Body Call

In the old days, Paramedics picked up dead people. In fact, these were the most profitable calls. The funeral homes have for years picked up bodies at morgues and hospitals during the day. But at night many funeral homes contracted with private ambulances to transport deceased to their funeral homes.

The funeral homes all paid their bills promptly each month. Medicare and Medicaid never did the same. So for many years paramedics picked up the dead. Actually, you could get in a whole lot more trouble on a body call than a live one. Funeral homes have always been kind of picky about good customer service, politeness and decorum.

Some of my more unusual adventures were body calls. Once I worked with a moron. We had a dead body murdered, needing transport to the Italian funeral home. My idiot partner upon arrival asked, “Was this guy really a gangster, and is this really the mobs funeral home?”

Since I was unable to make myself disappear I tried instead to shrink my height and twist my features. Somebody made a call to somebody, who called the Boss. Anytime moron ever picked up a body destined for this place, a crew change was made. He was never to return under any conditions.

I actually considered myself very lucky. Nobody remembered me being there. In those days I did not wear a name-tag and believed in the art of anonymity. It did cost me a mustache and new haircut, which seemed cheap at the time for being able to go back again unrecognized.


About Dan White

I'm a retired Paramedic and EMS Instructor with 35 years EMS and emergency medical product experience. I love canoes, cars and EMS. I have written a lot about EMS Technology on the Paramedic Blog, the Insights on Innovation column for, on and I can be reached directly at 573-240-0002.
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