04 November 2005

The Final Credits

04 November 2005

"The Final Credits"

For almost two years now, you, the reader, have come to my site and shared in my life whether it be pain, sorrow, misfortune, comedy, happiness, or just pain old life in general.  And no matter what the outcome had been, you stood by me...through it all.

For this, I thank you.

But, Like all other things in life, things come to an end.

Due to some misfortunes of events, it is in my best interest to close the squad doors, turn the lights and sirens off, plug the truck back in, and walk away for a little bit.

It is not something that I want to do, but the powers in hand leave me with little choice.

No, I am not sick or dying nor is my wife.  It is just one of those things that happen and hopefully will have a better clarity within the immediate future.

So, as for now, "Life as a Paramedic" has come to an end. 

Perhaps another journal will be created by me someday with a broader topic than just paramedicine, but for now.....This is the end.

If things change, I will post it on this site and those of you who get alerts will know that I have come back.

But until then,  I want to thank each and every one of you for coming to visit me.

Take care of yourselfs and each other, and may love and happiness find you...wherever you will go.

Rounding Third and Heading Home

M-

31 October 2005

Here's Your Sign

31 October 2005

"Here's Your Sign"

Happy Halloween to everyone.

I hope that your craving sweet tooth has been satisfied by hopping door to door with an alter ego and with every porch you approach, your dentist's stock goes up.  Nevertheless, this is a fun time and should be rewarded with Snickers, Twizzlers, and Gummi Bears.

I thought that I would write today about just how stupid some people really are that I encounter. Now, I am not talking dumb as in "I don't get it", I am talking dumb as in "I locked myself IN my car" kinda dumb. 

Taking a page from Bill Engvall's "here's your sign" patented phrase, I thought that I would do a little bit of that...only EMS style.  All these are true, 100% pure (from 10% concentrate) so I hope that you like and join me in saying...here's your sign.

Today, walking into a Taco Bell to get some groceries to throw down my throat, I had my radio in a back pocket spitting out radio traffic as it was pretty busy at this point of the day.  Along comes an employee who looks down at the radio, looks up at me and ask, "Is that a walkie-talkie in your pocket?"  Without missing a beat, I turned to him and said "nope, I'm just happy to see you"...Here's your sign!!!!

Going through the doors of a local nursing home, we returned a patient who had been seen in the ER and was going back to her room after her examination had been complete. Not knowing what room she was in, we stopped at the desk to find out where she lived. The nurse at the desk goes "Oh, did you just get her".  What?!?!?!  You've got to be kidding me.  I looked at her and with a straight face, I said "No, we took her to dinner and a movie. We were going to get ice cream, but we ran out of money."   <shakes head>  Here's your sign....

Getting a patient from a car accident, I loaded her into the truck and began to assess her. Answereing all questions appropriately, we began to take off for the ER.  Looking me in the eyes, she stopped what she was doing and asked "Are you taking me to the hospital?".  Hmmm..Big, white ambulance, lots of lights, you are hurt, packaged for Christmas, and the big sign on my chest that reads "paramedic".  My reply, "No ma'am, Target is having a huge sale and I need some advice on my clothing choice, I thought I would take you with me because then we can park up front."  Here's to MVA's....here's your sign.

One of my favorite is the big, biker guys that get into a fight and are pretty messed up. We get them into the truck and expose their arms to get a blood pressure and start an IV.  When I pull out an IV cathether the size of a sewing needle, their eyes get really, their skin startst o sweat bad and they shake asking "Is this going to hurt?" <insert blank stare here>  Your arms are no longer bare and you have more ink than Bob Ross had "tiny, happy trees" canvased on your skin.  The procedure to get that naked pic of a Harley chick took all of 12 hours total where my insertion will take less than 3 seconds. Yet, you wonder if the needle I am going to use is going to hurt?!    Here's your sign......

Pulling up to the prision gates when an inmate is sick, we are inspected in the sally port where a guard comes up to the truck, opens every compartment, closes the truck back up after looking under the hood, then procedes to the window and ask "Is it just the two of you?"  Hey dumb ass, I bet you forgot to open the gas tank up and see that I have the Vienna Boys Choir with me. I mean you just opened every damn door on the ambulance and did a bomb sweep of the truck in case two low paid paramedics decided to transfer C-4 explosives into the facility.  "No sir, the Keebler elves are in the jump bag. Please don't disturb them, they are making Toll House Cookies."  I salute you...here's your sign.

Pulling up to a house that is totally engulfed in flames, there are firemen everywhere with hoses spread out like spagetti in an italian kitchen.  Police have the scene blocked off and the EMS is tending to those who have a little smoke inhalation.  A bystander comes walking by and non chelantly ask "Hey, what's going on?"  You didn't get the memo? No one told you that if you see a house, and there are flames coming out of every orfice of the property, that it is called "a house fire"?  Must have been in the bathroom for that one, egghead. "You know, this generous soul decided to try to help everyone save some money this season and heated the whole neighborhood so that you stay warm. Isn't he nice"   Please stop sucking my air up..you are only harming yourself.  Here's your sign....

People amaze me....I guess that is why I still have a job....for all those incredible souls out there that each and everyday I encounter...

And want to say to them....here's your sign.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

28 October 2005

Top 10 Songs in Emergency Services

28 October 2005

"Top 10 Songs in Emergency Services"

What better way to start of the Halloween season than with another top ten list.

Today's topic: Top ten songs that you might correlate with medics, fire guys, and the cops. (At least in my opinion).

So, without further a due......

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere We go.

10. Another one Bites the Dust - Queen  Okay. This has obvious implications with it. Imagine rolling up to the scene of a heart attack with this coming out of your speakers.  I am sure the funeral directors have this one recorded in their cars.

9. C'mon C'mon - the Von Bondies For all you cable junkies out there who love to watch those police/fire shows, you will recognize this one from the FX Orgininal "Rescue Me" with Dennis Leary. If you haven't seen it...well, you don't know what you are missing.  I think this is a great program with an excellent opening song. I give a 9. It has a good beat and I can dance to it.

8. Trooper with an Attitude - 38 special  Jenn (An Officer's Day) this one is for you.  If you haven't checked out Jenn's journal, you need to stop reading, go to the right, click the link, and read her stuff...then come back.  And if you haven't seen the movie Super Troopers........go and get it...that's an order.

7. Highway to Hell - AC/DC  If you ever had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to go and get someone that was a regular and seemed to only get sick at zero dark thirty with their diarrhea that has lasted 22 years...then this one is for you.  Patience is a virtue. Ironically, I virtually have no patience.  I raise my glass to you.

6. What's Up - 4 non blondes I mean, c'mon.  There are just those certain runs that you go on and ask yourself "what the Hell am I doing here?" Then it onlk takes like an hour to actually FIND a problem (no, you wanting to slap the piss out of them is not the problem).  You know who these people are, and you know where to find them.

5. Bad Boys - Inner Circle  Bad boys...bad boys...whatcha gonna do...whatcha gonna do when they come for you....oh, sorry.  You know the song, You know wehre it is from. Enough said.

4. The Roof is on Fire - The Bloodhound Gang -  (You fill in the blank here)

3. Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum Okay, this has to be my all time favorite for rolling up to the scene of a full arrest. This  jamming in the backround, the windows shattering with the bass. It just gets you in that mood. And yes, I know, I am one sick puppy.

2. Burning Down the House - Talking Heads Rule of thumb. Do NOT play this when pulling up on a fire scene.  The homeowners tend to get a little pissed. This actually happened....and yes, I was involved in that.

1. Keep Hope Alive - Crystal Method   Sigh. This is for all you "Third Watch" junkies that still loom out there even though the show is cancelled.  Yes, it was a great show for the longest time and was cut short due to lowered ratings, but the song became popular as did the show.

(I thought that the links would play a portion of the song, but it goes to the album that it is on so you can click to hear the tunes....sorry)

Well, off to the spirit in the sky to get some zzz's before my next shift.

And now a word from our sponsors....

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

19 October 2005

People vs. Newton

19 October 2005

 "People Vs. Newton"

 Newton's First Law of Motion:

 I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

 

Newton's Second Law of Motion:

II. The relationship between an object's mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector

 

Newton's Third Law of Motion:

III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

 

Now I know what you all are thinking.

This is supposed to be a blog explaining runs that I have gone on and how it has effected me as a paramedic and also, the "unique" people that I run into on a fairly daily basis.  Of course, no one signed up for a physic's lesson.

Well, today is a bonus day. Consider yourself edumacated. (Yes, I meant to type it like that).

Many moons ago, there was this guy called Sir Issac Newton. He had this theory of random physics about how things move and it's relationship with gravity. 

As you can see by the laws that I have posted above, these 3 rules apply in everyday life and in almost all fields of work whether we like it or not..

A cliff notes version of these laws states that something will move in a straight line till it's a) is stopped by something else, b) is altered either mechanically or physically, or c) the damn thing just runs out of gas (well a & b are true, but you have to admit that c is a posibility and should be up for nomination).

For those of you who love the science part of everything, I will give you a scenario. For those of you who hate science...too bad, you are going to learn something today.

Law 1. Every object will remain in motion at a constant speed unless acted upon by an outside force. 

Let's take...oh, I don't know...two drunk dumb asses who dedide to get in a car and drive, loseit, and hit a curb launching them in the air.

Law 2. F=ma.  "F" being Force, "M" being mass, and "A" being acceleration.

This is where you take the car, a 2004 Sebing, acceleration approx 90 MPH in the 35 MPH zone, and hit something after you lose control.  For all intents and purposes, we will say they hit..oh, I don't know....a HOUSE.

Law 3. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Now, if you chuck into a house at almost 3 times the normal speed limit, guess what? The house is NOT going to move. As a reaction, it may bounce the idiots and their car into a new direction, let's say....ANOTHER HOUSE.

So, let's review what we have learned.  If you drink and drive and go really fast, nothing will happen...until you turn, launch off the road, take a porch out, bounce into the neighbor's yard, take HIS porch out, and come to rest in a chain linked fence.

Yes, it makes for bad physics, but man, it also makes for one hell of a story.

0308 Hours

You know, there is nothing better, after a long day than just kicking your shoes off and just plain old getting to go to bed.  I could still feel the remains of the day aching in my battered body as Jeremy (the new rookie on our shift) and I began to disrobe (no sickos...I mean shoes and socks and uniform shirts) and get ready to hook up with the sandman for a well deserved visit.  Tonight we were in the dungeon (a bedroom in the station that has no windows and the only door leading in does not lead directly outside) which means that it is dark, it is cool, and it usually brings the best sleep that I could get when I am there.

Looking at my pillow, I could hear it call my name with its cottony fluffiness calling out "c'mon, put your head down, you deserve it." The warm fleece in my sleeping bag invited me with a gentle hug and warmth ready to mold around and maintain its heat at a comfortable level through the dark, cold night.

Jeremy had already fallen asleep. I think it was somewhere in his decent to the pillow that he had renedered himself unconscious.  Lucky bastard.

Taking off my watch, I placed it next to the phone when I noticed the little arrow on the display screen illuminated with the line that entered the bedroom that I wasin. Shortly after its presence, the soft "Hey, I hate to do this to you, but..." ring played telling of an incoming caller.

At 3:10 in the morning, it could one of two people. Either the dispatecher runining what was to be a pleasureable evening of sleep and dreams, or the wrong number what some drunk called becasue tehy wanted to see what their buddy was doing...at the ass crack of night.

I don't need to tell you which one it was.

"I need you two to slow roll for an MVA on West River Road North. Car vs. house."

 Car.....

 House....

 Car....

 House.....

Do you see where I am getting here?

Waking Jeremy up from his extended slumber of 45 seconds, I told heim we had a call and we had to go.

"What do we have?" he asked me wiping away the tons of sleep he incurred from his eyes.

"Oh, I want this to be a suprise." I replied with a chuckle in my voice.

Walking out to the squad, I could hear the rustling of the other truck getting ready to go out to the same call.

Karen, a seasoned medic, who has more time on this Earth than God, was climbing into the driver's seat of her truck. Her rookie, Bob, (who we call Ringo...he has that haircut) was not yet out.

Jeremy and I called en route and took off without the other truck who was dubbed as the primary for this call and head off to the call which was literally behind the station. 

In the distance behind me, I could see the red and white strobes of the fire department slowly getting closer as we approached the top of the hill.

Cresting over, our line of sight was met by two LED flashlights waving us down and in like they were those annoying flag people that tell you where to go when you are at a concert. You know, the ones that keep waving you where to go and they have a person positioned every 10 feet.  Thanks Junior, I am not cattle that needs to be rounded up, I kinda got the clue. Not to mention the FIVE police cars with all their lights on kinda make the scene stand out.

Turning the lights on for the squad, I turned left and stopped dead in my tracks. Well, there was a police car parked in the middle of the road so I had to stop, there was no where else to go.

One thing you learn in EMS is when you get to a scene, ANY scene, you are to evaluate the situation and do a "scene size-up" so you know as to what you are up against and if there is any potential life threats that may have occured prior to your arrival.

Looking to my right, I began my size up....here is what I found.

The vehicle in question (like there was ever ANY doubt that this was the car) was wrapped in a chain linked fence. The front of the car was gone (not missing, not destroyed, but GONE..as it no longer existed.) The engine block for the car was now where the air conditioner button usually is on the dashboard. The whole left side of the car looks like art deco now. Good for some French dude, bad for the one driving it as it is smashed from A-post (that is the post that connects the front windshield with the driver's door) all the way to the gas tank inlet, and is indented approximately six inches in. (Again..not good.) The passenger side of the car wasn't much better and all the windows were now reminince that were scattered for about 100 feet.

You're right, I did say houses up top.

Well, Johnny Walker, missed the curve and hit house number one somewhere around warp speed taking off the WHOLE enclosed porch that was once there. The First story roof  now lies vertical over where the front door usually stands. The debis from the porch lays scattered replicating a house that was nailed by a tornado all over the ground within the 500 ft radius of the house.

BUT WAIT...............THERE MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After Capt. Barstool created work for the Prudential guy, he decided (or the car did rather) to go to the neighbor's house and cause some damage there too.

And what did he do at the neighbor's house you ask? Well, let me tell you then.

He dismantled THEIR porch too.  Not in as sad shape as the last, but ripped it off the foundation exposing the underside of the house now.  Talk about a two-fer.

In the middle of yard number two, laid our patient screaming at the top of his lungs. Beside him was a girl crying and telling him he was going to be okay. This was fine for a little bit....I willget more into that in a second.

Walking up to the patient, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary except that he was crying like a little kid who just had his lollipop slapped from his hand.

Jeremy went over and took cervical spine precautions while Karen looked for anyone else that was in the car.

Beginning to interview the patient, it was found that the driver of the car had fled the scene and that our patient was unrestraint and really didn't know how he got outside of the car.

Well, Let me tell you then...you were THROWN for the car there Sparky. It's called a seat belt dumb ass. I know it doesn't go with yoru outfit, but I am sure that you will use it next time.

Ringo and I began to assess the patient with Jeremy still holding c-cpine and Karen getting equipment from the truck.

Oh yeah, I still had the sceraming banshee next to me wailing at the top of her lungs to pur patient..and us.

"Ma'am, you need to step over there." Karen told her in a firm, authoritative voice.

"No way, he's my cousin." She yelled at the top of her voice.

How come they are always related to the patient, until they find out he is in trouble or you need something, then they scatter like cockroaches.

"HEY, you don't have to yell, I am right next to you and can hear you fine. I really don't care WHO he is to you right now, he is MY problem and all you are doing is irritating the Hell out of me. You want to yell, become a cheerleader, other than that, get the heck away from me." I told her, (No, I am not some cold, heartless bastard that is rude and cruel to everyone..just thought I would reiterate that, however, it is zero dark thirty in the morning and I am running on vapors here. The last thing I needed was a play by play analyst trying to coach me from MY job) as I pointed over to the driveway for her to go to.

Giving me that head roll (ladies, you know which one I mean) she stood up and began to walk away with that "oh no you deedn't" attitude.

Continuing the survey, the patient complained of pain in his right arm. Okay. Fair enough.

"I need to get you out of this coat." I told him

Cries louder.

"You have to take it off so I can see your arm." I told him with a firmer voice.

"I can't take it off, it hurts too bad" He bellowed out.

Okay. For all you in EMS who have run into patients like this, I have a sure fire way for you to get them to comply. I guaruntee that it will almost always work. It hasn't failed me yet. 

Pull out your Trauma Sheers.

"Okay, I guess I will have to cut it then." I told him.

All of a sudden, the patient stopped bawling.

"NO, don't cut it, I will get my arm out." was the response that I got.

See how that works.

Getting his arm, which was less important than his coat, out, we immediately saw the open radius/ulna fracture that stuck out of his skin.

Beginning to yell again, I instrcted Ringo to get the vaccu splints so we could immoblize the fracture while we packaged him up for transport.

The part where we got him into the truck was pretty uneventful but if you want me to doctor it up, I can...I just won't do it now.

With all this movement in getting the patient together and loading him for transport, it wasn't until we were actually IN the truck that I noticed something that was out of place. 

We were in MY truck.

Responding as second truck, our job is to assist the other crews with the patient and take anyone else that comes along AFTER the initial patient has been determined.  For ome reason under God, the fire guys have loaded the patient into my rig.  Gee, you don't know how special that makes me feel. (add sarcastic tone here).

Getting ready to leave, the doors opened fromthe back and a vocie came in stating that the driver of the car was found and needed a squad now.

Karen rolled her eyes (remember, she is pasat her prime now and every little thing seems minute (pronounced my NUTE) now. So her and Ringo took off to go and get the shoshed chauffeur and take him to the Hilton (what I call our hospital).

The rest of the call was pretty uneventful and pretty up to par.

My guy got assessed and ultimately flown out.

The 85,00 family memebers showed up to the ER.

The driver denied that he was driving.

The driver refused all care.

The driver got arrested.

The family members all dispursed when they found out about the arrest.

And to add insult to injury, it was now 0430 hours....

and I got toned for another call.

Another day here at Happy Acres.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

15 October 2005

Something to Pass the Time

15 October 2005

"Something to Pass the Time"

Hey there sports fan. Wow! What a wild night I had last night at work and I will be posting an entry sometime here in the immediate future about it, but for now, I thought I would share something both really fun...and really scary with you first.

Here is a site that I want you to try. You will have to download it into your computer, but I assure that it is safe and virus free.

http://www.earth.google.com/

This web site will install into your system. Once in, it will show you a satellite picture of the Earth.

In the top corner, you can put in ANY address ANYWHERE in the world and it will give you a satellite view from the top. You can zoom from as far as 30 miles up to 400 feet above the address.

The scary part is that I found this from a friend on line.  What is even MORE scary is that it has latitude and longitude of the specific address that you look up.  Good thing terrorist don't have computers. (Hmmmmmm).

Try it out and tell me what you think.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

 

09 October 2005

The Final Frontier

09 October 2005

"The Final Frontier"

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Star Date.....9564738 to the nearest Decimal. (somewhere close to 2015 hours)

We begin our story in a small, inhabited planet called Earth 40 degrees north of the mid equator line...

The prehospital army (we'll call them medic) are finishing up their processing logs (we'll call these run reports) as they slowly prepare to endulge with one another sharing a meal of humnicoie (we'll call this pizza..and "humnicoie" is not an actual word so don't look it up...I made it up for this story.)

Sitting down with the newbie (which must have been on back order, because we just got a whole truck load of new people recently), we began to tell him as to some of the regulars that we run on consistently and how the "average" citizen we help is a little more generous in the land mass than most other people.  

More often than not, we are going on call for the "Larger Than Life" people (I don't want to offend anyone) who have nothing more than a cold and think that their coughing is the bubonic plague coming to take them away to that buffet line in the clouds. 

But this is who we are and this is what makes our job "interesting".  And without "interesting", there would be no journal, no place to escape reality, no reads that make you laugh in your cubicle, no entertainment while listening to your 70's disco music. No......

Someone please slap me...

Anyways...

Sitting in our dayroom, we all began to share our highlights of the day and chuckle at the newbie's expense (C'mon..you HAVE to have some light hazing).  No, he didn't do anything wrong. In fact, he fits in quite nicely.

Shining through the windows that lead to the parking lot, we see a car pull in.  This is a normal occassion as many people will stop in and ask for directions on how to get somewhere (I guess that was redundant seeing the soul purpose of directions is to get where you are going). Ken, being in the bay on the phone, hangs up to assist the female who had come into the building.

Beginning to throw the groceries down our throats, we continued to laugh and carry on as the volume began to slow and darkness has begun to settle in. (Okay, so it is October and it gets dark at like 4:30 in the afternoon now, but I am trying to be dramatic here).

Ambiance music for the story here

Sipping our galactic fizzles (Pepsi) we took in a taped feed of the Alliance on the communicator (COPS was on TV).

Enjoying our down time, we began to notice something that was struck as odd.

Ken had not come back yet.

Peeking through the windows to see what was the deal, our view was blocked by a squad that was parked there.

Hmmm....

Wondering what was up, Angela got up and went to see what all the commotion was about outside and where Ken had gone to.

30 Seconds later..Angela came back...with a look of disgust on her face.

"Ophelia (Not her real name, nor her nickname either yet, it ties into my theme) is having chest pain in the docking bay (parking lot)" as she picks up the phone and calls dispatch to let them know what is going on.

Now, to inform you, Ophelia is probably THE biggest resident this city has to offer. She is also the biggest pain in the ass and most demanding patient I have had yet. She treats us like we are there to serve her hand and foot. If we aren't careful, she may EAT our hand and foot. She is seen whisking around town in her motorized wheelchair that I know is probably gasping for air with her "Significant other". The reason I quote that is not the fact that she is a homosexual (which I have no problem with) but that I really don't know the actual sex of this person. We will call him/her "Pat" for all intents and purposes.

 Yeah..you know who I am talking about.

Getting up to assist Ken (which he will need all the help he can get) all 5 of us warp on down to the docking bay.

Coming into the cold of the night, I see Ken leaning into a mini van having a conversation with Ophelia.

Slowly approaching with all my caution, I can hear  Ken warning of her of her danger and how she needed to go to the hospital here in town.

Finally standing next to Ken, I look inside to see Ophelia barking back that she doesn't want to go to this hospital and want to go to the other one that is twice as far away.

Ken kept pleading with her to go here in town.

Ophelia kept saying "no".

Ken....Ophelia....Ken....Ophelia.

The rounds went on. The results still the same.

For those of you who follow this blog, there are 2 types of paramedics. There is your finess medic (Ken) which is great at explaining situations in with a detail and tact that is almost diplomatic. Then there is your aggressive medic. (Me) These medic are the tell-it-like-it-is, no bull crap that takes charge of the scene before it gets out of hand.

My turn to try.

Looking at Ophelia, dead in the face (which is hard to do) I was blunt and told her the hospital she wanted to go to is closed right now.

Yes Folks...I lied

She looked at me and wanted an explanation and fed me a line saying "I don't understand."

Ken tried explaining to her that when this facility gets too many patients, they close the ER and do not accept any more squads until the census declines and the resourses allows for them to take patients again.

She still didn't understand.

Ken tried telling her again.

Guess what.....

No go...she AGAIN gave the "I don't understand" speech.

By this time, I was getting pissed with her.  This is an ordeal I go through EVERY time I pick her up.  So I stepped in.

"I will make this easy..even for you. They, will not take you there. You go, and they will send you somewhere else. They are too busy to deal with you right now. Now, you can go to the hospital over here, or you can lay on the floor of this van and die. Choice is yours."

Insert long pause

Okay, let's go.

NOW..........

This is where the fun gets even better.

In order to take her to the ER, we have to get our bariatric cot which is wider and can hold more weight in order to ship her to where she needs to go.

The problem is....this cot is not on station and is on the other side of town.

So now we have to go and get it, just to move her royal highness from her chariot.

Getting the Rookie, we went to get the cot across town with lights and sirens blaring in the darkness.

Only taking a few minutes to secure the cot, we began to vector back to the loading dock.

Looking over to the new guy, I can see he is having the time of his life riding with lights and sirens for the first time.  Leaving him to control the airhorn, he begins to yell at the drivers to move over (well...you get the picture.)

Getting back to the station, the extrication was already beginning to get her out of the car. Not being able to get in to help her from the position that we were in, CJ (The smallest person among us) opened the back door with the key she got from the driver

Looking likea bunch of ants trying to move a boulder, we got her into the squad and started on our journey to the hospital.  The rookie and I followed in our squad to help the crew get her out of the truck and into the ER.

You know what is great about calling a report into the hospital? They have no clue who you are bringing..until you get there.

As the doors opened into the ER, the intensity of the awaiting staff turned dark as we paraded to our assigned bed.

The tension grew along with the groans as this regular was not among the favorites that had frequented this facility.

The journey had come to an end and no one blew their backs out or was eaten alive.

I consider this a victory. For it will only be a short time till the sequel will be among us.

Until then.....May the force be with you.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

04 October 2005

My Long Winter

04 October 2005

"My Long Winter"

It is today that I come to you with a very heavy heart.  Today I come to you battling grief, remorse, and sorrow as a tradegy has struck many of  us and has hit home and broken our hearts.

Looking at my wife today, I saw the tears begin to welt up in her eyes as the harsh reality of what once was has come to a screaching halt with no reason and no idealistic explanation. I can see the hurt in her face, the crackle in her voice, and the deep felt emotion that has touched her life.

I sit here in depression knowing that I cannot help her or the others that have been affected with the unexplainable series of events that have taken place here on the north coast. So I sit and I wallow, hoping that the sadness will take its toll and let me continue with my life.

Sunday..baseball season ended.

Sunday, the Cleveland Indians lost.

Please click here and bow your heads in a moment of silence

Closing my eyes, I can still feel the summer's sun basking over my face. Its warmth carried by a light breeze coming over the lake imminating the smell of fresh cut grass throughout the stadium.  Looking around, I can see the vibrant shades of red, the majestic blues, the royal greys, and the angelic whites shouting out team spirit each displaying thier loyalty to the team.

The noise from the crowd only gets louder and louder as game play ensues and the park becomes a church as people partake in the festivites and rejoice in their pleasures.

But with one swing of the bat..that has all changed.

The forest green seats that held these strangers for six long months, having new faces everyday and joining folks together as one now lay dormant.  The isles that once held many a spirited people, vendors, kids, and friends now remain clear. The seats stay folded up, waiting for a person to come and relax in them. Instead, they will soon be covered with a powdery snow signifying the end of the season.

The scoreboard which illuminated the crowd and provided entertainment and information to the guest that came to visit shining in high definiton and stadium surround sound lies black and powerless and throws a cold chill now as it hibernates for the winter.

The stands that housed food and souveigners with all its brisk colors and smells that take your breath away stand still. No more guest will come to its window..as it is locked behind a steal curtain.

The players make their way to the field only to be greeted by silence as they ponder what once was on their own personal play ground. For this trip to the park is not to be cheered for, not to play the hero, and not to be the role model for all the young, inspiring ball players of the future. This trip holds, for them a sadness,a heart break as all that is left for them is a locker to clean out, and a ride to catch home.

As the echoes of clapping and cheers begin to dissipate, it is replaced by a solitary howling of wind as it rustles through the concourse fanning out the reality of what once was.

The summer home for many of fans has come to a close as the cold, iron gates that once stood with open arms now remains closed with a sign placed by a fan summing up the summer reading "I still believe...Thanks for the memories"

And for now...my winter begins.

Click here to re-live the year

 

 

 

 

 

Yanks @ Indians (This pic is a little old)

 

 

 Rounding Third and Heading Home,

 M-

25 September 2005

10 Things You Should Know Before Becoming an EMT

24 Sept 2005

"10 Things You Should Know Before Becoming an EMT"

Blood, guts, glory.

Some people look at the career as an EMT as that of "Wow, I could never do that." Some take the perspective that the things that we see are just too unimaginable for the human mind to comprehend.  While, yet others, think that it all for the prestige that we sometimes get.

I am going to let you in on a little secret. 

Anyone can do it.

Now, for those who are in the field, I want you to realize that I am not saying that this is a fool's job that requires almost no brain cells to do. What I am stating is merely the fact that this job, this profession, this goal is obtainable.  All you need is the drive to do it.

Below is a list I comprised as to what I think and include in my drives to be a paramedic.

For the record, this is just one person's perspective and in no way do I represent the majority voice in this field.  I just wanted to enlighten my readers as to what makes me function, and what drives me...everyday.

10. Not every call is a bad call.  You know, I blame the media for this.  It is, to my opinion, that no news is good news.  Have you ever watched the TV and the media sports how "3 people died in a firey crash on the interstate."  The focus is always on the tragedy of someone's life.  When was the last time that you heard, "Someone's grandfather was revived after suffering a heart attack."  Good news is boring to them. Good news, is bad business.

Also, you would be suprised as to what "nature" of calls that we go on. Sure, it may be a "male down" call that you get. But, when you get there, you find that he is enjoying the sunshine and had taken a nap. Sure, he may be heavily intoxicated, but it is an easy call.  So are the stubbed toes, the "sick for 10 days", the sprained ankles.   In all honesty, I would give a safe estimate of 15% of the calls that we go on have heavy merit.  However, to the one calling, it is a true emergency.  One reason I do my job.

9. Acute Code 3 fixation. Listen, for all you adrenalin junkies out there who think that driving with lights and sirens is the ultimate high in the world, well, ya all need to get a new hobby then.  Yes, I admit, that there is some fun to driving the wrong way down a one way street at 60 MPH has a slightsense of adventure to it.But, to me, this is one of the scariest parts of the job.   Okay, so you get a little more "legal" leeway as you are allowed to cross the double yellow line and all, but now your danger level increases (no, folks. Not in a good way.)  What is that white car in front going to do? Is that blue pickup going to pull over? Are they really going to try to make the light before we get up to them.

People are idiots. (No, not everyone). They have their own adgendas and you coming up behind them is only slowing them down, so why should they pull over right away.

I think I have touched enough on this topic.

8. You Can't save everyone. Fact of life. Don't burn out trying.  As a paramedic, I will do everything in my power to assess what is best for you and take the most appropriate course of action to either, alieviate your pain, prolong your life, or attempt to resuscitate you after you have failed to maintain a pulse.  But there are certain aspects that I cannot explain that are beyond my power to do so.  

As a new EMT, when the first one dies, a part of you dies with them. This will be carried on with you throughtout your career and more so, your life.  But there will be others. 

The way human emotion works is that you get sad, or angry when something doesn't go the way you plan and you try harder and harder to save taht next person, but you know what, it is not up to you.  This is the decision of the big man in the corner booth upstairs in the clouds. 

What I am saying is this.  Don't try so hard to achieve a goal that is beyond your rational capability, but rather provide a support and ease thier life to the best that you can in the little time that you have them.

7. Remember when.  Each day, more and more EMT's begin their new lives as emergency service personnel.  Each day, someone will walk into a station and be unfamiliar with the place, the people, and the settings.  Some of them are intimidated as to the job that they are about to jump into and are unsure of their abilities and most of all, thier potential.   It is commonplace to pick on the new guy and have a little fun at their expense as hazing is a way of life and a passing of acceptance in a setting that is more family like than commercial.  

Yesterday, I worked with a brand new EMT for the first time. Hewas so green that the wrapper was still on him.  He is a good kid, and he will make an awesome EMT.

But you have to give them that respect. You have to be patient with them and let them prove to you that they are worth having around.  Of course, you are going ot get those few that are cocky and arrogant, and most of all, self endugled.  These are the ones that you really need to watch out for. These are the ones that will kill somebody.

But as for the rookie,  have fun, but take him or her under your wing. Remember, you were new once too. Now they look up to you. Show them that they made the right choice.

6. EMT language for dummies.  The door swings both ways on this one.  The population that you service most likely has absolutely NO clue as to what you are talking about unless you space it in a manner that they CAN understand.   Do you think that an 86 year old female is going to understand when you ask her "Do you have A-Fib" or "when you broke your hip, was it laterally or medially".

Huh???

The Elderly, which is a majority of our demographics, have a hard time remembering what they take let alone why they take it.   I have seen it time and time again. A paramedic ask a patient what seems like a simple question to them, yet is a foreign language to that person.  Then the medic gets frustrated and raises their voice with a hint of anger laced in there.

When asking them something, try to make it concise, yet simple. Instead of asking them "Do you take Lasix?"  Try "I see you take a water pill".  If they can understand what you say, then they feel more comfortable with your skill, and feel confident to the fact that they called YOU to help them.

5. 100 decibles.  This just in.....

Talking louder does NOT make a person understand you any better.  

This is so relevant in the field where I work. This goes beyond the elderly and the hearing impaired.   Where I work, there are quite a few people that english is a second language to them yet, some think if they talk slower and louder, that magically, they will be able to understand as to what you are saying.

Hello?!?!? 

Use common sense here. Unless someone tells you that they are hard of hearing, don't assume that they are.  For that patient, you may make them feel belittled and they may have the assumption that you really don't care for them. This is NOT why we do what we do.

4. Listen up.   In EMS, one of the most overlooked attributes of the EMT is that of thinking outside the box.  Some rescuers get so tunnel visioned that they forget to look at the bigger picture and in most cases, overlook the cause of the problem.

We are more than bandage runners. We have achieved a greater goal as a member of society in the fact that we DO play so many different role.

Did you know that for the most part, people just want someone that will listen to them.   Patients will give you pertinent information about their illnesses without even having to ask them. Yeah, sure, they may tell you more than you want to know also, but, the communications that you provide, will be influential in their recovery.  Try it, you will see.

3. Expect the Unexpected.   Always have your game face on. This is the best advice that I can give for this line of the entry.   Going for an "Unresponsive" may be a person who took a nap on the couch and is a very heavy sleeper.  Boy, won't he be pissed when you wake him. 

A person who "fell" may have fallen. But was it the heart attack that made him fall.

In retrospect, you may never know what you are gonna get. (Sure, you can say that with your best Forrest Gump voice). So always be ready..because it could make a great journal entry,

2. Above and Beyond.  You know, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with going the extra mile.   Finding a warm blanket for a patient even after they are in the hospital's care, making sure the house is locked for them, or even getting them a glass of water while you are in their home for them to take a pill.

It is the little things that go unsaid that make the image of the EMT stand out in someone's mind. That is what they always will remember.

1. No one wants to die alone.  You know, it doesn't matter as to what I can teach you as an instructor, a mentor, or even as a friend.  THIS has to be set as a golden rule.  Someone's last few minutes on this Earth are precious and mean so much to them, and in my mind, it is an absolute honor to watch them leave their misery.  By doing something as little as talking to them or holding their hand, it shows that you have compassion and that, by far, is the number one thing needed to succeed in this job.  For that person, knowing that someone was there to witness their beginning of a new life for them, will let them pass with dignity and respect.  And them knowing that you are there for them, will also make them feel loved.  Don't treat them as a run number, treat them as a person. They were great to somebody at one time, let them die with that memory.

Have a good weekend, all.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

 

12 September 2005

Tuning In

12 Sept 2005

"Tuning In"

Hey there all.

I know that this isn't the second part of that previous entry and, to be honest, I think it may be a bit till I get there seeing I have some great stuff to share with you.

However, I did want to mention that those of you who have visited the LifeCare site had asked some questions as to when the Live radio traffic will be up.

Wait no longer folks.

If you Click Here, you can listen to all of LifeCare's dispatch.

Now, keep in mind that most of the runs are done via computer, however, you can hear us go en route and the nature of the calls.  On more high priority calls, you will hear more traffic.

At times, it may be pretty quiet so I suggest that you just open the window and let it sit in the corner of your desktop. I guarantee that you will hear stuff.

Any other questions pertaining to the site, let me know. I will do my best to answer. If I can't, Richard (one of our dispatchers who put the site together) can answer it if I ask.

Stay safe.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

06 September 2005

The Network

06 Sept 2005

"The Network"

When you call 9-1-1 for assistance, the only thing on your mind is getting the help that you need to arrive to wherever you are to help alieviate whatever crisis that may be occuring at that specific moment.

To the layperson, when someone dials for help, what seems like hours is only minutes as, in a crisis situation, time slows down.  You feel that it is an eternity till you start to hear sirens. You feel as if it (help) is never going to arrive. 

But how long does it take?  How much time actually elapses till help first arrives.

Today, I am going to break it down for you...just for you to see..what goes on behind the lines.

For the sake of this demonstration, we are going to use an automobile accident in the middle of the day as our scenario.

Click here to Begin the Journey

1500 Hours/Time elapsed 0:00:00

Accident involving 2 cars on the highway leaves one entrapped, two minor patients, and one "walking wounded."

A motorist who witnessed the accident immediately picks up a cell phone and dials 9-1-1.

1502/0:02:14 (Time, then Time elasped)

The call is routed to the nearest cell tower that is compatiable with that caller's subscriber carrier.  The tower identifies the number and shoots it up to a satelitte which pinpoints the apporximate position of that caller. Identifying the 9-1-1 encoding of the call, it decodes the call and prioritizes it in its network.

1502/0:02:18

The satellite identifies the location and shoots the message back to Earth to the closest tower.  That tower then sends the call to the closest 9-1-1 center which decodes the message and translates it into a 9-1-1 priority call.

1502/0:02:21

One of three operators at our 9-1-1 center are alerted of your call and click on their mouse to answer the call.  This is the first human contact that you have reached since the incident.

1502/0:02:24

"9-1-1. Do you need police, fire, or ambulance?"  As the operator ask this of the caller, his or her 9-1-1 screen pops up reading your information off your cell phone.  GPS coordinates have been deciphered and in a separate Windows screen, a series of boxes appear displaying the appropriate emergency services for that region.  While the operator is collecting your information, they click on another button which automatically adds police, fire, and EMS to your call.

1502/0:02:50

At this point, you are transferred to the EMS center.  "Emergency Services".  Here you give another brief description as to what is going on and where.  At Lifecare (where I work) this is taken by the call taker, a separate person who screens and receives these calls.  As they type this into the system, one of two things are concurrently happening. First, the EMS dispatcher is receiving the information as it is being processed into their computer and pick up the phone to call the specific station to notify them of an emergency run. Also, at the same time, the 9-1-1 dispatcher has already notified police of the accident. The fire department is a third party call who is listening in while you are talking to the EMS center.

1503/0:03:14

All parties are disconnected. This is broken down in 3 parts now.

First, Police.  The dispatcher tracks cars in that zone through GPS and calls out for a response to the accident based on the closeness of which cars are where?

Next, Fire. The central dispatch center activates a dedicated phone line which rings into a substation closer to the accident.  At that station, a loud bell and lights are activated notifying them of an emergency call.

Finally, EMS.  As the dispatcher also calls the station on a dedicated line, they push enter on their computer which, in turn, sends all the info of the accident to the MDT computers in the squads and activates the squad's crew by sending a page to their individual pagers.

1503/0:03:16

Calls are answered to respond to the scene of an accident.

Police have acknolwedged the call. They activate their lights and sirens and start heading to the scene of the MVA.

A firefighter at the substation has picked up the call and begins to write the information down on a notepad that is kept by each phone.  While he is doing this, the other firefighters are already heading towards their apparatus and are putting on their fire gear. The pump operator of the vehicle checks local maps to plan the fastest route to the scene.

At the EMS station, the call is answered and the crew is alerted of the call.  A few seconds later, two crews go to their squads and confirm their call with what is on their MDT computers.

1503/0:03:25

Police are half way to the call as theyreach the tail end of the back up that is caused by the accident you witnessed.

Fire begins its inital response by calling thier dispatch and letting know they're en route.

EMS click "en route" on their computers and begin to the scene pulling out and activating emergency lighting and sirens as traffic begins to pull over for the squads which are departing.  The same time that the ambulances become mobile, a call goes out to a supervisor who is simultaneously being paged to respond to the call.

The first call for help is now on the way and momentarily will be at your scene.

Total time so far: 3 Minutes, 16 seconds.

1506/0:06:00

The first police cruiser arrives on scene.  As he gets out his cruiser, he is on the radio notifying his dispatch of the situation, requesting additional help for traffic control. After relaying the information to the comm center, he begins to check on the status of the patients to see what he can do to help.

The fire department passes the last car in back up and is immediately moved to the shoulder where it continues up the ramp into the thick of traffic and onto the highway.  Back at the dispatch center for fire, the police traffic is overheard. The tones are dropped for the rescue truck to respond to the scene to assist in the incident.

EMS has turned the corner and has a visual of the back up which, in approximation, is about one mile ahead of present location.  The driver of the squad begins to scan the road ahead for openings in traffic trying to anticipate as to what motorist are going to do and where they are going to pull over at.  The attendant grabs gloves out of a box and places a pair for his partner on the light switch console.  Also, copying the radio traffic from the police, the pair begin to formulate a plan of action as to who goes where once they arrive on scene.

A Supervisor calls en route and begins his journey to the scene.

EMS dispatchers begin to receive multiple calls for the accident.  Dispatch bumps up the second truck to a "code 3" response and start to move other units around to cover the vacated area left by the two trucks that are en route to the scene.

1508/0:08:12

Police have closed the lanes that the accident are in.  Three back up units have arrived and begin to deal with traffic control, gathering your statement as to what you saw, and clear a path for the emergency vehicle.  

Fire arrives on scene. Looking at the scene from the cockpit of the pumper, they immediately call for more help.  The two firefighters in the back begin to assess basic patient care and triage who needs what.  The officer notifies dispatch as to what he has found in detail.  The pump operator begins to place road flares out to noftiy drivers as to the hazard that is approaching.

The rescue truck acknowledges the assessment and begins its final turn onto the road that leads to the highway.  An assistant chief is then dispatched to the scene to oversee fire ground operations and help coordinate efforts for rescue.

EMS begins their ascent up the on ramp squeezing by the already stopped traffic that has collected for over half a mile.  Air horns blasting and frequent changing of siren tones, the attendant makes sure portable radios work and hands one to the driver of the squad.

The supervisor is a few minutes out coming in from the opposite direction as to minimize run in with traffic.

The second squad is a quarter mile back at the end of the traffic jam.

1510/0:10:28

A road supervisor for police arrive and have instructed the on scene officers to shut the highway down.

At this point, the Highway Patrol has arrived on scene also, to help coordinate accident investigation.

The rescue truck is just behind the second squad making its way up to the scene.

The asst. Chief is now at the end of the traffic jam which is starting to switch lanes because of being re routed.

The first EMS squad has arrived on scene.  The driver of the squad is met by the officer on the fire engine. A quick report is handed off to the medic and he begins his decent for the patients.  The second medic grabs a jump kit and starts to go to the second car to triage those patients.  Taking a minute, the squad memeber converge and report as their finding.  Notifying the dispatch center as to what the incident entails, the paramedics split thier duties, each taking a firefighter and beginning patient care.

The Supervisor's sirens are heard in the distance.

The second squad arrives on scene and begins to look for a place to park.

The rescue truck is guided in by the fire officer, once staged, it begins to pull out its extrication equipment to "cut" the entrapped patient out of the car.

The asst. chief is now entering the highway.

1513/0:13:58

Police and Highway Patrol have blocked off the whole highway. The police accident investigator begins taking pictures and coning off certain area.

The Asst. Chief arrives at the same time as the EMS supervisor and meet with the senior medic and the officer of the fire company. 

Fire has already begun to extricate the patient en trapped in the vehicle. A door post is cut on the car as the patient is shielded.

The request for a helicopter has been placed by the paramedic attending to the entrapped patient.

The second squad has begun immobilizing the two minor injuries of the other vehicle with the help of one of the firefighters off the engine.

The EMS supervisor notifies scene size up and use of present resources.  He begins his decent to the entrapped patient and the paramedic attending to them,

The medic in the car with the entrapped patient, holds cervical spine control and updates the supervisor of what he has presently.

At the same time, the asst. chief has assumed fire ground command and has requested a helicopter come to scene for medical transport.

1515/0:15:37

Police have already ran the plates of the vehicle owners and begin to notify next of kin to meet their respective family members at the receiving facilities.

The officer on the engine assist in patient care of the entrapped patient.  The pump operator grabs immobilization equipment out of the first squad and brings it down to the vehicle along with the cot.  Both post are off of  the door and the door has been popped off.

A request for another engine has been issued and a company responds from station.

Fire dispatcher has notified the trauma center as to request for their helicopter.

At this time, the trauma center types in the address of the accident with latitude and longitude coordinates. A satellite map of the area pops up on their screen showing potential hazards and possible landing sites.

While the lead dispatcher gathers the preliminary information as to the scene. A second dispatcher check present weather conditions, winds, and air traffic and sends a "STAT" page to the air crew.

The EMS supervisor request dispatch to notify the area hospitals and find out availibility as to what they can handle.

The second squad loads the first patient into the squad and secures the backboard to the bench seat. One paramedic with the squad, begins his head to toe assessment of that patient. The other medic and the firefighter assigned to him unload the cot and begin to descend to the other patient.

Total elasped time so far....

15 Minutes, 37 seconds.

And remember...this is from the time you called.

To be continued.......

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

 

03 September 2005

Freakin' Idiots

03 Sept 2005

"Freakin' Idiots"

You know, in my line of work, it doesn't take very long to meet someone who makes you look like a friggin' genius.

I cannot tell you as to some of the "special" people that I meet on a daily basis and how they could make my job so much easier if they did one of three things.

1. Move. Go bother the EMS in some other zip code. Let them come to your house because you have had a headache for over a week and forgot that Excedrin will cure it in a matter of a half hour.  I mean really? Here's a dollar, go to the gas station and get a couple of Advil. I know you can't afford them after you spent all your money on that 40 ounce of Genesee and your pack of Pall Mall's.

2. That little flashy thing from the movie "Men in Black".

 Yeah...this thing.  Let me hit everyone with it and tell them that if you dial 9-1-1 for stupid things, you will turn into a chicken and a wolf will come and eat you.  Then put sounds of coyotes howling throughout the city.  I bet that 7 AM hangover you got going won't be so bad where you need to go to the hospital so you can get a slip to miss work.  That is just my opinion.

3. Ration air.  Stupid people are just taking up my oxygen. "My arm hurts when I do this."  Well....don't do that then.  Problem solved...sign here.

So, how do we categorize people who absolutely don't need the squad but call because "hey, I don't have anything better to do and, man, a free meal from the hospital would sound good right now."

Click here to find out

0815 Hours

In the world of EMS, there are very little things that we EMT's ask for.  A safe trip, a good meal, a decent amount of sleep, no pukers in the truck, and shift change to come without incident.

For the most part, you can live with most..but not all at once. If you do, there is a word for it. It is called "retirement".

Also, there is a formula in emergency services that I had not mentioned and my fellow bloggers who are in the police, fire, and EMS biz can back me on.

It goes something like this.

Based on an 8 hour sleep time, take the total number of hours that you sleep and multiply it by the total amount of runs you had done in the 16 hours leading up to it.  This will giveyou apercentage. That percentage is the odds that you will go on a call sometime in the "red zone". The red zone is defined as the final half hour before you are off the clock and get to go home.

For instance, I did 14 calls from 8:30 AM to 12:30 AM. I slept for 4 1/2 hours. This leaves me with 65%. so my odds are 65:1 that I will go on a call between now and the time that I am off.

Does this hold true, you ask?

Well, do you think I would be writing about it if it hadn't?

So, there were are. Only 300 feet to the drive of the station.  All that was standing between me and my freedom was the 20 seconds it took the light to cycle.

Twenty seconds to pass the torch to the oncoming crew.

Twenty seconds to begin the journey to my own bed, my own comfort, my own solitude.

Twenty seconds till the grime and grease can come off and the journey to a nice hot shower will await me.

It only takes twenty seconds to cycle a light.

It only takes ten seconds to tone me out.

"93, I need you to respond to a car vs. a house on Hillard Ave. Police are on scene. Patient didn't want to go and now he does. Time out 0817.

Car......

House......

Car....?

House....?

You know, it has been a long time since I had gone to a call where a colonial style house is playing near the edge of its driveway and leaps out into the middle of the road and is struck by a law-abiding citizen.  How come homes, now-a-days just can't watch where they are going?

Driving up to the north side of town, my teeth began to grind as the frustration began to set in....right about the time we drove past the station. 

Sigh.

Just getting clearing from a call that had pretty much took all the rest of my energy out of me, I secretly prayed for this to be something so minor that the patient will want to sign off and just go home cutting his losses for the rest of the day.  On several occassions I have come across people where their sugar had just gotten too low and they glided through the stop sign to a slow halt in someone's rose garden.  Perhaps this was one of them. Perhaps I can relax. Perhaps I should just shut up and get on with the story.

Turning the corner, I noticed the police cruiser sitting in the road way all by itself with nothing around it but the neigbors who are all coming out to get a view of what is happening in their neck of the woods.

Scanning the area for an accident, I find the officer with a lone gentleman standing right next to a garage of a home.

Now, before I get into more detail, I need to add something here. Look at the picture on the link provided for you..

See here

By the way.... this is not the actual address as to the incident but a close proximity as to where the accident happened is is solely for the purpose of  providing a visualization of what I am describing.

See the red dot? It is on Hilliard. It is the big street that runs east and west (left to right on your screen).

Now...

Notice how far the street is from the actual houses?

It is a good 75 feet.

Now, how could you hit a house from there?

Nevermind...don't answer that.

Next to the patient, was two damaged vehicles that were parked front to back in the driveway of the homeowner.

They were smashed with considerable damage to their left sides.

How did they get damaged?

The patient's vehicle? Is that your answer.

WRONG!!!

They got damaged from THEIR neighbors cars which were parked front to back in the adjacent driveway.

How did they get there?

NOW you can say the patient's car...or what is left of it.

Here is the cliff notes version of the accident.

Mr. Moron was driving west on the road when he decided he didn't have enough sleep and thought he would take a nap...while still driving. 

Then, Sgt. Snooze-a-lot went left of center...WAY left of center into the front lawn of some poor homeowner who was just trying to read the Sunday paper in peace.

Careening into the once nicely manicured lawn, our "hero" crashed into the parked vehicles of the unsuspected owner..sending those vehicles into his neighbors driveway and ruining his morning.

But wait.....

There's more.

After Evil Keneviling it into the first set of vehicles, the impact had launched one of the cars into the first residents garage.  Hey garage doors are overrated anyways.

Whew!!!!

Back to the patient.  Walking over I noticed our guest of honor standing, or at least trying to stand looking at me with that stupid, I'm stoned look.

 Just like this guy. (No, this is not him).

Here we go.

Looking at him, I knew EXACTLY as to what line I wanted to take with him as I had already made up my mind as to what the problem with this guy is.

"Hey, you alright?"

"Huh,,,,,?"

"ARE....YOU....ALL....RIGHT?"

"What do you mean?"

Apparently, my words are too long for him.

"Try to keep up here, buddy. Are you hurt?"

"Hmm...no...I don't think so?"

"What are you on?"

Long pause from him at this point,

"I am not on anything,"

"Listen, you need to tell me what you are on. I have been doing this way to long to buy the 'I just fell asleep' story that you are pawning off on the police. Now, you can either tell me what you are on now so I can treat you, or I find out when they test the blood that I am going to take."

"I don't do anything like that".

The tone in his voice was mellow and monotone giving me another sure fire clue that he was under the influence of something.

Think about it. If you go up to a person and ask them what drugs they are on after some sort of crisis or accident, those that are not taking drugs will most likely be defensive, apphrehensive, and pissed at you for even bringing it up.

This guy wasn't even registering on radar.

Walking to the truck, we attempted to help him in the squad through the rear doors...until he fell asleep climbing in. 

I don't mean, fell down and is now sleeping. I mean foot is still on the bumper while the other is down on the ground, standing up sleeping.

That's a first.

Hoisting his majesty onto the cot, I asked him again as to his drug history. Again he denied.

Again he was calm about it.

Again, he fell asleep.

Looking at Brad, my partner for the night, I decided that I would give him the Courtney Love package while treating him.

Did you know that a 16 gauge IV needle will fit in the hand?

Who would have thought???

Next was the non rebreather mask with oxygen (I am not that mean and not leaving it hooked up). But I thought that I would spice up the O's a little bit andadd someflavor to it.

Oxygen...meet Mr. Ammonia inhalant.

C'mon folks, cut me a break here. I have already asked him four times to stay awake and he can't even do that.  Hell, he didn't even know he pissed himself till I had told him.  Him grabbing his crotch and smelling it to make sure was a little more than I had bargained for...thought I would just throuw that in.

So off we go to the hospital.

The event was rather dull and Tommy Toker seems oblivious to anything going on.

Moving him into the ER, I gave him one more chance to tell me what he had taken. Still....no answer.

Stepping out a minute, for those of you who are medics or firefighters, I know you are asking yourself one of two questions.

1. What was his sugar?

Well, his sugar was 116 mg/dl. So we know it was not that.

2. Why didn't I give Narcan to him?

Here's the deal. In the event that he DID do some sort of drug (which I am almost positive he did) that would reversee his high and probably piss the hell out of him off.  I don't have security in the truck. Let the hospital deal with him.

Okay, getting ready to move him over, we unbuckled him and asked him to move to the bed. While scooting over, he fell asleep...again...with his arm in the air when it was trying to reach the rail.

Off the cot...no longer mine.

I asked the nurse to keep me informed as to what was going on with him. I had a hunch. I wanted to know if I was right.

Later today, Brad called me.

They got the tox screen back.

Hmmmm....

Positive for cocaine, barbituates, methamphedimines, and alcohol.

I guess he got combative there in the ER with them too.

Did I mention that security has tasers. (Yes, Jenn, our guys know how to shoot them at the bad guys).

Last I heard, he was in four point restraints waiting to get better....

So he can go to jail.

Thank you Napoleon for coining that simple, yet powerful phrase that will take its name in history.

"Freakin' Idiots"

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

 

 

 

01 September 2005

Katrina and the Waves

01 Sept 2005

"Katrina and the Waves"

You know, it is devastating what has happened to New Orleans (pronounced as one word) in the wake of the most horrific natural disaster that has ever plauged American soil. My heart goes out to all those men, women, and children that have lost their livelihood and everything that has ever meant anything to them.

It is almost unbelieveable watching the updates on the news as a part of me thinks that this really isn't happening and that it is some sort of reality television that has gone a little too far. It is hard to imagine that something that strong can make it even to where I am.

I know that there is a purpose for everything that God does....

But please, name this purpose?

Now....this really frost my ass. (Yes, that is an actual term I use).

People looting.  Okay, I have no problem with you looking for food. I would do the same too if I was faced with the dilema.

But some of these callious, and, in my opinion, idiotic are out there looting color TV's, computers, furniture.  Hey moron...where you gonna put it?!?!  Your house is somewhere 3 counties away by now.  What are you gonna do? sell it on Ebay.  "look...New Color TV...some water damamge...no reserve..."  Apparently, the wind swept, what little brain cells they have left somewhere into Mississippi..where they are still underwater also.

Let's talk about carjacking.  The few bad eggs (I can't really swear on this blog...damn it). The Einsteins are taking cars, buses, and even ambulances.  Ambulances?  Look..if you aspire to be a paramedic, then I applaude you for that. but.....where you gonna go. I mean, all the roads are closed and it is kinda hard to hide an ambulance. "Gee Bob, is that one of those new H3's?"  "Why yes, George it is..I got it with the ambulance package on it."  "Well, that is swell. How'd ya get it?" "I just used my agent..smith and wesson."  Hope you can afford the diesel.

Finally,  shooting at a military medical helicopter with an AK-47?   This is where I say F*** it.   Mount those 40 mm guns on the side of the chopper. Someone else takes a shot at you,  light them up like times square at Christmas.  FEMA pulling out all medics out of the city due to not being able to keep them safe.  Hey, John Wayne time. Give them a gun and shoot first and ask questions later.  If I am there to help someone, why are you gonna shoot at me? Is it the color of my skin or where I live? Or maybe because I have 2 more dollars in my pocket than you may have (a rarity for me).

GET A CLUE!!!!

There are bigger things happening here other than you and me.  LOOK AROUND...your city is gone....You want to hate me, fine..do it after you get the hell out of here and somewhere safe.

I know...I am ranting and raving about this issue and took away from the purpose of the journal...but I wanted to get this off my chest before I head off to the battle grounds again.

Folks, if you can, donate something to help the ones who need it.

You can go to http://www.redcross.org to find out more info as to how you can help. No donation is too small. It is time to help those that are in our backyard, when they need thier neigbors the most.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

26 August 2005

A Day Off

 

   25 August 2005

"A Day Off"

The bible states "on the seventh day, he rested..."

I know that is talking about God and it is somewhere in Genesis (no, not the group with Phil Collins).

Apparently, God has never been a paramedic.

Finally. A day off after what is about to be a long and grueling weekend.  It is time to hang out with some friends and recharge the batteries that are blinking "low" within my system. It is time to grab some friends and let our hair down (or put it under a cap as you see there), but most of all...it is Miller time.

I had acquired some tickets to the Indians game (like I don't go there enough) a while back and thought that I would take some friends along with me. Bev had worked that day and had not felt well, so she told me to go and have a good time.  Not wanting to waste the ticket, I called Steve (the guy on the right with the gray shirt) to come and meet us at the game. (Steve is the crew chief on B-shift and passes off 93 to me each morning).  Steve met us up and the games began.

The others pictured are Kim (my old partner) and Melanie (an EMT-Intermediate).  The pic was taken by Bill (an Elyria Fireman) who is dating Melanie.

Gosh, the weather was a perfect 72 degrees at game time and not a cloud in the sky.  THIS is the perfect weather for baseball.

Our seats were on the first base line about 20 rows from the field with a spectacular view of the game as the Indians played the Texas Rangers continuing with their playoff hopes (they are tied for first right now in the wild card position).

Joking with Bill, we kidded about catching a foul ball and what we would do if we did.  I mean, really, what are the odds on catching a foul ball.

In Jacob's Field....43,075 to 1.

Yeah...pretty bad odds...I know.....

Until.....

In the sixth inning, The Indian's Second baseman, Ronnie Belliard

 came to the plate.  With a 2-2 count, he took a slider down and away..which he hit....foul.

Watching the ball, we tracked it high in the air and watched as it started to descend.....right above us.

Now, here is that moment of truth. You are on national television, all the cameras are following the ball.  For that brief second, whomever gets the ball with a spectacular catch will be on TV and perhaps even  .

Looking up, the ball bigger and bigger as it honed in on our destination.

I stood up thinking that I would have to fight for the ball had it come our way. My peripheral vision shows no one else up....it is all me.....time to be a hero.

At this point, there is no sound, slow motion, and your heartbeat echoing in your ears as you extend your arm to make the catch....

Here it is....moment of truth.....

OUCH!!!!!!!!

I forgot to mention that I was drinking this night which REALLY alters your mobility....

So I got the foul ball....which deflected off my wrist...and into Bill's hand.

Holding it up in the air, the crowd cheered for him as his recovery was phenominal, spectacular, and for me, hurt like a mother.

Bill got the ball, I got the black and blue mark.

But the most important thing....I didn't spill my beer.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

13 August 2005

It Must Suck to be You

14 August 2005

"It Must Suck to be You."

Instead of the normal story that I feed you all, I thought I would get a little creative and write my newest entry in poem form.  I hope you like it.

 

 

As the summer sun begins to settle,

a monster awaits in its cage.

With random fury and vigilance,

it awaits with a vengeful rage.

What started as a flicker,

slowly begins to rise,

Within moments consuming everything,

as it bellows to the sky.

The neighbors begin to settle,

and shelf their daily cares.

Their senses are slowly distracted,

By the smoke that fills the air.

Day turns into night,

with the beast slowly showing his face.

The 9-1-1 lines begin to light up,

with a request to save this place.

"I need the fire department."

"We need them on this side of town."

"Tell them to please hurry,"

"His house is burning down."

Within minutes the call is answered,

by men who have little fear.

As they roll in front of the monster,

and finish donning their gear.

Pulling off a blitz line,

preparing to attack.

The fire begins to laugh out loud,

"Had you forgotten where you’re at?"

Ignoring his vicious comments,

the firemen pull their gear.

And open the hydrant and find nothing.

There’s no water pressure over here.

Laughing in a tauntful manor,

the fire continues to eat.

"Without any water from the pipeline,

there is no way I can be beat."

The determination fades out,

and is slowly replaced with fear.

A MABAS tone is needed.

To get the water here.

Calling for the cavalry,

the radio plays its tune.

Dispatching the county fire departments,

Help will be here soon.

"You lack of preplanning,"

"has given me quite a feast."

The mockery comes from the fire,

the uncontrollable beast.

Like the trumpets in the civil war,

the calvary has arrived.

A water shuttle has been created,

Time to take the dive.

"You may have won the battle,

"but in no way have you won the war."

The beast screams out in anger,

as the warriors make it no more.

Walking through the ashes,

the homeowner has arrived home.

Leaving he left his castle,

returning he has none.

A skeleton is all that’s left,

of the place where he hung his hat.

Walking in where his kitchen was,

a memory is all that is left.

Confronted by his neighbors,

with a brighter side to see.

They assured him it can all be rebuilt,

Almost better than could be.

A tear streaked down his cheek.

Reminiscing through the collapse.

"I really don’t think that will happen.

Last week my insurance lapsed."

All the details that I write about,

are events that all are true.

But shaking my head in disbelief,

all I can say is "It must suck to be you>"

So as I leave in closing,

I give you what you've come to known,

My trademark salutation,

Rounding Third and Heading home,

M-

30 July 2005

Dear Friends

30 July 2005

"Dear Friends"

My Dearest Friends and Family-

Every time I sit here, I think to myself "how can I entertain my readers today?"  Bringing you all into my life has become a fulfilling and has brought a completeness with it that has become second to none.

I have met some of the most wonderful people here at my site and these will be the ones that I cherish even when I am long gone from here.  With that, I thank you.

On Thursday, I got a frightening phone call from Beverly telling me that she was having severe pain in the belly.  Normally, I would have not thought as this to be severe.

But Bev was 20 weeks pregnant.....

And we lost the baby.

There is no words to describe the emotions that I had going through my mind and trying to keep it physically and emotionally together for her was, no question, the hardest thing I have ever done.

Bev is doing very well physically and still struggles with the emotional loss from time to time, but I have convinced her that her still being here is all that I am concerned with at this time.

So, for now, I will be stepping back from my entries here and concentrating a little more on my immediate family. 

Don't think of this as a farewell, but a "see ya later" type of thing.  I will resume this journal, in its entirety sometime soon. It could be next week, it could be next month, but for now, I cannot give it a time factor.

Thank you all for coming to this site and I will be back soon....I promise.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-

24 July 2005

EMS FAQ

24 July 2005

"EMS FAQ"

I found this on line and I thought I would share it with you. This is from a paramedic in California...and holds true for all of us.

Q. Do you need to go to school for this or can anyone do it?

A. You have to go to school, it is long and hard and most of the people involved like to abuse the hell out of you while you are doing it.

Q. Hey, Ambulance dudes, how do I get to the Dead concert at the Oakland Coliseum? (or any other request for directions)

A.Hmm, well,uhhh. I'm sorry I don't think you can get there from here.

Q. I'm seeing things, will you take me to the hospital?

A. Sure, if you are seeing rats and bugs we will take you to County Hospital, if you are seeing music and hearing colors we will take you to the Berkeley border and drop you off, you'll fit right in.

Q. Do you like you like your job?

A. Yes, in spite of everything I do like my job.

Q. Do you make a lot of money?

A. Not enough by a long shot. At least not after my State, Local, and Federal Government gets through with my check.

Q. How come the Police come to the call with you?

A. Investigation, crowd control, and to keep me from getting my ass kicked by an irate bystander/family member/patient.

Q. How come all the Firefighters come to the call too? What do they do?

A. Beats the hell out of me, it's not like the patient is on fire or anything!

Q. Have you ever seen a dead body?

A. Yes, in all the various states of decomposition and putrefaction. I've even seen maggots in ones that weren't dead yet.

Q. Do you have anyone (like maybe a patient) in the in the back of your ambulance right now ?(asked while we are sitting in the unit eating lunch in the parking lot of Doug's Bar B Q)

A. No patients. Only the Paramedic Student; don't bug him, he's a stress case and might crack.

Q. What antacid is best for a stomach ache (asked in the parking lot of 7-11 at 03:30 a.m.)?

A. Pink, white or green pay your money and take your chances.

Q. Do you have any spare change?

A. Take a hike, I don't believe there is such a thing as spare change.

Q. Can I have bus fare to get to the hospital?

A. Yes, if it means you won't take an emergency rescue vehicle out of service so you can get to a routine appointment for your toothache and if you promise to quit bugging me.

Q. How long have you been doing this (asked by a recently hired rookie Paramedic)?

A. Let me figure it out. Since you were in second grade, partner.

Q. How come you are smoking that pipe , don't you know that is bad for you?

A. How can pipe tobacco be bad for you? If it was bad for you they couldn't sell it at Walgreens Drug Store. Right?

Q. Can me and my four kids ride in the back with my boyfriend to the hospital?

A. No.

 Q. Can I ride up front on the way to hospital?

A. Maybe, if I like you and think you wont bug my partner in the back.

Q. How comeis painted on your front grill?

A.There is a device on motor vehicles that is known as a rear-view mirror, some people have even been known to use it to see what is behind them when they are driving.

Q. How fast will your ambulance go?

A. I don't pay that close of attention, faster than my employer would be comfortable with, most likely.

Q. Is he going to make it?!! Is he going to make it?!! (asked in reference to a patient who puked after too many 40 ounce bottles of Old English 800 Malt Liquor).

A. Yes, I am sure that in spite of our best efforts , he will survive.

Q. Can I have a band-aid?

A. This is an ambulance, our band-aids are 8 inches x 6 inches. How many do you need?

Q. What happened? (at an minor fender-bender auto accident).

A. Plane crash!

Q. What happened? (outide of a house where a person was having shortness of breath).

A. Plane crash!

Q. What happened? (at a plane crash)

A. Shark attack!

 Q. What does EMT stand for?

A. Every Menial Task, Eggcrate Mattress Technician

Q. What does the EMS on the side of your rig stand for?

A. Earn Money Sleeping, now please let me get back to earning some money, thanks.

Q. Does this tie go with the rest of my suit? (asked by a guy on his way to church).

A. Sure, a red, purple , pink, and black tie always goes with a gray pinstripe suit.

Q. Do you have an extra one of them urinal bottles. I have to piss real bad.

A. No. We don't carry those any more but thank you for sharing.

Q. What is the worst thing you have ever seen?

A. A 12 gauge shotgun blast to the left side of a woman's face that didn't kill her, so she was writhing on the floor and trying to scream through the blood running out of her mouth with a good part ofher face missing. Either that or it was the 6 month old baby who died because his drugged out parents left him on the floor heater grate until he was so cooked that the flesh of his fingers split away from the bones. Now aren't you sorry you asked?

Q. Are you always this much of a smartass? A. No, I am usually much worse, but the medication is helping. Q. Why did you bring the patient here?

A. I guess the sign out front that says "Emergency Department; Physician on duty" fooled me into thinking that this was a hospital that treated patients!

Q. Do you think the patient can be triaged to the lobby?

A. Since they demanded transport for a refill on their prescription I am sure that the lobby is more than an appropriate place for them to go. Unless you can triage them to the parking lot or the nearest bus stop.

Q. How come the patient didn't just call a cab or take the bus?

A. Because the taxi services and the bus lines are smart enough not to take Medi-cal instead of cash payment.

Q. What are the patients bowel sounds? (On a critical 'auto vs. tree' patient).

A. Since we were on the side of the freeway and now are enroute to the hospital the bowel sounds pretty much resemble a diesel engine.

Q. Did you look for ID?

A. Sorry, no. I might find guns, knives razors and crack pipes during the physical exam but I am not going to reach into his pockets looking for ID and find a needle.

Q. What's the patient's name? What's the patient's name?!! (on a cardiac arrest victim).

A. I don't know, I asked him four times after he coded and he wouldn't answer me once!

Q. What are the vitals? (Different Nurse, same code).

A. If we're doing CPR right he should have a pulse rate of 80-100/min, 24 respirations/min, and a blood pressure of maybe 40 systolic.

Q. Can the patient sign the insurance and permission forms? A. Only if they use your pen. Q. (On the radio) Are you sure she's in ventricular tachycardia? The complexes are rapid and wide not narrow, right?

 A. Uh, yeah I'm sure it's V-tach, we covered this rhythm in some detail in Paramedic school. Is this a pop quiz?

Q. Can we clear? We don't do this medical stuff. (Fire Captain).

A. Yes, you can clear. I am sure there is a La Z Boy recliner and a quart of ice cream waiting for you somewhere.

Q. Is he dead? (Different Fire Captian, same department).

A. What tipped you off? The dependant lividity, the rigor mortis, or maybe the ants crawling in and out of his nose?

Q. Why can't you hold over for a few hours this morning? (Managment).

A. Why not? I've only been awake for 26 hours straight and been puked on twice, I think it is safe to say I would rather floss my teeth with barbed wire.

Q. Can you guys hear the siren when it's on while you are in the cab of your ambulance?

A. What?! You will have to speak up I can't hear you from all the years of listening to the siren inside this ambulance.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

M-