“Rescue 1 and Engine 13, respond to 328 Calla St. for an infant not breathing.”
Seconds seem like hours. Cars move like dinosaurs on the brink of extinction, sirens and lights ineffective. Gloves go on, mind racing, ghosts invade, I throw them out, the trucks move faster, picking up speed, three minutes pass. Before we stop I’m out the door, mother running, baby in her arms, blue. I take her, she’s stiff, burning with fever, rigid, then starts to seize.
Oxygen, assisted ventilations, family screaming, everybody tries to do something, I give out tasks, an IV, keep bagging, need a glucose test, find the history, learn Spanish quick, I need to know what’s going on, get a temp, find out her weight, find a pulse, keep her safe, the seizing continues as if she were possessed.
Pulsox rises, seizing continues, can’t get an IV, family hysterical, firefighters busy now, doing their job, Tylenol suppository administered, temp of 104, need a driver, call the hospital, tell them we’re coming in with an eighteen month old, possible febrile seizure, eta one minute.
Give the crowd a thumbs up, look calm, reassuring, I hope, close the door and take the mother’s hand, seat her next to the stretcher, let her know it will be okay, seizing slows down, the baby relaxes a little, the truck rolls, calm now, all we can do is done.
Trauma room ready, medical team takes over, struggle for a while with the IV but eventually get one, Broslow tape extended, dosages and medication ordered, bagging continues.
We clean and restock the truck, another child is having a seizure at the ball field, have to go. Twenty minutes, we’re back, no seizure, just a kid who took a foul ball to the face, iced him down, brought him in and checked on the baby, breathing on her own, fever down, still bluish but okay, mother cries and hugs me.
Yeah, it’s a good day.