Friday, January 18, 2008


Another double-transfer week.
Tuesday night, we went south to Williamsport. Wednesday was another visit to the fine folks at Robert Packer Hospital. Our patient was stable, the trip was uneventful, we got her tucked into bed, met up with another crew to grab some equipment to take back to our hospital, and we were on our way.

We only had one problem. Sayre, apparently, has a curfew. And we were past it.

Need a cup of coffee after 9pm ANYWHERE in a five mile radius? Tough. Because everything is closed. Everything. Our driver just wanted coffee. The rest of us were a mite peckish, but the driver having coffee is kind of important. We drive around and no luck. We finally find a Wendy's, which is open, but only the drive through. Surely, we reason, we'll be able to get coffee here.

Now. An ambulance is higher than a pickup, has a noisy diesel engine, and enormous side-vew mirrors so we can see past the patient compartment. Which means if we pulled up to the ordering thing, we couldn't get close enough and they would never be able to hear us. Never mind that we could never successfully complete the transaction on the other side of the building, between the height difference and the mirrors, without getting out. So we park the ambulance ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BUILDING WHERE THEY CAN SEE IT and walk up to the window. This is the retardation that ensues.

Our driver: Are you open?

Window Idiot: The drive through is open, but the dining room is closed.

Driver: Can we just order here?

WI: No, you have to be in a vehicle. I can't take your order at the window.

The driver and I part and gesture to the AMBULANCE which is parked IN FRONT OF HER STUPID HEAD.

Me: We can't drive around the building in that, you'd never be able to hear the order over the engine.

Driver: I can't even just get a cup of coffee and pay cash?

WI: No. That's the rule.

Me: But we're in an ambulance.

WI: Sorry, that's the policy. We can't serve people on bicycles either.

I am so close to pulling her through the window I'm experiencing involuntary muscle twitch. Because, you know, four people on an ambulance transfer from an hour and a half away who are just trying to not FALL ASLEEP AND WRECK on the way home are just exactly like some douchebag on a bicycle. We all freeze for an instant and let the pointlessness sink in, then get in the rig and go home.