Candy Man 1/2

can·dy

1 – a rich sweet confection made with sugar and often flavored or combined with fruits or nuts
2cotton candy; a large soft ball of white or pink sugar in the form of thin threads, which is usually sold on a stick and eaten at fairs and amusement parks – UK see candy floss
3verb; to sweeten – make pleasant

man

1 – an individual human; especially : an adult male human
2 – one of the distinctive objects moved by each player in various board games
3verb; to supply with people – as for service – man all stations
4 – a male pursued or sought by another, especially in connection with a crime: Inspector Bull was sure they would find their man

“Hey, look out the back window at the other side of the freeway!” Louis yells to me from the front of the rig.

Looking across the freeway I see at least 10 police cars, lights blazing, speeding back to the neighborhood we just left. I have a patient in the back of the rig with me but he’s stable so it’s just a routine call. He threw his back out when he attempted to move the dresser, chasing a mouse. It’s a flair-up of an old injury. After some Morphine for pain and Versed for anxiety he’s resting more comfortably and I’m working on the laptop. Considering he was curled into a fetal position and resisting any effort at movement when I met him this is quite an improvement.

Louis and I have been partners for a few weeks now and he’s pretty much the best EMT partner I’ve ever had. We get along great and have a lot of fun at work. He jokingly calls me The Candy Man because I use so much Morphine in my treatments. He says that he’s watched more Morphine use in the last two weeks than in his previous two years on the job. He seems to think that I’m single handedly responsible for the nationwide Morphine shortage.

He may have a point, but it was burned into me by my FTO (field training officer) when I switched to working in this county. “In this county we treat pain!” Okay, copy that. The protocols are flexible enough to allow it and I honestly feel better being able to help someone. It’s not uncommon to spend an hour waiting to see a nurse — even when transported by ambulance — so I can at least make that wait a little more comfortable.

Louis yells back over his shoulder again. “Officer involved shooting, turn your radio on.” I always keep my radio on my belt with the mic clipped to the front of my shirt. Usually when I have a patient in the back I have it turned off as Louis can monitor the radio for anything that may pertain to us.

I hear the tail end of the dispatch. “Medic-20, Medic-44, respond to 1059 Tulip Street for the GSW, possible officer involved, multiple vics. Please stage out, your scene is not secure.”

We listen to the trauma drama play out on the radio as we drive to the hospital on the other side of town. The Highway Patrol is setting up observation posts at the bridges and major freeway connections. The County Sheriff is crossing jurisdiction to back fill the Big City with officers as everyone is on a man hunt for the shooter who is still at large. His description — including some very distinguishing tattoos — as well as the license plate number of the car he stole at gunpoint (car-jacked) are paged to all of the EMS staff.

By the time I finish my paperwork at the hospital we have a little more information as the underground nurse network has been mobilized. Many of the ED nurses work in more than one hospital in the city so they have cell numbers to people all over the city. In less time than a teenage girl can text her BFF, a network of texts spreads information across the city. I think it’s actually a little more reliable than my dispatcher sometimes.

Apparently, two detectives from a neighboring city in the county were attempting to serve a warrant on a known gang member in our Big City. He shot one of the officers and tried to car-jack a car. When that person attempted to speed away he shot at the car and then successfully car-jacked a different one. The injured detective’s partner threw him in the cruiser and took him directly to the trauma center without EMS. Gutsy move, but considering we would have been staging at least 10 blocks away until they could secure the scene for us, it was probably the right move. It’s hard to have a secure scene when the shooter is at large. Two of our units treated and transported the two car-jack victims. We were only 20 blocks away, ten minutes prior to the incident, helping out my last patient with the hurt back.

This city is starting to get even worse with the summer heat and the bad economy — there’s a feeling of desperation. Not too long ago we had a series of riots because of an officer involved shooting of a suspect. We had a sniper shooting at officers maybe a month ago; they never caught him. The Highway Patrol had a prolonged gun battle with a suspect on the freeway a few weeks ago where the shooter was wearing body armor. And no one can forget the four officers that were gunned down last year. My old partner, Brent, actually pronounced the shooter on scene. Brent couldn’t even count the holes the guy had in him. If City PD catches up with this guy I suspect one of us will be pronouncing him later today.

We have multiple SWAT teams running searches throughout the afternoon with their EMS standby teams. Our pager keeps us up to date on which areas to avoid although that’s not much help when the dispatcher sends us to those same areas for a call.

Through the underground nurse network we keep tabs on the officer throughout the day; he’s been in surgery for the last four hours, one GSW to the thigh, one to the pelvis, lacerated femoral artery — it’s critical.

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~ by KC on September 7, 2010.

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