So, I was working Medic Seven with Doug. We caught a run for an overdose, and proceeded to the call. Calling dispatch to announce our arrival on the scene, we stepped into the autumn evening.
So, there was (and, likely, still is) a considerable, amorphous, body of knowledge, that might be termed “street smarts”. For example, there is what we called “Decker’s Law”, which opined that, should you be on a block, and you were sure your call was at one house on that block, but, of course, there were no house numbers, you should knock upon the door of the house that appeared most likely to be a heap of rubble by the time you went back in service. Your patient awaited therein. Or, Ciaramataro’s corrolary: the house with the steel window and door bars was your scene. Or Ivan’s Axiom: the house with the “ghetto gates” had nothing within it worth stealing. And, those folks likely knew who was doing all the B & E’s in the neighborhood, because they were likely the ones performing them.
Other insights were more what might be called stagecraft. As in, do not have your back to residents of the scene. Or, know two (or more) exits from every scene. Or, do not stand directly in front of the door. Or, and relevant to this tale, plant your boot in front of an outward opening door, because you just might not really want whatever is inside, to abruptly come outside to play. With you. Or your partner.
So, TINS©, TIWFDASL©, with Doug on one side of the door, and myself on the other. Doug was on the handle side of the screen door, and I was on the hinge side. I knocked, and announced our presence in the immortal words of yore: “Fire Department!”
The occupant came to the door, and we heard his dogs enthusiastically greeting us before the door opened. Doug, thoughtfully placing his boot before the door, allowed said occupant to uselessly push against the door as the dogs leapt, barked, and slathered their greetings. This gentleman was exhorting us, “C’mon, c’mon, c’mon! He could be dying in here!”
We suggested, “Sir, if you will secure your dogs, we will be right in!”
He responded, “C’mon, c’mon, c’mon! Dude’s dying in here, and you all be fucking around!”
Again, Doug suggested, “Sir, you have to put your dogs up, or we aren’t coming inside! We aren’t going to get bitten by your dogs!”
Our Host again responded, “I ain’t putting my dogs up! Y’all get in here! He could be dying!”
I looked at Doug, and he looked at me. “You need to hear anything more?” Doug asked me.
“Nope, heard everything I need to hear.” Doug nodded, and said, “Let’s go!”
We got. Once in the truck, and around the corner, we went a couple of additional blocks, and called dispatch. “When you get another call to this location, send police. The resident has a couple of big dobermans, they are aggressive, and he refuses to secure them.”
I finished the run sheet, and prepped the next one. Dispatch did not disappoint.
“Medic Seven, you still near you last run?”
“Respond to that scene, run number (number), address (address). Scout car has been dispatched. “
“Medic Seven on scene, around the corner, waiting for scout.”
The police car soon pulled up, we regaled them with the above story, and off we went. This time, the offices stood at the door, their boots were on the door, and we stood back to admire things.
The same gentleman opened the door, the same dogs danced and growled, and the same dialog. “C’mon, c’mon, c’mon! He could be dying!”
One officer said, “Sir, secure your dogs.”
Our Host had considered his response. “I ain’t locking up my dogs!”
The officer asked him, “Did you just tell me somebody inside there is dying?”
“Yep, and you all are fucking around on this porch!”
The holster snaps were released. “Sir, we’re coming inside in 3 seconds. Those dogs will be secured, one way or the other. You need to lock them up, right now!”
Our Host began to protest, as the other officer placed his hand on the grip of his sidearm, and began to count. “Three! Two! ….”
Somehow, it appeared, the dogs levitated, and disappeared with a “whoosh!”. Seconds later the gentleman announced, “They’re locked up, in the bathroom!”
The officers unholstered their pistols, and led us into the house. One officer, locating the closed door, presumably the bathroom, behind which the barking continued, ensured that it was latched, and waved us past. We moved on, and found an inert soul, unbreathing and pulseless. We started CPR, transported him to TSBTCIDC, and they pronounced him.
Yeah, some runs you remember, even after the better part of forty years.