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An Honest Discussion: Dangers of Being a Female First Responder

An Honest Discussion: Dangers of Being a Female First Responder

When I began writing these articles, I never expected the following or the feedback they would receive. However, ultimately that is the goal! To make you think and ponder.

To be fair, I thought I would write about something a little different. When I am asked if being a female has ever been a detriment to me or my coworkers, one instance pops into my mind.

I used to work in a large metropolitan city as a paramedic, in an area that was pretty gang ridden. As a general rule, two women were never placed on an ambulance together for safety reasons. We all understood and respected this. But one day, due to certain circumstances, two of us women were on the ambulance together.

We weren’t worried. We were both strong, loud, and we had a radio. Plus, the cops followed on all EMS calls. We would be fine.

Later in the day the tones dropped for an unconscious male in an alley. We drove to the location given by dispatch, and no one was found. The cops headed one direction, and we headed the other. 5 minutes later we found our patient face first on the ground, not moving.

We looked around and found no immediate life hazards. My partner got out to attend to the patient, and I radioed in our location. Unfortunately, as we would later find out, dispatch wasn’t listening.

I put the portable radio on my belt, grabbed the jump bag, and went to help my partner.

We were just finishing up the rapid trauma assessment when a noise caught my attention. I picked my head up and saw a number of men, wearing rival colors of the guy on the ground, advancing slowly toward us. I looked back at the patient and groaned. How did I miss the gang colors?

“Lori, Lori! Stand up slowly and back away,” I said. She glanced up at me. We stood up together with our gloved hands in the air and backed away from the patient. I reached around for my radio, watching the expressions on the gang members faces. None of them have yet to say a word.

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