A Walk in the Park


A walk in the park to stretch the legs while on post. The medic walks past a row of port o-potties from a weekend event.

One port-o-potty is not fully closed.  A sneaker blocks the door door. On second glance the sneaker is attached to a foot.

Open the door and an unresponsive man tumbles out. A syringe and empty heroin bags lay on the ground. The man is blue and breathes only on stimulation. One shake, one breath.

The medic radios his partner who drives the ambulance across the sidewalk to the scene and bring overs the house bag. No more one shake, one breath. A proper ambu-bag is applied while the naloxone is readied.

A man sprint frantically across the park directly at EMS scene.

The running man stops and stands a few feet away, looking hard at the overdose victim, whose face is covered by a mask.

The medic lifts the mask briefly to let the man look. “You know this guy?” the medic asks.

“No,” he shakes his head. “I thought it was Doug.”

A moment later, another porto-potty door opens and a man stumbles out. He looks dazed and confused..

“Doug! Doug!” The other man shouts. “You’re all right. I thought this dude was you.”

Doug looks at us still bagging the patient. “Fuck,” he says.

With the naloxone in his system, the victim is starting to breathe better on his own. His ETCO2 has dropped from 100 to 48.

During the commotion a large flatbed truck has backed down the sidewalk. The crane on the back lifts the last port-o-potty in the row up in the air and places it on the back. 

We lift our patient up on the stretcher, and wheel him toward the ambulance.

He opens his eyes now and looks about. “Oh, Christ!” he swears. “You guy’s Narcaned me, didn’t you?”

“Believe it or not,” the medic says, watching yet another port o-potty being raised into the air. “It’s your lucky day.”

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