Monday, July 21, 2008


I work 2 24 hour shifts for Cataldo: Thursday and Saturday. Both in Boston. Both on a non-dedicated truck that can do either emergency responses or transfers. At least that's what I'm scheduled to do - that doesn't always mean this is what I get. Over the past two Saturdays I've managed to work an overnight in Everett (I think I already wrote about that) and this past Saturday I worked a 24 hour tour in Lynn, which is up on the North Shore, probably 20 minutes north of Boston on Route 1A. As with the Everett excursion it wasn't planned. I showed up for my regular Saturday shift in Boston at right around 6:45, and as I was walking through the door I got stopped by our dispatcher, where he told me I needed to call the supervisor out of Peabody (right next to Lynn, in Atlantic territory).

So I did. Sean, the duty supervisor, asked me if I'd be willing to work 24 in Lynn as they had a bang-out up there. Well, as with last week in Everett, what am I supposed to say? No? I know that it doesn't work that way, so I ended up going to Lynn for 24 hours. And, as with Everett, I was up for just about the entire shift. I think I was able to catch maybe 90 non-consecutive minutes of down time from 11:00 on, but otherwise I was up. I think we only did 4 calls in the 24, but we posted everywhere - spent a lot of time at Brown's Pond on the Lynn/Peabody line, we did line coverage in Saugus, and our calls consisted of 2 in Peabody, one in Nahant, and one going from the Whidden Hospital in Everett to the Cambridge Hospital.

The Nahant call was especially strange and interesting. We got dispatched for difficulty breathing, and when we arrived Nahant Fire was wheeling out a 52 year-old male who had mental status changes with vomiting just prior. He and his wife had been to a beach party, and he had been drinking (his wife swore up and down that he wasn't a drinker) and maybe had a reaction to food he'd eaten, or drugs could have been somehow involved either willingly or otherwise. It's really hard to know because we couldn't get a straght story from anyone. So we transported him to the Union Hospital in Lynn - we had Nahant drive for us, and they drove like they stole the ambulance. We were all over the place, and my partner suspected she'd gotten stuck by a runaway sharp. She got checked out for this afterward, and while she was there I took a patient out of the Union going to the Mass. General with a BLS crew driving for me. This guy, a 51 year-old male, was an assault victim who'd sustained fractured ribs with a 20% pneumthorax on the left along with some significant facial injuries. He actually was pretty stable, but he needed a chest tube, and the Union didn't want to do it there for some reason which is why he went to Boston. That was tough to explain to the trauma service at MGH; it was their impression that he'd already gotten the chest tube put in, but since that didn't happen I got the third degree as to why not. It wasn't a happy time for me.....

Anyway, by the time I'd gotten everything put back together once I returned to Lynn, it was close to 5:00AM. So any sleep I got was in the form of dozing. Once I got off shift, I went to Concord to work as an evaulator for the National Registry practical that was going on up there. And by the time I got home at about 1:30, I was ready for bed.

So here I am, working in Manchester on ALS-1. I'm supposed to be acting like a supervisor myself, but I am the farthest thing from it. However, there are some things that need to be addressed, and I'll make sure that they happen. In any case, there will be more to write about soon, I'm sure. So far, not a bad day. I haven't gone out yet (it's 11:00AM as I write this, and I came on duty at 7:00), but we all know that this is subject to change.

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