The door rolls up as I approach, and I hear the Powerstroke cough to life. I’m not on the clock for another ten minutes, but I’ll do the right thing and relieve the overnight crew. Regular Partner arrives as I take the reins, and we are off into the crisp fall morning.

“Medic 9, be advised we’re giving pre-arrival instructions. Ambulance 9 is coming in behind you.”

My luck has run out. I haven’t had a cardiac arrest in ages. I got to bed late last night and was up an hour early. I’m still getting over a cold and feel exhausted already. I haven’t had my tea, haven’t checked the equipment, and I’m not even officially here yet. It’s not about me, though. Someone has stopped breathing; bring it on.

And so the day goes. Pulses return, are lost, and return again. Chest pain, overdose, morbid obesity, Jaws of Life; our routine is shot but we’re rockin’ & rollin’ & Making a Difference. Seventeen hours later we sit in the parking lot of the downtown Dunkin Donuts, exhausted and four reports behind in our documentation. I finally have my tea in hand, girding myself for another hour’s worth of writing, as Bert the Muppet cruises past on a moped.

Welcome to October in the Witch City.