The Handover at The EMT Spot

One of the best, and probably the most informative blog I’ve come across is The EMT Spot. Steve is hosting this month’s edition of The Handover, the only one I’ve missed. I wrote this as a comment but figured I’d post it here.

Thanks for stopping by.

When it all Came Together

The dog was dead. The woman stood in the middle of the road, screaming. The car that struck the dog was gone.

My partner at the time called it HHS and looked bored. (HHS is short for Hysterical Hispanic Syndrome in these parts.)

I walked over to the woman, tried to get her out of the road and into the rescue. She wouldn’t leave her dog. A bystander told me the woman was deaf, her dog specially trained to assist with doorbells and other sounds.

This was a bond that went deeper than one would have first thought. The dead dog had been her companion for eight years, offering everything to a woman who lived in silence.

I stood in the roadway, trying to think of a way out of this predicament while my partner, who was actually the senior person on our crew and supposedly in charge talked on the phone picking players for his fantasy football team.

I got a sheet from the truck, bent over the dead dog, carefully wrapped him in the sheet, leaving his dead face exposed and presented the body to the woman. She stopped screaming, cradled the body and walked out of the street and into her apartment, and closed the door.

Then and there I knew that all the medical training in the world is useless in a person who has no heart. I decided to stay on the rescue after ten years fighting fires.

I haven’t looked back, and have no regrets.


  • Jean says:

    So, that’s how it started for you? You’re a natural.

  • Chrys says:

    Well done, Michael. To those that don’t have children, their pets are their babies.

    Clinical skills are necessary, but using them with heart can make all the difference in the lives of those you cross paths with.

  • Bernice says:

    You can recite every word in the textbook but if you can’t earn the trust of your patient and somehow connect with them on a human level, there’s no real point. Then again, maybe I’m a bit biased.

  • peedee says:

    ok. You’ve just taken a piece of my heart and now you hold it forever. Thank you for doing what you did for her and her baby.
    Compassion can not be learned. You were born with that Michael. =)

  • Pat Blacklman says:

    Michael, Though I can claim to right to be….I am soooo proud of you! An EMT with training is important heaven knows but….an EMT with a heart is a blessing.
    Love, Pat.

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