302, What’s your location?

February 10, 2010

Central Police Dispatch: “302, What’s your location?”

My feet were up on my desk as I enjoyed my morning coffee and the business section of the NY Times.

PD Unit 302: “302, Maple & Oak”

Central Police Dispatch: “302, I have a report of an unconscious kid, Main & South, in the back seat of of a silver sedan, in the parking lot of the diner”

PD Unit 302: “(sirens blaring) 302, 17”

My hear rate increased as I put the paper down, zipped up my boots, grabbed my equipment, threw on my jacket and raced out the door.

PD Unit 303: “(sirens blaring) 303 is headin’ there also”

PD Sergeant Unit 601: ” (sirens blaring) 601, 17″

PD Unit 305: “(sirens blaring) 305, from the rear lot”

I could hear the sirens from the multiple police units racing to the intersection as I started up the ambulance and turned on the emergency lights.

EMS Unit 5: “Central, EMS 5 is responding”

Central Police Dispatch: “Received 5, MICU 6 is your ALS unit”

EMS Unit 5: “MICU 6, received”

My right foot pressed down on the accelerator pedal as my right hand switched on the siren. My partner looked through the incident notes in our unit’s computer to see if there were any details on this incident.

PD Unit 302: “302 and 305, 23”

Central Police Dispatch: “10-4”

The intersection where the diner was located was a straight shot down the main road from our headquarters. As I raced down the avenue and ran through red lights I came to the realization that even though I hadn’t even seen the patient yet — I’d already failed as a provider.

PD Sergeant Unit 601: “EMS, come in through the side lot”

EMS Unit 5: “EMS 5 received, Sarge do you have an update?”

The Sergeant didn’t have an update. I’m not fully convinced that anyone there had any idea what was happening at that moment. No one had any sense of peace or calm, this situation had been inundated by chaos. As we approached the parking lot we were immediately welcomed by flashing lights of every PD unit in the district and every supervisor that was working that day. I think I counted 6 Police cars surrounding a four door sedan in the parking lot of the diner.

EMS Unit 5: “Central, EMS 5 is on location”

Central Police Dispatch: “10-4 EMS 5, MICU 6 is still responding.”

As I stepped out of the ambulance I knew I had to bring control to this situation. I knew that I needed to slow my heart rate down and focus on the task at hand. I began to pull out some equipment and I felt myself beginning to gain control of my emotions and slowly transitioning back into my calm, professional, systematic approach to every emergency. Before I could begin to be calm and deescalate what had become a chaotic confusing scene, I saw something out of the corner of my eye that I was convinced only existed in movies.

I saw the Sgt. holding the patient in his arms, a 5 year old boy it appeared, and he was running towards the ambulance.  The next sequence of events is still blurry in my mind, it all happened very fast. This is what I remember:

– The Sgt. opened the side door of the ambulance, placed the boy on the stretcher.

– The Sgt. got out of the ambulance, closed the door, and tapped the side of the ambulance instructing us to “go”.

– My partner, who was now driving, radioed in: “Uh..Central, EMS 5 is transporting…to..the hospital..uh, what is MICU’s location?”

– My partner began to drive to the hospital.

I caught my breath for a moment, looked around the back of the ambulance, looked at my watch (unnecessarily), and then looked down at my patient.

The preceding 10 minutes of chaos all came down to this one moment.

I looked down at the stretcher and saw him. He was sitting there and our eyes locked when I looked in his direction. He was calm, alert, not crying or complaining of anything.

He looked up at me wanting answers — and I looked down at him wanting the same.

Sometimes what we want and what we pursue in life is what damages us and what we should be running away from.

Change doesn’t change, but you can.


It’s about time.

December 31, 2009

Everyone with any  sort of insight into my life has told me that I need to start writing. I’ve agreed with them in secret but have kept away from doing so as a result of the many unnecessary intricacies of my mind. The song “Where you go I go”, by Kim Walker plays in the background as I write this. It’s a very firm reminder of the kind of man I hope to be, and like my very good friend Carlos once said, “This is the song and the anthem of my life forever”. I’ve played this song very loudly in my car on a few occasions at the tail end of this year & it has been the extension of God’s comfort, love, & encouragement at times where no words could be uttered with any sense or meaning. I suppose I’ll discuss those moments at some point in my writings today which are, not surprisingly, unstructured so far. Maybe these words are an extension of the lack of structure in my own life (not necessarily a bad thing).

(Bathroom break)

I’ve returned from my bathroom break. I hope that it hasn’t thrown my mental writing train of its tracks. I don’t think it has, so here we go. Today is not only the last day of the year, it is also the end of a decade. At the beginning of this decade I was probably head-over-heels in love with my eight grade girlfriend. It’s amazing that the few things that we remember from our past are our involvement with other people.

I’m sitting up in my bed as I write this. I have a cup of coffee (just milk please) next to me and two beautiful sights and sounds in my midst. I have the sight of the snow falling outside as I am positioned directly in front of a window, and I have the sound of my beautiful mother making breakfast in the kitchen that is located in the room directly next to mine. I love watching the snow fall, and I most certainly adore my mother. I still haven’t found many other better things to wake up to than to a homemade breakfast made by my mother. I’m going to miss this when I move out (perhaps a weak attempt at foreshadowing?).

Days like these put me in the most bizarre of moods. Days like these make me want to pause the world as I run around frantically in an attempt to gather all the accomplishments I feel I should have by now, and love all the people in my life I feel I should be loving by now. The clock ticks nonetheless and there’s nothing left to do except to….if I knew the end to that statement then I wouldn’t be writing this.

Despite how endlessly and unnecessarily (if you ask me) complex my thought processes may be, there are a few things that I comprehend. I may not always know what’s on my mind, but I do know of a few things that fill my heart up. Above all else, this year has filled my heart up with gratitude. I am thankful that I even get a chance to live this life.

I’m not quite sure what the purpose of this blog will be. I don’t know if it’ll be for public reading, or for myself. I do know that I’m going to start a few blogs here and there to cover the major topics of my life. (I had to take a phone call, not sure where I was going with this)

I think 2010 will be the year where I stop sitting around and start pushing forward (despite my almost certain intellectual knowledge of the outcome). Maybe this is the year where all my questions are answered. Maybe this is the year where I find the answer, the cure, the solution, the beauty, the glory.  Here’s a toast to writing, to 2010, to questions unanswered, & to loving until your belly hurts and your eyes are full of tears (wait, is that laughing? Is there a difference?)

Ok, I’m off to go play with my helicopter.