{April 23, 2013}   Where Is the Line Drawn?

Working as a firefighter-EMT in this small town is my dream job… but sometimes it’s a nightmare, too. Here’s an example:
Last night at 21:13 I responded to a call where a Police Officer was on scene for a welfare check. I arrive on scene to find an elderly female sitting on her toilet. The Officer tells me her daughter called for a welfare check because she had been unable to reach her mother by phone for a couple of days. He arrived, there was no answer at the door, he forced entry and found her on the toilet barely conscious. There was vomit and diaherrea all over the place. The patient was my Grandmother’s best friend, a lady I had called “Aunt” my entire life.

At 01:28 this morning I responded to another call. An 82 year old male who has fallen with a possible broken nose. He is my great Uncle, my Grandfather’s brother. He’s suffered from Alzheimer’s for about three years now. He’d tried running and fell flat on his face. His nose had right side displacement, meaning it was set off to the side (definitely broken) and he broke his right wrist. My Captain rode shotgun in my ambulance and while he allowed me to drive and write the report, I was not allowed patient contact because it was a family member.

I’ve been on several calls where a family member has been the patient. They are the most difficult calls because I’m not allowed to treat them, no matter how badly I want to take care of them. Two in one night was a double- whammy.

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