I come in at six and find the night crew is out on a call. A few minutes later they clear their scene with a refusal, but then are dispatched to a possible dead body/overdose at a local business. They ask me to respond in the second ambulance to meet them there in case it is a workable code.
I am almost there when they slow me down, telling me it is a 10-45 — a presumption.
The address is a local transportation company that relies on contract workers as their drivers. I find the night crew standing in the doorway of the hallway bathroom. I glance in. A large naked man is sitting on the toilet, bent forward, his head down by his knees. His body is mottled and rigorous. There is a syringe on the ground next to him. While we are standing there, his cell phone starts to ring.
You have the urge to pick it up and answer it.
We’re thinking “What do you say?”
1. Uh, hello…
2. Fred’s phone.
5. He’s not available right now, he’s ahhh… he’s still being processed.
6. He’s in the can.
We just let it ring.
Maybe it was his dealer.
Maybe it was his girlfriend.
A number of years ago there was a business where an angry employee came to work with an assault rifle and killed several of his co-workers and injured a number more. A medic, who was there, told me how as he walked through the room past all the cubicles, phones were ringing everywhere, and as he was presuming one man, he could hear the guy’s wife on the answering machine, leaving a message saying, “Honey, are you okay? I’ve been watching the news. I just need to know you’re all right. Honey, I love you, honey…”