Friday, January 11, 2008

When you're hot, you're hot!

So.... most of you know that about once a month I pack my doctor's bag and load up on the Baptist Bus and set up a mobile clinic in a couple of surrounding, more rural communities (see blog entry 7/3/07). Actually, I hate this - it just is not my thing. Just yesterday, I negotiated my way out of the bus rotation, and by negotiate, I mean:
Aaron: "Hey, colleagues, I absolutely hate the bus - I mean, like, totally hate it."
Colleagues: "Oh, okay, Aaron, we can take you out of the rotation."
Aaron: "OKAY!" (then I said I hated call too, but they wouldn't go for that)
Well, today was my last day on the bus. After the initial "rush" in Gurdon, my nurse Lorie, bus driver Ricky (aka Cornbread), and I were sitting leisurely on the bus, talking about goats (see blog entry 12/22/07) - Cornbread bought Barbie Pearl, Lorie's daughter Haley's showgoat. One of Cornbread's other goats delivered twins last night - all very exciting conversation. Just then, Lorie saw a car drive slowly past the bus, she stood up and looked out of the window to see if they parked (which meant they would want some unnecessary medical attention). Peering out the window Lorie said, "I'm just seeing if they pulled in - something's on fire! We're on fire!" She then pointed to the back of the bus where faint wafts of smoke were drifting in the exam area. We all bolted off the bus (actually, first, I ran to the back and got my coat and bag out of the exam area - I had some magazines in there that I hadn't read yet).

Cornbread called the firetruck; Lorie ran to the Baptist ambulance station, right around the corner, to get their help; I took pictures with my cell phone. The generator or heater or something underneath the back of the bus had overheated or sparked. Flames were visible through the grill of the back compartment (where smoke is escaping in the above picture). Darrin, one of the ambulance drivers (he occasionally drives the bus for us) ran from the station and sprayed the fire extinguisher, dousing the flames. As the situation calmed, I called the office and said I would not be traveling on the Blazing Inferno of a Death Trap that is the Baptist Bus to the next community that afternoon.

After the blaze was mitigated, Lorie and I bravely entered the ruined carcass of the vehicle to retrieve the meds and equipment (all the while taking cell phone pix of each other).

This is a picture taken on the ground looking through the back of the vehicle into the exam area. Darrin is holding the hatch open. Cornbread is telling his wife what kind of baby goat food to purchase. Some fire damage really is (sort of) visible on the left side of the photo in the foreground where a plastic casing melted.

I tried to do what I could to help assess the situation, but I was unable to accurately diagnose the origin of the fire.

I'm glad my partners said I could come out of the bus rotation; otherwise, I 'm sure they would have thought that I set the bus on fire to get out of going. Oh, I treated all of us to Route 44's from Sonic (right across the street) - they gave me a discount because my bus caught on fire.


Rachel Baby said...

Dr. Ward, you are hot! ;)

Is there an on-going investigation? Are you sure you didn't set this up? I mean, we all know that you didn't like the bus!

What a way to end the rotation and your week! I love it. Definitely love the assessment photo!

Melinda_J said...

Random overheating or spark, huh? Are you certain you're not capable of arson?? You know... if I don't ride the bus anymore, no one rides the bus!! haha...

Just another of the many adventures of Dr. Ward that I love reading about =0)

rubyred said...


Aaron, we miss you. But I'm glad nothing happened to the bus on the way back from Destin ...

Ali b said...

That is crazy!! Are you sure that you are not involved in the bus catching on fire?
That is really funny that it happened on your last bus ride!
I am gald you are off the rotation since you did not like it at all! Hope you have a good one!