Monday, October 31, 2011

EMS in The `Hood

Dunno what's going on in my neighborhood, this week, but it seems like there's been lots of EMS activity every day. While we live near a couple major routes used by the local EMS to get around, that traffic is usually just passing by our neighborhood. This week, they've actually been stopping in the neighborhood.

Today, when I came home from work, an ambulance was stopped in front of a house three houses down from mine. Unfortunately, they were parked in the middle of the street with no indication of moving. Further misfortune is the fact that my street is a long, curving, one-way street. So, my choices were to: wait for it to move, do the long reverse the wrong way down the long, curving narrow street, park and walk the rest of the way home.

I'd considered backing, given that there was another side-street I could reach my house from. However, the length and curving narrowness of my street, combined with the relatively short walk and temperate weather, made me opt to just park and walk home.

As I passed my next door neighbor's house, she'd asked why I was walking rather than driving as I usually do. I indicated the ambulance with a somewhat annoyed look on my face. She informed me that it had been there, like that, for at least half an hour.

As I'd walked by, I'd noted that there was an empty stretcher in front of the house the ambulance crew was attending to. The door had also been hanging open, with no real sign of activity. It struck me as odd, at the time. My neighbor's mention of when it had arrived made me think, "if the ambulance is there for over an hour and the stretcher's empty on the lawn, someone's probably died." I noticed more than an hour later, that the ambulance was still there (though, thankfully, they'd since chosen to move it enough for traffic to get by). Given my prior thoughts, I looked to see if there might also be a Coroner's vehicle nearby. None was in evidence, but, perhaps I'd missed its coming and going? At any rate, the ambulance finally left the scene a little more than two hours after I got home.

Still don't know what it was all about. Generally, when an ambulance is called, they arrive quickly, act quickly and depart quickly (that whole "critical first hour" thing usually driving the pace). If an ambulance lingers, it's generally a sign of something not - or no longer - being an emergency. If something's not an emergency, you generally don't summon an ambulance and incur the visit's expense, so, lingering ambulances are generally a sign that an emergency became a non-emergency. Typically, this is because there's nothing urgent the EMS crew can do for the summoners - in other words, someone has died.

I'd also noticed, as I'd passed the house, that there had been a "For Sale" sign planted on the front lawn. It kinda made me wonder if, perhaps, the owner had had financial difficulties resulting in an attempt to sell. I further wonder if, maybe due to the current housing market, the owner couldn't get it sold before panic/despair set in and that, perhaps, the ambulance was called for a suicide. Still don't know. And, while it's morbid to ponder it and write about it, I don't feel inclined to inquire further. Don't want to cross the line from merely morbid to ghoulish.

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