“I spent my entire career working for a small fire department in northern Nevada. In 1998, we worked 24-hour shifts so we slept at the station. Over the years, many people passed in the back of our ambulance, and there were lots of little sounds or things where they shouldn’t be. But this is the strangest thing that happened.
“I am a part time EMT with the county, and I volunteer with the local fire department. I have done so for maybe two years. Being a rural department, we have almost all second-hand apparatuses, including an old Ford ambulance conversion. This particular vehicle was one of the vehicles the county bought brand new for our EMS department way back in 1985. It served them for 19 years before being shuffled off to the fire department to act as a rescue equipment vehicle, and it earned a reputation as slow, difficult to drive, and positively impossible to kill with both services.
Plans change and shortly after we received the ambulance, we purchased a light rescue truck to carry equipment and personnel to vehicle collisions. As such, the ambulance got another refit, becoming a firefighter recovery vehicle to keep firefighters in good shape on the fireground (heat injuries are especially prevalent and heart attacks caused by over exertion are depressingly common).
In December 2012, at around one in the morning, a late response to the station on my night off left me and another firefighter as last out of the station in the ambulance headed to the scene of a large residential fire. The roads were awful, snow over ice left over from earlier in the day, and the sleet was coming down heavily enough that we couldn’t see much more than 50 feet.