23 March 2006

The Need for Speed

23 March 2006

"The Need For Speed"

You know it is pretty sad when you work 48 STRAIGHT hours and you don't go out once on any type of call.

No shortness of breath, no chest pain, not even the occasional FDGB (Fall down, go boom). 


For the general public, this is a great thing. For me, I am like a crazy man in a round room looking for a corner to sit in.

So, I thought that I would dig deep into the archives and pull up an old call for you so that a) you keep coming back, b) I can keep the journal going, and c)...well, you can fill in "c".

06 August 2004

0038 Hours

If there is one thing that Shawn and I have in common, it is our love for video games. More so, action/adventure genre where you get a gun and your objective is to annihilate as many of the enemy as you can.  Our passion for these games grows so much that time seems to slip away from us.

This particular game (I don't know the name of it as this is an archived event) was started somewhere around 10 AM and had carried through to the midnight hours in which we stand now.  Time has no concept when you are out looking for the enemy in order to save the world from evil and thoughtless terrorist.

I remember looking at the screen and seeing Shawn hunched behind a tree with his night vision scope locked for a head shot 300 yards out on the terrorist leader getting ready to redefine the term "air head".  Trying to focus as to where I was going to place my next shot, I was distracted by the red and blue lights that have reflected off of the wall and dispersed as fast as they appeared.  Looking out the window, the city street looked like the beginning of a really long parade as I counted four city cruisers and two highway patrol cars racing for the northern part of the city.

Placing the game on pause, Shawn and I went out to the bay to tune into what we thought was going to be a high speed pursuit that had entered the jurisdiction.  Flipping over to the police ban, I was rather surprised to hear the lack of radio traffic that seemed to be unemmitted from the speaker. Hmmm. Something is brewing.  Both of us wondered what it was. Both of us had immense curiosity. Both of us were seconds away from finding out.

The phone rang.

"92. Route 2 westbound with OSP (Ohio State Patrol) and EPD for a motorcycle vs. car."

This seemed to be the theme of the day.  The weather had finally cleared after like six straight days of rain and it had dried up enough that every owner of a two wheeled monster was out enjoying optimal riding conditions.  We had already been to two other "motorcycle vs. car" type accidents today where someone in a car pulled out without looking and the operator of the bike laid it down so as not to increase their injuries.  No one was seriously hurt and, in fact, no one went to the hospital today.  It was all a case of bump and dump.


Have you ever been in a crowded place where the ambient sounds around you are nothing but a garbled mess and it is hard to differentiate one conversation from another let alone try to pick out specific words. Then all of a sudden, a trigger word is heard and all your attention is focused to the general direction of that word.  From then on, the conversation that has been attended is now filtered from the back round noises and you are attentive to what the rest of the sentence or phrase carries out to play.

Hearing the words "motorcycle" "car" and "Route 2" (which by the way is a high speed interstate that runs from Boston to Seattle {also called Route 90}).  Given the current time of night, and the fact that a neighboring city had a huge bike show where over 9,000 riders show up, eat, drink, and be merry, it was pretty safe to say that this is going to be a little more than a sign-off.

Getting into the truck, It didn't take long for Shawn to catch up to the entourage of emergency vehicles that had gotten somewhat of a head start.  Dodging the heavier than usual traffic leading up to the highway, it didn't take long to get to where we were going.

Judging by the traffic that had continued eastbound, it almost looked like out call was going to be a wild goose chase (what is a wild goose chase by the way? Is there an actual event?).  Hopping on the ramp, we were met by a streaming row of headlights that were shining in our eyes from the opposing westbound traffic as they came to a crawl moving up to the site of the incident.

Due to where the on ramp actually met the highway, our position was off by about 500 feet requiring us to drive a half mile to the nearest turn around before we could proceed back in the westbound position. 

Turning around proved to be a chore as the traffic at this point came to a standstill. Weaving and dodging we came up the half mile to the point of impact where the police had blocked both lanes of traffic closing the highway down for the commuters that were attempting to go to the west.  In front of is was a semi tractor-trailer who, uninvolved in the incident, stopped to block the area that the patient was located at.

Shawn pulled around in front angling the squad to provide light and protection for us to work on the rider who was ejected from his vehicle.

Getting out of the truck, I took a step closer to assess the situation stopping in my tracks at the realization of the accident.

"What do we need?" Shawn yelled over racing in high gear with his game face on and ready to jump into the scene.

Looking down, I was at a point without words requesting the only object in our truck that would make a difference at this point.

"A Blanket" I told him as he joined me while I stood solace and somber.

He was dead.  Not borderline, do we work him and let the hospital call him dead, but dead dead.

His body laid mangled on the asphalt, his legs and waist almost torn completely off and laid to rest above his head. His throat impacted so much force that it was ripped clean from his neck and remained open.  Not wearing a helmet, his head had an open skull fracture and parts of his brains fell scattered..for over 500 feet down the highway.

He never stood a chance. There was nothing that we could do.

Emminating over him was an increasingly strong smell of alcohol that, with the undigested stomach content that had became exposed when his intestines were ripped open, created a stale yet nauseating smell even in the open and elevated air where the incident took place.  This turn of events proved unfortunate. The way the accident happened only added more frustration to the young life that had been trumped.

Our victim seemed to have a little too much to drink and was racing home on his motorcycle leaving the bike night just 10 minutes prior.  Unhelmetted, he decided to show an exhibition of speed maxing out at around 90 MPH according to witness statements.  Seeing he was fastly approaching a slower moving semi, he decided to dart into the faster lane to go around...not seeing that there was a car there doing the proper speed limit.  In the car, a group of three kids, teenagers,who were on their way home from an amusement park where they spent the day among other friends squeezing in the last few days of summer before school began once again.  The bike whipped around the truck realizing too late that the car was there and not going nearly as fast as the motorcycle that was rapidly approaching it.  The victim on the bike, then hit the car at over 90 MPH launching him over the handlebars of the bike and smashing his head into the rear window of the car. Breaking the tempered glass, the victim of the bike, entered the car up to his shoulders only to be sucked back out by the rest of his body dragging along side the car. Ejected from the vehicle, he fell to the ground rolling into the slower of the two lanes, where the semi that once was his obstacle now became his projectile. Trying to brake at 60 MPH, the semi driver inevitably ran over the victim with all 18 tires.  To make matters worse, behind the semi was a tow truck who had no idea as to what was going on...until the body, too, had entered under his vehicle.

The victim was 33. He had a little boy and was set to be married in a month. He had a good job, a lot of friends and, lived in a good neighborhood.  Other than a couple of traffic tickets, he had no qualms with the law and be, what you would call, an outstanding citizen.  He wore no helmet, however in this case, it would not have been a factor, and he was inebriated. 

The kids in the car were 19, 18, and 17.  The 17 year old was a girl who sat in the back listening to a CD player when all of this happened. She was shaken up quite a bit and is posed to be scarred for life at the sudden change in events that happened on this lone strip of highway.

All this...because he had one too many to drink.

I know that there are several lessons here that I could focus on and try to make a point to you all who come and read this, but do I really need to?

Life occurrences like this have a rippling effect not only affecting the people that it happens to, but to the ones who are close and involved. As tragic as this was, it could have been avoided by using some common sense...and swallowing some pride to call for a ride home.

Hindsight is a wonderful gift, but it is not a luxury that is among us.

Be safe.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,

16 March 2006

The Lighter Side of EMS

16 March 2006

"The Lighter Side of EMS"

Hey all.  Happy St. Patty's Day.

Seeing my wife and I will be three sheets to the wind when the celebration of St. Patrick finally does arrive, I thought I would throw in some humor until I have something tangible to write about.

I hope you like it...because it may be true.

                   McCann's "Physicians on scene "  Rules

1. Assume all physicians on scene are proctologists until proven otherwise.

2. In light of rule No.1, never, ever turn your back on a physician on a scene.

3. Approximately 98% of physicians volunteering assistance are intoxicated, don't really want to volunteer in the first place, but are afraid of looking bad in front of their spouses and friends, who naturally expect them to offer assistance.

4. In light of rule No.3, invite them to help in some harmless but important-seeming activity. Run an ECG strip and ask them to " interpret " it, or hand them a spare stethoscope and ask them to " assess breath sounds ". Give them a face-saving way out.

5. If the physician is really starting to annoy you or  interferes with treatment protocols, advise him/her that they must accompany  the patient to the receiving hospital, in the ambulance. Allow them to advise  their family and friends to which hospital the ambulance is going to.  Then  enroute (code 3 ) (10-30) change your destination.


                              Memo to all EMS personnel

To:            All EMS Personnel From: Chief of Operations
Subject:    Proper Narrative Descriptions

It has come to our attention from several emergency rooms that many EMS narratives have taken a decidedly creative direction lately. Effectiveimmediately, all members are to refrain from using slang and abbreviations to describe patients, such as the following.

  1. Cardiac patients should not be referred to as suffering from MUH (messed up heart), PBS (pretty bad shape), PCL (pre-code looking) or HIBGIA (had it before, got it again).
  2. Stroke patients are NOT "Charlie Carrots." Nor are rescuers to use CCFCCP(Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs) to describe their mental state.
  3. Trauma patients are not CATS (cut all to shit), FDGB (fall down, go boom), TBC (total body crunch) or "hamburger helper." Similarly, descriptions of a car crash do not have to include phrases like "negative vehicle to vehicle interface" or "terminal deceleration syndrome."
  4. HAZMAT teams are highly trained professionals, not "glow worms."
  5. Persons with altered mental states as a result of drug use are not considered "pharmaceutically gifted."
  6. Gunshot wounds to the head are not "trans-occipital implants."
  7. The homeless are not "urban outdoorsmen," nor is endotracheal intubation referred to as a "PVC Challenge."
  8. And finally, do not refer to recently deceased persons as being "paws up," ART (assuming room temperature), CC (Cancel Christmas), CTD (circling the drain), DRT (dead right there) or NLPR (no long playing records).

Fun With Used Airways

  • Make long slender ice cubes for those hot summer nights.
  • Wear one each of 5 different sizes on the fingers of both hands and pretend to be Freddy Krueger next Halloween.
  • You've heard of tin can phones...how about orapharngeal phones?
  • Tie or otherwise bind 5 together, drill holes through one side only and pretend to be the Pied Piper.
  • On your next suicide call, glue 2 to the victim's head to resemble horns...Tell the coroner the devil made him do it!
  • Conversational swizzle sticks!
  • Sell them as gag reflex testers.
  • They make really neat bubble blowers...Ask the kids!
  • Give one to a hard of hearing patient and tell them it's a new kind of hearing aid.
  • One Word...Teethers!

Talk to you all soon.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


08 March 2006

Another Bar on the Shoulderboard

09 March 2006

"Another Bar on the Shoulderboard"


I know. That is what you all are asking yourselves right now.  "What is that supposed to mean?" Another question that poses merit.

Well, it is actually quite simple.

In the US Navy, rank is displaced by a series of gold stripes that are displayed on an officer's shoulder signifying him or her as to their level of rank. 

Well, I have transferred the levels of rank into those positions in EMS and medicine.

For the sake of argument, I will demonstrate with some visual aid.

  This is an Ensign.  We will call them EMT- Basics

 This is a Lieutenant Junior Grade. These are EMT- Intermediate 85's.

  This is a Lieutenant. These are your EMT- Intermediate 99's

 This is a Commander. We will call these your Paramedics.

Now, the next group can be inter-mixed with one another so bear with me.

 This is a Captain. These are your supervisors, instructors, and your senior medics.

 This is a Rear Admiral Lower Half.  I want to say that these will go to your Nurses both land and air based.

 This is a Rear Admiral Upper Half.  These are your PA's (physician's assistants) and your Nurse Practinioners.

 This is a Vice Admiral. These I would call your Emergency Room doctors.

 And Finally, there belong to a Fleet Admiral.  I would say these are your surgeons and your specialty Docs such as neurosurgeons, cardioligist, and so forth.

Okay, so I like the navy. No, I have never served but I have been fasinated with them since my late teens.

Today, I got moved up to Captain as I found out that I passed my EMS Instructor's course and have been offically licensed by the State of Ohio. 

This is a goal that I hoped to achieve in my life and I am fortunate to do so.  After all, I can't run truck forever.

Where this takes me, I don't know. It just opens up some future possibilities for me and, let's face it, I am not getting any younger.

I do love running truck and I will do so as long as my body will let me.  But it is kinda fun too, to let some of what you learned go out to those who arebeing initiated into the brotherhood.

Well, more to come as it is back to work tomorrow.

I hope you all have a great weekend and I will see you all soon.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,



06 March 2006


06 March 2005



I am still here.


I have not posted for a while.

There really has just not been a lot going on to write about.  I worked a 48 hour shift over the weekend and had ONE stinking call.  Now, I know some are saying, love it while you can, but there is only so much you can watch on TV and so much sleeping you can do. Sigh.

I scrubbed the floor of the squad BY HAND seeing how bored I was. Cleaning the entire cab area of the truck too, I found that I only passed an hours time away from the long 48 that I had. Sigh.

I have terminated AOL as the price was getting a little out of control for me but can still post through the power of the internet so I will be posting more soon. Perhaps archiving some calls from the past. But until now, I will sit and slumber. Sigh

Hope to see you all soon,

Rounding Third and Heading Home,