Recently took an assault victim to the hospital, said he was beaten repeatedly by 3-4 guys with baseball bats so he gets a full body assessment. He's wearing an open leather vest with nothing under it and I can see his broken ulna and bruised ribs with his unironic THUG LIFE abdominal tattoo clear as day, so I start cutting his jeans. When I get to the level of his pockets he starts getting antsy.

"Hey man, don't cut up that far!"
"Sir, I've already found multiple cuts on your legs and I need to see if you're injured anywhere else."
"Yeah, but you don't gotta cut up to the balls, man!"
I tell him that at the hospital they're just going to finish what I started, but let him have it his way since he didn't have any other leg injuries or evidence of groin trauma.

We arrive, transfer care, and get out because any time there's a trauma patient, surgery residents come out of the woodwork like hornets from a hole and screw trying to elbow my way out of that mess.
Turns out that one of my paramedic classmates was doing a clinical rotation in this particular ER on this particular day, and before our next class he imparted to me the reason my patient protested so:

He was wearing black silk women's panties with frills and didn't want anyone to see.

I tell this story not to make fun of this gentleman, but because I think I really could have done him a favor if he'd just let me cut & destroy the panties. I didn't give a shit what he was wearing and ER staff would have just thrown everything in a bag and not looked twice. 


I used to work in a slightly more rural area than I do now, and the local jailhouse didn't have a drunk tank. This meant that if a person got arrested and they were too intoxicated (I still don't know what their exact criteria is), they'd call us to transport them to the hospital for fluids and monitoring. Yes, it usually seemed like a waste of time and resources, but this is what happens when you live in the most litigious country on the planet.

We get called for an intoxicated prisoner who'd been arrested for getting into a fistfight with his neighbor. The officers take us to a holding cell where we see a very large, naked black man laying face down on the floor. The only other item in the cell is a wadded up pair of women's panties that he'd been wearing. We wake him up and get him to walk over to the stretcher and lay down. It wasn't until after they shackled his wrists to the stretcher frame that he started to kinda snap out of his haze.

We try to just get him to relax, but he starts yelling insults at the (all white) officers helping us, then says "Y'all are just mad that black people are taking over this town!" The officers, in their infinite wisdom, decide to help matters by saying racist shit back to him. At this point, his legs are still free, and he's getting more and more agitated, so I decided to take up some prime real estate behind the head of the stretcher because if I know my angry drunks, he's about to start spitting.

"Ptoo! Ptoo! Ptoo!" One cop gets a nice wad of spit on his pants.

Just as they're getting a spit hood to put over his head, he kicks his legs up in the air and spreads his legs apart, repeatedly yelling "EAT THIS PUSSY!!!" It's moments like this when I wonder for a few seconds how my life led me here.

So they put some paper scrub pants on him, get his legs shackled, spit hood on, and my partner has so far given him 2 doses of Versed, a drug we use to stop seizures and sedate people. Cops may have tasers, but medics get to use mad scientist shit. He was still fighting, so one of the street cops who happened to be passing by pulls out his taser and holds it against the top of the guy's hand and says "If you don't calm down right now I am going to tase the FUCK out of you." This seemed to do the trick for a minute or two.

We load him in the back of the truck and he starts up AGAIN. My partner gives him a third dose of Versed (all within our protocols), and he goes "That shit don't work on me. You keep giving me that shit and it don't work!" 30 seconds later he is out like a light. My partner, sweaty and tired from fighting this guy stands over him and says "Oh, I'm sorry! I thought you said it doesn't work, ya COCKSUCKER!"

We got to the hospital and roll him inside. Another EMS crew was there with a patient on their stretcher and they're obviously looking with curiosity at my large, shackled, half naked patient with a bag over his head. I looked at them and with a straight face said "Guantanamo Bay." Got a mild laugh.

A few days later I heard from another officer that they discharged him the next morning after he woke up, started screaming and cursing, then got out of bed and took a shit on the floor.

Val Helmethead

So, for some god awful reason both of our Paramedics were off work, and the only replacement for the shift was our Chief. So one ALS truck and me and another guy as the BLS all-stars for the day. Hopefully this sets the scene.

We head in to a call for blood in urine - seems like it could be BS so the BLS buggy set out with the ALS truck backing us. We arrive first and walk in. There is an older man who has just had his catheter removed the day before, and his daughter reports he had some blood in his urine. Okay.

So she hands me a jar labeled apple butter. Half full, about. "What is this?" I ask, confused that I had been given a jar of semi-solid food.

"It's his urine sample." At this point I must stress that the color and consistency are 100% accurate for real apple butter.

I set the jar down on the table and while I deal with pop-pop, my partner struggles to explain why she doesn't need to collect a sample, and certainly doesn't need to bring it to the hospital. Then our ALS crew arrives on scene.

Chief walks in, and is handed a half-full jar into his ungloved hand. "What the fuck is this?" He asks. Daughter tells him. He sets the jar on the table, says "You guys got this." And walks out leaving us to take the transport. On scene time, 1min 15sec.

Well, we get our patient packaged and ready to go, and daughter announces she wants to ride with us. Okay. My partner hops in the back, and I go to help her onto the passenger seat... When I notice what she still has in her hand. "You aren't going to carry this the whole time?" I ask, concerned about spilling it in the front of the ambulance. "Oh, I'll just put it here" she replies, putting it down in the cup holder before I can even say anything to stop it. I stop to check which one, and seeing it was the passenger holder remark "Okay, at least it's not mine."

We get to the ER, and daughter walks in, still holding the apple butter. Sure enough, she hands it to the nurse, again ungloved, and again the "What is this?" question and answer session repeats. She is once gain told "nope, don't need it".

So, she picks up the jar and wanders off to the waiting room, still convinced that SOMEONE at the hospital wants to see the damn thing.

And that is the last I saw of her, or the jar. Of course the next day I bought a jar of apple bitter (same brand) and set it on the kitchen table of the crew room. After using a little bit for my morning breakfast.

– David "g0m" Dolan (@g0m)

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