You know those moments where you just throw your hands up in the air and go, “Of course,” and laugh because this either A) doesn’t feel like real life or B) it could only happen to you? Yeah? I have many of those moments. As do several of my friends. We call these “My Freaking Life” stories. Well sort of…I just don’t know how I feel about dropping the F Bomb on my blog.
So anyway. Here’s a “My Freaking Life” story.
I drove a BLS transfer. My poor partner was super tired, hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in too long, and the only thing she wanted was to finish this transfer and lapse into a solid coma for several hours. Our simple transfer went off without a hitch. As my partner started to finish up paperwork, I took the cot out back to the truck. I wanted to have as much cleaned and put away as possible by the time she came back, that way she could snuggle into bed sooner.
We have power cots, so you can load them with one person. I latched the bar under the head of the cot to the hook inside the back of the ambulance, lifted up, and retracted the legs. As I started to push the cot inside, it suddenly became very apparent that the ambulance was parked on a slight incline, and the cot was sliding towards the driver’s side of the truck. Realizing I wasn’t going to be able to win this fight to put the cot back in by myself, I pulled the cot back out and lowered the legs again. No matter, I figured, I’ll just clean and put fresh linens on the cot outside of the truck (as opposed to loading it and cleaning it inside the truck). The brutal wind wasn’t going to make it easy or comfortable, but I’d manage. As I made up the cot, I realized something was kind of off. Usually, the cot wriggles a little bit, especially if it’s parked on an incline. But it felt surprisingly rigid this time…
Somehow, the hooking bar of the cot got wedged between the bolt on the floor that keeps the back doors closed and a small metal lip. I tried flipping the bar up. No dice. Maybe a good sharp upwards pull? Nope. Maybe assuming the Captain Morgan stance, with one leg on the ground and the other on the back bumper, and using all of my might, maybe I’ll pop the bar free? Nuh uh. Maybe pulling on it from inside the truck? No. We keep a toolbox on the outside of the ambulance…maybe a solid thwack with a hammer? Nope, definitely not that? I tried pulling on the bar again using brute strength…the bar started to flex, but gave no sign of budging. Oh no.
“Ready to go? I’m pooped,” My partner said, rounding the corner of the ambulance. She stared at me in bewilderment. One foot on the back bumper, the other on the floor of the ambulance, pulling for all my worth. “What the hell are you doing?”
“You’re going to hate me…” I started, explaining our predicament.
We pulled and pushed and grunted and groaned and sorted through every tool we had on the truck. My partner was exhausted, and probably ready to kill me. I just kept apologizing, and dreading having to call someone from the station all the way over here to help us figure out how to fix this. After about 30 minutes of this little circus act we had going on, I finally went back to the foot of the stretcher and, frustrated, tried to pick it up one last time. And it FINALLY sprung free.
I emailed our maintenance guy when we returned, noting a dent in the metal bar from where it got wedged between the bolt and the lip, and explained the story behind it. The response?
“Ok. Thanks. I’ve never heard of that happening before, but everything looks ok….how do these things keep happening to you?”
My freaking life.