The other day I was sitting in the dayroom and overheard a conversation. There was this medic who just got back from vacation and he was talking to another medic about his return flight being delayed. Now this in of itself wouldn't be a problem. Anyone who has flown more than a few times can sympathise with being delayed, held-up or otherwise postponed at the airport. At this point my interest wasn't peaked.
Needless to say, if I am writing this, eventually my interest was peaked....
I couldn't help but overhear, this particular guy has a very loud "indoor" voice, added by his conviction of how badly he was wronged by the delay. He went on to say that at first everything was fine. The flight was on time and he boarded as usual. The plane took off and everything was hunky-dory. Then he said that about an hour into it he was "rudely" awaken by one of the stewardess asking if he was a doctor or nurse. He said no. Then he asked why? She said that there was someone in first class that was in need of medical attention.
Now at this point, I would have stated that I was a Paramedic and would like to help if I could and then let the staff decide if I was what they and the patient needed/ wanted. Maybe it's just me and maybe I'm just naive, but I would like to think that any card holding EMT, no matter what level, would have stepped up and offered their help. That's just what we do.
But not this guy. He was napping for God's sake! Asshole, I say. He just said no and went back to dreaming whatever dipshits like him dream about. I personally hoped it was that one where he was falling and wakes up screaming and pissing himself.
Anyway, he goes on to say that captain of the plane decided to make an emergency landing to get this person some help. Apparently there was no other person on board with medical training or like him, there was no one willing to step up to the plate and at least try to help. So he was delayed for about 7 hours while the plane waited on the tarmac.
Eventually he found out what had happened. An elderly woman was having a heart attack. Full, classic symptoms: crushing chest pain, shortness of breath, pale, cool, sweaty, nausea and feeling like she was going to die. The kicker was one of the stewardess noticed it and asked her. The patient denied it at first, said she didn't want to bother anyone. That didn't last long because she eventually passed out!
Now this was the point I just had to say something. This is sort-of out of character for me. You see, I am new at this Medic stuff. The ink on my card isn't even dry yet and this guy has been around for about 5 years or so. Not an old-timer by any means, but he's been around longer than I have. I usually try to follow the old rule of "seen and not heard." Someone once told me that God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth, which do you think you should use more? Plus he was one of the cocky types. You know the ones, the guy who thinks he's King Shit of Turd Mountain, a "Para-God".
But this wasn't the time for that. I put down the JEMS magazine that I was pretending to read and turned to face him. He noticed my piercing glare and asked "What?"
"What?" I said. "How can you wear that patch on your arm and call yourself a Medic?"
"What the hell are you talking about?"
I then proceeded to tell him my thoughts on his actions in a decidedly heated fashion. We ended up nose to nose. My supervisor picked that very moment to walk in. He got between us and split us up and asked what in the hell was going on? I just walked out. He came after me in a few minutes and I told him what the other guy had said and the fact that it pissed me off and I couldn't hold my tongue any longer. I was sorry that I caused a scene, but I wasn't going to apologize to that asshole. He leaned back on his haunches and squinted at me, then grunted and walked back inside.
I got in my rig and waited on my partner. He eventually came and we drove off. He was laughing. I asked him why. He said that our supervisor had come back in and the other medic was still ranting and raving about me and the fact that I had the nerve to open my mouth in his presence and all that bullshit. Well the supervisor told the asshole in question that he should maybe close his mouth and listen to the "kid" then walked out leaving that particular fuckstick with his jaw hanging somewhere down around his knees. It's also both funny and irritating that I am still referred to as the "kid", even though I am almost 5 years the elder of the asshole. But that's another post altogether.
On a side note, I have heard that airplanes carry full ALS gear on board in the event that someone has a need for it. But there is no one that can use it and that is why they ask for someone with medical training. I am not sure about this, but if anyone who is reading this knows, please leave a comment and let me know.