Amherst Fire Department A1 at The Pub late Friday night
The town was lucky Amherst Fire Department had four extra staff to operate two ambulances over the weekend, although I'm sure the thirteen first responders did not feel overly lucky during that bewitching hour (or two) when the gates of Hell creak open, and the all-alcohol-zombie-apocalypse is fully unleashed.
It started routinely enough at 10:37 PM Friday with an ETOH "college aged" female at Van Meter Dorm UMass. Then nothing until 11:15 PM, with another ETOH at Pierpont Dorm UMass -- although Dispatch later radioed to the responders she was now "conscious and alert" and the call would probably end up "a refusal."
When UMPD horse patrol told their Dispatch they were "securing their mounts" for the night (around 11:30 PM) because of the rain, I thought maybe that was a good omen -- bad weather cutting down on foot traffic.
The ambulance that ended up not being needed for an ETOH female was rerouted to another nearby need of a student having a bad reaction to hallucinogenics. Within minutes that ambulance called for a second ambulance "this location" for a second patient, also overdosing on a hallucinogenic drug.
A fire alarm from the same Van Meter Dorm at 11:53 PM then tied up Engine 1 and Engine 3 just as ETOH calls started pouring in: "A severely ETOH young male at The Pub in downtown Amherst, five minutes later an ETOH young male out on Montague Road in North Amherst, five minutes after that UMPD reports another a student had "consumed 15 shots, was breathing, but unresponsive."
NFD ambulance, AFD Engine 3 Pierpont Dorm UMass for ETOH student
At this point fire engines are being dispatched to medical calls to stabilize patients while waiting for an ambulance to arrive and cart them over to Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
Northampton FD and Belchertown FD both respond via mutual aid for ETOH students on the UMass campus.
Dispatch has tried to mobilize reinforcements by sending out a tone requesting the Call Force to report in for "station coverage".
213 Sunset Avenue 12:40 AM
At 12:35 AM a beleaguered ambulance responds to 213 Sunset Avenue, where a large party is taking place, for an ETOH female.
A5 responds directly to the scene after dropping off an ETOH patient at the hospital without the usual "return to quarters" to restock supplies or clean up the ambulance, or do the paperwork associated with the previous call.
AFD Engine 3 Mass Ave 1:00 AM near Southwest heading to ETOH patient
At 1:00 AM UMPD requests an ambulance for an ETOH student at the bus stop on the corner of Sunset and Mass Avenue. Engine 3 arrives to render assistance until an ambulance can respond.
The final substance abuse run occurs at 4:23 AM.
And thus ends just another binge "night" in the little college town of Amherst.
Thirteen AFD full-time professional emergency responders, 5 ambulances and 3 fire engines and we still required 2 ambulances from our friends in Northampton and one from Belchertown.
It's all fun and games until desperately waiting -- waiting -- for an ambulance to arrive ... someone dies.
To be continued ...