So I get a call for a 6D1 to some crappy apartment. For those of you lucky enough not to use the Clawsen system that is a shortness of breath call and the D part means its important. Well enroute dispatch tell us that the pt is advising they might pass out from fatigue and the door might be locked. My partner and I are about to arrive on scene when our "medically trained" dispatch advises that they have lost contact with the caller (pt) and can hear agonal respirations in the background.So being a fire medic unit when we arrive on scene I am able to grab a set of irons as well as our ems packs. As usual at all our crappy apartment buildings, there are a lot of people just milling around in the courtyard. These people, when asked a question usually respond with "huh?" And tonight was no exception. My partner and i ask 2 different people the location of apt 70 and we both get blank stares in response. Luckily we find apt 70 and began banging on the door. Well when you make this much noise late at night in an apartment complex where no one has jobs, all tenants come out to investigate. As my partner and I begin to force the door using the irons ( flat head axe and haligan tool) I hear several people yelling from the courtyard "Someone call the police! Those 2 guys are breaking into that apartment!" Luckily PD was soon on scene to field any citizen complaints. I guess the fire department trucks, clothes, tools etc were hard to see.
We force the door open (with some damage to door and frame). And once we locate our dying agonal patient in the back bedroom she is face down kneeling over a bucket. Before a question is asked the dying patient turns her head toward us and asks: "you guys just broke down my door didn't you?" Turns out our "patient" was detoxing from booze and was vomiting. When asked why she didn't answer the door, she replied she was too weak. But to get to the ambulance stretcher she had to walk out of her apartment, down the walkway and down a flight of stairs. At this time all the wondering tenants were close enough to offer their assistance. Some were even dropping names in an attempt to gain access to the scene. good times