I was up at 3:30 for a medical call.

It was a middle-aged man who had a herniated disk ‘let go’. He was in a lot of pain. I’ve actually never had anyone answer the ‘rate your pain on a scale of one to ten’ question with a ten before.

It took me a while to get my head together when the tone went off; I had gone to bed around 2:00.

I was back and in bed by 4:30.

The nice part (other than helping to calm the patient, which is always gratifying) was that I got to drive engine one to the call. Engine one is a ‘minipumper’ and our primary response truck. It’s a diesel and so not the peppiest ride, still, it’s got a five-speed and will go when you ask it to.

Earlier in the night we had a drill and I got to drive engine three for the first time. Engine three is a full-sized pumper.

It’s sort of nerve-wracking to back either of these beasts into the firehouse. Conveniently, the captain (third in charge) backed one of the trucks into the overhead door recently enough that the damage hasn’t been repaired, so if I should happen to have a minor ‘issue’, it’ll be okay.

It was a quiet weekend for me, ems-wise; was away and so I was the DIC… Dad in charge. The boys and I went for a hike in Sunday on Mount Ascutney and saw three people launch themselves off the mountain on hang-gliders. Mason and I thought it looked like a lot of fun but Calvin thought it looked like craziness.

On Monday, I was brush-hogging the meadow and had just gotten the tractor caught between two trees when my pager went off for a medical call – possible stroke. I had to run from the far corner of the meadow. It took me several minutes to get to my car. By the time I was nearing the firehouse the chief reported that the ambulance was on scene. That’s the first time the ambulance has beat me to the scene since I’ve been responding with the fire department.

I’m going to ‘merry olde’ on Saturday for a week and a half. Kind of bad timing, really. I have managed to wrangle an invitation to tour the Reading Emergency Resource Centre (the regional 999 call center) and spend an evening riding along with a paramedic crew, so that should be interesting. I’m taking a Vermont EMT patch to trade.

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