Posts Tagged ‘paramedic work’

Spring is in the Air…

March 17, 2009

March 2009     Kabul, Afghanistan

Most times a backyard BBQ does not include skull fractures, amputations and calling the boss a “fucking wombat,” but this is Kabul. (more…)


Sir, Your Goat is Here.

January 18, 2009


January 2009  Kabul, Afghanistan

Fair warning: Vegetarians and PETA-types should probably scurry along and not loiter here.

I had an Afghan moment tonight.  I am teaching a class tomorrow to security contractors about emergency medical procedures for chest trauma.  My employer is a start-up, and we do not have one of the $1500 airway dummies needed for hands-on training, so I asked Shafiq the guard to get me a goat torso from the butcher, with lungs, heart, and hide intact.  I was very specific.  He returned to the house that night and called out to me, “Sir, your goat is here. You come and see if it is right.” (more…)

Field Trip: Afghanistan

September 20, 2008

May 2008

On June 1st, I am relocating to Kabul, Afghanistan to work as a paramedic. I will be located within the Green Zone, in the civilian sector of the city, working for an Australian contracting company. The job does not involve going out on the roads with the convoys, or going out to get any wounded. We are not working directly with the military, and Kabul is not nearly as violent as Baghdad, so I expect mostly medical work and not lot of trauma. The contract is three months on, one month off, renewable if things go well. (more…)

Night Shift (part one)

September 20, 2008

January 2008     San Francisco

Working the overnight shift on the ambulance is good and bad.  Not much supervision, no traffic, maybe some sleep, but the freaks and junkies come out at night and sometimes the wee hours bring out the weird in all of us.

Taking home a very large black woman to the Western Addition projects in time for Thanksgiving wasn’t so bad. I’m not sure if the elevator worked or not, but it was being used for storage, and she lived on the third floor. Ah, gravity. (more…)

Lady Killer

September 20, 2008

October 2007     San Francisco

Last night we had a cardiac call at 3am. Usually, these end up being not too serious, or even improperly dispatched, so my partner and I didn’t know what to expect. We arrived at the house to find a 70-yr-old Chinese woman complaining loudly in Cantonese (through a family interpreter) of heart palpitations. Having spent some time in Chinatown, I guessed that talking *at* me in Chinese at a high volume and speed was probably her natural state, so that didn’t concern me. (more…)

Put ya ass in the air like ya just don’t care!

September 20, 2008

July 2006     San Francisco

This paramedic gig is a lot of things: ugly, depressing, sad, vile, dangerous, challenging, rewarding, and an assault on all five senses at once, especially smell. Everything stinks. Sometimes, though, there is a gem like this one that makes it all worthwhile. I almost wish I saw this one myself. (more…)