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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

EMS: Courage And Compassion In Action

By Shawn Godfrey
06:05AM / Monday, April 02, 2007

Shawn Godfrey is a certified paramedic and operantions manager at the Village Ambulance Service in Williamstown.
Welcome to "EMS:Courage and Compassion In Action," a weekly column written by Village Ambulance Services Operations Manager and paramedic Shawn Godfrey. Godfrey's columns will appear on Monday and will focus on the reality of the emergency services medical profession.

The Birth of a Sibling Rivalry

This week I wanted to write something humorous; something to expose the public to the “funnier” side of the emergency medical service (EMS) profession. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. This week I had really intended to write a column on the body and its stages of decomposition under extreme hot and cold temperatures, but as I began writing the rough draft, I realized a decaying body, under any circumstance, isn’t all that funny no matter what the temperature is. Well, actually, if it’s 30 degrees below zero and there’s a harvest moon and…okay, I digress.

Anyhow, while preparing to write this column, I tried to recall EMS incidences that could be considered “funny”, because, while it’s usually easy for me to be funny (ask my coworkers), it’s a lot harder to find humor in our profession than one might think, especially while under the watchful eye of my editor who recommends I “lighten it up" every now and again.

Home Birth

So, as I blankly stared at the keyboard, the first “funny” incident that popped into my mind was that of Cindy. Cindy was a 6 year-old girl who seemed to never be at a loss for words, especially following the at-home birth of her baby brother.

One early fall morning the ambulance was called for Meghan. Meghan was expecting her second child, and, unfortunately, was at home alone with her 6 year-old daughter, Cindy. It was three days after Meghan’s expected due date and her husband was away at a business conference in Seattle, so needless to say, fear of giving birth without her husband there caused tremendous anxiety for Meghan, especially with contractions now only two minutes apart and the urge to push intensifying.

As the EMTs arrived, Meghan quickly said "hurry, I think the baby's coming!" The EMTs hastily prepared their equipment and positioned Meghan comfortably on the sofa.

Job Well Done

Cindy, who had been watching from the kitchen, wanted to help, and since it was apparent this was going to be an at-home delivery, the EMTs agreed that the additional help might be useful. One EMT handed Cindy a towel dampened with water and instructed her to gently wipe her mother’s forehead each time her mother shouted.

After numerous, intermittent contractions and several forceful pushes, the baby was born. It was a boy. The EMT immediately cradled the infant, assessed his skin color, and spanked his bottom. The baby began to vigorously cry, move all four extremities, and appeared generally healthy.

Should Have Known Better

While preparing Meghan and her newborn son for transport to the emergency department, the EMTs thanked Cindy for her help, and asked the excited 6 year-old what she thought about assisting with the birth of her new baby brother.

Cindy immediately responded, "It was neat, but I would have smacked him again. He shouldn't have crawled up there in the first place.”

Fortunately, many humorous accounts, like this one, can be found circulating through EMS folklore. After all, LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE.


Your Comments
Post Comment
Shawn, another great article with humorous side which in this field we don't see a lot of. Keep up the great writting, read ya in two week.
from: Beakeron: 04-10 00:00:00-2007

Too cute!!
from: Nancion: 04-05 00:00:00-2007

I like the way your stories' content change genres every week. Good work...
from: Seanon: 04-05 00:00:00-2007

I can't imagine hearing a young girl say that! Very funny!
from: Mike S.on: 04-04 00:00:00-2007

Shawn,
Great story, every once in a while you have to have the funny moments, otherwise there would be a lot less of us.......
from: Midnight Medicineon: 04-04 00:00:00-2007

Very funny! I like the mix of stories you've done!Great job!
from: Colleenon: 04-04 00:00:00-2007

I enjoyed reading something a bit more comical. Thank you for taking the time to educate the public about an easily forgotten vocation. We always hear of how benevolent the Fire and Police are, and they are, but we seldom hear about EMS and all that you folks do. I'm proud of all of you...
from: Sharonon: 04-03 00:00:00-2007

Very funny...did it happen?
from: Allenon: 04-02 00:00:00-2007

Good story, very funny ending...
from: Timon: 04-02 00:00:00-2007

Funny story shawn . you always keep us intrigued.
thanks!!
from: jodion: 04-02 00:00:00-2007

Funny story, although, I do like the serious stories as well. They keep me in reality check.
from: bernieon: 04-02 00:00:00-2007

It is nice to see the lighter side, but as sadistic as it may sound, I like to read the "troubling" stuff too. It shows us what kind of heroes you people are.
from: Geneon: 04-02 00:00:00-2007

HAHAHAHA...Pretty funny, Shawn.
from: Danaon: 04-02 00:00:00-2007

That was a funny little story, Shawn!! I enjoy the fact that you have a sense of humor to balance your hard job!! Smart AND funny?? Jackpot!! Thanks for making me smile!! ;)
from: gold deuce girlon: 04-02 00:00:00-2007


 
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