Decided to take advantage of the pretty much nothing to do day, play hookey and go get all my paperwork turned in so that I can volunteer ride on the ALS truck with the other Medic or Doc, whomsoever happens to be on that day. I had started to feel a longing for the streets that I just can't explain. I'm beginning to think I was actually made to be a paramedic, and just luckily good at it!
Spent the first half of the day cruising around Dammam to about 20 different places getting everything done, had a great student escort in the form of Mr. Z#@%^& K*&*^. He kept the process flowing and entertaining, and kept the soundtrack to my Junior High and High School days rocking out courtesy of Saudi Aramco. Really showed me a side of this place I have never seen! Invited me to his house and was a gracious host. It is rare and very nice to see the "real" parts of Saudi.
The guys at the SRCA seemed happy as clams that I wanted to do some volunteer time, and were more than accommodating. After finally getting everything done, we headed to Khobar to meet up with another student who was working that day and his partner A_____ whose a Doc from Egypt. Great guys all, met another great guy, a Flight Medic here in the KSA, who is Saudi but has dual citizenship and has done roughly the same amount and type of education I have. We talked about the problems, the job, the training, my students...all in all had a great time.
Lunch was at "Steak House" which as the name implies is an American style steakhouse, with an impressive soup and salad bar (rare in the KSA). We laughed and talked and joked for hours. Towards the middle of this lunch, I realized what a great time I was having and I realized something else as well, I hadn't thought of my recent problems at all, I was just having fun with a bunch of pre-hospital contemporaries. The day wasn't like something similar to what we do in the US, it was what we do in the US! Sit around and laugh and joke about things that only Medics and Docs who have been on the street can understand. Towards the end, Z___ got the great idea that we ought to head to Bahrain tonight when he got off shift, "BUT!" he quickly added "with rules!". We jumped on the idea immediately, and told him that the only rules should be that the first one to pass out buys drinks for the rest of the night! We all shared a great laugh and went on to listen to his rules...No Booze and No Women! All at once we said without at least one of those two things, why the heck wold we go to Bahrain? He laughed and joked and said no seriously, I'm getting married in 2 weeks! Then we all started in on the sins of marriage and a job like this, laughing, swapping stories, and reciting ultimatums our wives had made over the years. We decided to postpone Bahrain, but I hope it comes up again in the future. I think I'm ready for some fun with a group like that...a group like me is I guess a little more accurate.
Heading back to the station, I rode with the guys in the ALS truck...we hadn't gotten 5 minutes into the conversation about how slow it was today when their tones dropped and off we went, first call of the day was a child struck by a car, while we were cleaning up and putting things together from that one our tones dropped again for a hypoglycemic patient. and we pulled out right behind the ambulance heading to the hospital. We met another ambulance on scene, and doc did a great job getting the patient all set and ready to go. 2 minutes later, off we went again, this time to a call for two patients who fell from an unknown height. As we arrived on the scene, we were informed by dispatch that the 1 patient had been transported to the hospital by another ambulance. We turned around headed home and went to another fall, possible hip fracture. All in all we left the restaurant at 2:30 and returned to the ambulance station at 6:45. The guys had another hour and fifteen minutes to go before the shift was over. I thanked everyone for an awesome first day, and headed home with Z______.
Whatever I think though, I feel pretty damn good. Foreign EMS is pretty cool. Oh and BTW that ALS truck I was riding with, it is the ALS response vehicle for Al-Khobar with a population of 360,000 according to the 2009 census and reported by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khobar
That ain't to shabby!