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Dick Blanchet and Samantha Greene

Dick Blanchet (ret)., BS, MBA, worked as a paramedic for Abbott EMS in St. Louis, Mo., and Illinois for more than 22 years. He was also a captain with Atlas Air for 22 years and an Air Force pilot for 22 years.

Samantha Greene has been a paramedic, field training officer, and operations supervisor for Abbott EMS of Illinois for the last 10 years and a lieutenant for the Madison, Ill., Fire Department for the last five.

“Dick, I remember you were over there during the SARS epidemic—Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan back in 2003, right there at ground zero. What should we know if the novel coronavirus shows up here…
“Samantha, can we go over to the picnic table and talk?” Samantha is partially hidden by a huge stack of paperwork on her desk, a phone in one hand and a pen in the other. Obviously multitasking,…
“Samantha, I don’t feel good about that last overdose call.” “How so? You nailed the procedure, and even after he told you, in such colorful and vulgar terms, where to ‘stick it’, you were still…
“Samantha, I have the list of our patient’s prescription medications from his wife. Quite a few, actually.” Samantha glances at the list. “How compliant is he on these?” she asks. I stammer for a…
“Samantha, I’ve lost count. You?” “You mean how many times we’ve treated this patient for an overdose? I’ve lost count too.” We’re on another scene where the signs point to a Narcan treatment, wake…
Another basement with a narrow stairway. A 35-year-old male not breathing, and the caller mentioned he has a drug habit. Pretty sure we know where this is going, but responders are concerned about…
Evening shift. Ride-along paramedic student, so it’ll probably be slow. It seems only a few minutes before tones drop for a cardiac arrest. Turns out to be far from an arrest. Then another call for…
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