It affects each of us differently, at times

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A Twitter commentary by an EMT.  Just another day at the office!  Read from the bottom up.

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At first we thought it was the ghost dialing 9-1-1…

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The place was locked up and appeared secure when the first unit arrived that afternoon to check out the call to 9-1-1.  Since nothing seemed amiss, and there was nothing to suggest someone was inside who needed help, the Deputy cleared and left.

That evening, it happened again.  In both instances, the 9-1-1 call was just static, with no one speaking.  The 9-1-1 screen also indicated “Quick Dial Tone”, which means the line has been disconnected, and it’s not possible to call it back. These lines can ‘glitch’ in certain circumstances, and that glitch gets sent to 9-1-1.  It’s particularly common during wet weather.

The evening shift Deputy went to check again, and this time found an open sliding glass door in the back.  He told us he was going to check the residence.  After a few minutes, he called for another deputy to respond, and for the sergeant.  We immediately assumed he had found a body in the house.  Turns out that’s not what happened.

People in our professions often develop a black humor, in order to deal with the stresses of the job.  While we were getting other units responding, we were joking that the deputy had found a body, and the ghost had dialed 9-1-1, twice, and that it might not be too happy that it took two calls to get results!

Well, it turns out it wasn’t a dead body, after all.  There is one important lesson to be learned here, however.  When you rent some run down house out in the middle of nowhere, go ahead and hook up the phone line.  Pay the few bucks a month to have a working line.  That way, the phone line won’t ‘glitch’, and the cops won’t come out and find your meth lab.

Call Of The Day – They be stealin’ walnuts!

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Walnuts are a big crop in this area.  Orchards spread out around the outskirts of Visalia, and throughout this region of Central California.  I’ve always pretty much taken them for granted, they’ve been a staple of my life since childhood.  With the advent of mechanized harvesting, walnut theft has taken on new dimensions.  Part of the problem is the way most crops are harvested these days.  A honkin’ machine rolls up and grabs the trunk of the tree, and proceeds to shake the hell out of it!  Walnuts cascade to the ground, and once the operator is satisfied that he’s dropped all he can, he moves on to the next tree.  The crop lays on the ground until the next guy (or the same one in a different machine) comes along with what amounts to a broom-and-vacuum machine to pick it up.  Often times the crop sits on the ground overnight.  This is the perfect opportunity for theft.  The call of the night was an interesting twist on the walnut-theft capers we usually get.

Routinely, someone will see strangers in an orchard, and call the Sheriff to report possible theft.  Often vehicles will be stopped for one reason or another, and we’ll find sacks of walnuts, but no receipts.  Other times we simply catch them in the act, picking up walnuts in orchards they don’t own.  It’s an ongoing thing, every year.  Tonight’s call was a bit different.

Mom called this one in.


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