Ambulance Chaser

February 17, 2010

On Sunday, we hosted a kids’ Valentine party for our friends so they could go out and enjoy some couple time.  This was the second year we’ve done it — we make heart-shaped pizzas, heart shaped brownies, do Valentine crafts and play games.  It’s a lot of fun for the kids and I enjoy it as well.

But because we’ve had two blizzards this month and the Wal Mart has been picked clean nearly every time I’ve been there, I didn’t have all of the supplies that I needed.  So a couple of hours before the party started, I headed to Wal Mart to pick up all of the necessary items.

I was behind an ambulance as I turned into the parking lot.  The ambulance did not have lights flashing or sirens blasting.  In fact, it was moving rather slowly.  So slowly, in fact, that when it did not turn down the parking lot aisle I wanted to turn down, I zipped on down there.

The next thing I know, the ambulance is blowing its horn at me.  It followed me down the aisle.  And up the next one.  And down the one after that.

When I was pretty sure that they were purposely following me, I decided to keep circling the lot.  Eventually, they parked.  So then I parked and headed on into the store.

Where the ambulance driver was waiting for me.

“Ma’am, do you know it’s against the law to pass an emergency vehicle?”

I was flabbergasted.  We were in a Wal Mart parking lot, for goodness’ sake!  Does being an EMT cause that much of a power trip?

“Are you here on an emergency?” I asked.  “Because I didn’t see any flashing lights.”

“Doesn’t matter!” he replied.  Then he started fussing at me because of the way I was driving in the parking lot.  At that point I figured he was just angry and wanted to argue with me, so I walked away without saying anything at all.

Now, just in case you’re wondering:

  • It does matter.  You cannot pass an emergency vehicle that has lights/sirens on.  But if those lights/sirens are off, it’s just another vehicle on the road.  Sorry, Mr. EMT.
  • The EMTs were at Wal Mart to buy last minute Valentine’s gifts/cards.  The driver’s partner was at the card display when I entered the store.  (efinitely not an emergency!)
  • I got more satisfaction from walking away from the man than I would have if I had stayed and given him a piece of my mind.  I need to remember that.  Too often I’m baited into having an argument that just isn’t necessary.


  1. makes me think twice about making a donation. This is worth reporting Julie.

    • I called the Fire Chief today. He confirmed that I had done nothing wrong if the ambulance’s sirens were not on. He said he would speak to the EMT in question and “handle the situation.”

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