The Red Beacon Cab Company

You know all those crazy stories you laughed your ass off about on shows like Reno 911 or the stories that made you say “No frakking way” when you watched shows like ER…well, I’m here to tell you they are all true. In fact, the real story of what it’s like working Emergency Medical Services is barely touched on by these shows.

During the years I volunteered as a paramedic, I saw things that scared the shit out of me, made me want to pull my hair out in frustration,  made me laugh my ass off, or sometimes even made me want to crawl into a hole and cry. Sometimes we got all that in the space of one 12 hour shift. If you were really lucky, you might get it in the span of a call.

One of the things that use to drive us all the craziest were the people who treated the Rescue Squad like their own personal taxi service. Some of our frequent flyers were so bad about using the ambulances like a taxi service that we use to joke that we needed a sign to put out that said Welcome to the Red Beacon Cab Company.
Seriously, these people were so bad about it that they’d call us out in the middle of an ice storm for NOTHING AT ALL…and then they would demand to be transported to the hospital that was the farthest away. Or, they would call us for a cut foot. No, not an OMGIgasheditopenI’mbleedingtodeathSaveme cut foot. No, I’m talking an ordinary bandaidbandagewilldothetrick type of cut foot.

But, I think my all time asshole favorite frequently abuser of the Red Beacon Cab company was a guy I’ll call Dick. Now, Dick lived at home with his elderly mom and, admittedly, his mom was legitimately ill. I think on a good day Dick’s mama’s heart was operating at about 30% and, if she was having an episode, she would be lucky to get 20% efficiency from her heart. But, about 30 50 70% of the time Dick called us, it wasn’t because his mama was having an episode. No, most of the time Dick called us it was because he wanted to ogle the male paramedic’s asses.

Sure, Dick always had an excuse…”I’m worried mama isn’t breathing that well” or maybe “Mama just doesn’t look good.” But, when the Red Beacon Cab would arrive on scene, Dick’s mama was almost always alert and oriented and doing just as well as could be expected. And, Dick would spend the time making sure the guys had to bed over to take care of his mama while he stood just far enough away to get a good view of their asses. And, God help us if an all female crew showed up. That was enough to guarantee at least one more trip, two if we were really lucky, back out to Dick’s mama’s house that week. And, with his mama’s medical history, every unneeded trip to their house was followed with an unnecessary trip to the ER just to be on the safe side.

As much as I loved being a paramedic, people like Dick made me want to install a fare meter and change our name from OCRS to the Red Beacon Cab Company.

Do you have any crazy inducing, makes you shake your head in amazement stories from your job (or one you worked in the past)? Share with us.

3 Responses to The Red Beacon Cab Company
  1. Mrs. Gamgee
    September 2, 2012 | 10:22 am

    Oh my…

    The stories I could tell you from my years in retail. I guess the biggest theme of oddities is customers demanding that a certain book or type of book exists. Either it was something that they read in 1972 (not that age necessarily equates out of print status, of course) or it was something so ridiculous that it simply couldn’t exist (like a pocket-sized large print Bible with a snap flap closure and thumb-indexing).
    Mrs. Gamgee recently posted..Observations of a Grumpy HobbitMy Profile

  2. Kristi
    September 2, 2012 | 1:55 pm

    omgoodness!! tyvm for the giggle and the flashback to “She’s a-fibbin’ again!”

  3. a
    September 2, 2012 | 6:51 pm

    Oh, I have stories. Sometimes they’re even funny. Here – I’ll tell you this one, as it was well-publicized.

    A guy gets shot in the head, and he has no identification. He is identified by family members, even though he measures several inches shorter than his actual height. The family has a wake and funeral – the whole nine yards. Approximately 30 days later, the guy calls his wife, very much alive. As it turns out, he was in rehab. Cue disinterment and finally (!) a fingerprint check…
    a recently posted..SiblingsMy Profile

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