The shit hit the fan in Chilliwack today, I'm telling you. At one point we were sent code 3 to a 15 yr old who fell from the second story of a house and had a head injury. When we were almost there, dispatch turned us around to go code 3 in the other direction for status seizures and sent a different ambulance for our first code 3. Seconds later she dispatched our ALS car to Agassiz for a shooting, a stabbing, and a tazering (not by police but by a criminal), and seconds later another Chilliwack ambulance was called code 3 to the 4 year old short of breath, not alert, then 2 mintutes later the last car in the whole area went code 3 for a 12 month old with 3rd degree burns to her hand.
The shooting/stabbing/tazering involved 3 patients (it was apparantly a break and enter discovered in progress...yikes...), one of whom was airlifted from the scene to RCH directly. The guy I saw was getting blood pumped INTO him almost as fast as it was bleeding OUT of him into his abdominal cavity, and his x-ray was unreal. Anyone who popped into the trauma bay to observe (yours truly spent 20 minutes there) had to give police their name/number/address. It was like one of those ER episodes. Amazing.
Shortly thereafter Hope ambulance sent a car to the jail in Agassiz for a gentleman who eviscerated his own bowel with a homemade knife, spilling poop everywhere. Don't ask me why. Plus, the guys in Kent maximum security prison are generally not gentlemen. We sidestepped that one quite nicely, as we were in the trauma bay watching the ER staff sweat bullets trying to keep the gunshot victim alive long enough for surgery. His x-ray looked like a meteorologist report. He was shot with a shotgun with those pellet shots that kind of explode out after they get inside you. I even got to help. I taped something.
This was within the span of 30 to 45 minutes! It is amazing to me how the randomness of emergencies sometimes collide all at once.
Remember when the hot air balloon crashed in Surrey? At the same time someone drove his car into a group of wedding guests, killing 7.
Remember the 5 or 6 men who were murdered in a Surrey apartment last month? At the same time someone drove their cessna into an apartment building. AND my friend who is a dispatcher delivered a premature baby over the phone (obviously not actually delivering it, but delivering instructions to the person on the phone) AND resuscitated it afterwards.
These are notorious days in the ambulance service that get talked about for several weeks afterwards.
That one incident a year or two ago on Hwy 1 in Abbotsford where 16 farm workers in a van rolled over and a bunch of them died? That call still gets talked about. The first guy to call 9-1-1 happened to be a triage nurse from the army. He said the cars were swerving to avoid hitting the bodies on the freeway. He also walked the scene, giving dispatch an excellent idea of what they were looking at and how many ambulances would be needed. It has been noted several times in re-hashing of that scene that, had that van crashed even 30 minutes later, no one would have survived because a good portion of the area's ambulances would have been busy on calls. It just happened to be early, and 1/2 hour before shift change.