Thursday, May 28, 2009

- Collisons

Blacktop shines slick with rain as we race towards the strobes in the distance. All the sugercane has been cut and we can see the wreck, even though it is two miles away. There has been a car accident at a local intersection, with an entrapment.

We arrive on scene to find three teenagers trapped inside a crumpled mess of a late model sedan. The driver is the most seriously injured, disoriented with a large avulsion to the knee. He took most of the impact and the door he sits behind is deformed. He's going to have to be cut out. I'm surprised he doesn't have an humerus fracture. Fluids have been leaking from beneath, and there is a slight stench of radiator juice and gasoline. I don't jack squat about how flammable what I'm standing in is. This is not safe, but we can't leave the patients, and the fire guys don't look that concerned.

After quickly assessing the other two teens, both stable and complaining of minor neck pain, but neither need to be cut out. I call over the radio for back up and look to find Izzy, tell her to grab the spine boards, and braces. When I look up, though, she's already on the far side of the car with the equipment. "Those two out first, in our unit. The driver goes in the backup unit."

Izzy simply nods an affirmative, and I don't look up again...because I don't have to. Izzy functions on her own, and as I climb inside with the driver, I can hear her giving firm but polite orders to the Vollies out on the wreck with us. By the time I've got the driver collared and IV'd, she has both patients in the back of our. Less than a minute after the Vollies pop the door on the car, our backup unit is on scene. I do a quick handoff, and walk back to my unit to find Izzy ready with a set of vitals for each patient.

Our transport to the hospital is uneventful, and, as just about always, our unit is cleaned and ready to go back in service by the time I finish with my paperwork (I try to finish as fast as I can. I hate the she does most of the clean-up of my messes). In the back of a unit she anticipates my next move with near psychic comprehension. She's got an incredible work ethic.

The truth is working with Izzy has me spoiled pretty well. Days when I work overtime or with a different partner, it's apparent to me how well we work as a team. I'm not sure how much of it is chemistry or if she's just that awesome. For all you EMTs out there, remember this: most of the time, a Paramedic is only as good as the Basic backing them up.

Izzy isn't just coworker... a coworker is someone you work beside. She's someone I work with.

A partner.



nickopotamus said...

It's amazing how much difference it makes working with a regular partner. I never really notice when working with mine - he annoys the crap out of me sometimes! - but you realise when you're with someone else just how much you come to rely on each other and the almost psychic bond you mentioned between the two of you.

We've had observers on the last couple of weeks, and each one has commented on just how strange it is to watch us working a serious patient, apparently it's too quick to follow especially with all the unsaid actions and behaviour.

Dani said...

I really loved this post, being an EMT -B myself its sometimes hard to know if your doing the right thing in the eyes of your Paramedic. Thanks for an excellent post.

Ckemtp said...

Hey, where've you been lately? Missed your stuff.

This would have been a great post for the last edition of The Handover.

Ckemtp said...

Still waitin, where you been?