Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Language Barrier

I go on so many different types of calls, from the very ridiculous to the very serious-est. (Oh, by the way, in my Blogs, I will also make up words.) Some of these calls will be mentioned here, without names to adhere to all Privacy policies, because I deem them to be note worthy. I will start with a story that some of my friends here have already heard. I was NOT a part of this particular call.

Back in the day, when there were few Paramedic Ambulances, and probably even less Firefighters that spoke a foreign language, a Fire Engine was sent on an "OBS - Obstetrics" call. The nature of a call is determined by what the caller says on the phone to the 911 dispatcher. If you call and say you are short of breath, we will respond to a "DR - Difficult Respiration" call.

The Engine gets on scene and finds an obviously pregnant woman laying on a couch, and panting. The woman only speaks Spanish. No one on the Fire Engine speaks Spanish, and they are unable to find someone to translate.

The Firefighter has to find out if this is an imminent delivery. The ONLY way to do this, is to see if the baby's head is showing at the "birth canal."

The Firefighter tries his best to explain that he has to look, "down there." He tries to remove the woman's underwear, and she fights him. This goes on and repeats it self a few times. Finally the Firefighter decides it has been long enough, and if the baby is coming, he has to know so that he can deliver the baby.

He musters up all of his strength, and pulls off the woman's underwear. Whew! The baby is NOT coming. What a relief!

The Paramedics show up, and one of them speaks Spanish. After asking the woman what happened and why she called, the Paramedic listens to the woman's story. He then turns to the Firefighter and asks, "What did you do to her?" The Firefighter explains what he did. The Paramedics says, "She didn't call for herself, she called because someone beat up her husband. He's outside in the backyard."

Life, you just can't make some things up.