Monday, May 07, 2007

Words to Live By

My company's Emergency Response Team was fortunate enough to have been graced with the services of our fearless leader, Lance, for a period of approximately two years. In that time, we learned a great deal from his 20+ years experience as a volunteer firefighter and fire captain. One of Lance's great catch-phrases was what he used to illustrate the importance of gloves and other such personal protective equipment. "Keep the goo off of you," he always said. That was our motto.

At every call that involved bodily fluids, and at every educational opportunity we attended, this phrase was repeated. It was ingrained into the very root of our medical knowledge base. It became automatic, just as instinctual as the way all of us jump when we hear the alert tones on the radio. It was a part of us, and a part of our response.

"Keep the goo off of you." We lived and breathed it.

Two weeks ago, a patient of ours had fainted in a conference room, and in the process, had lost bladder control. Our ever-reliable, enthusiastic teammate Rick responded with the utmost of efficiency and assumed patient care. Unfortunately, since his medical bag had been stowed in his pimped-out Jeep, many of his gloves had disintegrated.

Not a good thing to happen when a patient in a condition such as this needed attention.

In his ever-resourceful way, Rick managed to borrow a set of gloves off another responder, and continue with his most excellent care of the person in need.

The next day, Rick and I were chatting at my cube, when Rakesh appeared with a beautiful gold-colored gift box. He presented it to Rick with the utmost of flair. Rick opened it, with a look of confusion on his face, and peered at the contents.

Inside the box, there were two small bottles.

Hand sanitizer.

And Rakesh, with a million-dollar smile, saying,

"Keep the goo off of you."



Blogger Rakesh said...

It was yet funnier when Lanza realized that Rick was wearing MY vest, using my bag, and had my radio, while I had his radio.

I mean, we've been accused of being married before, but sheesh.

(What had happened was that Rick went back to my cube to grab my jump bag, vest and radio while I went down to the car to get the oxygen bag [which we wound up needing])

May 8, 2007 at 3:31:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Kate said...

I came here via Rakesh, I'm a fellow EMT in Ohio. Oddly enough, my favorite calls are the ones involving goo of some kind. Usually they are the most interesting, plus it keeps me more aware of the "keep the goo off you" mantra. (We like to say "if it's wet and it's not yours don't touch it.")

May 8, 2007 at 4:43:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Rakesh said...


If it's wet and *yours*, can I touch it?


May 9, 2007 at 7:35:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Andrea said...

You two need to get a room.


May 9, 2007 at 7:41:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous kate said...

I'll cure him. I'll let him deliver my baby. That's wet, and gross too. :)

May 18, 2007 at 5:35:00 AM PDT  

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