Backboard Tape.

"Where are we heading?" I should already know... because my employer issues us all these very nice pagers. I should be able to pull it out of my pocket, press a button, and be rewarded with some information (accurate or not is another question entirely) about the run.

Like the location.

I should, but I can't because I washed the damn thing again.

Pseudo Dad rolls his eyes at me for the fifth time tonight, "Over to the mall area, code 2 county run. You're really going to have to stop washing your pagers."

I nod and wrap my frozen fingers around a steaming hot cup of coffee. The snow has been steadily coming down for the majority of the day. Now that the sun has gone down the roads are a sheet of ice. For once I'm glad that Pseudo Dad is driving.

He parks the squad in the only available spot. Directly behind the firetruck in the middle of the narrow street. After marking us on location with dispatch and the county, Pseudo Dad steps out. I don't.

"We're you planning on coming?"

"Well, I was hoping I could just sit here and let you do all the work. It's pretty cold out there. And the snow flakes will definitely ruin my hair." I flashed him a toothy grin.

"You're the flake. Let's go."

"You need to get more sleep, Dad. You're no fun." The truth was I was checking out our entrance. There were two sets of steps we were going to have to navigate. In the snow and ice. With a patient on the stretcher.

I hope our patient is light.

"Do you think the fact that we haven't been met by TFD has anything to do with the fact that it's 10 degrees outside and snowing?" I was looking at the four big guys standing just inside the front door of the house.

I bet their fingers aren't numb.

"I think there's a chance you could be correct there. " Pseudo Dad laughed. "Maybe they saw your hair."

"Maybe they saw your lack of it and felt sorry for your frozen melon? Ehhh?"


The small living room was standing room only, and even that was at a premium. Four from TFD, the patient, and five members of the patients family. Everyone was talking at once. That combined with the large LCD tv blaring an episode of Cops and it was impossible to figure out what was going on.

I pulled the first Medic I came across aside. "Hey, I'm Epi from Little Private Service... What's going on?"

"She fell on the steps outside and twisted her ankle. They're arguing over where to take her. She's refusing an ice pack or a splint." He looked more than a little frustrated with the situation.

"OHHHHHH LAWDY! My whole leg is hurtin'... Owwwwww Lawdy Lawdy!" Enter our patient. 315 pounds of quivering drama.

I stepped forward while Pseudo Dad dropped the stretcher to the floor. "Hello Ma'am, I'm Epi with Little Private Service. Can you tell me what's going on tonight?"

"I was heading out to take my Grandbabies to McDonalds for dinner... Oh Lawdy it hurts..." She was holding a stuffed animal, which for God knows why struck me as odd. It was a Winnie the Pooh for those truly interested.

"Which leg is it?" I had to ask because I could see both ankles, and they were both edematous. I couldn't see any discoloration... Everything looked normal. The truth was I had no idea which limb was supposed to be injured.

"It's the left one... Lawdy Lawdy Lawdy..."

I checked her PMS, which was all normal. Being someone who's broken her left ankle twice and twisted it more times than she can count, I can sympathize... Of course I've never called for an ambulance for it, but then again I don't weigh what she does.

"Okay, well we'll certainly take you to the ER if that's what you want... Is there a reason you don't want at least an ice pack on it?"

"Oh Jesus it hurts too much for ice... I need some percocets or something... Oh JESUS it hurts..." She was fanning herself with a church bulletin.

Perfect. She wants Percocet. Fantastic.


We managed to convince her to go to the closest hospital, a five minute transport. Her family argued that this was unacceptable as her doctor was at Inner City ER. What they didn't realize was that Physicians at Inner City ER also practice at The Closet ER. One of the benefits of belonging to that particular health system.

Our patient, for the record, didn't care where she went. She just wanted pain relief. Relief we weren't going to be able to provide her with, but at least she only had a five minute bumpy ambulance ride ahead of her. Inner city ER was at least three times that.

With our patient packaged on the stretcher we made our way outside. I took the foot end of the cot, as customary when working with Pseudo Dad. We had an extra Firefighter to help me. Pseudo Dad claimed he didn't need any help.

The first set of steps (four in total) went fine. 315 pounds wasn't even enough to justify a bari cot.

The second set of steps however...

I don't know if it was my frozen fingers on a metal cot, or ice under my boots, or the EMS Gods hitting that smite button, but I lost my footing and in an attempt to right myself, managed to land directly on my ass.

*A collective gasp is heard from the tiny bunch of Firefighters braving the snow*

I jump to my feet instantly and rejoin the firefighter, grateful that my Pseudo Dad didn't lose his grip. "I'm fine... sorry about that..." I stammer. My face is a furious shade of crimson.

Jesus, how could I let that happen? Seriously, Epi... You could have dropped your patient...

Thank God I had that Toledo Firefighter there lifting with me, or God only knows what would have happened.

While we were loading the patient into the back of the truck I heard a whistle and a comment about "pink". I didn't think much of it at that point.

The ride to the ER/ED/EC was uneventful. Although I did manage to convince her to allow me to ice her ankle. A tiny victory for me.


I was sitting in the EMS room completing my report when Pseudo Dad appeared. He was in the process of grabbing a Diet Pepsi from the fridge when he paused. "Ohhhhhhhh..... Hahahahahhahahahahaha *pause to breathe* HAHAHAHAHAH" He was doubled over, he was laughing so hard.

I found myself completely confused. And a little annoyed. "WHAT? What's so effing funny?"

He wiped tears from his eyes, "I hope you packed an extra pair of pants... Because the ones you have on have seen better days."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Yes, I'm truly that clueless. Clearly that's what makes me the source of entertainment for my partners.

"I'm surprised you didn't notice the draft..." He set the can down and wiped his eyes with a tissue.


Yep. I ripped a pair of pants.

I destroyed them, in fact. And no, I didn't have an extra pair with me. And wouldn't you know it, Dispatch had two runs waiting for us. No time to run home (25 minute drive) to change.

The solution... Backboard tape.

I did two more runs that night with an eight inch long strip of backboard tape over my backside.

The moral of the story is... Make sure you pack an extra pair of pants. Or watch where you step.

Grace, thy name is Epi.


Evil Transport Lady said...

Holy Heffer! You are so lucky that beast didn't land on you!

Sorry about your pants.......snicker.......giggle;)

Christy said...


Poor Epi.

I would have been mortified.

dang woman, you need some better quality EMS pants.

or you need to wear something other than pink.

Ninja Medic said...

*pauses to wipe tears of laughter from her eyes*

I take it that your drawers were pink?

Hey, at least you were wearing some. It could've been SO much worse. And, that was an ingenious use of tape!

MedicMatthew said...

Back in my previous life as a dispatcher I was sitting at the desk and knocked something over, when I got up and squatted down to pick it up I heard that lovely riiiiip sound. I had no other uniform pants in my locker because seriously, what dispatcher needs to keep an extra pair of pants on hand? They were split from the crotch halfway down the inseam to my knee. One of the other dispatchers was always cold and kept a small blanket to lay across her lap and that would have worked but I sweat like its my job. I managed to get a patrol officer to come in so I could go in the bathroom, take off the pants and use the only thing I had available to keep them together- a stapler.

hilinda said...

A stapler! That's great!

JS said...

That's funny! JS

Carol said...

OMG! I'm dying laughing over here!

A snoy/icy night, a smart ass partner, an obese Triple Lawdy, AND torn pants w/tape!??

Ohhh, how I don't miss those days.

Glad you weren't injured in the fall, but the rest is funnier now since it doesn't involve me.

Beaker said...

One night getting ready for work, I was getting dressed in the dark. I was so happy because my pants were really loose and assumed it was because I was losing weight. No, of course not... My husband split his pants working at private transport company. (I'll skip his embarrassing story.) When he got home, he threw his ripped pants on top of the clothes I had laid out for work. I didn't notice the large hole until my coworker asked what happened. That was so much "fun".

Doug said...

Oh Epi, that's horrible yet so funny. Especially making more runs with your pants taped up. Way to improvise though! :)

Medix311 said...

I've had to steal hospital scrubs in the past for uniform pants that are... no longer in service. Great story, though.

BTW, you should look up Yak Trax. They're boot chains that slip over the soles. It's the best product (in my opinion) of all the boot chains I've seen. My pair has saved me from embarrassment numerous times.