We got dispatched to the third floor for an unconscious patient. As we approached we could hear loud music rumbling just outside of the main door. Not knowing what we were to expect, I told my partners to stand to the sides of the door (it is dangerous to stand directly in front of the door) as I knocked on the door. Knock Knock. We paused. No answer. Boom, thud. It sounded like someone was banging against the wall. I knock on the door again. This time, a tall drunken man opened the door to greet us.
Me: “Hi, we’re paramedics. What can we do for you today?”
Skinny: “Hunnnhh. We’re havin’ an awesome party here! (laughs)”
Me: “How long have you been partying for?”
Skinny: “Welll…wha day is it?”
He was tipsy, and was holding a bottle of beer in his hand, his hair was disheveled.
Skinny: “Tha’s right!! We’ve been partying alllll night, ya crazy bitch!”
I slightly raised my eyebrows as I looked at him and let the derogatory comment slide.
Me: “Is there someone that needs our help?”
Skinny: “Yeahhhh, she jus down the halll, just down o’er there.”
He points down a narrow hallway as his head tilts to the side, and steadies himself with the door frame just to the right of the main entrance that leads into a room I cannot see. I didn’t like the looks of the entrance. If I walked into the narrow hallway where he says his friend is, he could easily block my exit. Also I have no idea how many people are in his house.
Me: “Would you like to lead me to her?”
Skinny: “Is jus down the hallway, down over dere.”
He swings his arm down towards the hallway again, making no intention to move.
Skinny: “Say, they let people like you (he gestured at my height) ride in the ambulance?”
He grins. Now I’m not fond of a complete stranger making fun of my height, but there’s no need to fuel the flames or get myself into any unnecessary trouble.
Skinny eyes me.
Me: “It would be wonderful if you can lead me to your friend.”
Skinny: “Ohhhhh alrigh…comeon! Follow me.”
He turns and starts sauntering down the hall in his tipsy manner.
Skinny: “Righ this way, is jus down o’er here!”
My eyes enlarged to the size of saucers.
Me: “Yeah we’re right with you!“
Tucked into the back of his pants, was a pistol.
I looked at my partner and we didn’t even need to speak, we were out of there! Not walking, but running.
Partner: “24 Kilo 1”
Dispatch: “24 Kilo 1”
Partner: “24 Kilo 1, we need Code 5 Code 3!”
That guy was armed! Can you imagine what would have happened if I went down that hallway when he pointed to where his friend was earlier? He could have stepped out into the hallway, blocking my exit, and I would have been doomed. He’d have a gun, and what what will I have to protect myself? My jump kit? A clipboard?
Once the police were on site, we entered the apartment into the living room to find another pistol on the table. There were needles on another table, and a lamp knocked over onto the carpet. There were funny spray markings on the wall.
Me: “Are those blood stains?”
Skinny: “I suppose so…I try cleanin’ it up.”
I still felt unease, I didn’t want to know what was inside that room. When we made it into the bedroom, I made sure to check the adjacent door facing the bedroom. There wasn’t much in there, just a washroom. I see a bundle of blankets on the bed, covering a naked body.
Me: “So what happened to your friend?”
Skinny: “Friend? (Bursts out laughing) She ain’ no friend.”
Me: “Then who is she to you?”
Skinny: “Well…she’s worth 50 ya know. Got ‘er for 50.”
Great. Who knows what he did to her as she lay motionless there. Did he actually do anything to her? Could it be an OD (overdose) from alcohol? From drugs? Both? Could it have been connected to the loud thudding noises we heard earlier? What about the blood splatter in the living room? Could our patient be a diabetic? Could it be a medical condition we’re not aware of? What is going on here?
Anyways the scenario ended with us lifting the blanket to assess our patient, and being careful not to get stuck by needles. The whole simulation was to practice our RSE (Rescue Scene Evaluation) of the Patient Assessment Model (PAM). Needless to say, some members of other groups got shot.
It was a good call, it gives you a perspective of some situations you may encounter out on the streets. Also, I had no idea there was a whole apartment room set-up with furniture, kitchen, bathroom, etc through that door in the hallway of our school. I found out that’s the sim room the cops use to practice scenarios including arresting and taking down criminals. Pretty cool if you ask me.
I did the right thing in taking care of my partner and myself’s safety by not entering into Skinny’s house in a way where he could block my exit. Making him lead me in was the right choice since it gave me time to check the side room for dangers and preventing him from blocking our exit. Except in hindsight, it might’ve been better to have called the cops earlier after hearing the banging inside the house and the noise. Caution, caution, caution. It’s so easy to get tunnel vision, especially out on the streets when your adrenaline’s going, and you’re thinking about the patient and the protocols and treatments you’re supposed to do. I would love to have more practice scenarios like that. I’ve been told that if our time tables match, once the police academy starts, we may be working with the cops on more scenarios. Sounds like fun huh, I can’t wait 😀