The toughest, most dangerous part of the job…

Driving. On days like today driving is by far the most dangerous aspect of this profession, coupled with the fact that us rural stations working core/flex system (on call 96 hours straight)

Its days like today where you are forced to work and feel like no one cares of your well being. Not the Town. Not AHS. Not Dispatch.

We did our 3 hours of core this morning. 8 am to 11 am. And then did whatever people do while on call.

Then 6 PM we have a Transfer, to take a patient to hospital 2.5 hours away. These transfers come all to often to this hospital. There and back ends up being a 6 hour trip.

We get there around 9 PM. Which would get us back in my own town, my own bed around midnight.

On the way back we get attached to a call kist outside of the town we dropped the patient off.

The notes state patients semi truck trailer tire was on fire, patient tried to extinguish it and it exploded in his face. We for on scene within minutes. The fire department was already on scene beating us by just a few minutes and a second ambulance was 3 minutes behind us.

The man was in and out of consciousness, face black from burns and bleeding significantly from the face from a huge laceration caused by the explosion.

We got the patient in the back of the other Ambulance, they were an ALS unit we were just BLS. A Firefighter drove so we had 3 paramedics in the back treating the patient.

We got him to the hospital and called for STARS to meet at the hospital.

STARS is the air ambulance Services we utilize in Alberta, that has over the years expanded country wide, they are a Volunteer not for profit business that finds its efforts though various fundraising things.

This call took 2 hours. Now we’re at 11 PM. And a 2.5 hr drive home.

Now we’re at 130 AM.

We have been up since 7 AM the previous day for our core hours.

Finally can start getting ready for bed.

BAM. Radio goes off at 230. Another transfer. A patient needs to go to the city for a catheter insertion. Our hospital tried but were unsuccessful 3 times.

A city transfer is 4 to 5 hours. Its 230, we haven’t slept and now we have a 5 hour trip.

My partner is tired.

I’m tired.

I’m on the verge of thinking I’m not safe to drive.

We cant say anything. Who will listen?

AHS? Dispatch? (who is also AHS) The town?

They will say and have said before.

“You only worked for 7 hours and your telling me your tired ?” “You only did 1 call all day, your not tired”

Been through this fight before many times.

There is a legislation a fairly new one, that states after 16 hours worked in any 24 hour period you get 10 hours of mandatory rest”

Well were at 10 hours not 16. No matter that you got 0 sleep. Theres always loopholes that work in the employers favore. It’s not always about the safety of the workers.

So we do this trip.

Wow driving was tough.

Music blared. AC on. Anything to keep your eyes on the road and your mind focused.

We get our patient into the hospital. And now we have to drive back.

The Sun is starting to come up its 530 am. Holy shit we have been awake for 23 hours straight. Can we even drive like this ?

A Mythbusters episode proved that driving tired is just as dangerous if not more dangerous then drinking and driving.

But. Nothing we can do now we have to get back. My partner is just as tired as I am.

We make it back without crashing.

24 hours straight awake.

We finally hit 16 hours. Were timed out and we get our 10 hours of mandatory rest. Its 7 AM.

Good night readers!

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