort to the hospital. No phone calls allowed. besides think of getting that phone call while trying to put the kids to bed, “Honey it’s me (sirens in the background) I’m OK, I’ll call you back after they get me to the hospital.”

Yeah, um…no.

To the Officer doing the disarming: Please listen to us and co-ordinate your actions with ours to ensure the tasks of treating and disarming can be done successfully. If we are using cervical spine precautions, the person holding the head is in charge, since the neck can be most fragile. they also have the best view of the patient from that spot. If you tell them what you need done, they can co-ordinate it with the other rescuers. If we need to roll them, it needs to happen as a team. Tweaking one hip up to get a duty belt out could ruin every precaution we are trying to take.

Also, use your jargon when speaking to the patient, your injured officer. If they hear familiar language they will likely relax and let it happen more so than if you call out “John, dude, gimme your gun!”
As soon as you have the duty belt and weapon removed, secure it as you need to, we need to get in and do our work.

So to sum up: You will be confused. You will be disarmed. We’ll do our best to keep your gear workable for tomorrow. Let us do what we need to do to keep you healthy and safe.

I’d expect nothing less from you. Got a question?

Hit me up at thehappymedic@gmail.com

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

3 thoughts on “Happy takes over…Crossover Ep. 1

  1. HM,

    Welcome, and nice to meet you. Great article. Fortunately I've never been on the receiving end so far of you or your comrades' services, but I have had to remove a gun from one of my brother motors after he's been down. It goes just like you said. Thanks for taking care of us!

    That is one hellacious patrol car crash! I'm glad the officer will be okay. Thank God he didn't have a partner that day or we'd be going to another needless police funeral.

    This is a great reminder to all my brother officers out there, and to myself, to SLOW THE HELL DOWN! We are often victims of our own machismo. We have egos bigger than Texas, almost all cops do, and we think we are invincible because we have extra driver training. The lights and siren go on, the foot goes down, and common sense goes out the window. I know, I've done it myself. I'm not saying don't drive fast, I'm saying don't drive recklessly. All the training in the world can't overcome the laws of physics. Don't make your spouse a widow and your kids orphans just because you wanted to get there 20 seconds quicker.

    At the risk of critiquing a fellow brother officer, he created a worse situation by driving over his head. The person he was going to help never got his help, and also took resources away from situation 1 to his own crash. Furthermore, wear your GODDAM SEATBELT! At least this officer had the good sense to do that, and he's still here as a result.

    HM, I look forward to seeing more of your posts!

  2. Dear HM and MC,
    This post proves that a cross-disciplinary exchange is a Fantastic idea.

    You are to be commended.

    Cheering from the sidelines of
    both your professions,

    Ann T.

  3. Thankfully I've never had this ride. I was a participant in an on duty shooting and the best feeling was stepping out the back of the ambulance and the lead ER person asking me if I was okay and if any officers where hurt.

    You don't ecpect those little, spur of the moment comments to stick with you.

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