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Sunday 2 August 2009

My First Day as an Ambulanceman

I joined my present private ambulance company in November 2005

The owner of the company, Roy, was annoyed with Danny, a Paramedic.
Danny had taken Roy's jeep to the Pathology Department in the centre of Bristol. His mission was to view a post mortem - the gruesome thing!!

Roy is a member of the Salvation Army and plays the cornet in their beautiful band - they make a super sound - cool as you Americans would say. Roy was due for a practice session in a couple of hours . . . . . AND . . . . his musical instrument, including some of his fellow band members' instruments were in the jeep, which was hi-jacked by Danny and now in Bristol.

Jeepers!!! Roy was fuming!! "Why couldn't Danny take another car?", Roy insisted.

My first ever mission was to seek and locate this jeep at the Pathology Department, find Danny and Exchange cars - sounds simple, but I was not exactly sure where the Path Lab was.

I knew the general direction and called into the hospital where I thought it was and asked for the Pathology Department. I was greeted by a DEADPAN look by a 'thicko' on reception who uttered these immortal words, "Dunno Gov!", with not an offer to find information from elsewhere.

Not wishing to be put off by such negative vibes I proceeded across the road to an older and more promising possible location and knocked on the door - NOTHING! Knocked again - NOTHING!

A woman came out of a building next to this, saw me in my ambulance uniform and asked me if she could assist me. I mentioned that I was looking for the mortuary and had knocked on this door and noticed THERE WAS NO SIGN OF LIFE there!! Thinking this was exactly the criteria I was seeking, and suggesting I had reached the correct location, I was rather put off when the woman went into hysterical laughter and informed me that there were no STIFFS in that building and the place I wanted was just down that lane. She proceeded to give me precise instructions and completed the conversation by commenting I was far too late to assist anyone there from a medical viewpoint. I complimented her on her keen sense of humour and we had a good laugh and I proceeded on my way, sensing time was ebbing away.

With a new spring in my step I strode to the new venue and was transported to the mortuary and into the pathology department. I was aware of locating not only Danny the Paramedic but also a row of silent companions with sheets over them and their feet sticking out of the end as though they were lying at ease, all well regimented and silent. Danny was a bit put out at this interruption - the pathologist was just removing the front of a rib cage, just like Professor Gunther von Hagens did on his rather contentious TV live autopsy programmes. The officials did not mind anyone watching them work but my knees were beginning to shake a bit and I felt a bit squeamish, so I left pronto.

We swapped cars and JEEPERS again I had a huge learning curve because the jeep was an automatic and I had never driven one . . . . . AND . . . . it was a BRUTE and was parked in a small car park with only inches to spare between several cars. So I learned to drive it in the car park and without scraping anything I managed to get the jeep onto the main road and home to base.

I was greeted by Roy, the red faced MD who said, "Well done" and proceeded to take control and dash off into the sunset with blues and sirens going . . . quite illegally since there was no emergency . . . and off to band practice.

That was quite enough excitement for my first day, do you not think?
Oh I did not include a link to an Autopsy website - I sense you are not that keen to see one.
In conclusion I must apologise for not visiting many of your sites lately - I am very busy with ambulance work and a new job there - I shall visit you as soon as I can. Meanwhile I can still push out an ambulance story or two and I am working on another 'biggy' - watch this space!!!


  1. I would be very willing to see the website you didn't include, Eddie. I watch Dr. G. (a forensic pathologist in FL) on TV every chance I get.
    What a great story you tell! Your first mission as an Ambulanceman: seek the jeep at the building with the stiffs to rescue a coronet.
    Was that in your job description? I love your writings....

  2. What a first day. Sounds like you passed the test even thought it may not have been the one you expected!
    It's a wonder you didn't give it up the first day Eddie.
    I've never seen an autopsy in person but have seen two embalmings as I used to work in a funeral home!

  3. Oh yes, I'd say that was enough excitement to be getting on with! Though I can't think how you must have felt to be rescuing band equipment rather than people on your first day!
    Great post!

  4. Hey, Eddie, I'm with you...I would have been out of there (the pathology dept.)and more than weak in the knees, but what's with Jackie and Diana??? They're scaring me with what they've seen or would like to see!

    Your story was captivating and I felt myself trying to get that car out of the tight space with you...never a fun thing to do.

    Were you trying to switch gears and put in the (non existent) clutch on the automatic? That's what I used to try to do when I'd go from one to the other. Hmmm...never realized there could be a problem going from a stick shift to an automatic as it is so obviously difficult the other way around.



    p.s. Did things calm down on the second day?

  5. Eddie, you always tell a good story. Thanks for not including the autopsy link.

  6. Hi Eddie, just back from vacation and so enjoyed reading about your first day at work, now I'm not sure I could of handled viewing an autopsy though, I agree with Marcy on that one and also with her what's with Diana and Jackie? They hadn't shared this with us yet, wonder why? You do have a gift for writing my friend, thank you for sharing....:-) Bernie

  7. You sure have a great way of telling a story, Eddie. I don't blame you for getting weak in the knees. I would have fainted! What some musicians will go through, just to get to band practice. Don't work too hard and remember to have a little fun, too! :)

  8. That was a very interesting first day and you wrote it well and I felt compelled to read more........ Hope there will be sequels.

    Rib cage being removed..........aahhhh! Rows of stiffs with feet sticking out of sheets........aahhhhhh!
    Was there anyone there you knew? LOL!

  9. Maggie - I don't know if there was anyone there that I knew, dummy! Their feet were sticking out of their sheets - not their heads LOL

  10. Caro Edoardo,
    I love your stories, they are told with such feeling. When I read them I can always tell how much fun you've had writing them.
    Oh, and thanks for omitting the autopsy link.

    Big hugs
    Lola xx

  11. My grandson drives an ambulance...but so far no autopsy room stories to tell.

  12. Eddie....did I not mention that I wanted to be a forensic pathologist?
    Instead.... I taught school. Ponder that one. :))

  13. Eddie! No worries about the visits. I know your job is very demanding and VERY worthwhile. You must bless many with your kind heart and caring manner. So glad you did not include the autopsy link. I am better for it! Blessings to you.

  14. That's a great story, Eddie! I know the feeling about not driving a stick. I was once put into a similar situation when police pulled my friend over - I was his passenger - and told him he was too drunk to drive. They were nice police, and didn't write him up or arrest him - he was only slightly tipsy, otherwise I wouldn't have taken a ride with him - and they saw that I was sober (a rare occasion) and said that if I could drive the car, OK. I did, but probably ruined my friend's transmission while he snoozed in the passenger seat.

  15. Eddie I know without a doubt that if you picked up any of us by ambulance that we would be lucky to be travelling with a man that truly cared for people in his care.

    Love Renee xoxo

  16. p.s. Another possible chap for your production would be Owen, at Magic Lantern Show. Check him out! His blog is on my sidebar, in my blog list. Later, Alligator!

  17. Eddie, I just want to thank you for your great comments as well as sharing the jokes which I dearly love!

    As far as your soon-to-be awesome play, can I be a good guy in it or even Marcy Poppins as Wanda and Eileen have now named me? Or how about Marcy the detective, on the lookout for her brains, she has misplaced them yet again???

    Eddie you are a cute hoot (hoot means funny person here in the States and I am 'translating' just in case it means something else in GB like a frog with warts. I am having a wonderful time learning British words like natter and wittering and I'm ready to stun my hubby with them!)

    blessings on you,


  18. Marci - all the good parts are gone I am sorry, but wait I will invent another good one just for you - the play will be almost unrecognisable because of all the extra witches (good one) I shall require to satisfy my friends. But there is nonly one Suldog - a wicked witch who wants us all killed . . . . . altogether, "Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

  19. Marcy - sorry I said Marci and no need to worry about any mistranslations concerning "Cute Hoot". What a great phrase I must use it here - it will cause a riot when I go into the ambulance station and say, "Howdi, pards, it's Eddie your cute hoot!" (LOL to the power of n, where n = infinity.

    There is no way on Earth I can make "Cute Hoot" - "Frog with Warts" it just does not compute even if I had some decent grey matter and not a straw brain!!

    Do you have intelligent conversations with you hubby like this or does he like my wife thinks of me, think you are stark raving bonkers?

    I think you might like to read my post entitled, "Mr Darcy found alive and well",

  20. OMG, what a first day Eddie! Glad you and he lady had a good laugh about the 'stiffs.'

    And can't believe I found you again. For some reason, your blog hasn't been showing up on my blog roll!

    Thanks for visiting.

  21. Eddie...I am glad to have you as a friend...I enjoy e-mailing you, and I truly enjoy your blog. You have met your match, my friend. The members of our Village are wonderful, caring, loving individuals...with wit that can 'bite.' We gather around each other, pray for each other, laugh with..(and AT each other... :))) and I can't think of a better person than you, my dear friend, to have adding fuel to the village fire. And you KNOW you are adding fuel to the fire when you spar with the villagers. I can't wait to read your roast. Give my best to your sweet wife. With love...Jackie

  22. Always enjoy reading about your memories, and I'm glad you're kept busy, we need all the good men and women in Ambulance/Rescue that we can get...good job!

  23. ...and that already made me squeamish, listening to you speak about the rib cage, ugh! Well, that sums it, you are deemed to work for the living and not with the "stiffs!" ^^

    and what's that? You got a promotion?! That's fantastic news! I wouldn't really mind if you take time away from the blogging world to do your job, it needs you ... while WE, we are always HERE. We'll always be looking forward to your next post, but we wont go anywhere! ^^ So, go, go, go YOU!!!

    xoxo Sassy

  24. Congratulations on the promotion Eddie. And I'm sure we all forgive you for not visiting, provided you forgive us. Sometimes life just rushes in and we have to prioritise don't we?

  25. Hi Eddie, am not sure what is happening with blogger as you are not showing up on my reader or as a follower.....I keep up with your shinanigans through my friends in the village. I am enjoying your "war of words" with Marcy, she is a real sweetie. Enjoy your weekend my friend and I do hope your wife is feeling well and all of your family is enjoying our last full day of summer....:-) Bernie

  26. Eddie, I have just listened to all of the songs sung by your daughter, they are fantastic and she has a beautiful voice, she could/should be a professional singer and share her gift with the world, my favourite is Ava Maria....loved it, well loved them all really.
    I will keep checking back until blogger is fixed......:-) Bernie

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