They need medics to go on the air so we rush through our checklist and sign-on. They send us down to area nine and no sooner do we get there than they bang us with a wait and return. The pickup is not for a half an hour so it gives me a chance to eat some of the Tastease Midi Doughnuts I bought on the way into the city. A baker’s dozen for $4.75. Sometimes I buy a dozen, some times I buy two. I don’t eat doughnuts, but these are made by elves. I buy them just to look at them and to give them away to people. I give them to other EMTs, nurses, doctors, people at bus stops, homeless men. And sure, I admit I eat one or two (pumpkin and red velvet with raspberry crème now) myself. Good bye cute little doughnut. If you didn’t taste so good, I’d keep you on my dashboard just to look at you as counter to all the badness in the world.

I found the doughnut shop by accident one day. We had been dispatched for a cardiac arrest. We hit on our lights and sirens and started passing the traffic. Then another car self-dispatched itself by saying on the radio that they were “right on top of it,” and so dispatch cancelled us. “Look a doughnut shop,” I said suddenly(as we were being cancelled), “Hit the sirens off and pull over.” I take every opportunity to pull into a Dunk’n Doughnuts if there is one close by whenever we are cancelled. If people are upset and think we used our lights and sirens just to get to a doughnut shop, I say, “Sorry, I know it looks bad, but we just got cancelled off a call – and we happened to be hungry. We’ve been so busy with emergencies – no time to eat.” I get my laughs when I can.

Not a minute and fifty seconds after we cancelled on this particular call than the ambulance that was “right on it” went roaring by. Over the radio we soon heard it was not a code, but a nursing home patient who was a full code, who needed to go to the ED for a period of unresponsiveness. She had sleep apnea and was difficult to wake up. The crew sounded upset it wasn’t a cardiac arrest.

So anyway, I go into this little hole-in-the wall bakery, and the rest is well…an extra pound and a half on the scale despite my triathlon training.

On this morning, at the nursing home while waiting for our pickup, I give the rest of my doughnuts to the receptionist and she shares them with some nurse’s aides who swarm by like bees to honey. They all want to know where I got them. I tell them about the kind woman and man who run the tiny hole-in-the–wall bakery and about the elves who surely have to help them make these treats. Then seeing the bathroom key on the desk, I borrow it as we still have some time before our pickup. While I am in there doing my business, I hear a man’s voice discussing various flavored muffins. When I get out, I am horrified to learn, he is from the Alzheimer’s Society and he is setting up a bake sale. The aides all have their mouths closed and are not talking to the man. They all look guilty. Me, too. Sorry, man.

I never find out how the bake sale went because when we got up to the floor, it turned out our wait and return is already in the hospital, so we are cancelled. Dispatch sends us to Area 10.

Tastease Mini and Midi Doughnuts 70 New Park Avenue (860) 233-2235

They open at 7 on Tuesday through Friday and 8 on Saturday. They are closed on Sunday and Monday. While they are open until 3 each day, it is not unusual for them to sell out in an hour or less, particularly on Saturdays.

*A Midi Doughnut is in between a regular sized doughnut and a mini doughnut.

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