Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Wrap (in a "College Town")

 Small herd of students Fearing Street Saturday night 11:25 PM

So it was neither the best of times -- although the weather on Saturday was pretty perfect -- or the worst of times -- considering how bad things have gotten before around this time of year.

Friday into early morning Saturday seemed once again to be the worst of times for Amherst Fire Department, as once again an ETOH (alcohol OD) incident occurred at a time when all five ambulances were out, many of them for ETOH students, and had to be handled by "mutual aid," courtesy of Belchertown FD.

As usual the ETOH calls came during the Third Watch, starting around midnight, with an ETOH male at UMass.  Dispatch called the ambulance en route to inform them there was another patient, also possible ETOH, who had fallen and hit his head while at the UMPD lock up. 

AFD transported one to Cooley Dickinson Hospital and UMPD kept the other in "protective custody."

At 1:15 AM an ambulance responded to the s curves in Shutesbury for a downed motorcyclist, and since that is at the farthest reaches of the AFD protection zone it would tie up an ambulance for well over an hour.

At 1:19 AM another ETOH UMass student fell and hit his head at Kennedy Dorm Southwest high rise.  As all our ambulances were tied up dispatch sent a firetruck with emergency first responders who stabilized the patient until Belchertown FD arrived to transport (A fire engine cannot transport patients).

Around 1:30 AM AFD responded to Gorman Dorm for a male student who had taken "liquid THC."  That too was initially handled by Engine 3 until an AFD ambulance could arrive to transport. 

Saturday was a very busy day in town with traffic backed up in the center for most of the morning and early afternoon.  In addition to the usual Farmers Market the town common was also hosting the Fall Apple Harvest Festival, and of course McMurphy's Uptown Tavern was attracting a hoard of college aged youth dressed in green and wearing tacky plastic Irish hats for the "Half Way To Blarney Blowout" non-event.

AFD responded to a "box alarm" (meaning smoke had been detected by an actual witness) to a UMass dorm around 1:30 PM.  The fire -- quickly extinguished by UMass Environmental Health & Safety -- was caused by a candle, and AFD engines stayed on scene to ventilate the building.

 Emerson Dorm, UMass 1:45 PM Saturday

Around 6:00 PM AFD responded to two potential Q-5 (suicide) incidents in different parts of town, one where young lady had cut her wrists.

As the gorgeous day became night the calls turned to the usual drugs/alcohol related:  Around 10:00 PM AFD responded to UMass for a female student who had "smoked something and now feels funny."  I'm guessing it was not a carcinogenic cigarette.

 AFD at 51 Phillips Street for ETOH female 11:15 PM

An hour or so later an ambulance (and APD) responded to 51 Phillips Street for an ETOH young female; and 15 minutes later another ambulance was needed at Townhouse Apartments for a young female "dazed and confused."

AFD on scene 50 Meadow Street 11:30 PM

By 1:00 AM AFD would respond two more times to UMass for ETOH students. Keep in mind the Red Sox playoff games have not even started, and it's not yet Halloween.

The (down) beat goes on ...


Anonymous said...

Bear in mind this is only one side of the story -- and some of this -- like how someone in "protective custody" was permitted to hit his head raises questions -- quite "protective" weren't they?

Halloweeen and PlayOffs (and possibly World Series) are coming and there isn't a whole lot of good will for the authorities to draw upon. Might we have potential problems?

Larry Kelley said...

Keep in mind this story is a compilation of scanner traffic and my seat of the pants reporting in and around UMass very late at night over the weekend.

I'm waiting at the moment for the official AFD weekend run report (one of my more popular document dumps on Scribd) and for APD to update on the web their "arrests and call logs."

Walter Graff said...

Should have kept your kids closer to home.

"According to the Harvard School
of Public Health College Alcohol Study, the drinking style of college students is one of excess and intoxication. Among the drinkers in the study, nearly half (48 percent) admitted that the most important reason for drinking is to get drunk. One in four (23 percent) of college students drink alcohol ten or more times in a month, and three in ten (29 percent) report being intoxicated three or more times a month. Students who have abused alcohol during high school are at a higher risk of drinking excessively during college. If your child has abused alcohol throughout high school, it would be wise to consider having your child attend a local college closer to home. Parents can continue to give their child the necessary guidance until they are convinced that they have the level of maturity to leave home."

Excerpt from

Anonymous said...


Have You ever gotten anybodies feed back from Cooley Dick on this?
The impact to their staff has to be enormous, also.

Larry Kelley said...

One of these late night weekends I plan to take a ride over and sit in the waiting room.

Anonymous said...

Would that "trauma-arm laceratoin" have been the suicide attempt?

Ought it not *also* have a psych tag?>

And what I'd love to see is an AGE of the ETOH transports. There is a very different issue if they are 21 or if they are 19...

Anonymous said...

Please pardon my ignorance; Is there a medical reason for ETOH transports or is it a racket? Why do drunk students have to be transported by ambulance to the hospital? Left alone, couldn't they simply sleep it off, wake up with a hangover, and get on with their lives without incurring sizable hospital/ambulance bills and possible legal entanglements?

Larry Kelley said...

Because they could, quite possibly, die.

Your ignorance is hard to pardon, but I'll do it just this once.

Anonymous said...


Drunk students will always be transported by an ambulance because they are not in a mental state to legally refuse transport. The reality of many of these ETOH calls is that the student could absolutely "sleep it off" and be fine. On the other hand, there are a few patients who do, in fact, have true alcohol poisoning and need transport (i.e. they would be in serious trouble w/o hospital care). However, this is irrelevant due to my first statement (if you're drunk, you're taking a ride no matter what).