You’re Welcome

0200 hours. As the only overnight transfer truck out of our station, Angry Partner and I were awake and moving. Still moving. Moving patients, most of whom could have stayed safely where they were. Most of whom could’ve stayed safely where they were for another five hours until our relief came on duty. 19 hours in and still moving.

Dispatcher With Attitude was manning the Conn. I’m not sure what we’d done, but her attitude was aimed squarely at us.

We took a nice little old lady home from the ER to her nursing home. It was a common run, one we do multiple times a week. I don’t remember her complaint, but it was minor. Something of the ‘take two of these and call your doctor in the morning’ variety.

“A68 is on arrival, two miles.” AP put us on scene, giving DWA our elapsed mileage for the CAD logs. It keeps the billing department happy.

We settled our patient into her bed and drove away into the night, hoping for quarters and at least a brief nap.

DWA hailed us. “A68, what was your mileage on that?”

AP responded quickly and appropriately, “Two miles.”

DWA: “Thank you.”

I exploded in the passenger seat. “Two *&^$#ing miles, DWA, just like it ALWAYS is.” Did I mention I personally do this run multiple times a week, in addition to the rest of the fleet?

AP: ” –elcome.” I saw the look of horror on his face as he released the transmit button. We both realized that my outburst had gone over the air as he was saying ‘You’re welcome.”

Oops.  And he’s the angry one.

We never did see quarters again that night. Sometimes politeness doesn’t pay.

This memory was brought to you by Medic Madness, The EMS Gods, and Rule #4.

One comment

  1. Sean Eddy

    I feel your pain,

    I have violated rule #4 many times. On my first shift as a paramedic, I logged on only to get assigned an LDT. I was pissed and started talking all kinds of trash about the dispatcher when I saw a message come over our MDT, “Are you really that upset about it?”. I had apparently had my knee pressed up against our private channel mic.

    That turned out to be the first and worst transfer of my career. We had to take a nurse and an RT. The RT was argumentative the whole way, my partner vomited on himself while driving (why, I’ll never really know), and we lugged a vent, balloon pump, and 6 IV pumps up to the ICU of the wrong hospital.