Author Topic: GLORY DAYS  (Read 184725 times)

Online JohnnyGage

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #225 on: August 18, 2019, 08:15:10 PM »
GORY DAYS; Part 4
Slicing / Dicing and a Salad Bar

Depending on the schedule, I either work with a MVO whose surname is Hall or another Corpsman named Lawrence. I’ve noticed that within the EMS structure people call each other by their surname...Hall and Lawrence are both EMS veterans, but they are both complete opposites in every aspect. Hall is an MVO, a very nice older gentleman, a church going man that lives in the neighborhood, but he is slow, cannot make a decision while driving and terrible at backing up the bus which sometimes drives me crazy, especially when we need to unload someone at the emergency department. Many times I have to motivate Hall into helping me with a stretcher or getting equipment, EMS has a term and moniker that is  accurate for him, he is called a “bus watcher” and will not engage in any assistance unless told to do so, there were many times when he does not get out from behind the wheel on assignments, I have to politely order him for help. He is not proactive in that sense, but proactive in the sense that he antagonizes the CO dispatcher or other units by interjecting unwanted comments over the radio and this annoys me to no end, because I will pay the price...if we have not been assigned a call, the CO will now send us anywhere for a junk call that he is holding, especially somwhere out of our area to spite Hall’s interrupting remarks... When I work with Hall our unit is called “Liberty 375”...When I am with Lawrence, Hall works with another technician and in this case Lawrence and I become a second bus in service with our call sign  “Liberty 374”.  Otherwise when I work with Hall, we are the only bus covering ENY, Liberty 375 and I am the ONLY Emergency Medical Technician in all of ENY.

Lawrence is a Vietnam vet, and lives in Manhattan he wears his pants inside his spit shined combat boots and he wears dark green prescription sunglasses during our graveyard shift. Lawrence reminds me of my old L 31 buddy Mel Hazel, they could both be brothers, (a double for Richard Roundtree) both have wisdom, grace, strength and style. Lawrence would be invaluable to me, I’ll observe and learn the “street sense” that he masters, he has a way of disarming even the most aggressive patients and defusing an ugly situation. Lawrence refers to everyone, including me as “partner”. “Partner” is a nice touch, you immediately connect with that friendly good natured  and approachable salute, I still use that friendly form of address today!... Lawrence transferred over to Liberty Outpost a couple of months after I was hired, he came from Kings County Hospital after that pesky first partner I had “Lazy Joe” left when he requested 8x4 day tours.  I feel very comfortable working with Lawrence, we have a good time working together, a real partner and mentor.

One of the first things Lawrence establishes with me was not to cross over into each other's business. If I drove, I drove...whichever way I wanted to go and how fast. If he was the tech for the night, he asked the questions, and vice versa if he drove and I was the tech. I liked that idea, we never stepped on each others toes, it demonstrated professionalism and it was a lesson of a lifetime for me, be respectful of others positions and one person is the boss at a time.

During the weeknights we could expect the average of about eight jobs a night. Weekends you could easily respond to an average of about thirteen. Just like the FD we had “our 92’s” but with our codes; “10-90 unfounded”, “Refused Medical  Aid (RMA) a 10-93, or Gone on Arrival 10-96. Between them would be easy jobs, annoying jobs, run of the mill jobs and crazy jobs, like any emergency service, you did not know what awaits you until you arrive. The busiest night I had from my records was on January 1, 1979. Working with Lawrence we responded to seventeen jobs between midnight and eight. Collisions, a cutting, difficulty breathing a shooting, unconscious and cardiac among the seventeen. Of course many were unnecessary and a few unfounded one being a rape, but with that we transported five different jobs to local hospitals.

                                                                       *********

ENY Has four different subway lines with many stations. The Livonia and Fulton lines are elevated, others underground... Hideous crime events seemed to happen outside and inside the stations. I responded to numerous assaults, rapes and beatings inside stations early in the morning. Young adults returning from Manhattan after an evening of celebration headed home to Queens would get off at the wrong stop along Livonia Avenue into awaiting prey that would ambush, pounce and shellac the unknowing suspect outside the stations.

Stabbings and shootings as you might guess were just as common routine assignments as sick and injured. I used to carry a small scanner so that I could monitor the 75 Precinct. With the scanner I could get a “heads up” if the "shooting" job was confirmed from first arriving PD units and respond accordingly. You did not want to get to a shooting job before the PD was on scene, I did one time, and it was not a very smart thing to do, that story soon...Stabbings, cuttings and shootings, hardly a tour would go by that you did not get one or the other and often multiple times. The ugliest cutting I witnessed was with a box cutter, and I’ll have to leave it there…

                                                                         *********




Hall and I are sitting quietly in the garage lounge, resting our eyes, it is an early Sunday morning and the radio is quiet...it is around six in the morning as the sun starts to rise. We are “allowed” to return to the barn after 3 AM. Until then, you either rove the neighborhood or stand-by at your designated spot, which for my unit tonight “Liberty 375” is at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Liberty Street. It is a well lit corner with a 24 hour diner  located on the southwest corner. We sometimes park alongside the diner on Liberty Street and wait, the location affords us a bathroom, coffee and safety... But, back inside the garage is a small “lounge” room, that separates the small male and female locker rooms, each locker room has about ten lockers. There is no television but a couple of old leather chairs, a small beat up couch, and a kitchen table to do paperwork. A large window looks out to the garage floor....this is our “lounge”. The lounge also has light green colored  NYPD call box phone mounted on the wall. The Brooklyn CO will call us on this phone when we are off the “air”...  With that, the phone rings from the CO, and we receive a job on the corner of Livonia Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue for a stabbing, I jot the info as Hall heads towards the parked bus and fires up the rig and flips on the lights... we make a right turn out of the garage, down a few blocks and hang a left onto Pennsylvania. Every now and then he “chirps” the siren, no need to have it on continuously as traffic is very light...You can see Livonia Avenue El train station as soon as we make the turn as the El runs overhead of Pennsylvania Avenue on Livonia Avenue. 


(THIS IS STAND-BY SPOT, USUALLY WE PARKED WHERE THE NYPD VAN IS, BACK THEN THIS WAS A DINER)

We approach and notice there are three male teens sprawled on the corner, two are rolling back and forth in obvious pain, the other dormant.  Popping out of the bus and I quickly observe all three have been severely stabbed in multiple spots on their bodies, I  grab my first aid box from the back of the bus and a handful of 4x4 pads, quickly  assessing the worse, it’s a tie. As I frantically attempt to suppress multiple stab wounds at once, I notice Hall, my MVO is standing with his hands clasped behind his back rocking on his heels and he offers advice to the injured youths; “Ya’ know if you were in church this morning…” I look at him, “Hall! Get me another bus and the stretcher” I ordered. I packaged the three the best I could, plugging holes and stopping the bleeding like the “Little Dutch Boy”, then proceed to load the victims into the bus... Brooklyn CO advises there are no buses available at this time... I’ve already loaded two into the back of my bus on the bench seat, and the third on a stretcher as NYPD arrives. The three teens were fighting over a cigarette lighter they stole from someone on the train...Many times you handled a "multi casualty incident" by yourself...we did not call it that back then, we called it "your hands are full!"...you were on your own, and you had better be quick on your feet!

Treating victims back then we never wore rubber gloves or face masks, when your hands got nasty you simply washed and rinsed off at the nearest hospital or open a clean bottle of saline water at the job. When our uniforms became blood stained and you did not have another uniform in your locker, which many of us did not, (as you reported for duty wearing it) you rinsed the blood off the best you could at the hospital or “acquired” an orderly scrub to finish off the tour. At home, to get the stain out, you would wet and soak the spot then pour peroxide onto the dried blood, into the washer and be ready for your next tour…. But what about olive oil?...

                                                                   ************
A HOME REMEDY

“Liberty 374, respond for overdose 524 Ridgewood Ave”... When we arrived a man speaking with a spanish dialect comes out of his house and meets us in the street at the bus, he is very excited and he tells us his young daughter has overdosed...but he does not know on what the substance is. However, he reassures us he does know how to correct the condition... Inside we find the young female teen; slumped in the wooden kitchen chair naked, semi-conscious and crying...on the kitchen table is bottles and bottles of olive oil that has been poured on her from her head to the toes, the kitchen floor is slick with this oil and the whole house reeks of a salad.

Hope you enjoyed, thanks for reading!  Next; COPS AND COLLISIONS.      KMG-365




« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 09:23:29 AM by JohnnyGage »

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #225 on: August 18, 2019, 08:15:10 PM »

Online memory master

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #226 on: August 19, 2019, 06:30:05 PM »
And then there were certain neighborhoods where Vick's Vapo-Rub was the cure all for everything. It was always fun trying to pick a patient off the floor who had been slathered from head to toe with the aforementioned universal antidote.

Offline Lebby

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #227 on: August 19, 2019, 11:01:44 PM »
Don't forget Milk the cure all from overdoes to seizures, of course only if administered topically.

Online JohnnyGage

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #228 on: August 21, 2019, 08:39:32 PM »
GORY DAYS; Part 5
Collisions and Cops

EMS LOG:   9/25/78   0830 hrs; Collision; Interboro Pkwy.

“Liberty 375; Collision, Interboro Parkway half mile eastbound from Pennsylvania Avenue”.
For those who don’t remember, the Interboro Parkway between Queens and Brooklyn was a windy and treacherous parkway, that was made even more dangerous by a center concrete meridian that was about two feet high and just high enough for a car to mount, ride and crash head on into oncoming traffic. Such was the instance in this case, we arrived to find a car, that mounted the meridian, cruised several feet and hit head-on into the windshield of another car going in the opposite direction shearing off the top of a sportscar type motor vehicle. The driver, a popular doctor from Kings County Hospital on his way home was decapitated, his head in the back seat...his passenger badly injured.

                                                                    **********

Today I am working an overtime day tour and I have a friend riding with me today, John...he is a good buddy that I have worked with prior to being hired by NYC EMS when we were a team on a private ambulance service on Long Island. We tendered to mostly elderly patients that had doctor visits or needed to be transported to the hospital if they were in distress or not feeling well from private nursing homes... Today John is riding along, he will be starting a future career in nursing the next semester at NY Skidmore College. John’s interest is in nursing and he wanted to experience a NYC EMS point of view.

It has been a routine day tour, as expected...so far, we have handled the usual type of calls; sick, obs (maternity), cardiac, injury, etc. However, one call you could always expect was a collision and we did not have one yet... With all the highways and intersections in ENY there was almost no tour that would go by that I did not handle a couple of collisions, for you see, in lawless ENY a stop sign is only a mere suggestion and we handled collisions by the bag full.

Cruising down Stone Avenue the bus was stopped at the traffic light on Sutter Avenue, John is in the back of the bus talking through the small open window between the back of the bus and the cab where I am sitting shotgun. The sky is dark and it begins to lightly rain. John peers through the window, “rain?” he inquires and suggests “maybe we should head back to the Outpost for our rain gear?”...”Nah”, I said, “we’ll never make it”...and just as the last word left my mouth you could hear the sound of tires skimming over the wet asphalt with a loud “KaBoom”. Two cars smacked up right in front of us, one almost careening into our vehicle...we treated three injured and transported to Kings County Hospital.

There were times we would be called to Vandalia Avenue off of Fountain Avenue for the weekend drag racers who raced during the late evening and early morning hours at this open road area of swampland and eight foot cattails. The avenue would be alive with souped up cars and young folks drinking beer lining both sides of the empty street, once every couple of weeks we could expect to get an assignment for a wreck of one of the unlucky drag racers who slid off the drag strip into the weeds and rolled over.

Speaking of Vandalia Avenue; It is interesting to note that in this vicinity of cattails, desolation and swampland was an old incinerator that was out there by itself with no surrounding buildings, just cattails and swamp...there were a few times, usually in the early morning, we would get a call for an unconscious in the street and know what that means...You see, Canarsie had a large Mob element, the isolation and desolation near the lonely incinerator made for a good dumping ground of reputed mob hits…”Liberty 374 respond to an unconscious in the street, Vandalia Ave…”

Back to the wrecks...You knew you were about to get a collision assignment when  a yellow suped-up tow truck, many times two, would pass you by...sometimes into an oncoming traffic lane, they would whisk right by, you see, the policy of NYC at the time was that which-ever tow truck company arrived first, they would get the choice of damaged vehicle to tow back to  their yard for lucrative “repairs”. This arrangement created a mad market for tow truck companies to race to the scene with death defying maneuvers while damning traffic laws... busting through intersections to be the first to arrive and stake claim their prize. It was not uncommon for one or two of these maniacs to breeze by our bus responding to the same incident. When we arrived, the tow trucks would almost be hooked up to their bounty. Funny thing was, if the smashed up vehicle was worthless, the car would be pushed to the curb and left abandoned for many months.

                                                                    ***********

EMS LOG:   5/25/79   0034 hrs.  Belt Parkway @ Pennsylvania Avenue. Collision

“Liberty 374, Collision, Belt Parkway in the vicinity of Pennsylvania Avenue”...From our standby post on Liberty and Pennsylvania Avenue Lawrence and I respond down PA Ave to the Belt Parkway. Heading east on the parkway we notice a police car on the westbound side of the parkway with its roof lights flashing, that must be the spot.... Lawrence is driving and we travel down to where we can cross over the parkway safely and affect a u-turn. Lawrence negotiates the traffic and within short order we pull up behind the police car, through the high ten foot cattails a police officer is summoning us in over the crushed cattails the car has made as it veered off the road, tonight I am the tech and as I get closer I can see taillights that are still illuminated and recognize the vehicle as the type of car I drive, a Dodge Dart...only this one has overturned. Within the overturned sedan are eleven injured, luckily none very serious, but still many slight injuries that will have to be dealt with. There are six children and five adults, they are “large adults too” crammed into this upside vehicle, fortunately the abundance of mass humanity created a human cushion softening the blow and sudden impact injuries you could expect with this type of collision.  Between Lawrence and I we handle all eleven. Lawrence requested another bus from Brookdale and between the two busses we transported all eleven happy campers to Brookdale Hospital for evaluation.


Brookdale Hospital Emergency Department





COPS 1

I am transporting a perp in the back of the bus towards Kings County Hospital. The perp tried to attack a “Housing Cop”, somehow he got himself banged up a little and I am now transporting him with another Housing Cop in the back of the bus. The perp starts to become aggressive towards the PO. I am sitting on the front bench towards the front of the cab, nothing for me to do as the PO monitors the perp... However as the perp starts to become more agitated the officer begins to wrestle with him and begins to smack him with his “slapstick” in an effort to bring him under control. The perp becomes more aggressive and the back of the bus is way too small for me at this time. The police officer wrestles the perp onto the stretcher, the perps face facing the foot of the stretcher with his head stuck under the frame of the stretcher. The PO has now drawn his gun and sitting on the perps shoulder while pressing his head under the frame and holding his gun to the perps head, the PO tells him if he has to use a bullet to shoot him in the head he will “bill” his family for the thirty-seven cents to recoup the loss of the bullet.

COPS 2

We have just started our tour, Lawrence is driving and I am the tech. We head out to our stand by location at Liberty and Pennsylvania Avenue, Lawrence and I feel like a cup of coffee to start our night tour off so I’ll go fetch the coffee as Lawrence monitors the radio in the bus. Inside the diner is a Police Officer from the 75, he is getting coffee also, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. I recognize him, I have worked many jobs with this officer, I don’t know his name, but he is one tough s-o-b and “all” business, all the time. He was the PO who told me about the frozen DOA at the garage... The PO is wearing the black leather motorcycle jacket uniform that was customary at the time. The owner of the diner is telling the PO that the guy near the door has been harassing him and the customers all night. The officer doesn’t even look at him, not a glance...meanwhile I grab our two coffees and head back to the rig, telling Lawrence about what's going on inside this greasy spoon...Seconds later, the door is flung open with the harassing perp being held firmly by the collar of the PO with his left hand while being pushed through the door, simultaneously the PO's right hand is balancing two hot coffees while the cig stills dangles... the PO twirls and flings the perp back onto the sidewalk without saying a word, and proceeds back to his sector car, mission accomplished... One tough cop I’ll never forget.

COPS 3

9/8/78; Cardiac. I am working with my pesky partner Joe. In the back of the bus we are performing CPR, I am doing the compressions and Joe the airway. Joe and I are still kind of new to all this. A PO from the 75 PCT tells us to continue CPR, he will drive the bus to Brookdale Hospital. Joe and I agree, works for me...The officer proceeds to drive like a lunatic, we are both tossed about the cabin like ping pong balls along with another PO who is riding along. All of a sudden the driving PO screeches the brakes at Alabama Avenue and Linden Blvd, for what we will never know, but all three of us become plastered into the front wall of the bus, the riding PO has now become our second patient, injured at the abrupt stop, meanwhile we resume the CPR process and get to him after we arrive at Brookdale Hospital. Never a dull moment.



Back in the day, NYPD Leather Uniform Jacket


Thanks for reading! Next; CPR jobs and Delivering Newborns.    KMG-365


Found this 60's cool shot of Interboro deadly "center divider" that killed KCH Doctor.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 02:22:12 PM by JohnnyGage »

Offline nfd2004

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #229 on: August 23, 2019, 11:38:47 AM »
 Dan, without a doubt, "Your Stories Are GREAT". They would be a leading box office hit if made into a movie. You could then put all those royalties into your pocket. Maybe treat us guys to a Yonkers Pepe Pie or those GREAT Bayside Maggie Mays Burger's and Fries Specials they got there.

 Actually Dan, THANK YOU for telling us your many stories. Without a doubt you have earned your pay. Besides the fact that you, like so many others here, have HELPED SO MANY PEOPLE and even SAVED THIER LIVES. It sure doesn't get much better than that.

 As I read some of your "GORY Days" stories of East New York's Liberty Outpost, I can relate as an FDNY buff of seeing the kind of conditions you talk about in those streets you mention here. The Interboro Parkway, Sutter Ave, Vandalia Ave, Penn Ave. One very nasty and dangerous place to be. Often carrying my scanner and camera, today as I think about it, I am amazed that they weren't stolen from me. OR the fact that I somehow came out of the place ALIVE. I can only imagine what it was like working in some of those streets or buildings.

 Dan, of course we met about 20 years ago, while you were the chaffer of Ladder 5 at the Rock. It was a brand new rig and I was collecting FDNY apparatus photos at the time. We had then lost touch until just recently and you joined our Nycfire.net team.

 But Dan, aka "Johnny Gage", I will ask you the same question as I asked Retired FDNY Captain John Bendick, this sites Administrator.

 "During your days working in those streets, didn't you ever notice me standing there with my scanner in one hand and camera in the other" ? Of course the response I got from John Bendick, I consider a CLASSIC. He said to me: "Well Willy, if you weren't wearing a skirt, we really didn't pay too much attention".

 So Dan, with that said, if you never noticed me, I can certainly understand.

 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 11:42:29 AM by nfd2004 »

Online JohnnyGage

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #230 on: August 24, 2019, 07:47:32 AM »
Thanks Willy for the kind post, Brother John's answer is pretty much spot on...It has been a real treat for me to write these recollections, I look forward to my quiet time and typing later in the evening...and for the time doing so, I actually feel like I am back in time reliving the events, thoughts stashed away and preserved in the coconut memory bank!, especially fun is when I pull out a smidgen detail I haven't thought about in ages, kind of cool. But for now, I am waiting, I know someone one this sight is working on a "time tunnel" and we will all pass by each other and hang ten!

Couple of more "Gory Days" ahead and then something special before I kick off my time in DCFD. Thanks again Willy, the Bendicks, and to all my friends who have joined me on this "Glory Days" journey by reading, "PMing" me and adding their comments, it really is appreciated and has been fun! Peace and love.  KMG -365.



Online JohnnyGage

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #231 on: August 27, 2019, 06:56:16 PM »
GORY DAYS; Part 6
CPR Jobs and Babies

...One and, two and, three and...I am on my knees and applying CPR to an older gentleman by myself...

It is 9/26/78, a clear and warm night, I am working with my partner MVO Hall as “Liberty 375”, we are the only bus out there in the East New York neighborhood.  I am still learning the ropes of EMS, only a few weeks working the streets...Hall and I have just treated and transported an asthma patient from Georgia Avenue to Kings County Hospital, taking up from that job we are immediately assigned another and now we have responded across ENY to an epileptic from Nichols Avenue in the Cypress Hills section of ENY that went unfounded. A few minutes to grab a cup of coffee at the greasy spoon diner we park next to on Liberty Street. I get coffee, Hall wants a container of French fries, his favorite. The diner serves the fries in a large coffee cup instead of those flat “boats” that fries usually come in.

At 0224 hours we receive an assignment for “difficulty breathing” at 432 Montauk Avenue. We shoot from Liberty Street across the blocks to Montauk and within a few minutes Hall and I pull up to the two story semi attached home, the front door is open and we both proceed inside. The DB has now become a ‘“full cardiac arrest” as I realize a family member is applying a strange type of chest compressions that resembles CPR to the victim. The victim is an obese older man, he is wearing a dirty “wife beater” tee shirt and boxer shorts, he is on his back, unshaven and missing a handful of teeth, the teeth that remain are discolored and his jaw drops into his mouth without the teeth. The smell of mold, body odor, stale beer and cigarettes permeate the home. A family member on his knees attempting CPR tells me that the victim has “just keeled over”. I quickly feel for a pulse, nada.

I have alongside me my trusty fishing tackle box full of first aid supplies and airways, also a small oxygen tank. When we graduated from the Health and Hospital Ambulance Corpsman program we were given an oxygen yoke regulator with a gauge, however we did not have a demand / positive pressure regulator attached, simply a facemask. I grab the right size airway from the top shelf of the first aid kit, twist it one quarter turn, slip it over the tongue and twist it back one quarter turn to fit correctly without pushing the tongue backwards.

...Eleven and, twelve and, thirteen and...

I tell Hall go fetch me the “ambu bag” on the bus in between compressions.

...Twenty seven and, twenty eight and, twenty nine and....but, no Hall


I keep my compressions steady, rocking back and forth on my hips delivering deep compressions on his bare chest squeezing the heart against his spine. The old timer has drool coming from his mouth and remains unresponsive laying on his back on this filthy tacky carpet...Where is Hall with the Ambu bag?...at this point I have done more than thirty compressions...

Back in EMT school we were taught the ratio between single CPR (if I’m not mistaken, long time ago…) was thirty compressions to two rescue breaths. I have taken two CPR classes,  the one before we were taught to give the ol’ precordial chest  thump, but today this practice has been discontinued. The compression count to breathing ratio remained the same...however, I am thinking twice to “seal his mouth with my lips”. My mind is racing with all types of infections I can be infected with....

I am still waiting for Hall to get his arse into the living room as I continue compressions. Another relative in the room says “you have to give him mouth to mouth!”, (Yeah, yeah I know!)...But, I’m desperately searching out for Hall or the other family member who was giving CPR when we arrived but there is nobody in sight other than this person who is demanding I start rescue breathing.

...forty-two and, forty three and…

The remaining family member reiterates loudly, “HEY!, you have to do mouth to mouth!”...and so yes, here we go!...I wipe the slobber from the old timers mouth, place my mouth over his tilting his head back and pinch his nostrils, I place my open mouth and lips over his, just before I breathe my lungful of air into him he belches into my mouth. Stale beer, stinky cigarettes and whatever he ate is now filling my sinuses en masse... I’m doing everything in my power to not gag, but blew two good rescue breaths into his lungs...Finally,  Hall appears with the ambu-bag, this glorious ambu-bag!...I continue with compressions and give the old timer two more blasts now from ambu-bag...Meanwhile, Hall goes back to the bus to retrieve the stretcher. I perform CPR almost to exhaustion as we transport the victim to Brookdale Hospital. Even though the Paramedic program was in existence, it was very rare that a Paramedic bus was seen in ENY!

Unfortunately the old timer died at Brookdale Hospital. But his belch was alive and well remaining inside me as I was trying with all my might to keep my stomach contents down. After leaving Brookdale Hospital we were traveling up Rockaway Parkway towards Kings Highway headed back to ENY. Up ahead was an open bodega, I asked Hall to pull over at the corner store. Inside I looked for a mouthwash but the store did not have any, so I got a large bottle of orange juice, brought it back to the bus and gargled with it to try and replace the foul, nauseating and repugnant aftertaste inside my nostrils and mouth.  I needed something harsh...I gargled once, twice and spit the fluid out. I took a few gulps of the juice, the acid from the juice made my stomach worse, I dry heaved a few times, but I hung in there.  For the remainder of the tour, the old timer’s belch stayed with me, I could not clear his rancid residue from my senses.

Street wise lesson learned; I made a promise to myself, never again would I leave the bus without the ambu-bag for any difficulty breathing or cardiac assignment again. Each tour I would find the ambu-bag from the back of the bus, place a clean facemask on it and hook it into my side pocket as a new appendage.

However, that would not be the last time I would do mouth to mouth rescue breathing.

                                                                     *******

EMS LOG: 1/8/79,  0623 hrs.  Unconscious Baby

“Liberty 375 respond for unconscious baby, 6XX New Jersey Avenue”.
These assignments were always tough, and the results usually not pleasant. Tonight I am working with Hall and we respond from the Outpost to New Jersey Avenue, the location is not too far away and within minutes we are at the scene. I hustle into the first floor apartment, the first thing I notice is a young couple...they are the  mom and dad and are crying and hugging each other...the woman states the baby has just stopped breathing... I feel the baby, the baby is wrapped in a pink blanket and not breathing, turning blue without a heartbeat. I immediately grabbed her from her crib, make sure she is not choking and has an airway while heading to the back of the bus I start performing CPR and rescue breathing...I tell Hall to head to Kings County Hospital Pediatrics Emergency Room. Hall takes control of the bus and wields the bus to the hospital emergency room masterfully. And we arrive to a couple of doctors and nurses standing by... Sadly, the baby did not survive.

                                                                   *******

NOT ALL WAS LOSS...I did have a save though!

EMS LOG:  4/15/79;

It is a Sunday morning and my partner is Lawrence, he’s driving tonight. The weather is cool and rainy but it must have been a full moon as we responded to some wacky calls:

“0058 hrs; Liberty 374, respond to Jerome and New Lots”... A perp tried to shoot a PO and he himself was shot in his a$$ cheek that exited from his right thigh.

“0211 hrs; Liberty 374 respond for a young boy who has caught his penis in the zipper of his pants”, and yes he did...that’s all I will say. I carried him to the bus like I was carrying a satchel of fragile expensive champagne glasses in my arms, slow and easy peasy!

Included with the above jobs mentioned we responded to the ubiquitous collision, a “man down” and an assault.

0405 hrs; “Liberty 374 respond to a man down, 9 Schenck Avenue”. Upon our arrival we found an elderly female, most likely early 70’s that has a severe head trauma from a fall on the sidewalk, she is semi-conscious and unresponsive. Being the tech, I carefully wrap the wound as Lawrence stabilizes her head then proceed to check her vitals. Her breathing shallow, eyes unresponsive, but has a faint heartbeat. Lawrence and I load her into the back of the bus and head for Brookdale Emergency Department while I monitor her vitals and place an oxygen facemask on her. As we haul across ENY towards the hospital I notice she has now stopped breathing and muscles relaxed...I have Lawrence stop the bus to recheck her vitals. Nothing. “Take off partner she’s checking out” I said to Lawrence and begin to bag her with my trusty ambu bag getting two good shots of air into her lungs while being bounced around in the back of the bus and performing CPR. After two rounds of compressions, miraculously both her eyes are opened up and staring up at me to my amazement...From what I heard my next tour back, she survived. Lawrence and I responded to twelve jobs that kookie night.

                                                                   ********

BABIES

During my time with EMS I responded to numerous “OBS/ maternity” jobs. Although I did not actually “catch” the baby as it was delivered I was on the scene within seconds after three sucessful deliveries and caught the “other stuff’, cut the umbilical cord and made sure the baby was breathing. Unfortunately I also responded to many miscarriages, and again I’ll have to leave it there. But here was the good news:

EMS LOG:   1/2/79,  0700 hrs  Sutter Avenue...female baby born.
                  4/8/79,  0525 hrs  Blake Avenue...male baby born.
                  5/3/79,  0730 hrs  Hinsdale Avenue...male baby born
And in case you’re wondering, none of them were named Johnny Gage, the nerve!

Next: Some “Gory Days” quick snapshots of wacky EMS stories.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed!    KMG-365



My "Best Friend"...don't leave home without it...the Ambu bag!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 07:53:35 AM by JohnnyGage »

Offline STAjo

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #232 on: August 28, 2019, 09:19:55 AM »


  Great Stuff, 'Johnny' ! Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.   8)

  After a Thousand or so EMS Runs in the Greater Binghamton, NY Area; they all kinda'
  run together ... I do remember that it always seemed that w/ EMS I had plenty of help
  on the Routine Stuff, but I remember being quite lonely on the Late-night/Early Morning
  CPR Runs... .   ;)

Offline nfd2004

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #233 on: August 28, 2019, 09:46:16 AM »
 Dan, regarding the above Gory Days story, I'd like to jump in with a couple of somewhat related stories about mouth to mouth CPR and child birth.

 This goes way back to the very early days of CPR. My father, who was my Role Model, was a firefighter in Bridgeport, Ct. He used to smoke a lot of cigars and being a firefighter, I nicknamed him "Smoke". I think somewhere way back, I wrote about him on this site.

 Anyway, CPR is just coming out and Smoke finds out about a one day class being held in Norwalk, Ct and open to the public to attend. I'm still in my high school days and Smoke brings me along too.

 About a year or two after that short one day class, Smoke is working a night tour and gets a job in a reported vacant frame. He goes in and finds a guy in the second floor bathroom, unconscious and not breathing. He gets him out into the street. At that time, the only rig in the city that carried any oxygen was their Rescue called Squad 5. But on this narrow street, Squad 5 is parked too close to a parked car and they can't get the doors on the compartment open to get the oxygen unit out. So Smoke begins mouth to mouth breathing and after a few breaths, the guy starts to breathe on his own.

 That simple one day class that showed Smoke how to do this new thing, saved the guys life. There were no practice manikins to work on either.

 Smoke was awarded the Bridgeport Fire Depts Highest Medal for that rescue called: "The Gold Star". Interesting, about a year or two later, while waiting for a bus in downtown Bridgeport, a homeless guy tries to hit me up for a little donation. Instead we go across the street to a diner and I buy him a coffee. As we sit there talking, the fire trucks are going by on a run. He says to me: "those guys saved my life". Of course I ask him where was that. He tells me at a fire on Fulton St. I then asked him his name and he says: Eddie Martin. That was the guy that Smoke rescued and used mouth to mouth breathing on him.

 Another story regarding child birth. Myself and two other guys are on the rig responding to a maternity call. On our way dispatch tells us "her water broke" and we will be there in about a minute or so. I tell the guys "We're going to do our thing on this one".

 The mother is lying on the living room floor with an upstairs neighbor helping here. The baby is already coming out and the guys join in. The paramedic from EMS shows up and everything is going GREAT. I then tell the mother: "Oh you got a baby GIRL".

 What happens next is what we least expect. The mother tells us: "Well I DON'T WANT HER". It's UNBELIEVEABLE. We are all just suddenly at a loss for words. Almost in shock over this huge let down. Why ? Why did it happen this way ? Our first and ONLY birth delivery and this is the result. A healthy baby girl and the mother doesn't want her.

 We get back to quarters and the day shift guys are there so we all can go home.

 My wife is home and she's getting ready to go to work for the day. My wife and I never had any children, at her request and I was okay with that. (I guess that's how I got the time to do all my buffing back then).

 But that morning I tell my wife, maybe we should look into adopting this little girl. I guess there's no sign of the father around either. But my wife tells me, she doesn't want to do that and I respect that. Before we were married, we agreed to that.

 The year that happened was around 1992/1993. So I guess today, she would be about 27/28 years old and maybe have a family of her own. That incident was just one of those things that you just never forget. I just hope she had a good family that adopted her.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 10:55:30 AM by nfd2004 »


Online JohnnyGage

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #235 on: August 28, 2019, 01:57:37 PM »
^^^^^^^^Thanks JK, never too early to start Christmas shopping for that special someone!



Online JohnnyGage

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #236 on: August 31, 2019, 08:29:32 PM »
GORY DAYS; Part 7
Snapshots

GET MY BABY! 

Hinsdale Street and Williams Avenue were always two notorious blocks that seemed to have the most violent and vicious assignments that I recall. Whenever one of the two street addresses came in I would mentally prepare myself for anything possible and be on my guard. Both streets were dark, large apartment houses formed a canyon and there seemed to be shady characters lurking at all times of the night.

“Liberty 375; Child with asthma” the location is on Hinsdale Street, it is about 0342 hrs and tonight  I am working with the MVO Hall. We pull up to the reported address and notice the building is a four story walk up apartment house. The street is dark,  the street lights lining Hinsdale are either all dead or have been shot out, but it doesn’t make a difference... it is dark!. As I exit the bus I shine my three cell Eveready flashlight into the darkened hallway where the front door has been left open, the  light beam is absorbed by the darkness and is virtually useless. Hesitant about entering the building I glance into the hallway, Hall does not get out of the bus and warns me “it looks dark in there!”... the only light on the street is from our headlights and the revolving bubble gum red and white light on the roof of the bus...Suddenly, from an upper floor a woman starts yelling down to me; “Come up here and get my baby!”. I look up, trying to see who is shouting at me... again I hear a woman yell, “I said, get up here and get my baby!”...Now I can see a silhouette figure in an open window on the top floor,  I respond back...“Bring your baby down!”. Meanwhile, Hall continues to look out his window from the safety of the bus...he is not budging from the front seat... Again the woman bellows with slightly more agitation in her voice...“YOU Get up here and get my baby!”.  I give her one more ultimatum, ”bring your baby down or I’m leaving”...From above, the final volley, “BULL$%^&,  COME GET MY BABY YOU MOTHERF&^%$#!”...and with that, I climbed back into the bus, told Hall; “let’s go” and radioed; “Brooklyn;  Hinsdale Job is 10-93 RMA (refused medical attention)....Liberty 375 is 98 (available)”. And that was that.

NEW LOTS AVE SHOOTING   

Another tour with MVO Hall; we are returning from Brookdale Hospital from clearing our last job, our tour almost over and will be heading back to the Outpost. Brookdale Hospital cafeteria in the morning has a wonderful buffet breakfast of pancakes, eggs, omelettes, ham, sausage...you name it, and the price is right, for us EMS personnel there is no charge. Hall and I load up with a styrofoam container of breakfast to take back to the garage and eat since we will be off duty by the time we get back to the Outpost...Hall drives down New Lots Avenue and makes a left turn onto Pennsylvania Avenue... “Brooklyn to Liberty 375 K”...I respond “Liberty 375 K”...“Liberty 375, Man Shot New Lots and Georgia Avenue”. Hall and I look at each other…”no way, we just drove by five minutes ago.'' Streetwise protocol was to wait for a “confirmed” shooting from the PD before we entered the street, or at least make sure PD was on scene. Since we just drove by the site and did not see anything,  we whip the bus around and respond back to the location...On the sidewalk is a man shot and writhing in pain, the dog next to him has also been shot and not alive...Grabbing my first aid kit from the back of the bus I start a quick assessment of bullet entry and exit, then begin to treat the victim while awaiting the arrival of the PD. While preparing to bandage the victim I hear a voice behind me, the voice speaks clearly and deliberately…”Yo man, if I wanted him to live I wouldn’t have shot him”... I don’t turn around, I ignore the voice, and realize the monumental mistake of not waiting for PD confirmation...but my eggs were getting cold!...out of the corner of my eye I see the sector car from the 75 pulling up. The voice is now gone...I breathe a sigh of relief.

I made a mistake, and one I would never make again. Street protocol was for the EMS to wait for a “confirmed” shooting from PD, or at least wait until their arrival. If you were assigned a shooting, before committing yourself into the street, you checked for a sector car to be at the scene, and If not you waited.

The eggs got tossed.

I mentioned in a previous post about my pain in the ass partner Joe who was driving the one night we received a call for “man shot, PD on scene”. Joe sat idle, the bus did not move. I said to Joe, “lets go, PD is on scene”. The address was only a few blocks from where we were sitting and we could have been there in less than a minute. “We’ll wait to see if the shooting is confirmed”. “Brooklyn to Liberty 374, put a rush on your call, confirmed shooting”. Now I’m stewing, we could have been there minutes ago. The shooting is confirmed, I attend to the male that was shot, there is a small bullet hole in his chest. His breathing is labored, I’m figuring a collapsed lung, there is no exit hole. I get him into the back of the bus, place an oxygen facemask on him and tell Joe to head to Brookdale to play it safe as I am not sure if he will survive the ride to Kings County Hospital. The victim keeps gasping to me; “I’m going to die, I’m going to die”, I try to reassure him; “hang in there, we’re almost at the hospital, hang in, breathe”..Just as we pull up to the Brookdale Hospital Emergency Ramp the young male goes into cardiac arrest and subsequently dies. I’m angry and upset that we could have been there a few minutes sooner. I was steaming, my partner’s laziness and arrogance was unacceptable. Later, I will make sure to rectify the situation and let him know that his slacking and presuming attitude will not be tolerated by me ever again. Thankfully, he transferred a few days later to the day shift.

RUBY STREET;  “The HOLE”.

Lawrence and I responded to a “sick” job near the southeast border of Brooklyn and Queens near Linden Blvd. The address is on Ruby Street where this area of ENY is referred to as “The Hole”, a partially flooded five block neighborhood where chickens run freely in the streets.  It is a low-lying area about thirty feet below grade than the surrounding neighborhood, the area is run-down, and suffers frequent flooding. Abandoned homes and broken down cars fill empty lots, piles of trash, tires and old kid’s toys slowly decay in murky puddles. Constant standing water and deep puddles are all over the streets because there is no drainage system. The area has been described as a “lost neighborhood” and resembles a border town from the Wild West. Sparsely distributed houses rise from densely overgrown marshland and large Weeping Willow trees where stray dogs, feral cats and ramshackle structures dot the streets. It is hard to believe you are still in Brooklyn. This area was also a special spot for the “mob” to drop off bodies in empty lots with abandoned vehicles as this section was hardly serviced and neglected by the 75 Pct of Brooklyn and the 106 Pct in Queens where their borders overlapped.

Lawrence and I pull up to this rickety, partially corrugated shack-of-a home. Inside is dark, only a lamp without lamp shade on a night table emits light, the small room has dark paneling a low ceiling with old dusty cowboy artifacts and off kilter hanging wall art. Empty pill bottles and open cans of dried food sit on the countertop of a kitchen sink filled with dirty pots and pans.

There is an old black gentleman and he is laying naked on a bare soiled mattress, in a fetal position, he is weak, but he is alert and responds to questions Lawrence asks. The uncased pillow and mattress is soiled filthy beyond belief. The bed is pushed up against two walls in a corner, the top of the mattress has no headboard. There appears to be no other family members or friends when we arrive...Lawrence is the tech tonight, he shows true compassion as he helps the gentleman sit-up and then clothes him. I assist Lawrence, and admire his empathy. We wrap the old timer in a sheet and sit him down on the stair chair and strap him in so does not fall out.  Just as we begin to remove him from his home he wants to grab some cash. He tells us his moolah is “under” the mattress!...Lawrence and I look at each other, we don’t have any gloves... so I find a couple sticks to lift the mattress with Lawrence...and ungodly odor emits...but lining between the two thin mattresses are numerous dollar bills in different denominations laid out flat, they are soggy and discolored. Lawrence takes a few less stained bills from the mattress edge and puts the bills in the old timers pocket.

Till this day, after handling dollar bills and coins, I wash my hands!

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed…    KMG-365

The “HOLE”, Brooklyn NY. Not much has changed from my EMS days.
















« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 10:29:17 PM by JohnnyGage »

Online 68jk09

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #237 on: September 01, 2019, 01:07:32 AM »
The Hole ...remember it well although not normally assigned there i wound up responding there at times when closer Units were out when i was a LT in 332..... as far as the guy who told you "not to save the victim as he was trying to kill him".....i had an incident outside 108 when we were still on Seigel St....daily there were skirmishes on the block ...one night someone knocks on the door & myself & another young FF open it & the knocker points to a guy on the ground 2 doors away....mistakenly the 2 of us just walk outside figuring the vic is probably just drunk...as i kneel down to assess his airway etc i am slammed to the ground by someone jumping on my back & at the same time plunging a knife over my head into the vic to finish what had transpired prior to our clueless arrival...the other FF pulls the stabber off me & i jump up & we disarm him ...as we are holding him down & telling the other residents to alert the other FFs in the FH to turnout an old man the Father of the vic appears & pull's of his Garrison Belt with a "Razor Sharp Edged Buckle" (who remembers these from the gang era of the '50s.. you could wear it & as long as you did not stroke the edges it was OK) .....the Father is flailing the belt & my self & the other FF are trying to hold the original perp & avoid the belt swinger .....the rest of the Brothers turnout & not knowing who the players are (beside us) proceed to start jacking up the stabber ...the belt swinger & one or two close by onlookers until me & the other FF regain composure & ID who was who.....we actually took the belt away & let the vics Father (the belt swinger) go after a neighbor we knew ID him as the Father of the vic....the stabber was arrested by the responding former 87 Pct...... another close call was one Christmas Eve in 1970...we (108) had a covering LT & a young ENG Detail from another FH...the Day Tour LT made out the Riding List & i was assigned the Irons & did not know the Cov LT or the detail so i guess being full of piss & vinegar i was ready to show them "how we did it on Seigel St"...about an hour & a half into the Christmas Eve night tour we get a 1st Due Pull Box (in the now Truckless Triangle maybe 714 Stanwix & Montieth or 716 Bushwick Ave & Arion Place) but we get in before anyone else & people at the Box are pointing up the block....it is a Tenement & there is a large crowd outside on the stoop & sidewalk who all seem agitated ......(to me even in the absence of any visible smoke or Fire the crowd on a chilly night is taken as an indication of a job)....it is December 24 & the Rig is open so we respond dressed...no mask's are taken normally so as we pull up i grab my Irons in one hand & jump of the Rig running past the occupants on the sidewalk & stoop & in my haste to get upstairs first i ignored my minuscule "Street Spanish" just getting direction that it was the 2nd fl....i enter the 1st Fl & people are still coming down so i am figuring something is definitely going on as very few panic around this area over nothing ....at the top of the stairs is the door to an apt that is wide open & i rush in & about 8 ft straight ahead  i see a fellow on the floor in large pool of blood ......i was expecting to see a smoke or Fire condition so this throws me off...for some reason i guess thinking out loud i just say "who did this"...  i don't know why i said this out loud but i get a reply "i did it" & i turn around & there is a guy with a Rifle across his lap sitting in a chair in the next room going toward the front....this all happened so fast that the Cov LT & the Detail have not got up there yet....now i have to decide ....the door to the hall & stairs are much closer than the perp but maybe he could shoot me as i ran down or the COV LT or the detail coming up ....  not knowing his motivation but thinking the worst.....i decide to go for the perp figuring if i can just grab the rifle & fight him for control the LT & the Detail will be there soon...i body slam into him on the chair & grab the rifle as they enter the room ..... Thank God he did not resist or try to pull the trigger....he then started crying & as PD was arriving from 9-11 calls about a shooting (that we were not privy too) he said the rifle was a Christmas gift he was showing to his friend the deceased vic & it went off.         
« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 03:28:00 PM by 68jk09 »

Offline lucky

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #238 on: September 01, 2019, 10:27:29 AM »
Chief JK, is that the area that used to be known as Cedar Lane?

Online 68jk09

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Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #239 on: September 01, 2019, 03:25:44 PM »
Chief JK, is that the area that used to be known as Cedar Lane?
Cedar Lane was outside of the actual "Hole" area & a little farther East on the Conduit just over the QNS line...it is Cedar Lane Stables the HQ of the Federation Of Black Cowboys who ride horses out of there & dress in full cowboy outfits.