Sometimes you find out why someone who is totally inappropriate is hired. Most times you don’t. You could guess forever why in the world anyone in a position of authority at EMS would hire Deafendum, but the mystery of why anyone would hire Sistermarysaveacherry was solved after about a week or so of her horrible inability to adjust to street life. This endangered not only the patients who we were dispatched to save, but EMS personnel as well.
To have a good working team, especially at night, everyone has to be street-wise and very tuned in to each other and the other crews. We all were on the same radio frequency at that time, so we all knew what runs other crews were on in the city. It seemed we kept a mental tab of who was where, and if there was an extended “down time” by a crew, you would hear Tick on the radio checking in on them. It would be about the same time that crews would be thinking the same thing.
Sistermarysaveacherry could not for the life of her do a rapid assessment. It was so annoying. We only had six units on the street at night, and to dilly-dally on a down time was inexcusable and a hardship on other crews, who would be dispatched to respond to calls in the area that should be covered by us. She was ridiculously methodical, slow as the seven-year itch, and maddening to work with. Thank a kind God we did not have to deal with her for too long, as it became readily apparent that she was not going to adjust to street life.
Then we found out why she had been hired in the first place. That tidbit did not leak out until we went to Deet and complained bitterly that Sistermarysaveacherry was going to get someone killed, and furthermore, if she stayed she had to be passed around to other crews. It was nothing short of mutiny. Well, come to find out, SisterMary was Deet’s sister-in-law! Deet was known to have impeccable judgment, but obviously she had slipped a cog on this one. Once we knew the connection we were merciless. Eveything that Sistermary did was written up in triplicate. We allowed the “down times” by the sister to be so prolonged that Tick was getting sick of it, repeatedly calling us to check up on us, and to advise us of other runs waiting. (Piling up would be more accurate). Other crews that had to cover our district because of her began to complain. It was like the tsunami had hit. Sistermarysaveacherry had to go, and one last run did the trick!
We responded to a run on a possible 10-64. The dreaded run. A run on a mental patient can bring nothing, or a threat of life. This turned out to be the latter. Because Sistermary was in training, she was to make the first approach and assessment of every run whilst she was on probation. We were there to advise or step in when things got too befuddled for her. This patient was laying face down in the grass. You could not see his hands. You NEVER approach a person who is a mental patient who has his hand hidden under, or behind him. We warned Sister not to approach him. She ignored us and went right up to him with God’s mercy on her lips. Before she could even get out the words, “Jesus saves . . .” she was on the ground. The assailant was over her with a handgun just as my partner, Mick, and I hit him with dual force and knocked him over. Mick got the gun, while I radioed in 10-38, (person with weapon), 10-30 (crew in trouble), and a 10-46 (disorderly subject). Almost before I got the dispatch out, in rapid succession, we had LPD screaming in from every direction. The assailant was fighting Mick for the gun. Sistermarysaveacherry was still on the ground, and I had my hands tightly around his throat, from behind. Things happened in a blur after that. For the life of me I couldn’t tell you what happened next, but when the dust settled, the assailant was in the back of the police car, Mick and I were advising LPD, and Sistermarysaveacherry was on the ground. She had not moved one iota from the time she hit the ground.
Mick and I took her back to the barn and dropped her off, as she had “soiled herself.” There is a lounge (however small) and that was the end of her. The morning came, and shift change was as informative as ever. Deet was notified that Sistermary had asked to ride out with her in the future, and I can’t tell you if I ever saw Sistermarysaveacherry again. But, she will never be forgotten.
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