Tell me about it.
Couple of weeks ago, I was riding with one of our detailed in EMT’s (whom I will call Irish). The morning started out like any other: come in, some coffee, chat with the off going shift about the events of the previous day, gathering new orders, etc. We did all of our house chores as normal, but when we started to wash the unit my medic partner comes over the station PA:
“Guys let’s wrap it up we got a 2 month old in cardiac arrest”
It seemed like right about that time for someone to wake up and find an infant not breathing. Memphis does have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. We all knew the odds, and those odds weren’t good.
So we take off in chase of our engine company, and I started running off in my mind the equipment I would need and the procedures that would have to be done to give this a fighting chance. Still, the odds were slim.
When turned on the street and saw the people waving us down, I did a windshield survey of the scene. I saw a family member standing at the curb with the body of a seemingly lifeless infant wrapped in a blanket. She looked terrified and was screaming. As the unit pulls to a stop, my medic partner (who was on the engine) jumps off and quickly paces over to this family member. I jumped in the back of the unit to start getting set up to work. Seconds later my partner jumps in the back of the unit and places a body on the head of the stretcher. I could tell that we were WAY out of the pocket based on the position of the arms and the blueish red that had settled in the palms and anterior wrists.
This met our withholding of life support criteria, so the time was called and the news passed. For the next 30 minutes all I heard was wailing and guarding of the back and side doors by the engine company, who were much relieved to find that a blue and white police car had approached the scene and two officers got out.
The events of the next two and half hours were somewhat of a mystery to me, as I stayed in the back of the unit to keep anyone from getting in or disturbing what could be evidence or necessary for the M.E. to do their job. The police helped significantly, and as the crowd grew around the unit so did the police presence. At one point there were 10+ officers on the scene, including a homicide detective, 3 CSI vans, and the medical forensics investigator.
We were relieved from that situation just before the afternoon, and spent a quick hour or so getting lunch before being sent to our next call.
Check out Part 2 for the rest of the weirdness