Posted by: medicblog999 | November 11, 2009

Day 3 in San Francisco

IMGP1403Well, its been a tiring day for me. No stand downs, no time on a station, no real relax time.

Its not that its been particularly busy, but in the SFFD, if you are working on the Ambulance, you dont get returned to a station after you have taken a patient to a hospital, you just go straight back out on standby (or POST as they call it here).

That would be unheard of for me in NEAS. I like my two protected stand downs each day for my meals. I like getting back on station every now and then so that I can do some admin work and catch up on some station duties. Its quite tiring going from standby to standby to standby for the day.

We did get around the city a bit and went to 5 differernt hospitals throughout the day. We had a fair share of jobs to deal with and I only had to wait for the second job, before I heard a patient having to ask how much it was going to cost him to go to the hospital. This was a sweet elderly man who had alot of chronic problems which he hadnt been seen about because he had no health insurance and could afford to pay to be seen anywhere. I couldnt believe how much it upset me to hear him say those words, it just seemed so wrong and unfiat. I know that Justin is used to it and knows no other way, but coming from the NHS, I found it just very, very wrong.

But thats the way it is here I guess.

I also saw some card swipe machines at the ER reception desks at one hospital which was a bit wierd.

I have put some pictures on the Flickr account, and more will follow once I getback to my room. I am unfortunately having real difficulty uploading the video blog from tonight, but I will hopefully get that up later tonight also. If not, I will ask Ted or Justin to upload it for me tomorrow.

There is so much to say, but not enough time to do it at the minute. The blog posts from this trip are going to continue long after ‘The Project’ has finished.

Justin, Ted and I try and update our twitter accounds through the day to keep you all in the loop so if you dont yet follow us on Twitter, make sure you search for @UKMedic999, @TheHappyMedic and @Setla to see what we get up to tomorrow.

Ted is also posting videos each and every day over at

Ill try to get this video sorted for you then.

See you later.



  1. Sounds like a silly question Mark, but how do I actually watch the Chronicles of EMS videos – I've kept going onto their website, which just redirects to setla-films/ems-pilot, and I can't see videos anywhere!

  2. Mark, What you are reporting back on to us is all a bit different than even what I had expected, and I have a few questions about your day (like you aren't busy enough).How long was your ambulance shift? When I was working for the private ALS service, it was normal to do scheduled 15hr shifts w/o ever coming back to Central. How long did they keep you out there for?How many calls did you all run, and is that a normal day, according to Justin?I'm sure I could come up w/ more, but I'll leave it at that for now.I would like to comment on the gentleman that asked about how much his trip will cost though. I have been doing EMS for almost 8 yrs now, and it always tears me up to see someone that truly needs to be transported, but cannot pay for it. I have never gotten used to that, and probably never will. It is slightly better for me now, in that if a pt that I transport is a resident of my service area, we only bill their insurance, and do not charge the pt anything directly. It doesn't help them w/ their hospital fees, but I can only worry about so much. With all that being said, if the person that has called truly has no need for an ambulance, I figure that it's their bed that they made, and don't concern myself in their difficulty in paying for their (very expensive) taxi ride…

  3. I have some comments, but they are long enough to make into a blog post. I'll have that up tomorrow if you're interested.

    • That will be great mate, look forward to reading your thoughts.

  4. I have some comments, but they are long enough to make into a blog post. I'll have that up tomorrow if you're interested.

  5. I have some comments, but they are long enough to make into a blog post. I'll have that up tomorrow if you're interested.

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