Home Away From Home... Concluded.

Welcome Back Everyone!

Unit XX here... Epi's a little bit busy with some very confusing chemistry homework, so she asked me to take you on a little visual tour of the front of the truck. See that picture up there? That's me in my sparkling glory. Epi and her kids had just given me a bath. You have no idea how good it feels to have a weeks worth of grime and dead insects removed with a stiff brush and some industrial strength soap.

At the top would be those infamous flashing lights. The ones that you may have seen in your rear view mirror asking you politely to please move your vehicle to the right so that we might get past you.

This right here is my angry air horn. Should you be on your cell phone when I approach you from behind and choose to ignore the loud siren that is blaring and the very obnoxious lights and strobes, you might get to hear this.

It's loud. It's EXTREMELY loud. Here's a fun story... One time Epi was standing in front it on the phone when Sleepy Partner thought it would be humorous to blow the air horn. It didn't just scare the living crap out of her, it rendered her deaf for five minutes and sent her into a blind rage. Gosh I miss that Sleepy Partner!

Inside the front of the truck... You might find a partner.

...A Sleeping Partner....

...An insane partner... (He's the EMS Moose.. our new mascot!)

...A Partner you can't help but laugh at... (Hey, according to protocols if he's pulseless and apneic I can intubate him... Go ahead and leave that glove on!)

Then there's the all important dashboard. I know what you are thinking. The dash is important? It is! It holds many things:

It holds... Map books, Frequent Flyer books (filled with face sheets), magazines, novels, my tired feet... Not the best place for your feet if that airbag goes off...

Here's my rear view mirror. I know Epi mentioned it's importance in the past post. It's a vital enough piece of equipment that I'm going to give it a second shout out. When you're driving, this mirror helps you to keep an eye on your partner. Very important. It also helps by giving you a place to hang air fresheners from Yankee Candle. The Country Linen scent is my current favorite. It gives the entire front of the truck a fresh smelling aroma similar to dryer sheets. Anything smells better than that GI bleed or the burst colostomy bag.

Side mirrors. Vital for backing up, changing lanes, and for when Epi is trying to put her hair back together after a rough call. When utilized properly, these bad boys should keep you from hitting those annoying concrete posts while backing in to a spot. Not that Epi has ever done that.

Personal Cell Phone. An essential tool for when one can't figure out how to unlock the truck phone (Epi's company restricted the truck phones to only call certain numbers, and then conveniently forgot to add some of those important numbers, you know, those numbers, like dispatch. If your phone is fortunate enough to be programmed with the dispatch number, chances are it takes five full minutes to navigate the menues to find it anyway.)

The Truck Radio. This particular radio allows the EMT's to notify dispatch of important things. It's extremely important to maintain a level of professionalism when using this radio. Here are a few examples of things you may hear on the air:

(All said in a pleasant tone)
"Unit XX to dispatch... We're enroute!"
"Unit XX to dispatch... We're clear on those instructions."
"Unit XX to dispatch... We're out, ending miles are 16.7."

Here's a few things you might hear, but shouldn't:
(Mostly said in an extremely agitated tone)
"You want us to what? There's like FIVE trucks there right now!!!"
"Yes dispatch, just to confirm, you want us to... NO, wait a second... Are you serious???"
"Negative Dispatch, We're going to have to turn down that run on the grounds that it's a minute and a half until we're off the clock."
"Negative, Dispatch, my partner is missing."
"Unit XX... report to the EMS Director immediately."

The Mic on the left is to talk to our dispatchers. The mic on the right is for the PA system management has yet to disconnect in our truck. Here are a few things you might hear through our PA system.

"Unit LMNOP, please move your ass!" (only said in the privacy of our massive ambulance bay, and typically at the end of a shift)
"Hey Baby... How YOU doin?" (Typically said by a friend of Epi's to Epi in an effort to simultaneously scare the hell out of her and embarrass her in front of other EMT's at the ER.)
"SWEET HOME ALABAMA!!!!" (Sung at the top of your lungs while driving through an empty downtown at four in the morning.)

Those ever important control panel. The bottom half controls the siren and allows for performing a symphony with it while approaching an intersection. When driving with the lights and siren on Epi typically prefers that the non driver operate the siren.

The top half controls the lights, the airhorn, and the power to the back of the ambulance. Nothing terribly exciting here.

It is suggested that you figure out what each of these knobs and switches do before ever setting foot on the ambulance to work as an EMT.

The FM radio. Often your only source of entertainment on those long shifts. Epi and McHottie have a tangle of wires, an Ipod, and an FM transmitter set up to supply them with a never ending supply of Bob Marley music and NPR programs.

Now... if only she could figure out how to play "No Woman No Cry" with the siren. Then I'd be truly impressed.

Okay, here comes Epi... I'm sure she has something serious and profound to say... I'll yield the keyboard to her...

Hey everyone, it's Epi. I'd like to thank my trusty truck for writing this post for me as I've been nose deep in studying. Okay, maybe I was taking a nap, but I'm definitely thinking about studying.

I know that we've poked fun at the truck today (and with my last post)... I want to make sure that everyone knows that even though I'm all for a giggle here and there, McHottie and I do take our jobs very seriously.

Our priorities are and will remain looking out for ourselves and each other, closely followed by providing excellent patient care.

Notice that nowhere in there is "Playing No Woman No Cry with the siren."

I'm not even sure it's possible. I suppose it could be. That'll be our project for a slow day.

Thanks for playing around ya'll... Be safe out there.


Chris said...

So, If Epi continues to find the chemistry homework confusing, she is more than welcome to get in touch with this regular reader, rare commenting student who's in the 3rd year of a chemistry degree (although whether I can actually help or not is debatable!)

(As long as its not too long - I'm in the middle of a big project!)

Anonymous said...

Oh so where is a full face photo of McHottie? I mean we hear about him, I just want to put a picture to the face not that I am a lonely woman wanting a picture of a hot medic, no, not me. Never.

Anywho, I loved this post, very entertaining and enlightening!


Nikki said...

I loved the tour of your truck! As far as your FM radio being the only source of entertainment, though, I've got to say that I'm glad for our navigation computers - when I was a student doing my ride-alongs, we spent five hours at a single gas station (my local AS is lame; we rarely get more than five calls in a twelve-hour shift) watching YouTube videos. :)

Epijunky said...

Weeeellll Hello there Chris!!!!

Chemistry major? You might just be my new best friend. I'm going to have to track you down:)

Hey Kim :)
McHottie must remain mostly faceless until he signs that model release. He's very shy you know! I have a feeling his monstrous ego might kick the snot out of his shy side soon though.

I am UNBELIEVABLY jealous. If we had those capabilities in our truck there would be significantly less mischief happening. ;)

Chris said...


Have emailed you contact details. Seriously do feel free to get in touch,