I had to bite my tongue. He wouldn't get it. He was right in a sense. I had spent a whole 8 hours playing borderlands. Once. The last 24 hours hadn't been like that. Had not been like that at all. The area I cover is fairly quiet most days, most days being a key component in that statement. My favorite saying at work, to the point I would call it a mantra is "No rest for the wicked". Assuming I'm a wicked person, it's about as true as they come. Like some dispatcher somewhere was watching me, as soon as I kicked my boots off the tones dropped for another call. I was running on fumes by the time I got home.
I wanted to tell him to go pound sand. I had worked for the last 24 hours. I had slept a full hour. That was it. That's my job though. I personally love it, but that doesn't mean I don't get tired. That definitely doesn't mean I spend hours on hours a day playing games at work, It can happen. I wish I could get paid for playing games every day.
EMS is known to some as "Earn Money Sleeping." I will happily admit that I have actually earned money while sleeping at work. At some time and in some places that is normal. However, At my work it isn't. One that is normal to me is something I was told to expect in my EMT-Basic school.
Hours of Boredom; Minutes of terror.
No one really plans on having an emergency. No one jumps in a car debating how best to roll it or where to hit a pedestrian. That's my job. I sit and wait for the tones to drop. I train and read about the most current treatments of trauma, CVA/strokes, cardiac, and all other medical complaints. I could wait and read for hours. When the tones drop I have to be out that door in a minute or less. The hardest calls for me are the ones we can't do anything for but treat them with diesel. I can stop blood from getting out, but I can't do anything when it's dumping into your stomach but drive faster. We don't have the tools to see if you're having a hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke. A CT scanner doesn't fit well in the back of our truck(Some do). We can recognize a true heart attack or STEMI in the field but we don't carry the clot busting medications to hopefully stop or at least slow the damage to the heart.
So we're stuck. Watching the clock, waiting. Planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Living through hours of boredom for the sick twisted thrill of minutes of terror. EMS is a beautifully terrible place.