Last night was a fire station night. In order to run with the ambulance crew as an EMT, I am required to pull five shifts and two trainings a month. I try to pull my shifts on weeknights, even though this may leave me a little out of it at the kennel. On weekends, there are plenty of folks hanging around waiting for calls which means my chance of getting good hands-on experience in is greatly reduced. I realized this morning that I am getting better at sleeping in the station, although the total lack of calls helped with the good shut-eye. My first few shifts, I was so nervous I would sleep through a call, that I woke up every half hour all night. This left me in rough shape for work, although I doubt the dogs noticed.

Our district averages one medical call a day, so the fact that I slept like a baby all night was not unusual. Usually, I arrive at six and curl up on a couch with a book until I fall asleep or the tones go off and never see a soul besides my shift captain and an occasional extra medic. Last night, the station was hopping. Folks were dropping in, hanging out, and a number were pulling a rare weekday night shift. Someone dropped in for a shower, someone else for some wind-down TV and conversation after 12 hours of Taxi-driving. Another officer was in the bay for awhile using the mini-gym. Another medic was being checked off for his EMT-II skills, so I lent my arm for an IV poke. I tagged along to the rig as he was quizzed on nitrous oxide and IO procedures. Soon, four of us were packed in the back of the ambulance checking expiration dates and trading good run stories. An off duty BC dropped by and stuck his head through the door to see if there was ice-cream in any of the freezers (negative,) then climbed in to join us. It was hard to tear myself away to the bunk room to try and get some sleep.

Perks at the station go beyond the available hot showers (no waiting in line and shelling four fifty over at the laundromat for tepid water anymore!) cable and quality folk. Once a month, we get to take something like this ...

or this ...

and turn it into this.

I'm hard pressed to think of a better way to spend an a week-day evening than with the Jaws of Life.

1 comment:

beholdhowfree said...

oo cool, the jaws of life.

your story reminds me a little of emmaus outreach....company with others in the middle of the night can be kind of cool.