Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Thrill of Flying with Helicopter Paramedics

Last week I had a lifelong dream come true: I lined up the chance to shadow with a helicopter paramedic crew.

Today, the day finally came, and on the drive there my heart was racing. It was a gorgeous, clear day - perfect for flying.

Throughout the day I saw so many exciting things that I don't even know where to start. Well, I'll start with the unexciting things - two coffee shops, a Subway for lunch, and a bunch of errands around the station.

And...well, actually, that was it.

For the first time in over a year, none of the helicopters even left the ground. I sat around in the station for the entire twelve-hour shift, waiting for a call.

That picture? Not one that I took. I didn't even touch a stretcher today. I prayed for disaster, death, and carnage all day, and God wasn't listening.

At one point we got called to the tarmac to help lift an infant incubator into an airplane. Apparently a few years ago, some weak paramedic threw a kink in his back trying to lift the box and its 8lb 4 oz contents, so now they have a policy that they must call a second ambulance crew to help load it in. That was the most exciting part of the day.

Other than that, I sat around and read homework and napped all day.

Not what I was expecting.

I'll sign up for another ridealong. Maybe then I'll have some good stories.


Anonymous said...

That happened to me 5 weekends in a row when I signed up to go for ride-alongs with BC Ambulance ... I got totally skunked every time ... I should have picked a busier station.

Dioscuri said...

It's the curse of the rider. I was riding with Wells EMS in Maine a while ago...I showed up at 7AM after a busy night, and for the next 12 hours the ambulance didn't even leave the station. Minutes after I went home, my instructor tells me, they got three gutsy calls in a row.

The curse of the rider!