Saturday, June 18, 2011


 Direct from the "You can't make this stuff up" department, I just heard this dispatch a few minutes ago for the next county north of us:

"Podunk Rescue, respond for a 21 year old female with a Q-tip stuck in her right ear. 2123 Birch Lane, in the village of Smallville. Airway is patent, breathing and pulse normal, no chest pains.  Repeating: Podunk Rescue, your response is needed at 2123 Birch Lane in Smallville for a 21 year old female with a Q-tip lodged in her right ear. Suggested ALPHA response, dispatcher 23, 1709."

Several things went through my warped mind all at once. First of all, if I were the typical 21 year old female, would I call an ambulance because I was dumb enough to get a Q-tip stuck in my ear?
 The second thing that struck me was that the dispatcher was placing emphasis on the fact that the foreign object was lodged in the RIGHT ear. I wonder if he was concerned that the crew might arrive and not notice that the cue-tip was in the RIGHT ear, or perhaps they would arrive and say, 'nope this gal has a Q-tip in her left ear, must be the wrong patient', or as a third possibility they might not catch the Q-tip in the ear at all during their assessment.
 A few minutes later I thought "HEY, what if it's not a Q-tip, but rather it's a CUE-TIP (like in pool Cue)? Now that might be hard to miss on an assessment. 
 This county uses a coded response mode with Alpha being the least critical and Echo being the most critical.

No matter how hard you might try, you just can't make this stuff up.
Be Safe, Be Sharp,


  1. That's like when I was dispatched to "oral bleeding after aggressive brushing" for a girl who was in her first week as a freshman at Syracuse University. What is wrong with people??

  2. Wow dude! Rough call! Did She survive? I hate jobs like that, they put you under so much pressure to perform perfectly, lest you might lose the patient.
    Oh wait, those are the calls where you lose YOUR patience. Those 2 things are so close together I keep getting confused.
    Syracuse is a great town. I'll be driving thorough there on Wednesday, and again in August, keep the lights on for me, OK?
    Thanks for chiming in.

  3. Do they really need to tell you she didn't have chest pain? That was a 5-minute dispatch for a 2-second problem. That'd drive me absolutely bonkers.