View Full Version : Pull up a seat kids

Walter Suiter
05-16-2017, 04:17 PM
Today's story time will teach you about the DANGER of communications.

In the beginning, before my time, there was great difficulty getting Ambulances to patients in a timely and rapid fashion. When telephones came along, Ambulances were operated by Hospitals, and in NY mandated to have a Doctor on board to pick patients up. Doctors weren't overly intelligent or educated back then, and there were plenty of them. Telephone operators being a bit smarter than most realized quickly figured they could make a buck by calling a second Hospital while the potential patient spoke with the hospital they had called.

Thus the Nathan Bedford Forest system of Ambulance dispatch was born, and horses ran like hell to be first to the patient. As time went forward the Great Electromagnetic Force in the Sky came to be and Ambulances were dispached by Radio, first by just listening for the Police Dispacher to call them on around 1680kc in most cities. After the Second World War there was abundence of surplus 2 way tank radios available, and Cops and Fire Departments along with Ambulances bought them and installed them. Of course these were tube radios, 6 volt, with a Dynamotor to provide the High Voltage DC for the Transmitter. Leaving the barn the car was effectively not on air for the first mile while the radio warmed up. Drivers were encouraged to leave the cars run when away from the barn, because the radio would kill the battery in 15 minutes if the car was shut off.

The second great evolution in radio was development of the Dispacher. Usually that job was held by somebody who knew every street in town and had a hernia or bad back. Drivers and Attendants were encouraged to think of Dispachers as gods. They could make your day profitable or send you home with empty pockets.

Only smart drivers knew Dispachers were cruel evil creatures, sitting salivating at the microphone scanning their eyelids for a new way to kill you. Before electronic sirens and amplified outside speakers, the volume was turned to maximum and the passenger window was left down to hear the radio. The evil buzard in the glass booth knew you were eating lunch, usually 2 hours late, and he knew exactly where you were. He also knew how long it took to put your order in and get served. As you began to chew the third bite, the alert tone would blast from the car and he'd send you to a crap run that could have held for 5 more minutes. On the other side of the coin, if you were on the s#!t list, he'd whisper from the back of the glass booth, and then wait a minute before alerting one of his buds in another car to your job, drop you to the bottom of the wheel, and write you up for not answering. Some Dispachers even demanded bribes, and got them from some crews.

Until the recorder with the 18inch reel of tape came into being, owners always believed Dispachers, because Dispachers made owners money. George had pioneered the use of radio in Rochester early on when he managed to work a deal with his childhood neighbor who ran the City Radio Center on top of Cobbs Hill and get the company base located on the County tower. At 49mhz that base covered the County. It also covered Pennsylvania and most of inhabited Canada. George calculated the radios eliminated the need for 1 car most days because a car returning from one of the Hospitals could be dispached to a call they were near. George had radio supoeriority and the competition could never catch him.

Replacing Twin V radios with Motracs and adding electronic sirens patched to the MoTrac made George about wet himself. It was much cheaper than portable radios, if crews would just use them correctly according to his dream. Fortunately George had 2 channels, so cars could be summoned on F-1 and all other communication would be on F-2. If the speaker is on and you are out of the car, the damn radio will be on F-1. The idea didn't seem to work in day to day operation, and there was an ongoing problem with one of the wires geting unplugged from the control head. Junior came along and spent time with the Motorola salesman, and bought some boxes that held reeds like Pagers, and a few went into cars for testing. A new toy arrived in the glass booth, and now the evil man in the booth could push 3 buttons and blow the electronic on the car of his choice. This even saved buying pagers, and Junior was proud.

Of course, all of this high quality Motorola equipment remains 100% dependent on the people in the car and the dispatcher. Factor in that the crew in the car is absolutely certain the Dispatcher is A) cheating them on jobs, B) has way too much power, and C) is out to kill the crew, and you have a mess. Throw Junior on top like whipped cream on pie, writing General Orders stating EXACTLY how radios will be operated, serviced, and microphones hung as well as antennas polished, and you have a bomb. Add in a couple drivers who are able to both read and interpit General Orders written by a leading candidate for Village Idiot, and you have the trigger set. It helps even more that Junior has no idea what a General Order is, or how one should be employed.

Bob and I pick Brenda up with the B Cart, roll her down the stairs to the car, slid her and the empty toolbox in, and head for her monthly appointment with her foot doctor, for whatever reason I remain eternally joyful I don't know. This quack's office is in one of the 300 ancient center city houses converted to apartments and medical offices in Rochester, so there is NO Parking for an Ambulance, but we have to wait because Brenda will only be a short time. OK, Brenda's in the office, still mounted to the cart, and I suggest we can run over to Fanny Farmer and pick her load up while she's being cared for. The Quack's staff is more than willing to leave Brenda mounted, in fact they can do whatever while she is, and they can roll her into "Treatment" much easier with the cart than with the ancient wood and cane wheelchair they have. OK.

We get back from Fanny and I back the car up the Quack's wide sidewalk between 2 houses, while Bob walks behind for safety. I get out of the car, ease along between car and fence, after making sure the radio is on F-1 with electronic on in Radio position in compliance with General Order #whocares. We go in and Brenda is waiting, ready to roll. She loves the new B Cart, it makes her appointment less stressful. We're rolling Brenda to the car, it's a nice Spring day, and windows up and down the street are open for fresh air.

Bob reaches for the door handle and just as he touches it, 50 watts of "29 Car National. The Hoof trimmer called and Mobey is ready for pickup. 29 confirm?" I can't see Brenda, she's behind me. Bob can't see her either. We just slide the mounted Brenda in, Bob jumps in the back and secures the BCart, and I ease my way to the driver door as staff is coming out of quack offices looking for the source of the noise. I get the door open just in time for 50 watts of PA to explode 2 feet from my ear with "Rochester 29 car, you on the road or sleeping? The hoof trimmer called and they want Mobey hauled out of their office." I manage to rip my damn shirt diving for the microphone which supposedly kills feed to the electronic when it is out of the clip. As I get my feet in I learn that feature only works when the car is running but I have sense enough to flip the switch on the electronic from Radio to something. Unfortunately, something was YELP. Oh well, I gave it a shot. I jam the key in the ignition and wind the Caddy up and key the mic all at the same time, hopeing it at least switches to transmit and kills the speaker. As I glance out the window I am sure 50 people are staring at the green dragon belching intense levels of sound.

I inform Dispach we are loaded and delivering the patient to her residence, and roll the volume down low. I glance in the mirror, Bob is holding a mask in front of Brenda's face, later he will swear on his future children's lives he thought giving her oxygen might allow him to convince Brenda she halucinated from a reaction to her treatment.

Brenda and her candy completed an uneventful remainder of the trip back to her bed. She even advised me on how to repair my ripped shirt when she saw it. We load the cart and head back to the barn. I am seriously considering shoving my shirt down the neck of the idiot in the glass booth as we roll along. Bob is talking about his thoughts we should drink strong alcohol while we work. I back the car into the bay and we swap the B Cart for the gurney and head into the office to see how high the flames are. Jimmar is sitting in the glass box, and I know he wasn't the one who made the Mobey comment. The bookkeeper is typing feverishly and Junior is on the phone looking like he may need an Ambulance. Jimmar is calmly answering the phone as is the phone operator. I tap on the window and he motions I can come in.

My hearing is returning some, and from what I overhear I know Jimmar is listening to somebody from a Hospital chew ass. When he hangs up I ask if he can tell me what the hell happened. Sure, Dispacher quit, 7 cars on the street, 4 with speakers on, 2 of them at Hospitals, one grabbing coffee at 4 corners, and George heard it. George is on the way in, Junior might not live. You want to dispach? Not for all the tea in China. I handed Jimmar the keys for 29 and the trip sheet. The thing that was bugging me was why the bookkeeper was typing. She never typed. I pointed at her. Jimmar asks do I know her maiden name? Never asked. Schitzenmeyer. See ya Jimmar, by the way, I need a shirt. I pondered, did I want to see George kill the fruit of his loins?

Now you know, Dispatchers may get you killed!

Wayne Krakowski
05-16-2017, 05:10 PM
Very informative and interesting,please keep these posts coming:applause:

John ED Renstrom
05-16-2017, 06:49 PM
we ever get together I'll tell you about 2 sailors sitting on stand by and a open mike on a portable radio some one forgot to take off his belt.

Walter Suiter
05-16-2017, 10:54 PM
we ever get together I'll tell you about 2 sailors sitting on stand by and a open mike on a portable radio some one forgot to take off his belt.

Does that story begin "Now this is no bull****"?

John ED Renstrom
05-17-2017, 01:07 AM
No but it ends with a vary large president of the service running across the parking lot hollerin her head off as a city petrol car slid to a stop.next to us.

Walter Suiter
05-17-2017, 07:39 PM
No but it ends with a vary large president of the service running across the parking lot hollerin her head off as a city petrol car slid to a stop.next to us.

Hmmmmmm very large female,,, I think I might have been carrying her or one of her sisters on the B cart. Then again, I do have to wonder if Miss B Schitzenmeyer was capable of running at any point in her life. Miss Schitzenmeyer had a very petite voice.

Only "Portable" around looked like a lunch box and had 11 D batterys in the bottom housing.

John ED Renstrom
05-17-2017, 11:09 PM
I carried that radio in a far off land for my rich uncle they were a little bigger then but just as heave as a brick with a handle. if we had only had the radio on in the rig they could have contacted us on the low band.

Walter Suiter
05-18-2017, 12:13 AM
I carried that radio in a far off land for my rich uncle they were a little bigger then but just as heave as a brick with a handle. if we had only had the radio on in the rig they could have contacted us on the low band.

I did notice you have the bent at the middle posture of a PRC-25 toter.

PRC-25 was 3 watts 30-50 MHZ
The Motorola lunch box had the same PC boards as a Brick, 500mw anyplace from 30 to 170 mhz. Lunchbox was convenient to connect to an antenna. Problem is both were 15 volts. Someplace I know of a leather case for the brick with a 12v to 15v charger in the bottom of the case.
Same boards were used in the motorcycle radio as well.