Pitching in

An Emergency Room Parking lot is the last place in the world I would want to have a medical emergency. It is the no-man’s land of emergency medical care. Death Vally is kinder to people dying than the cruel pavement of the hospital parking lot. The patient’s aren’t officially hospital patients until they cross the threshold is the standard belief, and it might even be true. The medics in their vehicles don’t even notice people in distress in the parking lot, or they simply look the other way.

Rescue-1-night-300x225If you are ever in the Emergency Room parking lot, and a personal vehicle pulls onto OUR turf, and stops abruptly right behind YOUR vehicle, do yourself a favor; get out of the truck, the quicker the better and see what you can do to help. Chances are the person driving the car has just endured a horrific journey; imagine transporting a critical patient without lights and sirens, and could use a little help. The driver  might even be the one doing the dying.

During my career I enjoyed a fantastic working relationship with the staff at the emergency rooms. It wasn’t rocket science, I wasn’t even close to being the greatest EMT that crossed their threshold, I’m quite average in the looks department and am only mildly amusing, but I was always willing to lend a hand when I was in their environment. I’m pretty sure I even helped save a few lives just feet from the ER doors by recognizing critical patients. The ones that were shot were easy, some of the others not so clearly dying, but worthy of being given the benefit of the doubt.

Think firefighters and EMT’s are the world’s greatest gossipers? Think again. Word travels faster at the ER. I got enough goodwill from the staff by scooping patients  out of their  car, or off the pavement and onto my stretcher and  into the ER to last a career.


It doesn’t hurt to help out the police either. I know; not my patient, not my problem, but by doing a little extra everybody benefits, especially the people who find themselves down in an emergency room parking lot.





  • Tom Combs says:

    Your article reminded me of a parking lot story. Leaving the ER after a shift (Er doc) I cut through the parking lot and came across a guy slumped halfway out of his car in cardiac arrest. This was many years ago…the irony was he was leaving the hospital after “passing” an out-patient cardiac stress test (the tests are better now).
    Regards your relationship with ER staff – I think you nailed it. Folks who pitch in and help are appreciated everywhere – especially in the ER. Well done.
    BTW read sample section of one of your books on Amazon – enjoyed it! Buying it and in line to be read. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *