Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back on the streets of Riyadh

As the oily combination of rice and chicken from capsa tickled my taste buds the reality set in. I was back in Riyadh. I really needed the vacation I had just returned from and I felt so rejuvenated. I was actually excited to be back on the streets working the very next day. I can only hope that my newfound youthful vigor last. This job can really take a toll on you when you have such a high case load, and no other Paramedics to work with. It was refreshing during the 3 weeks I spent in Europe to have no responsibility. However the lack of responsibility and relaxing days did not last long once I returned.

It was a chilly winters day here in Riyadh as we blasted through red lights, and swerved around traffic on our way to a case 17. Case 17 is the radio code for "Fainting/Unknown Medical" You never know what to expect, often times it can be a cardiac arrests. I started preparing myself mentally en route for a possible cardiac arrests and the equipment/drugs I would  require if my suspicions where correct. However little did I know that my suspicions where wrong and I would soon find out that it would almost cost my partner and I our own lives....

Upon arrival to the scene we started carrying all the equipment up to the front door of the house in question. Suddenly the door flew open and a women met us begging for help followed by a young man in his early 20's. The man in his early 20's had a pale face, bags under his eyes, and an unexplainable crazy look on his face. Seconds later he started yelling at us in arabic as he sprinted towards myself and the ambulance crew like a zombie from 28 days later. The ambulance crew where running away with fear in there eyes. What a bunch of Mary's my partner and I thought as we stood our ground. I carry powerful Narcotics and Sedatives such as Haldol and Versed we could easily chemically sedate the patient with if we all jumped on him. I couldn't understand why 5 grown men where so scared and since I don't speak Arabic it remained a mystery.

This mystery was soon solved as the young man charged at me and raised the huge 10 inch knife I did not see prior to this moment. I jumped backwards and raised my arms up to protect myself. I began to quickly retreat while the man continued to charge stopping just a couple feet from me and taking a fighting stance. He held the knife tightly continued to yell at myself and the crew in arabic.I called for police backup and handed the phone and radio to one of the ambulance crew. I had almost made it back to the safety of the camery when I realized we still had 1 crew member back with the patient, my partner! He did not retreat with the rest of us

My partner was now engaged in a Mexican stand off with an enraged armed Zombie. Both party's took there fighting stances and prepared for battle as I looked on in terror. There was no time for me to draw up a sedative and I started walking back towards my partner and the patient. I was screaming at him to turn around and come back to the camery and ambulance parked outside the house whilst I prepared to fight the patient with him. Finally my partner conceded and returned with me to the ambulance, at which point we had a long discussion on the importance of scene safety. As paramedics we are trained to never enter an unsafe scene however there was no indication this scene was unsafe until it was already to late. Luckily everyone made it out of this situation safely.