Reading over on Ambulance Drivers site got me to thinking, and remembering.
Do you know the difference in a bedtime story, and a Fireman story?
A bedtime story starts with "Once upon a time"
A fireman story starts with "No shit, this really happened!"
I was on duty at the fire station, assigned to the ambulance that day. We get dispatched to one of the High Schools in town to assist another ambulance already on scene. Now, right off the bat, we figure there must be something to it cause your average fireman/paramedic don't ask for help unless he needs it.
Dispatch tells us en route that there are several students with difficulty breathing. We arrive, just as the first crew is loading their second patient into the back of the box. A quick glance reveals that both of their patients are unconscious. As one paramedic gets out IV supplies, the other tells us(my partner and myself) that there are 2 more in not as bad shape in the principals office.
We rush to the office area with our gear, not yet knowing what these kids have gotten into or how bad it is. The office staff is in full panic mode, and when I say full, I mean FULL! Secretaries crying, teachers stumbling about, principal into that hyper talking thing. They physically pull me into the principals office and there are two girls, with that zoned out look. They had that thousand yard stare, dilated pupils, and a little red circle around their nose and mouth area.
We start to do our thing and find that other than being zoned way out, they are breathing fine with fairly normal vitals. I turn to the panic stricken principal and ask "What the hell happened?"
"They were huffing." he says. Huffing gentle readers is where people sniff chemicals in an attempt to get high. Problem is that it usually will instantly fry the braincells.
"Huffing what?" I ask.
At that point, the principal picks up a can of something. It has foil over it to prevent spilling I guess. He holds it and says "This stuff. They were caught with it while they were using it. A teacher saw them."
It is then that he takes off the foil, holds the can under his nose, and smells it. "Whoo! That's strong! Smell that." he says as he holds the can out to me.
Could my eyes be playing tricks on me? Surely he didn't do what I just saw him do? Holy crap!
I stand facing him, and with all the command voice I can muster say "Don't do that! That's why we're here for them!"
He seems to realize what he just did, covers the can, and leaves the office. We transport to the ER. I think the huffers now ride the short bus to a "special school" for students with dead brain cells.
Not sure if the principal got moved to the "special school" or not.
And that's no shit. It really happened.