Thursday, October 15, 2009

Infallible EMS Dispatch Gets Balloon Boy Call

Emergency Computer Aided Dispatch system is put to the test...

Operator 1: “911, What is your emergency?”

Caller: “My 6 year-old son just drifted away in a helium balloon!”

Operator 1:“Can I have your phone number in case we get disconnected?”

Caller: “Yes, its 555-1234.” Oh, please, I don’t know what to do! It’s starting to drift away!”

Operator 1: “You say your son is floating away in a balloon?”

Caller: “Yes!”

Operator 1: “Hmm, I don’t see that in any of the emergency dispatch responses in the computer. Hold on a second.”
To Operator 2: “Hey, this lady says her kid's floating away in a balloon! Where is that in the computer?”

Operator 2: “Kid in a balloon? (scrolling through computer choices) I don’t see that either. Just go with “Generalized Weakness.”

Operator 1: “OK ma’am, I have it now. Is he conscious and breathing?”

Caller: “I guess so, he just climbed into the balloon. I can’t really see him right now. He’s a thousand feet overhead. Please send help!”

Operator 1: “I’ll send someone out. Is his breathing normal?”

Caller: “What? I don’t know! He’s breathing HELIUM!”

Operator 1: “Is he having any chest pain?”

Caller: “Are you kidding me? He’s in a freaking balloon!”

Operator 1: “I understand you’re anxious ma’am, but I need you to try and stay calm. I need you to answer my questions so we can get the proper response crews to you.”

Caller: (calming down) “OK, I’ll try. Please send someone; the balloon is drifting out of sight!”

Operator 1: “How old is he? Does he have any medical problems?”

Caller: “Six. And no, he’s perfectly healthy.”

Operator 1: “How long has he felt weak?”

Caller: “Weak? What are you talking about? Haven’t you been listening? He climbed into an experimental balloon I was building with my husband and it drifted away with him inside it?”

Operator 1: “Oh that’s right. Sorry, I’m trying to use the computer script for ‘Generalized Weakness.’"

Caller: “WHAT?”

Operator 1: “So the balloon drifted away with your 6 year-old husband and he’s feeling weak?”

Caller: “Oh my God!”

Operator 1: “OK ma’am, the ambulance is on its way. Do you want me to stay on the line till they arrive?”

Caller: “An ambulance? Why are you sending an ambulance? He’s in a freaking BALLOON! Thousands of feet in the air! What is an ambulance going to do?”

Operator 1: “Ma’am I need you to try to stay calm so I can send the proper response crews...”

Caller: “Oh sweet Jesus! Never mind, I’ll call CNN!” (Click)

Operator 1 to Operator 2: “What a bitch! Some people just don’t know how to speak to another human being.”

Operator 2: “So she canceled the call?”

Operator 1: “Yeah. Says she’s gonna call CNN. Freak. Like they’d be interested.”

Operator 2: “Hmph!”

(By the way, here is the ACTUAL 911 call:

An Experiment in Sleep Deprivation

I just got home from work a few minutes ago. Nothing remarkable, eh? Well, to tell the truth, I am currently hallucinating. I’ve been awake since 4am on Tuesday,; it’s 12:47am on Thursday. In a few minutes, that’ll be 45 hours straight with no sleep. I wantred to write this blog post under the influence of lack of sleep and the wierd things I keep seeing out of the corner of my eyes. I am not going to edit or correct what I write. I am just going to type and type like that dude what’s his name did. Oh yeah Jack Kerouac. He wrote “on the Road” on one hugely long continuous sheet of paper at one sitting, keeping himself wawke with drugs and God knows what. I loved that book.
Anyway, what’s ther eason for my 45 minute stint awake? It’s my own fault. I effed up my schedule and doub;e booked myself. Long story short, I worked a 12 hour EMS shift, then went to a 12 hour overnight nursing shift, then followed that up with another 14-hour EMS shift. I am exhausted. I was driiving home and caught myself wondering if I was driving in a dream or driving for real. When You;re this tired, everything takes on a distinct aura of unreality. You can talk and watch and eat and drink and work and read and whatever, but tghere is a odd sense that none of what you do matters, as if you are in a dream.I find it similar to lucid dreaming, that is, when you are aware that you are asleep and dreaming, but continue to dream anyway. With this wonderful knowledge, you are free to do whatever you want, because you know it is only a dream and will hold no consequences in real life when you wake up.
In a strange sens, being 45+ hours exhausted is something of the photographic negative of lucid dreaming. You get the impression that you are living in the real world, but still nothing matters. Same picture, but colored by different means.
\I hope I wasn’t a dick to my partner today. Jeremy is an excellent EMT, someone who I’d not mind being permanent partners with. I’d watch his back and I’m pretty sure he’d watch mine. I have no idea if I said or did anything to piss him off. When you’re lucid dreaming, or dreaming reality, it soedn’t realy matter. Whay tou do/,. I hope I dodn;t piss him off.

Oh by the way, I have a nw bottle of vordjka to help me on my way to the promised land of sleepy-byes.
I was hoping to type and type a la Jack Kerouac but I don’t have the same good drugs a s he had and i think I stopped making sense a coupel paragraphs ago. It’s so tempting to hit the backspace button! To be honest, I have hit it a few times, like maybe you wouldn’t know who Jack Kreouwac iswas. Waow I just glancesd at what I’m writng. It Super sucks!
Ok 45 hours is the limit. I’m so totally going to bed. allright- Laterz!