Uncle Mike

Uncle Mike here, with some free advice:

You are called to the projects for a man unconscious. Engine Co. 3 is dispatched along with you. Both companies arrive at approximately the same time, enter the uh…home, climb the obligatory three flights of stairs, secure the Pitbulls, interrogate the zombies that are congregated around a bong in the living room, follow their directions to a rear bedroom and find and unconscious male, naked, covered with vomit and feces which also covers the mattress that he has collapsed upon. He's breathing, but looks dead.

Being old, and the senior person on scene do you:


     a. Send the junior man in and have him drag the patient away from the contaminated area

     b.  Have the zombies drag the patient away from the contaminated area

     c.  Fill a few 5 ml syringes with Narcan and imagine the patient as a dart board and hope for a bullseye

     d.  Shout, "Hey! Wake up!" from a safe distance


Answer: None of the above.


You are the person in charge of the EMS unit. You glove up, and go in. Do it yourself, wade through the contaminated zone, assess the patient, administer the appropriate meds, wrap him up with sheets and towels and a tarp if one is available, and get to work.

The fire company is there to assist on EMS calls. Rank has its privileges, but common decency, and not delegating the dirty jobs makes all the difference.

The above scenario happened to me, years ago. I have not carried a patient while responding with Engine 3 since.


We have a choice, make our days difficult, or work together. Working together works, every time, as long as you don't expect other people to do the jobs that you won't.

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