September 2008



The person driving this vehicle wasn’t badly hurt.  It was a bit nervewracking working under the energized lines; conveniently the driver had self-extricated so we only had to get them packaged before we could get out from under the lines.

Part of the severed telephone pole can be seen hanging from the lines above and behind the flatbed operator.  The power was shut off before the car was moved.


While I was in California someone wrote several digits in ballpoint pen on the dashboard of Ambulance 2.  One of the EMS supervisors saw the ink and placed a big label on the dashboard; ‘I DO NOT WRITE ON THE AMBULANCE INTERIOR’.  While I thought the pen marks were idiotic, I thought the label was worse.

This morning I was doing rig checks and climbed into the back of the bus with a pen in my hand resulting in an inadvertent mark on the inside of the door. While looking at the mark, I noticed that the same thing had occurred multiple times; there were many marks on the door.  Seeing my opportunity (and with the rest of the shift out of the house) I went and got the label maker…  Yes, the one that says ‘KB don’t touch / u too Bxiie’.

I’ve fixed the door.

They really ought to keep the labeler locked up.


…came the sounds of gunshots.  I knew immediately what they were, even over Soft Cell loudly playing ‘Chips on my Shoulder’.  My shades were drawn but I got down beneath the level of the window.

There was another flurry of shots.  They sounded close.

I snaked my hand up and turned off the music. Silence reigned for a few seconds; the normal street sounds had stopped.  Some one shouted “Let’s go!”  A car door slammed and I could hear a car drive off quickly.  People started yelling in the street.

I cautiously peeked out the window; on the opposite side of the street, about 60 feet away, lay a body.

I went out.  The guy was face down.  He didn’t look so good though there no apparent injuries.

The cops arrived immediately.  I helped them roll the patient and look for wounds, then got out of the way as city EMS resources arrived.

At the height of the response, there were eighteen police vehicles, one fire truck, a battalion car, and an ambulance on scene.


San Francisco Fire Department personnel transport a shooting patient from the scene at Valencia and Duboce

I’m very surprised.  I knew that violence has been escalating in the city but had not seen any examples in over a year.  I also knew that there have been other shootings in the Mission, but the closest I knew of was several blocks away.


September 7, 2008


On MUNI, Spetember 12, 2008

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