Emergency Medical Weather

We have a term to describe certain EMTs and Paramedics at work: White Cloud. A White Cloud is a crew member who never has anything critical happen around him. This is not to say big things don’t happen when a White Cloud is on duty, but he/she will be busy helping Mrs. Smith off the floor and back into bed when they do. It’s nothing deliberate, but through some strange quirk of probability nothing bad happens when a White Cloud is responsible.


Conversely, we also have Black Clouds. Death, destruction, and general mayhem seem to follow our Black Clouds whether on duty in the Big City or the Quiet Suburbs.


I know it’s all probability and not real, but we can be a superstitious bunch. It’s not that we want bad things to happen, but we train hard to be ready when they do. We need to use our skills now and then so that we stay sharp.


Regular Partner and I had developed a reputation as White Clouds. We had been working together exclusively for almost 8 months, so we weren’t sure which one of us was the good luck charm. We’d started off with a bang, having two major notable incidents during our first month together. Then six months of nothing.


We’d been doing minor chest pain calls, old ladies fallen out of bed, drunks, car crashes with no injuries; we had awakened a couple diabetics. I think we went almost 4 months before we had to put anyone on a backboard. We were beginning to get jumpy, feeling that God or karma or probability or whatever was saving up a Really Big One for us. The proverbial ‘bus full of hemophiliac nuns crashes into a plate glass truck’ kind of call.


Then it happened. RP got married and left on his honeymoon.


In the first 4 hours of my first shift without RP, Partner du Jour and I ran a cardiac arrest and an unresponsive with almost no blood pressure. We capped the evening with a pedestrian struck by a car.


So RP, enjoy your honeymoon. You should have plenty of good weather with you.

Edit: Before RP got back, we added an MVC with ejection, a STEMI, an aortic dissection, a CHF patient, and a few more which I don’t remember right now.

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