I was a very new EMT, working in Phillips Mills, Masachusetts, which is a very poor city, famed for having the state assume control of its schools, going into receivership, and the fire department dispatchers being caught on camera having sex and snorting coke on duty (although they still did a better job dispatching than Rivererdale ever did.)
My kinda town.
Aaaaaaaaaaanyway, one bitter cold winter evening, we got a 911 call to check out a man sprawled on the sidewalk. We headed over, and found a well known drunk, who was, true to form, drunk, and unable to get up and move along. The police don't take drunks inot custody anymore, since they don't want the liability if a guy seizes and dies in a cell, and the shelters are all dry, so we generally take them to the ER where they take up space, sleep it off, get a free sammich, pee on the stretcher and sign out AMA.
On the state. Your tax dollars at work.
So, the guy was basically ok, just really hammered. He was breathing fine, his vitals were good, but it was too cold to leave him on the sidewalk, so we got ready to take him. My partner was in the truck notifying the hospital, cancelling the Medics and turning on the lights and heat in the back, while I was out with the cot, the patient and a cop.
I lowered the cot, and walked behind the patient, grabbing him under the arms to lift him onto the cot. "You think you can help me get this guy on the stretcher?" I asked the policeman.
"Sure," he replied, and leaned over the patient.
Now, I assumed he was going to grab the guy's knees and we'd lift him onto the cot.
I assumed wrong.
The cop leaned over until the bill of his hat was tocuhing the drunk's forhead, inflated his lungs like a drill instructor and bellowed:
"GET ON THE FUCKING STRETCHER!"
The drunk suddenly regained control of his legs and hopped onto the cot. The cop smiled, touched his hat and walked away.
In his defense, he did help me get the guy on the stretcher.
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