Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I'm working overtime, days, with my old partner. Near the end of our shift, we're sitting by a park, chatting and eating lunch, when the radios tone and the computer lights up. The dispatcher gives us an address not too far away, a neighborhood burger joint. On a possible cardiac arrest, man locked in the bathroom, said he was sick. Not answering the door now. Been in there for a while.

We scream down the street, in one of the up-and-coming trendy districts of town, and park (on the wrong side of the street, blocking traffic) in front of the restaurant. The fire engine rolls to a stop behind us as I grab the monitor and airway kit. My partner grabs the suction and airway bag, and we all tromp in. Customers look up in surprise.

An employee leads us to the bathroom. I rattle the door. Locked. Small door, though. Old building. I look at the fireman next to me. I'm the scrawny, geeky medic. He's two hundred plus pounds of American Hero.

"You wanna?" I ask.

He doesn't answer, just boots the door. It's a gorgeous kick. If Busting Doors Down was a professional sport, he'd qualify for the Olympic team. In my mind's eye a row of judges hold up cards and there's nothing below a 9.

Back in the real world, I see a flash and hear a ping! as the hasp ricochets off the ceiling. We look in, and see ...

... nothing. The bathroom is empty.

As we're staring, my partner opens the second, unlocked door on the other side of the bathroom, opening into the other part of the restaurant. I blink, and turn back to the helpful employee.

"The, uh, second door?"

He looks over my shoulder. "Oh, yeah. Uh, we didn't check it?"

I raise my eyebrow at the firemen, and key my radio. "Dispatch, Medic 14 and Engine 81 will be clear here, unable to locate. Patient has left."


Jess said...


I can't decide whether I prefer your stories in person or polished on here. This is one that works better in written form, for some reason.

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Odie said...

The guys on our engine would have loved this. I think they knock down doors for fun sometimes.

Note to self: If i ever call 911 because i'm feeling flu-ish (i'd NEVER do this btw) i'l always unlock the door.

btw, not as wonderful as your blog yet, but check mine out.


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