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Old Timers in EMS

Picked up a shift for someone that couldn’t make it to work today, so I had a new partner. He could be my grandpa. I’ve never worked with him before, but I’ve heard about him; he’s apparently the oldest employee in our service.

On our first call I began to prepare the stretcher before we transferred the patient. I’m pretty meticulous about this. Unless seconds count for the patient, I prepare the stretcher pretty much the same way everytime, you won’t see me walking into triage with a patient half falling off, no sheet over them, and the straps over their bare legs.

Anyway, I started prepping it, and as I finish, my partner grabs the sheet and pulls it all off as I stand there, mouth agape. I ask him, “what are you doing?” He says, “making the stretcher up right, gotta keep the patient warm.” Okay, I’m already annoyed since I always make sure my patients are well-covered. But my annoyance turns into awe as he finishes preparing the stretcher … and it’s exactly how I had it before!

Throughout the day it took him until our 6th call before he remembered our bus number. In addition, he would fall asleep on the way to calls, which would normally be funny except for the fact we are operating in his service area and not my normal one so I don’t know the best routes.

That said, he seems friendly enough, but I feel like he’s been an EMT so long that he has gotten lax. I had to twice remind him to bring up equipment, and I don’t think he did a single true patient assessment.

I’m looking forward to getting back onto a regular shift where I don’t mind whether I tech or drive because I trust my partner to handle anything if he’s in the back and not me. Wish me luck.

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Categories: EMT
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