Once upon a time I was out working again. A call came out for an injured person at the lake. The story dispatch gets is that a guy climbed up a rock face and jumped into the water. When his gravitational experience came to an abrupt halt he was flat on his back in the water. The 15 or so bystanders helped him out of the water and brought him up to the highest point away from the water. Unfortunately this meant I had to climb out of a boat, and up the rock face. If you remember my previous posts, you’ll no doubt recall a story called “Climbing up the Mountain.” Oddly enough, the same cop I hiked up that mountain with previously was the one who was piloting the boat I was on. Needless to say I will never answer up a call with this guy again.
Upon arriving, I see a young male on his back, unresponsive. As soon as I make contact with him he becomes awake and agitated. Pupils pinpoint, and displaying classic head injury symptoms. In the middle of his tantrums asking for water he would lose consciousness. Now, how to get a combative trauma patient collared, boarded, strapped, assessed, carried down a rock face, and into a boat with one EMT and 15 bystanders? This was gonna suck, and the suck was going to be bad. Fortunately I was able to hold it together long enough to use the radio properly. Thankfully I was in the one area of the lake with radio reception. “Medic 51, can you please have the officers responding expedite their response.” The next thing I learned was how loud those boat motors get when the throttle opens up, it was quite impressive. So with an army of bystanders, cops, and 2 fire medics we finally were able to get this guy secured to the back board. There really wasn’t any time or opportunity to do an assessment. We were able to look at his back before covering it with a board, and get a pulse and oxygen saturation. Back looked banged up, but no step-offs, Pulse of 43 and irregular, and oxygen saturation was about the only vitals sign we had within normal limits. Patient did admit to consuming alcohol and ecstasy. We get back to solid land, turf him to the flight medics, and that was that.
Please, take a lesson from this. If you ever decide to jump off a rock face while under the influence of a psychoactive substance, please, please, please do it near a dock or something.