3RD PARTY CALLER NOT ONSCENE

Sun 12 Jun
 
I was sleeping on the stretcher early this morning and the rain was falling in sheets on the roof of the ambulance. The job they woke us up for, sometime before dawn, sounded like either nonsense or a complete mess: "FEMALE 80 DIFFBREATHER 3RD PARTY CALLER NOT ONSCENE." that usually means someone... more

GO TO PRISON OR DON’T SAVE YOUR BUDDY

Mon 18 Apr
Ok, that's not a real choice anyone should ever have to make.I just liked the title and I chose it because people seem to think that's the deal. I'm here to dispel that myth.Let me explain:I was speaking on a panel this weekend for the Audre Lorde Project's summit on keeping Brooklyn safe for LGBTQ... more

TO TUBE OR NOT TO TUBE

Tue 12 Apr
The guy's ancient, all flaky skin and withered bones, body permanently contorted like a gnarly tree. Plus, he's in a nursing home, and quite frankly when we get any job in a nursing home we're surprised to find the patient alive at all. This fellow is indeed alive, but only barely. His lungs are... more

BEYOND MANNING UP: An NYC Paramedic Speaks Out About Men’s Violence Against Women

Tue 8 Mar
 
When I first started in EMS, I was struck by how many domestic violence calls we got. Within weeks, it became a regular part of the night, just another bloody dispute amongst the asthma attacks, strokes, shootings etc... I'd like to say there was a moment that shook me out of complacency - the... more

¡ECLAMPSIA!

Wed 16 Feb
I was working BLS this weekend, which basically means I'm lugging 30 lbs less equipment and they send us the stupid nonsense calls on purpose instead of by mistake. Except this one: comes over as your average boringass 'SICK' call, which can be anything from 'My nose hurts' to 'I'm upset.' This one... more

Tenderfoot

Thu 3 Feb
 
Originally published in The Innsmouth Free Press I remember Delton Jennings. Bumped into him pretty regularly on my late-night sojourns and the guy was nice enough, if you could get past the rambling and hygiene issues. But this flattened mass of flesh, blood-crusted hair and organs? There’s a... more

STUCK: A Long Night In The Ambulance During Snowpocalypse 2010

Thu 27 Jan
Since the snow is once again billowing down on NYC I thought I'd take a second to recall my lovely experience during the original Snowpocalypse 2011. It started coming down heavy midafternoon and Brooklyn was already completely blanketed head-to-toe in white (omit gentrification joke) by the... more

OFF DUTY

Tue 25 Jan
 It was daybreak and the daytour was giving me a ride home. We were just pulling off from the ER bay when a dude came running up to the ambulance. Now...when people come running up to ambulances about 90% of the time it's to either ask directions or tell us about how their friend's like sooo... more

STAT EP

Wed 15 Dec
Seizures suck.Now that we've got that important announcement out of the way, lemme clarify some things bout EMS and seziures: If you call 911 right after someone seizes, the call type is just "Seizure" and they send EMTs. If you call while someone is having a seizure, they presume it's been going... more

Salsa Nocturna

Wed 20 Oct
 
Originally published in Strange Horizons People say that all musical geniuses die in the gutter, and I've made my peace with that, but this is ridiculous. Anyway, it's a boiler room, but let me start at the beginning: the whole gigging around at late night bars and social clubs really began... more