Explaining My Strips: To My Firefighter Drivers…

We’ve all been there. You’re working a high acuity call, or maybe even a code. You and your partner are in-sync and doing what you’re trained to do.

How is this possible? One of you is always back by yourself while the other one drives? But here you are… together.

It’s because you have a firefighter as your driver!

Yes, a man or woman from the fire service who is going to get you to the hospital with your high acuity patient. Normally responsible for driving a huge fire engine, this small metal box on a pick up truck frame should be more than easy for a firefighter to handle.

Maybe too easy.

Because partway through your call, you and your partner watch as your IV set up on the bench seat floats in front of you as if you’re on an Apollo space mission.

To quote the Eminem hit, “Lose Yourself”, you think to yourselves, “Ope, there goes gravity…”

You must be space bound or, at the very least, off of the ground.

And knowing that what goes up, must come down…

Is it a case of firefighters burying the pedal too hard not realizing the weight difference and acceleration difference between their vehicle and ours? Is it a case of our ambulance sirens giving a firefighter too much adrenaline? Is it a case of firefighters paying us back, pissed off at the fact that they’re on yet another medical call right now and not a structure fire? Or, is it possible that this is all an exaggeration on my part about what it’s like to be in the back with a firefighter driver?

Regardless, in the end, we always make it to the hospital.

Then, as we decon our truck, we wonder to ourselves…

“Is that the patient’s vomit… or mine?”

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