It is late afternoon and we are just sitting down to dinner at the station when we get a call for assistance across town. It is not a regular dispatch call but one called in by a captain. Looking down at the Italian feast that was prepared by the best cook in the station my stomach grumbled, bummed that it was going to miss that meal. Off we went to find out what surprise was in store for us since there was no information other than the address.
We pulled up to a 7-11 store with an engine parked in front. Sitting in a wheelchair was an obvious transient in a hospital gown. Even more quirky was the fact that there was a hospital across the street. Yep, this was going to be interesting.
My partner and I knew the captain of the engine and he explained the situation and after transferring paperwork information they went back into service and left for another call. My partner, Lucy, and I started talking to the guy to get his story and figure out what to do with him.
Mr. Bob: They kicked me out.
Mr. Bob: Because they don't like me.
Lucy: Well, why would they not like you.
Mr. Bob: I don't know.
After 15 minutes of conversation we figure out there is much more to the story than what we are being told so Lucy takes off to the side of the building while I continue talking to Mr. Bob to keep him distracted and get more clues. She calls the hospital across the street for more information and gets the real story. He was discharged because he refused treatment. This turns out to be a psych call. Because he has some existing medical issues, I decide after checking him out, he should go to county and not with the local psych services.
Me: Well Mr. Bob we are going to take you to another hospital. Is that okay with you?
Mr Bob: Okay. As long as it is not County. I don't like county and I don't want to go there.
He started getting all agitated, ranting and raving about county hospital. Oh crap. We can't take him to anywhere else other than county. Then I take a chance and tell an itty bitty white lie after I calm him down.
Me: Okay, Mr. Bob. We will take you to XY hospital instead of county hospital. Is that okay with you?
Mr Bob: Okay.
I get up and hustle around the corner and warn Lucy to what I have just done. XY hospital is the actual name of county hospital. I told her what Mr. Bob said and to not say county around him at all or he will go nuts and refuse to go. We can't blow our only chance to get him off the streets.
After some more calls and getting things set up we call up a rescue unit to come transport him to county. We are a specialty unit and because of his medical and mental issues we are not allowed to transport him. When the guys show up I pull them aside and quickly give them the warning about not saying the word county and that he may freak out in the ambulance when they get to the hospital if he recognizes it. They looked confused but didn't question it, just got Mr. Bob loaded up and said see ya there. The guys were awesome and could have grumbled about the problem we were dumping on them but didn't.
County hospital is across town from where we were and on the way we were taking bets on if he would freak out or not. Surprisingly enough when we pulled up the paramedics already had him inside and Mr. Bob was sitting there happy as a clam. I talked to him some more and asked him to promise me to do what the nurses told him to do. After some grumbling he promised me to behave and do what he was told.
We spent quite a while there with paperwork, talking with the nurses, and setting up things with social services. I hope Mr. Bob behaved and got the care he needed.
As much as I love the job there are times I wish I could follow through and other times I am glad we are finished and off to other calls...