Here’s a true story about doing a truck check… I came in at 15 minutes early for a shift that started at 1100am. Someone had covered part of my morning for an appointment or something. The truck I was riding on was out on a call. I looked at the call book and it wasn’t a particularly busy day. As they returned to quarters at 1610 another call came in. I quickly swapped out with the EMT I was relieving and we were on our way. The call was for a patient who fell and needed a lift assist but it turns out the patient was slightly altered which led to the fall. No big deal.

Patient was loaded, we were headed to the hospital of his/her choice and I tech’d the call. There were no injuries, BP, HR, O2 all looked good. I reach into the bag to grab the glucometer and start lay out all the pieces… Alcohol wipe, lancet, band-aid, actual meter, test strip. Test strip. Test strip? Not a single one. I look in the pouch thinking there might be a bunch that fell out. None. Are you effing kidding me?

Sigh. No more containers of test strips in the cabinets… Eff. I do a 12-lead to do something. I do a saline lock because he’s likely to get blood work. I patch into the hospital. They ask for a blood sugar. I’ve got nothing. We get to the hospital, transfer care and the RN asks if I got a blood sugar. I hang my head. “I didn’t have any more test strips”. She giggles at me. I hang around until the ED tech gets a blood sugar. It was 92, phew!

We get back in the truck and I’m stewing. I start to write some of the report. I say nothing to my partner for the call. We get to the station and I start cleaning the back of the truck. He didn’t do it. In fact, he didn’t nothing. He asks what I’m doing. I gently explode and explain that I am cleaning the back of the truck and ask him to get a couple items so I could restock. “Don’t worry about it dude, we’ll do it after lunch” he says. What? I reply, “I’ll come up when I’m done” and he turned and left. Are you effing kidding me?

Lesson learned. Never trusted this guy since. I always check my truck and double check the essentials even if my partner says it’s good to go. Sometimes, like this instance it’s out of my control. It happened one other time at shift change before I could check the truck, this time with electrodes. Guy was having chest pain, no electrodes in the truck. Station was on the way to the hospital so pulled in for electrodes and a 12-lead. Patient was having “the big one”. We transmitted the 12-lead and the patient went straight to the cath lab but it was a really hairy first 15-20 minutes. Complacency became my enemy and it’s one the things I don’t have a high tolerance for.

Anyway, long post today. Moral of the story, don’t trust that someone else works to your standard. Stay safe.