On Monday, October 31 at 8:42 a.m., BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) dispatch received a 9-1-1 call to respond to a child who had been hit by a truck while crossing at an intersection in Vancouver on his bike.
Early information coming into BCEHS' dispatch from the caller was that the boy was alert and moving. However, dispatchers and paramedics know that when it comes to these types of incidents, there can be internal injuries that are not immediately obvious. It is required that ambulances are dispatched with urgency and use lights and sirens.
Advanced care paramedic Lisa and primary care paramedic Quinn arrived at the scene at Marine Way and Main Street to find the 12-year-old patient, Harley, in a “Joker" costume. He was alert and talkative and at first glance, his injuries looked relatively minor. The paramedics still had to cut his costume off in order to fully assess his condition.
The paramedic crew then transported Harley to BC Children's Hospital for further assessment and treatment. After leaving him in the care of the hospital team, the two paramedics decided to buy a replacement costume for Harley, having cut up his first one.
“We felt it was the right thing to do," Lisa later told a news reporter. “We felt he needed a costume for Halloween."
They settled on a firefighter's costume, and Quinn gave Harley a special pin that paramedics wear on their collars.
They also replaced a box of chips Harley was carrying on his bike when he was hit. He bought the treats for his class from money he saved from raking leaves.
Harley's story is just one example of paramedics going above and beyond the call of duty.
“We do this job to make a difference in someone's day," says Quinn. “If that's medical care or just being able to do something for them, like this, then that's why I do this and I'm sure this is why Lisa does this job."