Calling All EMT’s


Early in my nursing career, I was persuaded to join the local volunteer ambulance squad.  We had 2 ambulances and approximately 16 member on the squad.  The squad consisted of  about 6 nurses, several CNA’s from the local nursing home, some business owners, and other community members.  I took the EMT training over the course of 6 months, while also attempting to work full-time and trying to adjust to being newly  married.  We would sign up for “on call” time, which meant we carried a pager and needed to be available at a moments notice to go on a call.  You could not leave town, and tried not to get too involved in anything that you couldn’t  just drop quickly and run.  I was all fired up when I passed my exam, and was ready to do my civic duty………..until I realized that I could really get involved in some brutal accident scenes, complete with blood and broken bones.  My greatest fear had come to fruition as I realized I may have to come out of my comfort zone.  Although I am a nurse, I cringe at the sight of blood and broken bones.  So every time my pager would go off I would say a silent prayer that it was a call that did not involve blood.  A full-fledged heart attack, not a problem, just not blood.  My ex-husband was as county deputy, so I knew how bloody and gory the accident scenes could become.  He would tell me about the accidents that he had handled, and often times my stomach would flip-flop just forming the pictures in my head as he described it to me.  The dispatchers at the county must have known my predicament, because I was never sent on a call involving an accident scene.

 On one of my last runs, my fellow co-worker Teresa and I went on what was supposed to be a simple run. We were going to be transporting a patient from the nursing home to the hospital in Peoria for admission.  Sounded like an easy run, and would only take about 3 hours from start to finish.  Teresa decided that she would drive the rig, and I would stay in the back with the patient.   The ride to the hospital was uneventful, and we were making good time until we reached the hospital.  We had decided that we would unload the patient as close to the door as possible, and had the door in sight as we drove into the parking deck.  That was until we came to a screeching stop, and appeared to be stuck.  She couldn’t back up, and could not move forward…what in the world was going on?  A security guard saw our dilemma, and hurried over, trying to stifle a grin.  Apparently we misjudged the height of the ambulance, and proceeded to get the emergency light bar on top of the ambulance wedged under one of the concrete supports that hung down across the ceiling of the deck.  We are now stuck fast, and blocking other cars trying to get into the deck.  It was decided,  with the security guards help, that we would leave the rig, transport the patient into the hospital, and beat it back to try to figure out what to do. Shoot, it’s not like anyone could steal it 🙂  We returned as quickly as possible, and begin brainstorming.  We decided that the guard would perch himself on the front bumper, causing the front of the ambulance to dip down low enough to free the lights.  Perfect plan….except we were at the entrance, and had to repeat this about 25 times, until we reached the exit.  That guard was so patient with us, and just kept perching and smiling.

When we were able to exit the deck we got out to examine the damage……”Holy Cow”….that’s all I can say…..that last dip under the concrete support completely broke the light off on the driver’s side.  We just stood there staring at the damage and shook our heads.  How in the world were we going to face the ambulance chief and explain this one?  So off we go, heading home with the light bar now hanging down the passenger side.  I can’t tell you how many people stopped to stare at our ambulance, some pointing and laughing.  We just held our heads up high and acted like it was exactly like we wanted it to look, returning home about 2 hours later than planned.  To this day, Teresa and I will talk about that run, and still laugh while shaking our heads in embarrassment  ♥


Pretzel Salad

1 1/4 cup crushed pretzel sticks

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup oleo, melted

8 oz cream cheese

2- 9 oz cartons frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 pkgs. (3 oz) strawberry jello

1 pkg. (16 oz) frozen strawberries with juice

Mix crushed pretzels, sugar and oleo and press into a 9 x 13 pan.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees

Mix cream cheese, one container thawed whipped topping, and powdered sugar.

Spread on the cooled pretzel crust.

Dissolve Jello in 2 cups of hot water.

Add frozen strawberries and juice.

When partially set, pour over cream cheese layer and refrigerate until set.

Top with second container of whipped topping and serve.


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