This weekend, traveling up to Maine with my parents for a wedding, we passed the scene of an accident somewhere in Massachusetts, and a short while later, we stopped for gas. There was an ambulance parked at the gas station and, at first, we wondered if this was one of the ambulances that had responded to the accident.
This didn't seem to make sense though, so I imagined it had stopped for a problem with someone in the minimart. One of the EMTs made the rounds of the property with a little long-haired dachshund on a leash. Pretty soon, the rear doors of the ambulance opened, and EMTs removed a patient on a gurney from the vehicle. This really didn't make sense. Why would they be taking a patient out of the ambulance before they reached the hospital?
"Maybe she needs to go to the bathroom," I said.
Sure enough, they soon wheeled the gurney to the side of the building near the rest room doors, brought the patient her cane and helped her down.
Never before had I considered such a scenario. An ambulance transporting a patient is usually speeding to the hospital with lights and sirens blaring. I had never considered disrupting one sort of emergency response for a different sort of emergency.
Can you imagine an ambulance, with all the sirens and lights, transporting someone with chest pain? The patient whispers something, and one EMT says to another, "She's not going to make it."
The driver steps on the gas, maneuvering past cars pulling to the side of the road.
"What! Ed? What are you saying?"
"Frank, she's not going to make it all the way to the hospital."
"Ed, don't talk like that!"
The driver increases speed.
"I'm afraid this is an emergency, Frank."
"Right. Which is why we're here, isn't it?"
(To the driver.) "Pull over to this Mobil station. She needs to go potty."
The ambulance makes an abrupt, screeching turn into the Mobil station.
"And Frank, take out the dachshund. He needs to go wee wee too."