29 July 2004

...Leave a Message

29 July 2004

"...Leave a Message"

Good day to you all. My faithful and fellow readers, I am off on a small vacation for a long weekend starting today.

The falls of the Niagara I will be seeing in roughly 7 hours from now. I didn't want to wet your pallettes again with another made up story so I thought that I would wait till I came back.

I hope all of you are taking care of yourselves and I will talk to you all next week.

Be safe and wear you seat belt.

Rounding third and heading home,

M-

26 July 2004

In the Heat of the Night

27 July 2004

"In the Heat of the Night"

0330 Hours

"91, I need you to respond with EFD for a working structure fire with possible entrapment. Unknown injuries...."

WHOA BOY!!!!

There are certain calls in EMS that really heighten your acuity level.

The full arrest, the pediatric call, the trauma runs, and the one we are about to embark on...the house fire.

For some reason or another, this call is one that makes time and enverything around you go so much slower than it actually is. You move almost "Matrix" like where you are at normal speed and the world around you is on slow-mo.  When the tones drop, you know it is go time.

Rustling Kim out of bed, I threw on my jump suit and reached for my glasses. In the distant backround, I heard the mechanical sounds of the sirens produced specifically by fire apparatus as they slowly get louder, then fade into the night. The sound of the engines braking as it rounds the corner fills the solemn summer darkness as it travels down a deserted road...in search of a beast.

As we got into the squad, I pushed the garage door button awakening the door as it rose to the ceiling. The squad came to life with a turn of the key, the smell of diesel imminated throughout the bays creating a distinct smell that had become a way of life.

Pulling out on the apron, I spotted Engine 3 racing down the street obvious to speeds greater that the posted limits.  Its lights reflected off the buildings making itself the only visible thing in the darkness that God created. I switched on the lights, and turned right. Engine 3 is from a different district within the city. Called out on all structure fires, I knew that if it made it this far into the night, that it had to be the real deal.  Nevertheless, I was about to find out.

Approaching the scene, I began to feel my heart palpitate faster. The sweat began to pour off my brow as the adrenalin within my body began to fill the chambers of my heart, making it pump even faster. for 3:30 in the morning, I was wide awake. In front of me, the engine disappeared as it turned left. In the air, I could smell it....smoke.

Turning onto the street, I was blinded by the illumination of scene lights by the different apparatus that came to conquer this demon. Firefighters hustled with great concern around pulling inch and a half attack lines off their trucks. One firefigher turned on a hydrant to supply the teams with water. Others, geared up for the attack donning air packs and mask.  In front of the army of fighter eaters, laid the monster. What once was a two story colonial is now saturated in smoke and flames coming out of every crack that exist in the building. The fire was huge...and it wasn't going down without a fight.

Approaching the main scene, I met with a captain as to ask what he needed from us. Looking around, it wasn't long...no more than a full sentence came from his mouth when it happened....a sound you will never forget....

BOOM!!!!

The house exploded.

Debris flying everywhere, the chaos became uncontrollable. Kim got on the radio and called for more help, the captain began accounting for his men, hoselines slept charged but unmanned, and inside, people were trapped..and needed help.

Help was scarce, the nearest neighboring fire department was volunteer and would take at least 15 minutes to get help. The same amoount of time would be needed to respond a crew into the city from the next full time department. Time was critical, help was needed now.

Bystandards pulled hoses away and helped injured firemen to their feet. Others, did what they could to suppress property damage. I was left standing there, in sheer awe. That would change..with the sound of 5 little words.

"He is still in there."

Who?

One of the firefighters who did an interior attack, got trapped by a false wall that had fallen with the explosion.  It was quite apparent of the urgency to get him out. Something had to be done...someone had to go in....

Sigh!!!

Holding a fire liscense in the state, I quickly offered services to the captain who was hesitant about this at first. You know liability, not being actually employed, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Then I think it struck him...there WAS no one else..not for 12 minutes.

Grabbing a set of gear, I threw an air pack on, tested the air levels, placed my mask on, then advanced into the throat of the beast.  The intensity of the fire and the heat that it produced was overwhelming, but running on sheer will power now, turning back was not an option.

Doing a floor search, I felt a room opening to my right. Feeling around, I felt the floor beginning to buckle from under me. This was not good, I needed to find him..and now. Calling out for him, my voice was muffled with the mask muting my voice and the roar of the fire deafening the ambiant space.  Searching with a sweep of my hands, I felt something hard. I swept again. There it was...his foot.

Beginning to pull the debris from around the injured fireman, I saw he was unconsious, the beam from the false wall had knocked him out.  Fortuantely, his mask did not crack so he was still breathing okay. I think he just got his bell rung.

Then I heard the sound once again....that intense sound that caused all the chaos in the first place. Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath..then it happened.

Nothing.

Nothing you ask?

Yes, Nothing.

Why?

Because none of this ever happened. None of this is real. But, damn, that would have made a great story, huh?

It's been slow at work. Nothing to write about.

Thanks for reading anyways.

See ya all soon.

Rounding third and heading home,

M-

22 July 2004

PALS

22 July 2004

"PALS"

Pediactric Advanced Life Support. (PALS).

A class solely designed to our younger population under the age of 16.  It is more inducive to recalculating the proper mediciation variotions for children, the difference in the physical and anatomical values between the fore mentioned. It also relays how to treat more common injuries and illness primarily found in children and the appropriate course of action that should be taken when encountered.  A class that is sponsored by the American Heart Association, it required for my liscensure as a Paramedic. Despite only actually having a rough 5% of pediatric encounters in the field in ones career, the class is beneficial as to brushing up on a topic that most feel is a weakness in their overall knowledge of paramedicine.

Two weeks ago, I spent two of my off days in a classroom learning the difference in ratios of meds to give, simulating intubation on a child, and testing my general knowledge as to what to do if encontered with these senerios.  Sitting there learning what I should and shouldn't do on a call like this, I absorbed all the knowledge that was tossed at me....but one thing in paticular stuck...one thing that helped save a life.

Wednesday, 2000 hours

Man, today was plain old HOT.  With the rising temps in the high 80's, it brought with it a humidity level close to 100% pushing everyone's "bitchy" buttons creating a rudeness and uncooperative nature that banished throughout the service area.  Being a trained professional, my job was to suck it up and do the best I can for patient care.

I was running on vapors of self restraint.  I needed to be refueled....I needed ice cream.

The sun began to set, leaving a soft orange glow about the western sky cooling of the intensity of the day ever so slightly making it a bit more tolerable and a little less tense. A breeze became imminent refreshing the soul as it did the air around us.  I rolled the window down to let it all in...already I was feeling better.

Rolling down the road, Kim and I had one goal..one mission...one vision....to successfully acquire a refresing dairy product with an ungodly amount of chocolate or fruit sauce drenching the main ingredient that has been produced for us.

Ice cream was on the mind..ice cream was close an in sight.....ice cream will have to wait.

Tones dropped.

Figures.

"91, I need you to respond to _________ Street (go ahead and insert something there) for a 2 year old male...near drowning....be advised, caller states his lips are blue but he is breathing. Time out 2004."

Near Drowning...2 year old....All those "Rescue 911" episodes slowly circulated in my head.  Diving in, pulling out the child, and performing CPR to a patient that you are working as to not upset the parent of the deceased.

Time to Lock and load.

Doing a U-Turn in the middle of the street, the tires on the squad laid a rubber strip similar to a dragster leaving the gate in a race. Smoke filling the air, the smell of rubber shadowing the senses. Lights on, sirens blairing, we responded to this call...in the worst possible part of town.

Coming around the corner, we see the fire pumper crossing over the intersection. I did a quick left turn and moved in behind it, leaving the rescue truck to follow in our shadows.  Like a running back following a linesmen in a football game, I found my blocker and headed for the end zone watching the fire apparatus move the vehicles to one side creating a lane that was more passable than Moses parting the Sea.

It didn't take long to get to the initial scene. A low income housing project that is not well maintained and has us in EMS usually sneaking in for calls without lights and sirens on...

Why?

Well, coming in announced is like being the ice cream truck in the middle of a hot summer's day. People hear that music, they need to be there. Change out music with the sirens and there you have pretty much the same situation.

Too Late.

As we pulled in, the crowds were forming. An estimated 100 people gathering around for a piece of "what happened" blocked our entrance. Police stood at the door pushing them away as if were were celebrities at a red carpet event ushering us directly pass go..too bad I didn't get 200 dollars.

Entering the home, I seemed even more people accumulating with the only purpose of wasting the air that we are breathing.  Packed tighter than a dance club, I managed to get to the patient clearing people and telling them, if you are not a relative, you need to be somewhere else...far away. Funny how many become relatives all of a sudden.

There on the kitchen table, I saw what seemed like a very lifeless 2 year old male on his side be held by a "relative" with water coming out of the mouth.  Kim began the interview. She is great at extracting info from people. I checked for pulse..................there it was.  With more people there than a democratic convention, I decided, that the best thing for me to do was to scoop him and run.

Picking him up, I carried him straight to the squad going back down the path of travel that I came in with where police were still blocking the way for us.  The crowd had grown, the intensity could be cut with a knife....just get me to the squad.

Fire opened the back door and I jumped in and placed the child on the cot.  While carrying him, the child was crying....now he was not.

Time to Shit and Get...(Sorry for the language)

Kim placed the monitor on him and I listened to lung sounds. Everything seemed clear and if he aspirated water, it wasn't in his lungs. Then Kim began to give me the history of events.

Mom was watching him..went into the house for five minutes and left him in the kiddie pool.....unsupervised. When she came back, she found him face down in the water with his lips blue.  CPR was given prior to us getting there. 

I was still stuck on unsupervised.

No need to lecture mom...Kim did that for me.

Grabbing a pediatric non-rebreather mask from the cabinet...I heard a voice in my head. A voice of recall...it was the voice from the class.

"If you are able to put a mask on a child and he doesn't fight it, then something is really wrong and you need to go right then."

The only thing that stuck like carved in stone from the class began to recirculate inside my head.

Well, here is the moment of truth.

Placing the mask on the patient, there was a little crying present....then silence...he didn't fight it.

It was time to go.

Kim moved up front and began the turn around in the facility. I reassessed the patient who was only responding at this time to painful stimuli.  Not good.

Hearing the sirens blair in the backround, I began to warm the patient who was cold and still blue in his feet and hands. Little moans came from the child, the mask stayed on. Pulse was still present, the patient was still breathing.

Calling the hospital, I prioritorized emergency traffic. Reading my report, my patient wasn't getting much better....but he wasn't getting worse either.  Dropping the mic once I was done, I began to consider intubation.  I needed to maintain this airway while it was still patent.  I wouldn't get the chance....we were at the hospital.

Wheeling him in, we were greeted by a barroge of staff waiting to assist the little boy whom I brought in.  Relaying the report, the doctor looked at him and within seconds, called for the secretary to call a helicopter.  He was still not responsive the way she liked...he was going for a plane ride. That was the last I saw or heard of him.

Parents...and even adults. It is the summer months (Unless you are in Australia).  Your children will do anything to stay cool and entertain themselves whether it is swimming or bike riding or whatever.  They will fall, they will scrape themselves, and you will go an run to their aid as soon as you see this.  But never EVER let your children out of your sights.  Swimming should always be done with a buddy, bike riding should always be done with proper protective gear. And always know where your kids are and who they are with.

I am not a parent so it seems unfair for me to lecture you all so consider this a request.

Last time I had a child that went swimming without supervision, I pulled him from the river....and never brought him back.

Rounding third and heading home,

M-

 

17 July 2004

Gone in Sixty Seconds - The Conclusion

17 July 2004

"Gone in Sixty Seconds - the Conclusion"

When we last left our super heroes....

Watching the outer doors separate, in front of me lies 93 in the ambulance bay...engine still running, stobes still illuminating as if a night club setting was present.  I walked around to the back to open the doors...roll the cameras.

The scene was something like you would see on the series Paramedics (Weekdays from 7-8PM on discovery health...check your local listings or call your cable provider and say "I want discovery health."...end of the plug for them here). 

The patient, a younger gentleman,laid on the backboard fully immobilized with a collar on, blocks, well..you get the picture.  His left leg was splinted with one of our vaccu-splints and was saturated within his own blood.  IV's hung from the ceiling free-flowing fluid into his body. His face contained massive lacerations and was covered with a non-rebreather mask delivering the highest concentration of oxygen that we can offer without putting a tube down his throat.

The patient was hurt, the patient was critical, the patient was still conscious, the patient was combative.

This is very common with the possibility of a head injury which there is no doubt he had.  As I went to help unload him, I saw that he was fighting a bit with the medic in the back of the truck trying to take off things that shouldn't be removed.  I came around now through the side door to assist in securing the patient.

Inside the patient compartment, I can hear the hollars of the victim as he laid there in severe pain not having any recollection of the events preceeding his trip to the emergency room.  Grabbing some tape, I secured the second IV line in him and tried to reassure the patient that things were going to be alright.

Disconectiong the oxygen and putting it on the portable tank, I went around to help unload the patient. Unlocking the cot, pulling it out, and dropping the wheels, we had the patient ready to enter the trauma bay.

Then I felt a tap on the shoulder.

"Um..that girl who is dressed like you says she needs your help right now" a young woman tells me.

Looking over my left shoulder, I see Kim about 50 feet away in the ER parking lot with a group of people pulling someone out of a car.

Here's where things change...in a second.

Leaving the actual crew to roll their patient in, I sprinted over to Kim where she is loading an unresponsive man onto a wheeled chair and moving him to the doors.

"He's bad..we need to go NOW!!!"

Throwing the doors open, I looked around the ER.

"I need a bed NOW!!!" I made it quite sure to make my intentions known.

There was only one problem.

There were no nurses.

They were all with the trauma brought in.

John Wayne time..we are on our own.

Running (yes, running) I found a bed that was not made and rolled it over to our patuent who was now pale and less responsive than before.  Throwing him on, we went to an empty room as directed to by the head nurse who came out to see what our commotion was.

Wheeling him in, it was our belief that he was having the big heart attack. All the signs were there, now it was just a matter of catching it before it got away from us.

Looking around, we began to treat this patient as best we could. We had the equipment, the capabilities, the facility. The only thing we needed was the manpower. Breaking away from the trauma, a lone nurse came to our assistance along with the lab tech from the triage area of the ER.

Kim went and applied monitor patches and the blood pressure cuff while I went fishing for and IV.  The nurse, got a 12 lead ECG machine (used to see 12 sides of the heart). The lab tech set up my IV stuff for me.

Sweat is now pouring down my face, my heart is pounding a mile a minute, this guy was bad..we needed to get him better...and fast.

Kim took the patient's wife to the registration area, the nurse placed him on oxygen, I got my IV started.  The machine beeped a few times...and his vitals showed up on the screen.

Blood pressure (B/P) is 264/P (normal is 120/80...way too high here)

Pulse is 44 (normal is 60-100)

Monitor showed an elevated ST segmant with wide QRS complex. ( I know you don't know what that means but it is bad..trust me...Scott will explain it to you..he can do it better than me.)

Within about 4 minutes, reinforcements arrived and took over care for this patient.

Whew..I need something to drink.

I went back about an hour later to the ER on another run. The trauma was flown out to a bigger trauma center and the possible heart attack was bottoming out again. I don't know his outcome. I wish him well.

Gone in sixty seconds.  Just a metaphor as to how things can change in ones life.  This is where, we in EMS, are trained as to anticipate and prevent that brief moment as to lessen the potential of that change.  Medics such as Scott (Stories from My Ambulance) or myself and Nurses such as Erin (Porkchop) deal with this split second decisions alomst everyday and it has become intergrated inside our heads. It is what makes us elite and able to handle the stress and challenges that we face.

Bottom line, never take A THING for granted in your lives, folks. When you blink, it could be gone..in sixty seconds.

Rounding third and heading home,

M-

16 July 2004

Gone in Sixty Seconds

16 July 2004

"Gone in Sixty Seconds"

1974

Watergate. Richard Nixon resigns on August 9th after 6 months of the Watergate scandal.

The Oakland Athletics beat the LA Dodgers in 5 games to become World Champions.

Top Movies of the year include "Blazin' Saddles" "The Towering Inferno" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacure."

I am not even a year old yet.

One other movie that emerged was an independant film director by the name of H.B. Halicki who had the classic "Gone in Sixty Seconds."

Twenty-six years later, a remake of the classic film starring actors such as Nick Cage, Angelina Jolie, and Robert Duval hit the theatres which grossed 10.3 million in its first weekend in the US.

Fast cars, beautiful women, a villianous character, a goal...steal 50 cars in one night.  Easy enough, right? I mean if it weren't, would they make a movie about it?

Hell no they wouldn't!!!

I am not going to reference the idealation of felonious activity such as auto theft and extortion, nor am I going to exploit the beautiful women, the incredible muscle cars portrayed, or the adrenalin rush that the movie presents. Nope I am gonna use something different. Something that is a lot so obvious that we will take it for granted. Something we NEVER really consider because of our busy lives and our own arrogence to society.

There is a sign in the movie "Lock your car, it can be gone in sixty seconds". (No, the squad did not get stolen).

The idea is to show you how things change..in a matter of seconds.

2004..somewhere in Northern Ohio...

"Okay ma'am, I am gonna have you sit in this wheelchair and we will take you over to triage." Kim told my patient.

An older, very pleasant woman who had an extensive nose bleed that had a little trouble stopping, called for a ride to the hospital to see if the doctors can do anything for her. By the time we got there, the bleeding had stopped. 

A quick trip to the ER and she will be home in no time. Easy report to write, Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. We are out like disco.

Just getting ready to leave, I hear the med radio go off...with sirens in the backround.

"Lifecare 93 to EMH...emergency traffic.

Uh oh!!!

Let me break some of this down for you. On 93 is Ken, a very seasoned paramedic who is extremely calm and has literally seen it all. Ken rarely comes into the ER hot (with lights and sirens) unless it is really REALLY bad.

This was one of those times.

Hearing the ER nurse answer the radio, this is what report I heard:

"we are en route with an approx 20-25 year old male, hit by a car with vehicle not present. Patient found 50 feet away from his shoes lying in middle of road. Findings show open tib/fib (tibia and fibula..bones in the lower leg) fracture and slight posturing....."

The ER got quiet.  Nurses stopped what they were doing, Doctors peeked out from their reports. It is as if the ER was muted with a life remote control.  The attention of the staff there became locked. Priorities were becoming apparent, game plans were established, room was being made for the injured.  A critical patient was about to arrive...and it was time to prepare.

Kim and I decided to stick around to see if help was needed. A helicopter was already called and on the way.  People scrambled to get equipment, overhead pages went out to summon other staff to assist an already overworked ER staff. Gowns were branded, gloves were donned, goggles placed.  The sound of rubber soles running on the tile were blended with monitor alarms being set to regulate normal ranges for their specific function.

The people were in their places, the stage was set, the quiet set in once again.

Then it happens...in the back round, the sound of a distant siren breaks the silence as its audible tone becomes to increase. Hearts start to pump harder, adrenalin filters not only in the body but also in the air.

The sirens get louder. The sweat begins to collect on the brows of all awaiting to help. Closer the squad gets..faster the anxiety builds. Through the windows, the red and white lights of the squad's strobes reflect and prism off the goggles that had been put on dialating pupils as it changes in strength of brightness and intensity.  The sirens cut out...the lights increase...in the bay, the squad appears...

It's Go time...

To be continued....

Rounding third and heading home,

M-

11 July 2004

A day in the sun

11 July 2004

"A Day in the Sun"

Even God rested after seven days. Creating the heavens and the Earth took a toll out of the great one in the penthouse suite. So it is only right that after a long hard day, he would crack open a Miller Lite and sit and watch what he has done..too bad he created beer on the 8th day.

Well, this is the day I rest. I hang up my uniform, turn the pagers off, park the squad in the bay, and walk away for some R&R and well deserved leisure time.

Well my friends, today I take you on a journey with me in a more "behind the scenes" approach as you will vacation with me, to a place I like to call "home".

Baseball. America's favorite pasttime. A game of chance and a game of sheer timing.  Baseball marks the true beginning of summer and sheds away the gray and the darkness of the winter months.  For the next seven months, 30 teams will  compete to play in the fall classic in which they get to call themselves "World Champions".  The mentality increases as the game intensifies...A barroge of numbers such as batting average, runs batted in, home runs, earned run average genuflect the ability of the ballplayer and the skill level they arise too.

It is go hard or go home.

7:00PM North Gate

Scanning my ticket's bar code, I see the green light of the entry gate allowing my access into the park. Once inside, I begin my descent into the stadium matching my seat section with little flags on the wall telling me as to where my position in this park is. As I come down the corridor, the sound becomes greater, the lights refocus your vision, the smell is comforting..and then you see it...Baseball.

Jacob's Field, where the Cleveland Indians play, is more than a ballpark, but a catherdral, a place of worship, a place of peace. Built and opened in 1994, this house that seats over 43,000 people has seen some of the greatest moments in sports history. The '95 and '97 world series, The 1997 All star game. A place where legends once roamed and a place where stars are created. This is more than a park to me, this is a way of life, for I am carefree and worryless. The next 3 hours are for me..and me alone.

Closing my eyes, I can smell the fresh cut grass imminating with the light breeze that is present over the right field wall, the colors of the stadium are vibrant and alive as if Crayola themselves stepped aside and said "Wow..how do we match this?"

Looking down the stairs, it is a melting pot of individuals that have come to bask in the summer sun and enjoy the festivities that make summer what it really is.  Fathers are there with their children, couples hold hands as they dress in team colors and drink lemonade while pointing out points of interest, businessmen holster their cell phones, ties off, drinking an alcoholic beverage and quizzing one another on their own knowledge.  Here, no one is better than the next, there is no judgement, no poverty level, and most of all..no hate. Here, everyone is a brother, a sister, a friend.

Vendors pitch the sales of their products walking up and down the concourse bring the game to you as if it were saying "relax, you have worked hard, enjoy yourself, let me come to YOU"

Overhead, you hear the latest in music playing over the public address system while creating dancing in the isles. A motivational ploy that unites the crowd and inhibits sportsmenship. The place around you becomes alive as if a part of you has become integrated. For the next 180 minutes, you will becoem one with the field. You will live the pain, you will feel the glory...you become part of the game.

As you accept all the energy around you, the intensification of two words arouses the crowd and brings them to their feet. The decible level triples, yet you feel your heart racing. Your breath is taken away as the excitement gradually peaks. The teams take the field...Those two words......"Play Ball"

Rounding Third and heading home,

M-

 

08 July 2004

The Award Goes To...

08 July 2004

"The Award Goes To..."

Well all, I have been putting in a lot of overtime in recent days trying to make ends meet.  You would think that I would have so much to tell you seeing a holiday weekend passed, partiers were everywhere, and the irresponsibilities of people warranted the squad throughout the city.

I got nothing for ya'll.

Isn't that sad?

I could dramatize on how I ran in slow motion to a 72 year old and place a bandage stratigically on his cut boo-boo, but that won't make CNN. So I am digging deep inside the archives once again for a story...one that you will love...one that holds the record...for best practical joke by an EMS personnel.

10:00 PM

The night is finally calming down here. The misdt of the summer sun created a more than normal business that keeps us away from the station for a good part of the day.  Seeing that it was almost close to bed time and we were just finishing up dinner, the need to relax and wind down was settled into our minds...as a goofiness set amunst us all.

Sitting outside on the apron of the station, we gathered into conversation of the supidity of some people, the more tragic alls we have had, and the pitfalls and "behind the scenes" things that just don't show up without a release from the storyteller.

So engaged in our conversations, it took close to 30 minutes before we found that we were one crew memeber short. One person who did not want to partake in our convo or festivities. Hmmm...where is he..after all....HE is the practical joker.

Searching our own trucks and equipment, as if we were checking for bombs in an airport, we came to the findings that there was no traps set, no waterbombs to be launched, no iv's set to explode.

Hmmm...strange.

So where was he?

Doing a quick search for this master of mayham, we found him....in bed....for the night.

Oh no....we can't have this.

Now, it would be so easy to go in there and scream at the top of your lungs or hose him off with the garden hose to awake him in revenge for the pranks that have been pulled. Like I said, that would be too easy.

What WE decided to do was well beyond what anyone would EVER comprehend.  This was the mother of all jokes...one that would be etched in stone..one that would make us a legend.

Is that his motorcycle over there?

Conferring with Steve (who pulled the joke off), I thought, how fun would it be to use the bike as an alarm clock. I mean, it is way to early for bed, and if we can't sleep, well, neither can he.

Oh look...he left the key out...how convienent.

Heh heh heh heh...If you want to get something to drink, do it now..you will be spitting it out of your nose in a minute.

Huddling up, Steve and the rest of us devulged a plan as to what to do. Setting it, I grabbed the key, handed it to Steve, and began setting the stage.

Kicking the kickstand up, we wheeled the bike into the squad bays and close to the door leading in.

Hey look, the bike will fit INSIDE the building. Hmmm....

My father always said, if you are gonna do something, do it right and not half-assed. Okay dad..I will make you proud.

Oh yeah, the motorcycle was NOT a crotch rocket but an older cruising style. A poor man's Harley..with BIG exhaust pipes.

Backing it inside the station, the muffler of the bike touched the outside of the bedroom door. Picking the smallest crew memeber here, we had her wiggle her way to the entry point to open the door just enough so that the sound was not muffled.

Peeking in, there he slept. Curled up with his comforter as if it were his own little teddy bear.  The innocence on his face made you want to say "awww" and just use that moment in your head as a Kodak moment.  This was a mean thing to do.....good thing we are evil.

The stage was set, the players were in place, it was now time for the moment of truth.

Three

Two

One

Iginition.....A turn of the key and the bike roared to life.

A turn of the handle and the RPM on the machine elevated to a deafening tone. The bike was on, the joke was pulled, the victim has been terrorized.

Looking inside the room, I looked in the bed where our colleuge once laid.  The bed was empty, he was no where in site...I had to do a really quick glance of the room to find him trying to hold in my over-pouring laughter.

Someone get me a spatula..I will get him off the ceiling.

Behold, the prey arose from his bedroom with skin so white, Michael Jackson would be jealous.

On the floor were the 5 of us..laughing so hard that it hurt to get up and we could barely breathe.

The pranker got pranked...and he knew it.

I think his heart rate came down to the high 120's and he actually did find humor within the joke knowing darn well...that this will never be beaten.

Chalk one up for us...this was a classic.

Rounding third and heading home,

M-

 

02 July 2004

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

02 July 2004

"Follow the Yellow Brick Road"

Ahh...The Wizard of OZ. A classic.  Houses falling on witches, oil cans for walking tin men, ruby red slippers, and a small dog named "Toto" whom would be nothing more than a 40 yard field goal if he ever bit me.  Everyone has their favorite parts of this classic (and I know you all do..denial is only the first step).

Today, I played "Dorothy" as I went and journied to the land of the munchkin people. Ahead of me was the Yellow Brick road, and the only way to get to Emerald City was to crawl my way through it.

Today I taught Safety Town.

Now, to educate you on what "Safety Town" is, here is a brief overview as to the insanity I faced.

Safety town is designed to give pre-schoolers an introduction to basic safety such as crossing the street the right way, how and when to dial 911, and how to load and unload from the school bus.  There are four different stations that are set up to get that "up close and personal" feel for the kids.

First, you have the school bus where the kids learn to get on and off of it and it drives around in a circle so they get the feeling of what getting to and from school will feel like.

Next, is the fire truck. The children get to see all the equipment of the truck and try on gear and get a little lesson on fire saftey.

Then, the police teach a small, simulated city where the kids ride little pedal powered tractors and learn basic road signs.

Finally....the ambulance....sigh.

So.......

I get assigned to this gig because the partner I was working with jumped a call that came in and someone called off sick. So here I am, at the station..alone.

I wouldn't be for long.

The guy who does this normally had just recently bought a house so he wanted to go home and work on it. Hey, I can understand that, it is an all day chore just for me to put laundry away. Anyways, I told him I would go. I mean, how bad could it be? Right?...RIGHT?!?!?!?

Fast forwarding...here I am....with 25 little tikes..surrounding me as if I were the ice cream man giving away fudge pops.

How do I pass the time away for 20 minutes...per group....there are 4 groups...whoa boy. 

I turned the lights on the squad on, I showed them some equipment, I let them trample their muddy little Nike shoes in my truck, and I even let them have a sticker....that took 10 minutes....still need a distraction more.

Games!!! Kids like games......

Too bad I didn't know any.

Coloring Books...yeah, I have those with me....

Too bad I don't have crayons.

WHY GOD!!!  WHHHHYYYYYYYYY??????

Oh look...time to change groups.

Reset...let's do this all over again.

"Hello and Welcome to the Ambulance. My name is Mike and I will be your paramedic today. Please make sure your seats are in the full upright position and your table trays locked in place. If their are any questions, please wait for the end of the ride where you will be deboarding to the front and right of the vehicle. Thank you for chosing "The Ambulance" and remember our faithful motto."

"If your head is bloody, we're your buddy."

I need a drink.

Rounding third and heading home,

M-