The radio buzzed to life with a general broadcast requesting the response of an ambulance for a male with a gunshot wound to the head.
It quickly stole my attention away from the mundane paperwork on my lap. I shove it onto the dashboard and grab at the handset to announce our availability. The middle console pings to life and the job details disjointedly begin appearing on the screen.
My mentor pulls the truck away from the hospital as my mind kicks into gear with all of the possibilities and how to treat them.
Major trauma jobs don come along very often, so each one is invaluable experience to help build my competency as a student paramedic.
Ive worked in varying healthcare positions since volunteering at the hospice when I was seventeen. I was completing my A Levels at Esher College at the time and I toyed with the idea of a few different courses before settling on Paramedic Science. The hospital routines and hierarchy seemed unappealing and I settled into a life on the road.
”A shot to the head…surely thats fatal? ” I stumble over the very plausible outcome, ”Or the job isn as given ”.
The paramedic to my right gave a definitive nod. Hazel eyes trained fiercely on the South London roads laced with cars and pedestrians, even at this late hour.
Nearing forty with over ten years of experience, I was fortunate to have a seasoned medic as my mentor. Sharons slight frame sat stiff in the chair, her olive skin paling around her knuckles as she gripped the wheel.
Buildings and cars flew by as blue spots danced in the windows. The siren a whaling accompaniment to our escapades.
The ring of the radio cut through the cab; ”Sierra 150 ” I confirmed picking up the dated handset.
”Hi 150! Just to let you know, the area has been secured by armed police but the potentially armed assailant hasn been detained. ” The chirpy voice sang from control.
”Thank you, have a goodnight ” I replied before gazing between Sharon and Rob, who leaned in from the back as he bobbed around unbuckled.
”So whats the plan? ” Rob watched us expectantly until Sharon began.
The rest of the journey was engulfed by a discussion of roles and responsibilities. Rob handed me the dressings pack as we pulled to a stop.
Swinging the heavy door open, I carefully manoeuvre down the step that remains a constant reminder of my vertical challenge.
I slip on the blue face mask, partially covering my freckle dusted face.
I hurry over to the incident. Taking note of what the rapid response paramedic is doing, I meet the bouncer at the head.
I quickly pause to take in the situation.
The man, easily six foot tall, is tucked under an insulated blanket surrounded by butchered pieces of clothing and feathers scattering the ground. Evidencing no other injury sites, I direct my attention back to the bandage being held to the patients head.
”Hi, Im Evelyn, Im a student paramedic ” I introduced myself to the bouncer and patient.
I begin a kit dump on my plastic sheet.
Satisfied that I had everything I may need to dress the wound and stem the bleeding, I ask the bouncer to carefully remove the damp dressing from the left side of the patients head for assessment.
The wound is eclipsed by blood-matted hair blocking my view of the injury site. However, it is clear the bleed is arterial.
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