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Had my first DOA this morning...

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  • Had my first DOA this morning...

    Week 4 of FTO. Got dispatched to a welfare check this morning. RP stated he hadn't been able to get in touch with his sister-in-law for 2 days. Vehicle in the driveway, no answer to knocks on the door..... I got a feeling I knew where the call was going before I even responded to dispatch... Sure enough, 310lb 65yr old female, DOA on the bathroom floor. Thank God it didn't happen a week ago when we had a Seattle heat wave. Still, that's a smell I won't forget for a long time. Not for a long time. Visually, it actually was barely disturbing to me personally at all. But that smell....

    I hope the drycleaners can get my uniform wool pants good and clean. I hear they hold smells for a while.

  • #2
    I remember my first smelly one. was a day old but levitity has already set in on the legs. She was about 50yo and died sitting up on a recliner. Smell was bad but i said the same thing. Thank God it wasnt a oozer.

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    • #3
      Ah, yes my first DOA. I was new and working a one-man cruiser. A family member met me at the house. The person had not been seen nor heard from in about a week. I found him bloated lying on the couch with no shirt, his pants pulled down to his knees and a Playboy magazine nearby. I assumed he went out with a groan and a smile. The smell was terrible and the body was so ripe it split open when we lifted him onto the stretcher. In those days, the precinct wagon hauled all DOA's. Now a private firm handles the natural cause deaths. Be prepared because you'll have many more DOA runs.
      The views/opinions expressed here are solely mine. I'm retired and I don't care. I truly do not want to offend anyone, but if you are thin skinned and have no sense of humor, you better find another line of work. Therefore, I don't have to be politically correct and I will exercise my freedom of speech, until it's taken away. May God bless all retirees. We've done our duty and earned our peace.

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      • #4
        Hopefully seeing it will settle ok with you. Always better to have your first DOA that way instead of a gruesome carnage on a highway.

        Make sure you don't settle on it to much and have some chats about it with co-workers if needed. The only way to stay sane in this industry.

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        • #5
          Wait till you smell burned flesh or gangrene.
          There are no extraordinary men... just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.
          William Halsey

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          • #6
            I was lucky on my first DOA. Dead for about, oh, 5 minutes. Colon cancer. What made it harder is the fact he worked with my father at one point, and his 16 yoa duaghter watched him pass away. Poor girl. Her crying bothered me more than the dead guy.
            You have the right to remain silent, but apparently you lack the skill to exercise that right.

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            • #7
              My first DOA was accidental OD, still had the needle in his vein, head in a trashcan. My 2nd that same night (yes, 7hr later) was a guy who died from a heart problem sometime during the night, discovered by his g/f when she got up.
              The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

              I Am the Sheepdog.


              "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
              that we are all that stands between
              the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


              sigpic

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              • #8
                The first one I had was a 15 year old at home Hospice. The family was ready for it and called about 15 minutes after his death. The second one was a suicide GSW. He had been there for a few days the only thing I think that prevented the really strong smell was it was in the winter time and the heat appeared to be turned off to the house.

                For some reason the last one I had is the main one that's stuck with me. I had just talked to the person a couple days before. She was a waitress at one of our local dinners and was a nice lady. I got called to her house around 6AM, she had died in her bath tub while turning on the water. For some reason I will never forget the look on her face. It's one of them you try to remember how they looked when they were still alive, but you can't.
                Some people were just dropped on their heads as children more than the rest of us!

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                • #9
                  I walked into one of the local ER's a couple of years ago and the smell coming from one of the rooms was horrendous...and the door was shut. Found out later that an elderly woman who was being "cared for" by her worthless son had been brought in by ambulance. Son called in and said he thought she had a stroke.

                  Turns out, she had been lying on a couch for weeks. Never been moved. The maggots and blowflies had to be removed individually from the back of her body, as well as one or two of the couch cushions that had basically stuck to her. More specifically, she had to be taken in the ambulance with the cushions stuck to her so that the ER doctors and nurses could remove them.

                  Some of the nurses got sick and had to go home. There were several bags filled with the stuff they pulled off this woman. She died a day or two later. The son went to prison.

                  Be good to your kids, they might be taking care of you one day.

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                  • #10
                    Memories

                    Alaska, Spring, when it gets warm in the day and still cold at night; cold enough for the furnace to kick on. Warm enough in the day to reach 70+ inside a closed up house.

                    Hummmm you know where this is going.
                    Welfare check, two weeks not seen...hummmmm

                    Open door WHAT IS that smell...............opened some doors and windows prior to completing the call....OUCH

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                    • #11
                      My first was many years ago as a rookie. A girl gave birth, wrapped the baby in towels and stuck the baby in a box under her bed. My fto and I and a paramedic found the baby. The coroner couldn't prove it was a live birth, which had an effect on what charges were able to be filed.

                      That was one of only two times in my career when I went home after working third shift and drank in the morning. I know they say that's a bad idea, drinking after a situation like that, but it worked for me that morning.

                      I suspect dead kids affect all of us in a worse way than dead adults.

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                      • #12
                        Following up on my original post above, week 5, DOA #2. Not as bad, but I sure hope this isn't setting a trend now...

                        I have three young children and hope I never have to handle one of those.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SirLancelot View Post
                          Following up on my original post above, week 5, DOA #2. Not as bad, but I sure hope this isn't setting a trend now...

                          I have three young children and hope I never have to handle one of those.

                          You will... Someone like that was my very first DOA... 4 month of baby... SIDS... but never the less... a god awful situation that I couldn't help...

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                          • #14
                            A dead body on a "Monday" sucks for the ole uniform.

                            And for the smell.....keep a small bottle of Vicks in your gearbag.

                            This is where the sic humor begins. Something about dead bodies...they stick in your mind forever...I still remember the first one...name and details. In FTO I had 4 in 2 days!!!
                            This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LASD6833 View Post
                              Wait till you smell burned flesh or gangrene.
                              Or one that's been locked in a car, out in the sun for a few days.
                              You can now follow me on twitter.

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