Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Reason #1
  • Reason #2
  • Reason #3

Site Description

dispatched for vs the real problem.

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by Parmaboy, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. Everyone knows that you cant always rely on dispatches information for what is really going on at a scene. Too many times you get to a call and find out that its completely different. This is nothing against dispatchers, they have to listen to peoples chaos and try and figure out what is going wrong.

    I wanted to share my most extreme example of this. I also am curious if anyone else has responded to calls where the problem is WAY different then what the dispatcher tells you.

    Awhile back, my partner and I had a call for a female, 6months OB/ in labor. At my service we get a LOT of calls like this. They are often just a "taxi ride" to the hospital because they dont have a car. Often the people are starting to have somewhat regular contractions, Water hasnt broken, etc. Even though this happens, I always treat it like its imminent delivery. We of course always bring our jump bag in "which has our OB kit in it." Fire dept first responders are already on scene. A few people at the house are crying. I think its kind of odd, but just brush it off. A family member leads us upstairs quickly. As I walk around the corner, I see the FD kneeling on the floor around a patient. At this time, I am thinking, ok this is the real thing, she must be delivering! As I walk closer and look over the FF shoulders I found the last thing I thought i would see. This young pregnant lady was in Cardiac arrest! After a quick OH ****, we gathered all our equipment and start treating Asystole. En route to the hospital we got a sinus rhthm/pulse back! The hospital did an emergency C-section, only to find the baby in cardiac arrest. In the end neither mom nor child made it.

    This story made me realize even more so than before, that Dispatchers can not always get reliable information. That you need to expect anything.
  2. oldstyle

    oldstyle Jeep Pirate

    Jan 31, 2002
    Jacksonville, Fl
    We get caught with our guard half down sometimes but our dispatch does a great job. My biggest "Oh s***"s have been the ones we happened upon without being dispatched at all.

  3. jmshady


    Nov 27, 2005
    Saturday morning ten min before shift ends.

    Dispatched on a Diaphoretic pt at a nursing home. Walk in to find Rigor and Dependent Lividity. That is the worst one I have had yet. Possibly the most comical because of having an RN and LPN that made the call. They had attempted CPR for a short time prior to our arrival.
  4. allanteman


    Feb 28, 2000
    Flew to a scene a few months ago for a: "Forty year old ATV accident"

    Got there and it was a: "FOUR year old TV accident"

    Kid was climbing on a A/V cart, tipped it over, and had 42 inch TV fall on his head. Bleeding out the ears, got tubed, etc. Thanks dispatch!
  5. JMshady-

    Those are my favorite calls...especially when they say " I dont know when he was last checked on, because I just got on shift" or they say "rounds where 15 minutes ago and he was just fine then"

    ALLANTEMAN- wow, now thats a definite Oh s*** call
  6. faceplant


    Feb 8, 2006
    Went routine on a lift assist. The reason he needed help getting up was he was in cardiac arrest.
  7. RPD07


    Apr 27, 2007
    We get dispatched to a house fire so we roll our 2 engines, 2 tankers and a rescue. I'm first on scene and report the conditions over the radio "Engine 1 on scene, single story wood structure. Fully involved. Engine 1 will be on scene, all other units are back in service"

    it was a dog house. Needless to say, everyone in the county was wondering why the hell I returned everyone after calling in a fully involved structure. guess you had to be there. haha
  8. Shrike30

    Shrike30 EMT-B

    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA, USA
    My absolute "favorite" thing to hear on an interfacility dispatch is "chief complaint, no extras."

    Inevitably, they're horribly infectious, incredibly crazy, or seven hundred pounds. "No extras," I think, means "facility wants them out here as fast as possible."
  9. allanteman


    Feb 28, 2000
    Remembered another one....

    Got dispatched for an air standby to a 150ft fall near the river. Fire Dept lands us next to the high tension powerlines tells it was a painter that fell off the highest point on the tower that carries the lines over the river. Well, get over to him and learn that he got zapped with 273 kilovolts before he made the 150ft dive. Needless to say, we didn't have to transport him.
  10. Motown Fire

    Motown Fire Everett

    Jun 27, 2006
    It always makes things interesting when you get dispatched to smoke in the area and roll up to a house fire with fire showing on 3 sides, 3 pt's lying in the street with severe burns and reports of 1 to 4 victims in the house. To top it off the neighbors are starting a riot because we didn't get there "fast enough".
  11. Anytime there is a non-related individual in the loop miscommunications raises it's ugly head. Untrained people fill in the blanks or fail to ask the right questions.

    It happens in Electronics field service too. I have had literal meltdown of a site before, lighting strike or a power grid issue, but never had a life and death scene play out.

  12. RyanNREMTP

    RyanNREMTP Inactive/Banned

    Jun 16, 2007
    Waco, Texas
    Other day got sent on a traumatic injury, got on scene a bystander said it was a seizure. Got inside and the patient was having abdominal pain.
  13. 4095fanatic


    Oct 12, 2006
    dispatch: hang nail
    actual call: full cardiac arrest

    walking in there with the BLS bag only... *sigh*.
  14. D25

    D25 The Quick

    Jan 26, 2003
    My favorite one so far was dispatched as a cut thumb. "Sir, how'd ya get the cut on your thumb?"

    "Well you see, my son has been doing alot of meth, and he tried to shoot me with a shotgun. When we were wrestling around I guess my thumb got cut on the gun," he says, as a tall skinny tweaker appears for a back room with a shotgun in his hands.

    Fast forward, past the running like hell, backing down a driveway/ ditch at 400 mph, and staging for SWAT, and the real patient is the tweaker who gets treated for multiple LTL beanbag shots, a good old fashoned SWAT team beat down, and tazer barb removal. :supergrin:
  15. mylt1


    Jan 7, 2007
    yesterday, dispatched as chest pain diff. breathing actual problem was back pain.

    few weeks ago, subject fallen with a head injury actual problem was the nurses at the nursing home didnt want to deal with him.

    couple of my all time favorites are,
    dispatched to the same nursing home for a subject with chest pains, walk in with the stretcher and O2 to find several nurses doing CPR, code blue. asked when the pt was last seen? answer not long ago, breakfast i believe, well it was now 1130.

    dispatched to a code blue man down not breathing arrived on scene ran in with O2 defibrillator and als gear to find the gentleman sitting at the table eating a bowl of cheerios.

    i have more but those are the most recent and the best i can type right now.