EMT instructor runs out of 'You'll never believe this stories,' shamed from classroom
EMT students say they learn best from war stories which prepare them for the metaphorical medical zebras they are likely to encounter in rural Montana
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IPSALA, Mont. — An EMS instructor and retired paramedic with decades of urban 911 ambulance experience was shamed from the classroom by EMT to AMET bridge students who have an insatiable appetite for real-life EMS stories.
Bill Brizzalonti was hired by Ipsala Vocational College because of his 35 years of experience responding to 911 calls. Brizzalonti is also the author of the Amazon best-selling EMS series, "99 True 911 calls," volumes one through seven.
"During his interview Brizzalonti promised unlimited stories," Samuel Martensen, Ph.D., Ipsala Vocational College president, said. "We believed his experience was a perfect fit for our students since most of them, as rural EMS volunteers, only respond to about 10 calls per year."
Several AEMT students, who asked not to be identified, explained that the best stories begin with "You'll never believe this … " and get progressively more bizarre and outlandish.
"We can't learn from a lecture or reading a textbook," Kimberly Torkelson, an AEMT recertification student willing to speak for her classmates, said. "We're type A and ADHD, SnapChat using millennials. The only way for us to learn is through war stories."
Brizzalonti was surprised as anyone by students’ insatiable appetite for his stories from NYC.
"At first I told street stories to burnish my credentials and authority to teach at Ipsala," Brizzalonti said. "By our fifth day of class I realized I was telling war stories non-stop just to placate the students and quickly exhausting my catalog. I was going home each night re-reading my books and even resorting to stories that got cut from the initial book drafts."
On the sixth day of class Brizzalonti was determined to put a stop to the constant war stories and prepared the simulation lab for medication administration competency checks. Students, according to one witness, stood together with arms folded and gave cold stares at the prospect of having to perform procedures.
A few minutes into the Brizzalonti's explanation of the testing process a student demanded, "Tell us a story, city boy."
"At first I thought it was a joke, but more and more students ordered me to 'tell more f'ing war stories,'" Brizzalonti said.
It quickly became clear to Brizzalonti the class would not back down from their war story demands.
"I tried to explain I was out of stories and they should buy my books," Brizzalonti said. "All that got me was menacing stares and my phone buzzing with threatening Snapchat messages — which I don't even know how to reply to."
Brizzalonti, the grizzled paramedic who had seen and done it all, set down his stethoscope and walked out of the room. As he left, the students mocked each of his footfalls with a 'lub' and 'dub.'
Afterwards Ipsala students posted numerous photo memes to Instabook mocking 'The Brizz' for his shameful 'big fiz.'