Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Hop, Skip and a JUMP off the Brooklyn Bridge

It's a beautiful September Saturday morning in lower Manhattan. Mark and I are working 11 Victor. It's a part time job for both of us.Every Saturday, 7am to 11pm. We had stopped in our favorite deli on Carmine Street, picked up some bagels and cream cheese and headed back down to our area. We just finish (thankfully) our breakfast when the dispatcher gives us a yell
"11 Vic for the diff breather"
Mark answers "11 Vic, send it over". The call comes over the computer. We read the text and find that our "diff breather" is actually a 34 year old male who has been constipated for a week.Just as we're about to start griping we hear over the police radio
" 5 John"
"5 John, central'
"John I'm getting numerous calls for a jumper up on the Brooklyn Bridge"
"5 John on the way"
Mark and I look up quick. We had been eating our breakfast right at the entrance to the bridge.
"Mark", I yell excitingly "Jump on it! Jump on it'
Mark slams the vehicle into drive and we lurch towards the bridge. Thirty seconds later we're mid-span
"Rocco, there he is!" yells Mark as he points to my right.
Sure enough there is a man standing on the outside edge of the bridge. Below him nothing but two hundred feet of air and the East River.
I grab the mic
"11 Vic to central with an urgent transmission"
"Vic go ahead"
"Central be advised we have been flagged for a jumper up on the Brooklyn Bridge. Confirmed job central! Get us PD and ESU!"
"10-4 Vic. Be careful" the dispatcher responds.
Mark and I get out of the vehicle and slowly make our way over to the man. He's standing on a ledge that is about two feet lower than the roadway we're standing on.He's about 35 years old, a bit disheveled, wearing a tan overcoat and a fishing hat.. He's looking down at the water
Mark speaks up
"Hello sir, we are paramedics. We're here to help you".
The guy raises his head almost nonchalantly, looks both me and Mark up and down, turns his head away and lets go!
"Holy shit" me and Mark scream out in unison. We immediately look over the edge to see him cartwheeling through the air just before smacking the water so hard that that we could almost feel it above.
Mark and I run back to the ambulance
'11 Vic emergency transmission"
Dispatcher "All units stand by. 11 Vic go"
"Central be advised he jumped! Jumper down in the water!"
"10-4 Vic. I'll advise PD"
"Mark, go into Brooklyn" I gasp out short of breath
"That's where I'm headed" he responds back
We're about to leave the bridge into Brooklyn when we hear the police dispatcher calling us over the police radio
"EMS for the Brooklyn Bridge on the air"
I pick up the mic
"EMS central"
"EMS meet harbor at Pier 17 on the Manhattan side"
" 10-4 central"
Mark spins the ambulance in a u-turn and we're back on our way to Manhattan. We exit the bridge. Mark hangs a left and there is Pier 17 a block in front of us. As we get closer we see the harbor cops.
"Mark!, I turn to my partner, "You gotta be fucking kidding me! Do you see what I see"
Mark responds back to me in the same incredulous way, "I see it but I can't fucking believe it!"
Up ahead walking towards us are 4 harbor cops. Between them walks none other than our flying friend from the bridge, upright and in handcuffs.
One of the cops looks at me and Mark and starts laughing "close your mouths before you get flies in them'
He goes on to explain that they were going under the bridge as the call came in . They actually saw the guy jump and then us peer over.
"Lucky son of a bitch. As soon as he hit the water we scooped him up" the cop said still chuckling.
Mark and I proceeded to place the patient in a protective neck collar and put him down on a plastic backboard to protect against possible spine injury.We cut all his clothes of looking in vain for any type of injury. Due the the nature of the accident we took him to Bellevue, a trauma center. On the way I asked him why he did it. All he said was "Could you please call my girlfriend up and tell her what I did". Satisfied with his roundabout answer to my question I assured him that I would call his girlfriend.
Arriving at the hospital we wheel him inside and to the trauma room where the nurse signs my call report legally relieving me of custody of the patient. Walking out of the emergency room Mark looks over at me and asks
"Roc, did you ask why he jumped'
"Yep" I answered
"What was it?"
I stop walking and answer "What the fuck do you think it was?"
Mark looks at me, eyes wide and his right hand covering his mouth, "A fucking woman?!"
"You got it brother" I answer. We both walk over to the ambulance shaking our heads and laughing. It's only 10 am; we got another 11 hours to go

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Shocking Delivery: "My Sister's Got Something Hanging Out Of Her Vagina Looks Like A Rope

Working a 3pm-11pm shift on 18 Boy. My regular partner called in sick so I'm working with Sandra. Usually when your partner calls  in sick they stick you with anyone in the borough who doesn't have a partner that day. Usually it's some asshole who no one wants to work with. This wasn't the case with Sandra. A wonderful person to work with.
We're sitting at 125th Street and Seventh Avenue when the dispatcher pipes up
"18 Boy on the air"
"18 Boy" I respond
"Boy, take it over to 141 and 7th for the labor"
"18 Boy, 1063 (on the way)
About 4 minutes later we pull up in front of the address. The building is a 5 story brick. Of course our patient is on the 5th floor. We grab our equipment and start climbing the stairs. We arrive at the 3rd floor and are met by a child, a young girl about 6 years old.
"Please hurry" she implores grabbing my hand
I look down at her
"OK, sweetheart. Don't worry. We're here to help. Can you tell me what happened"
Without hesitation she answers
"My sister got something hanging out her vagina looks like a rope!"
Our stair climbing now becomes a sprint. We run into the apartment and into a back bedroom. Laying there is a young lady, naked from the waist down. And just like the little girl said there was something sticking out of her vagina that looked like a rope. The girl was 8 months pregnant and been having labor pains for several hours.The problem in this case was that instead of the baby presenting first the umbilical cord presented first. The greatest danger here was that the baby was laying upon the cord cutting off circulation and thus the baby's oxygen supply. I felt the cord. There was no pulse. "Shit", I said to myself. There's only one way to get blood flowing into that cord again.
I turn to the bystanders peering through the open door and yell out
"Is the father of the child here"
A young man about 18 steps forward
"Yeah, that's my girlfriend" he replies
"Listen, brother I gotta do something that ain't gonna look to cool but it's the only way we'll be able to save the baby's life"
He looks at me as if in a daze. Finally he says "Man, do whatever you got to do"
I turn back towards the patient. I hurriedly put on a pair of gloves. I place my fingers into her vagina. I feel the baby's head. It's laying right on the cord. I manipulate my fingers to where I lift the baby's head off the cord. With my other hand I feel the cord. A pulse! Alright! Now all I have to do is make sure the cord is not wrapped around the baby as it delivers, we don't want it pulling on the placenta and ripping it from the uterus. She'd bleed to death before our eyes. So there I am, my hand inside a pregnant girl's vagina while being watched by my partner, a backup crew and 3 cops. After about 5 minutes it begins to dawn on me that this baby is not going to deliver any time soon.So I ask Sandra to get the stretcher. And there I found myself, hand up the vagina down 5 flights of stairs, through a crowded street, a 5 minute drive to the hospital and a trip up to labor and delivery. By the time we dropped her off my hand was cramping so badly I thought I was paralyzed. The patient was rushed into the delivery room were the obstetrician did her magic and delivered the baby.
Making it back down to the ambulance Sandra brings me a soda she bought at the corner bodega. She hands it to me.
She looks at me with a sly look on her face, "That was fun! We should do that again" and she breaks out laughing.
I look at her "Sandra we get into shit like that again your gonna be the one catching. And I hope she's having fucking triplets!"

Disembowled On The FDR

Ch-- and I are sitting at a red light at 106th Street and Second Avenue when the dispatchers calls.
"Manhattan to 18 Young"
"!8 Young, central" I answer
"18 Young take it over to 104th Street and the FDR for a motorcyclist down"
"10-4 Central . We're 63 (responding to the call)
Ch-- hangs two rights and we're traveling northbound up Third Avenue. Plan is to get on the FDR at 116th Street and head south. We enter at 116st and already the traffic is backed up half a mile. Fortunate for us this part of the highway actually has a sidewalk. Over the curb we go and are at the scene in about three minutes.
"18 Young 10-88 (on the scene)"
"18 Young  10-4. Be advised you have 15 Willie coming up from the south"
"10-4 central. Will advise"
Pulling up we see a motorcycle laying on its side in the middle lane. About twenty feet further on we see a man standing against the spiked guard rail, bent over at the waist. Its now just about dark and even with the passing car headlights it's hard to see. He looks to be trying to pick something off the floor. Charlie and I approach.
"Sir," Ch-- calls out, "are you OK?"
The man lifts his head and looks at us. His skin is ashen gray and he is sweating profusely.
 "I gotta get this" he answers, gasping
Ch-- and I are about five feet away from him now.
"Holy shit, Ch--! Holy fucking shit" I stammer to my partner. at that close distance I was able to finally see what it was the patient was trying to pick off the pavement. It was a loop of his intestines!
"Rocco, grab him I'm going to get the long board and stretcher". Ch-- yells and runs back towards the ambulance. I'm standing there holding the guy up while he struggles with me to continue to grab at his now filthy intestines laying on the roadway.
Ch--'s back in an instant. With difficulty we lay the guy down on the stretcher. It's then we see the extent of his injuries. The patient is ripped wide open from just above his groin to just below his breastbone. I mean wide open to where we could see all the organs in his abdomen.
Just then 15 Willie pulls up. Ray comes running over
"Hey guys,  whatcha g... Holy Shit!" Rays eyes are big as saucers to match mine and Ch--. Now we were all seasoned medics, Ch-- and Ray more than me. We've seen things that would turn a brunette gray in minutes. The guys injuries were terrible but we've seen severe injuries like this before. There was one small difference, though. This guy was still alive! That's what it was that was freaking us out so much, he wasn't dead!
We strapped the patient onto the stretcher. 15 Willie's vehicle was closer than ours so we placed the patient in the back. Ch-- jumped in to assist 15 Willie's crew member. I followed them to the trauma center. By then he was unconscious. Half hour later he was gone.
I waited outside for Ch--. He came out, opened the passenger door and sank into the seat.
I turned to Ch--
"That was unfucking believable" I said still astonished
"Holy shit! How that guy lived that long? I can't believe it", Ch-- replies
"What happened on the way in?" I ask my partner
"Well we gave him oxygen, popped two I.V.'s in him. All the way in he kept asking Am I Going To Die? Am I Going To Die?. It took every ounce of my strength to stop  from yelling YES ! YOU ARE GOING TO DIE"