Four adults had her pinned to the floor, each holding a limb. Her foster mother stood to the side shaking her head. "She'll be like this for hours," she said. The guys from Engine 12 stood back and waited for some direction. We are not trained or authorized to use restraints. The patient, a ten […]

Not easy

It looked like he was walking under water. His frustration was obvious, the cause was not. They walked together toward the rescue, an attractive couple in their late twenties. She moved gracefully, taking her fluid movements for granted, as most of us do. He fought for every step he took. "What's wrong?" I asked when […]


Anybody who works in the ER knows not to mention or even notice if things are quiet. When the torrent of patients that flow through the doors ebbs disaster can't be far behind. Saturday morning. Beautiful late fall weather outside, more staff than patients inside the sliding glass doors. Ten empty stretchers waited in the […]

Homeless Alcoholics


He looked dead. Covered in dirt, unmoving, barely breathing. A passerby saw the crumpled heap while driving through the construction site and called 911. A massive highway improvement project is underway in Providence. Our victim collapsed there, a few feet off of Eddy Street, under a bridge. I checked for a pulse, found one and […]

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