Short stories from my time as a Paramedic
Her left lower arm was definitely broken. It looked like a greenstick fracture which is common with children as their bones are more pliable than adults. It was early evening and we were at the Wayne Minor projects. It was 1976 and it was a different world. Thailand wasn't even part of my vocabulary.
It was also a different world in France on Nov. 11, 1918. The cease fire was set for the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and WW1 would end.
But for now, the machine gun needed ammunition. The lieutenant’s request for somebody to take it to them drew no takers. Then one man stepped forward.
He was Wayne Miner, 24, a son of slaves. His wife, Belle, waited back home in Kansas City.
Located in the middle of a sprawling ghetto in Kansas City, Missouri was Wayne Minor. This government housing had five 10-story buildings surrounded by numerous smaller town houses. I know as I had been in every one of them too many times to count. Half of the times the elevators did not work and even when they did, people would use them as toilets. Plenty of drugs, prostitution, violence and bad living conditions. Not a great lifestyle.
The paramedics were told to always wait for police escort, but most of the time we didn’t. So, I asked this 9-year old girl how did you break your arm? Her reply caught me off guard. “Catch a nigger kill a nigger”.
Wayne Miner died in 1918 serving America. The Wayne Miner projects were destroyed in 1987. Both tragic stories.
Ice Storm Baby
In 1977 during November the rain quickly turned into sleet. Soon Kansas City was covered in ice. No one was moving. As evening approached my partner Dan White and I were stuck at the station as tire chains were not an option for these Cadillac ambulances. We appreciated the down time as it had already been a busy day with numerous calls. Nothing major.
Over the radio, the dispatcher kept asking for available ambulances but there wasn’t any. People would have to wait. A family that lived a few blocks from our station called the business number for Acme Ambulance requesting help. A lady was having a baby and needed to go to the hospital. The front office said sorry, but the roads are too slick.
The lady kept calling back and asking for help. Eventually, Dan and I decided to walk there as it was more or less right around the corner. We grabbed the medical box which is basically a large fishing tackle box and headed out. On the way there, we used our box to slide down the street. Walking was perilous.
Soon we arrived at the residence and examined the lady who was pregnant with her 4th child. She was almost fully dilated and the baby would soon be crowning. Dan and I weren’t going back to the station anytime soon.
The ice storm baby was delivered without an incident. The umbilical cord was cut and now we waited. Eventually an ambulance with chains on arrived to take this young mother to General Hospital.
Dan and I walked back to our station and were soon back on the road.