It's a Vertex VX... Uh... 420.
It works really well; I was able to contact dispatch from the patient's side this morning in their house. There are many places in Reading where my other (VX-180) radio willl not get out at all; my 180 would have worked from this place if I were standing out in the yard on the side of the house facing the repeater.
Reading Rescue really makes me feel appreciated. At Christmas time, they gave a nice stipend to long-time members based on years of service. Mine worked out to several hundred dollars; a windfall large enough for me to purchase a nice stethoscope without feeling guilty.
Reading Rescue also paid for half of several expensive classes I took last year; PALS and PHTLS, as well as all of my RTP class cost. I really hadn't expected them to pay for any of PHTLS or PALS. Contrast that generosity with my paid department who, despite making money from the services that I provide, can't manage to pay for any part of my continuing ed or recert costs.
I guess it makes a certain amount of sense for Reading Rescue; treat me really nice and I'll drag myself out of bed in the middle of the night and drive up to Reading, if not from altruistic feelings, then from feelings of guilt.
Reading Rescue calls are usually a can of worms. For some reason, this tiny town generates a very high ratio of bizarre calls. I wish I could find the post regarding the horse call several years ago; LJ has anemic tools for searching one's own posts.
The other night I got toned at oh-dark-thirty for a non-acute issue just south of Felchville (the big village in Reading). After much cursing and flailing about, I found myself in my car headed north on 106. The regular ambulance service wasn't going to take the call, drag, but my paid department would. So I might be on scene a tiny bit longer. No worries other than lost sleep.
I got to Felchville and the house number did not exist. I clarified with dispatch; yes, I had the right number. I looked in my 911 map book (which I usually do not have to use anymore); no such house. But there was a dirt track leading off up the hill at approximately where the house number should be (in rural areas, the house number corresponds to the mileage from some arbitrary spot, usually the middle of town). The address must be up there.
I drove way up this rutted dirt track in my decidedly-not-offroad designed-for-autobahn vehicle. After a while, I came to a log landing; big stacks of trees, waiting for transport to the mill. I kept on and went up the hill maybe another quarter of a mile before it became abundantly clear that the 'road' was only meant for skidders, not cars.
I had to back down several hundred yards. there was no way to turn around; I wasn't taking chances by pulling off onto the snow. Thank goodness that the mud was frozen or I'd still be up there. I finally managed to get a three-point and head back down. I called dispatch for more instructions just as a big log truck came up the road, totally blocking my way. I got out, as did the driver of the truck.
The man explained that he saw me go up the road and knew I didn't belong there. I told him that I was an EMT looking for a particular residence (I wasn't running my red lights since it was not an acute emergency). As we stood there, the ambulance crew came on and explained that this house wasn't actually in Reading but in a different town... A town that has a several-hundred-yard tentacle that reaches into Reading.
The man pulled the truck over as far as he could and let me squeeze by. The ambulance beat me to the patient.
A couple of months ago, I went up to Reading to see a young assault victim. I knew the house, not by the specific number, but by the general location and type of call. Getting out of the car, I could hear hounds baying inside the house. The victim of the assault was sitting in a chair in a room full of hunting dogs. The floor had dog feces here and there. Everyone in the place was drunk and smoking cigarettes. As I assessed the patient (who had been assaulted elsewhere), the parents did shots of Captain Morgans. The mom was elected to accompany the patient in the ambulance; I had to ask the bathrobed mother to put out her cigarette before getting in the ambulance.
I like my new radio.
Crazy Reading Call... http://bxiie.livejournal.com/44786.html