Murphy’s not only a constant pain in my side– he’s got the weirdest sense of humor. It was a normal day, all day– until 10 minutes before quitting time.
Okay– what I said about predictability? There is one thing you can count on– the call right before end of shift when you’re tired. It’s practically a given.
Only this call was anything but normal. It was completely unpredictable– unless of course you take my luck into consideration.
I got to the call at 19:07, pulled my equipment from the bike and approached the house. Next thing I know I’m pinned to the ground by a man who’s got his knee in the small of my back. He pressed something cold against my neck and demanded to know what I’m doing there.
When I didn’t answer right away, he cocked his gun and pressed it against the base of my skull, pushing ever so slightly.
Now, try explaining that you’re a medic on call from this position. I was handcuffed and then patted down. By then, the man, a federal officer... my husband’s new partner no less, finds my gun and realizes I’m wearing my vest.
If he had believed anything I told him before– it was long gone by the time he pushed me through the door and told me to sit down, on the floor. It was a great introduction. To make matters worse, Case was in the other room, trying to keep my patient alive.
Although at the time, I had no idea what was going on. I was busy sitting there trying to figure out how to regain control of the situation– knowing full well that I was not going to do that without some intervention. I tried to make myself look as harmless as possible.
I have actually gotten pretty good at that, even if nobody who knows me seems to believe it. Unfortunately Case’s new partner, O’Hara, had seen my gun and figured he’d had the shooter in custody.
He was starting to question me, when Case called out demanding to know where the ambulance was. He didn’t say it quite that nicely. I could tell by the amount of swearing that things weren’t going well in the other room.
“Case hon,” I called. “That you?”
“Jess!” I could hear the relief in his voice. “Get your butt in here, his pulse is weak and he’s lost way too much blood.”
“No problem,” I answered as his partner gave me a confused look. “But could you tell Rocket J. Squirrel here that I’m clean?”
“What the...” I could tell by the pause that he was trying to figure out why I wasn’t in there yet. “O’Hare, you didn’t just handcuff my wife did you?”
“No buts, get her uncuffed now!”
I could tell Mr. O’Hare was very confused by this– but at least he followed Case’s orders. As soon as I was uncuffed, I ran out and got my gear from where it had fallen when I was tackled.
That should have been it– but like I said it was one of those calls...
By the time the ambulance arrived, we had five more federal agents climbing all over the room and being a general nuisance as they tried to secure the scene. Let me tell you, the scene was anything but secure.
The truck arrived, but they wanted me to ride in the back– with an armed escort. Case was following us out, when one of the new officers told Case to go home.
“We got it from here Case,” one of them said.
“I know– but I’d like to ride with him.”
“Look,” the officer, Frazier countered. “We were supposed to have relieved you an hour ago. We should have been here when the attack went down, you know that. You were covering our shift.”
“You were caught in traffic,” Case reminded him. “‘Side’s– I bet her shift ended at seven too,” he added nodding towards me.
“Look Case, you got a new wife to think about and man, believe me– no matter how much they claim to understand... they don’t.”
Case gave him a disbelieving half smile and looked up at me. I finished settling the patient in and winked at Case. “Just tell my husband I’ll be late, will ya?”
He chuckled as he closed the door and thumped on the side to tell the guys it was all closed up. I don’t think Frazier ever got the joke, but I’m pretty sure that Officer O’Hara got a good chuckle out of it.
When I got home, Case was still laughing about it. Of course– he wasn’t the one with a .38 snubnose pressed against his head.
Copyright 2000 - M.T. Decker