The first thing I noticed, as I ran into the dark, dank and dirty building, was a bloody handprint on the wall of the stairwell. Not just one – but several. Some quite faint, others frighteningly clear. I ran, swiftly but cautiously, until I reached the 5th and top floor. The smell hit me immediately, strong, metallic. Seconds later my eyes beheld the most horrible devastation of my young career.
All over the bed, the floor, the walls. And in the middle of the room, Unit #66 doing compressions on a man that was, for all practical purposes, Dead.
I was still new to this madness – my human instinct kicked in before my EMS instinct did and I took a step back, instead of forward. I was in the hallway now and in the corner lay the murder weapon in all its revolting glory.
Fingerprints + Murder weapon = Open and shut case.
But that wouldn’t bring the 30 year old man back to life.
I’m getting ahead of myself; let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start.
“Violence in a ‘hostel’ in the center of a residential neighborhood – details sketchy – screams heard – approach with caution.”
#66 radioed that he was en-route and I went as well, not because I expected a real emergency, ‘violence’ is often a non-starter – I guess I responded out of plain curiosity.
The report from the scene was as bad as it was quick in coming.
“Stabbing – Traumatic arrest - CPR in progress – requesting Blues NOW!”
My first thought was; do I have gloves in my pockets?! I always keep gloves in my pockets, even when not on call and even when abroad. You never know when you might get involved in a sticky situation.
Gloves – Check.
Courage – not so much.
I found the address easily, although I had never been there before.
Turns out, Hostel was too innocent a word. The squalid building was 5 stories high and located in the center of a normal residential, peaceful neighborhood. Inside however, was anything but peaceful. The residents were mostly Druggies; walking around aimlessly, completely unaware of what was going on in the ‘penthouse’. Actually, they were even oblivious to what was going in their very perimeter.
As I ran up the steps, I thought how absurd it was that the authorities allow a place like this to exist - in this area especially. But no time for reflection now, gotta get upstairs and try to save a life.
We would later find out that both the assailant and the victim were Arabs. Muslim Arab vs. Christian Arab, that is. But because the evidence pointed to a drug deal gone bad, the case was classified as criminally motivated and not nationalistic. Money was owed, tempers flared and the young man was stabbed.
The Intensive Care ambulance finally arrived and with it a semi-retired Russian Doctor. His team began Advanced Life Support - I was doing compressions at a rate of 100/minute, whilst the Doc started counting.
Counting stab wounds that is.
He began poking his finger around the deceased’s body and in heavily accented Hebrew, called out, in a loud clear voice.
One – Two – Three – Four – Five – Six – Seven – Eight – Nine – Ten – Eleven
I turned my gaze from the CardioPump
and looked at the Doc. This had to be some form of twisted Russian humor. He couldn’t be serious. But the expression on his face told me he was. I looked back at the chest and focused on the wounds. The lacerations were like nothing I had ever imagined, and certainly not what Hollywood leads you to believe. No body fluid spurting out of machete style gashes. Just lifeblood, oozing slowly out of button-hole size incisions.
The hemorrhage was bad – the internal damage was worse.
Meanwhile the patient was intubated, and thereafter Medic #1 started looking for a vein. It was a futile attempt. The victim had lost too much blood, and his veins were impossible to find. Medic #2 took the initiative and decided to insert a B.I.G. A Big or Bone Injection Gun
, in laymen’s terms, is a spring loaded, gun type device that shoots a small metal tube into the proximal tibia to create a route of administration for medications. I fished out the blue colored adult BIG from the ALS bag and handed it to #2. He fired, but something didn''t go exactly as planned and it got stuck. He needed ''tools'' to fix it, so I handed him my Leatherman and begged him to keep it clean. Why was I carrying a multi-tool to an emergency medical call? Because I had been called to fix things in the past, and learnt the hard way that EMS needs to be prepared for any eventuality.
The Doc was still prodding;
Twelve – Thirteen – Fourteen – Fifteen – Sixteen – Seventeen – Eighteen – Nineteen – Twenty
It was absurd; the insane murderer, in his psychotic rage, had stabbed his victim (at least) 20 times!
Police suddenly descended en-masse. Blues, Yasam, and even Forensics were on scene and each went about his own business. Blues cleared the scene of onlookers, Yasam stood around looking important, and Forensics was gawking at the knife on the floor.
The Doc continued his miserable refrain
Twenty one – Twenty two - Twenty three - Twenty four - Twenty five - Twenty six – Twenty seven
Time of death – 13:49