When I was a Resident Assistant (RA), one of my responsibilities included documenting dim-witted behavior, such as drinking in the residence hall, noise policy violation, drug use and so on. While I am not a RA anymore, stupidity still exists, so I?m going to document it here in my column. However, it?s not the residents here on campus who are doing something dense, but rather it?s our local Emergency Medical Service (EMS).EMS is a branch of medicine that is performed in the field (i.e. the streets, private homes, etc.) by paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and certified first responders (CFRs). The system is wonderful because you can always count on an ambulance to transport you to the hospital. Too bad the wonderful system doesn?t apply to WCU anymore.
The next time you call for an ambulance, think carefully: I know I will, after what happened down on South Campus last Friday night. I was watching a movie with some friends down at the Club House when an ambulance from Goodwill Fellowship came towards the Village, flashing lights and all. Normally that signals an emergency. They stopped at a building and shined a spotlight into someone?s window. I was watching from the Club House thinking “Wow, this must be some serious stuff.”
For a while the ambulance just sat there, so I went outside to see what was up. There was the ambulance staff just chilling with some residents from the building. It wasn?t an emergency at all: some EMTs just decided to drive their ambulance into The Village, park in the middle of the road and hang out to flirt with some girls.
Apparently this is not the first time they?ve done this. In fact, one woman they were talking to told them that if they keep doing this, then the Resident Director will come out and yell at them, and I thought, “You know what? He should.”
The following explains why this was a case of stupidity. First, anybody knows that flashing red lights on an ambulance means an emergency. This should not be messed around with. Second, they appeared to be taking a care-free approach to what should be a serious job. I realized this when I saw the “parked” ambulance rocking back and forth. Who knows what they were doing in there? Third, just ask yourself, “Are these the type of people you want rescuing you when you have to make that call for emergency help?”
Maybe it?s just a pet peeve, but nonetheless, it is a serious issue when emergency medical staff goes lax on their job to even the slightest degree, and here?s why: almost five years ago, in Marple Township, Delaware County, my own life was saved because a skillful EMT answered my mother?s 911 call. He identified inhalation problems, and we needed to be driven to a hospital and given immediate care. The Delco EMT was efficient because he was on call and alert and not “dilly dallying” in The Village. Next time, I?m driving myself to the hospital, and so should you. You might have a better chance that way.
Anthony Maalouf is a junior majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish.