Today I went on a "ride-along" with a paramedic as part of the story I'm writing on opioids. I can't say I was looking forward to it - I'm anxious in cars, faint in the face of blood and guts and on top of that, am nursing a bad head cold.
Well, we didn't get any overdoses, though I did observe the aftermath of a nasty car accident (two victims, both lucid, put in neck braces, strapped onto gurneys and taken to the hospital), one fainting woman (reported that she had headache, smoked marijuana in the morning and promplty began puking in the ambulance) and a case of respiratory distress at a shopping center.
Mostly, the paramedic and I just hung out -monitoring what was coming over the radio and talking about life. But I must say these were not my fineness few hours of reporting.
I think I was suffering from a NyQuil hangover from the night before. (And I took 1/4th of the suggested dose!) How appropriate for a story on drug abuse. I dropped my gloves about four times, left my digital recorder at the headquarters, misplaced my phone once, and littered the front of the "bus" (as they call the EMS vehicles) with damp little crumpled up tissues.
I apologized to the paramedic, who replied, "Are you kidding? Do you know what I see every day?"
Then she offered to show me the photo of a guy she rescued who had been hit by a train. I declined.