27 December 2007

2007: A Year in Review

27 December 2007

"2007: A Year in Review"

As we sit at the edge of our seats and begin the countdown to the beginning of 2008, I am sitting back in my chair, feeling the warmth of the heater, sipping my tasty adult beverage, and watching the winter roll in through my office window as I remininsce as to the rather spectacular year that I had in 2007 both on and off station.  So, for this, I am not going to blog a long and meaningless banter that I have sometimes have come to deal to you few faithful that are still out there.  Instead, I am going to give thanks. Thanks and appreciation to those whom made my year just that much better.  So if you all would indulge me for just a few, I would be forever in your debt.

First and foremost, I want to thank my wife Beverly.  Bev, you have really been through hell and high water with me since we have met and no matter what had been posted in front of us, you never swayed in the storm.  Getting promoted this year, my job has demanded more of me than I could give it at times, but your understanding that I am trying to build something great and that Rome wasn't built in a day is a true testament to your undying devotion to the sacrement that bestows upon us.  I can't take back all those nights that you slept alone while I was out "saving the world" as you like to call it, but I want you to know that I was never far, and I thank God for that. So, my dear, thank you for all your support and grace. I will never let that fade in my mind, no matter what drugs they give me when I am older.

Next, I want to thank my best buddy Bill.   I know that this year you have gone through Hell and back...then back to Hell...then back again.  Even though your journey hasn't taken down the path that you thought, you found a way to keep a smile on your face, your chin in the air, and backed me up on everything that I did both professionally and personally.  Coming to work with me as I began my tenure as the supervisor was a blessing that I still can't begin to express to you. Your ability to give 110% in every little detail that you do proves to me that I made the utmost correct choice in designating you my best bud.  We met in a car upside down, we leave this year riding together off into the sunset.  Thanks, Bill...I love ya man.

Jane.  You took a big risk hiring me to operate day to day operations and everyday I strive to improve the quality of life not only for my patients, but for your company.  I can't promise you instant results, but I can promise you all my blood, sweat, and tears and the promise that I will do everything I can with all my breath, to make sure that our company is listed in the catagory of elite.  Thank you for your support...and taking a huge gamble on an aging re-tread.

To all my EMT's and Paramedic that work under me.  You really are the best of the best in my eyes.  Your perseverence on station and out in the field shows that we aren't a small rural company, but a place where the best of the best come to work.  I can't tell you how proud of you that I am of each and everyone of you as this transition went on when I took the helm.  Your support and open-mindedness has shown your integrity and genuality as civil servants, and as human beings.

I want to thank YOU, my readers whom even though I dropped off the face of the Earth at times, you still checked in with me to see how I was and if there was anything new.  I started this blog in 2004 as a place to vent about the world and give you a little ride-a-long as to the world of Emergency Medicine in the field.  Together, we have witnessed new life, held the hand of those who had lost their life, socially equated ourselves as to understand the dumb and misfortunate, but most of all, to make a difference to that one person who, in their time of crisis, called upon us to help save them and create peace for their life's continuing journey.  So, what I do propose to you for 2008 is an entry every week where we have some more fun, laugh a little out loud, and comfort each other when the time is low.  Together, we can all make a difference...so let's go out there and touch those who need it...all of us.

To my brother, Mark. You may not know why you are there, but your presence is the same as it would be here.  A feeling of relief and hope that tomorrow will bring a new day...even though you don't know the people you serve.  I admire for the fact that you DID get your life together against immense odds...I miss you and love you very much...and I ask is that you come home safely.

And finally, I have one last thanks to give.  Being last, you certainly aren't least...

Danielle, my friend for always. Sorry we didn't get back together for almost two decades, but I got lost somewhere along the way and when I DID find my wayout, life put up a roadblock.  I think that is why there is GPS for the cars now.  Anyways, despite you not being close physically, your spirit had always lingered keeping alive the purest of friendships without boundries, definitions, or limitations.  Even in absence, you had been a fixture of my thoughts and affected the way that I lived my life.  Now, 15 years later, you return to pick up where you left off.  The one that I chat with for countless hours about absolutely nothing, my friend who reassured me that life wasn't all that bad even though it felt like they were tossing the dirt on your coffin.  Your vibrance and positive outlook has fueled my motivation and my thrive as to who I am, whom I become, and who I will be...and I know...this is only the beginning. Thank you.

I will see you all next week, as planned and promised.

Have a safe and glorious New Year.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


25 December 2007

Back By Popular Demand

25 December 2007

"Back By Popular Demand"

Merry Christmas to you all.

I have received quite a few emails requesting that I post my "12 Days of Christmas" that I created back in 2004.  It seems to be a popular favorite this time of year so I thought, "what the heck...let's put it up there again."


So for all of you who asked for this...here it is....

"The 12 Days of Christmas - EMS Style"

On the First day of Christmas, my Dispatcher gave to me...Grandma who fell and hurt her knee...

On the Second Day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me...2 MG of Narcan for the out of work person who wants to end it all by taking her Husband's pain pills and won't tell me what she took and is feeling suicidal....and grandma who fell and hurt her knee.

On the Third day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me....Three stacked shocks for the 88 year old man who instead of paying the neighbor kid 5 bucks to shovel his driveway, decided to do it himself and have the big one in the driveway...2 Mg of Narcan for the psycho chick trying to off herself...and grandma who fell and hurt her knee..

On the Fourth day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me....4 AM in the morning I have to go to the nursing home because someone has had the flu for like 16 years and all of a sudden needs to go to the hospital....NOW,...Three Stacked shocks for the full arrested popsicle, 2 MG of Narcan for Morphine eating Momma..and Grandma who fell and hurt her knee....

On the Fifth day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me...Five minutes to eat.....4 AM shuttle call, Three stacked shocks, 2 MG of Narcan, and Grandma who fell and hurt her knee....

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me....Six run reports behind because the computer guy can't fix the system..Five Minutes to eat!!!!!!!!!!  4 AM Shuttle, 3 zaps to the chest, gonna have a stomach pumped, and grandma who fell and hurt her knee...

On the Seventh day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me...Seven car pile up while everyone was trying to beat the light so they can get into Wal Mart the day after Thanksgiving thinking there is only 4 dancing Elmo Dolls...six reports behind...Five minutes to eat.......4AM is way to early, 3 stacked shocks, 2 of Narcan Pushed, and grandma who fell and hurt her knee....

On the Eighth day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me....Eight flights of steps to walk up to get the 400 pound person who is having shortness of breath since LAST Christmas and can't walk...oh, and of course, the elevator doesn't work...7 cars a crunching, six reports a writing, Five minutes to eat. 4 AM shuttle, CPR in progress, 2 MG of Narcan, and grandma who fell and hurt her knee...

On the ninth day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me Nine blankets needed to cover up grandpa because he is freezing and we aren't even out of the house yet but thinks he will get pneumonia and die for all of the 10 seconds we are outside...Eight flights of stairs, should have stayed home and bought off of Ebay, six reporst I'm writing...Five minutes to eat.....What the Hell time is it, should have paid the kid, 2MG of Narcan, and grandma who fell and hurt her knee.

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me...Ten Minutes till I can get a bed in the ER because the nurses are busy figuring out who is going to lunch next....Nine blankets needed, Hope fire department is coming, 7 cars a crunching, six reports I need to write, Five minutes to eat...Can't you wait till morning, sick a fork in him, he's done, Man I hope she shuts up..and grandma who fell and hurt her knee.

On the Eleventh day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me....Eleven times I tried to get the heat to work in the back of the truck and maintainence won't take the truck in...ten minutes waiting, Nine blankets needed, eight flights of steps to climb, Hope you have Progressive, Give me a new ink pen...Five minutes to eat....4 AM is early, 3 Leads all show he's dead, 2 MG won't touoch her..and grandma who fell and hurt her knee...

On the Twelth day of Christmas, my dispatcher gave to me..a 12 Gague IV needle that I put into the drunk 19 year old who tried to swing at me...it is really freezing, Hope you choke on your sandwich, 9 blankets for grandpa, How did you get up here in the first place, man your husband is gonna be pissed, six reports STILL down...five minutes to eat...Better than taking them back, Hope I recorded the code, Man, just pass out already...and grandma who fell and hit her knee...

Merry Christmas,

Rounding Third and heading home,


28 November 2007

A Message From My Brother

28 November 2007

" A Message From my Brother"

For those of you who know me, you know that I have a brother currently serving in Iraq.  He, too, is a medic and he, too, misses his family. 

He just wrote something the other night that I thought I would share with you all.  The holidays are coming so I hope that you keep this in mind when you are out and about.

And Mark...we are still all thinking of you.

"We all know what we see on the television late at night. A Nation at war with bullets that light up the night and explosions that almost seem to magnificent to be real.  Of course there's always going to be that 35 year old man who still pretends to be a soldier and tells all his buddies he was going to join and become a Ranger or Special Forces, but decided for what ever reason not to and there will always be those who say that they've done there part by sending a package or mailing a letter, but always seem to drop off shortly after. We who walk here know what we see.  Maybe not bullets flying or people dying, but still the disturbing sight will still stick with us forever.  The ruff necks wish for a fight and to draw there weapons to inflict pain and death....me, i just wish for a day without death.  I've done my part and mine wasn't to kill or strike fear into anyones hearts, but to save lives no matter who they are iraqi, american, or any enemy.  When we all go home please remember one thing and one thing only. You were not here and did not face what we faced.  You were not a ranger or green beret...or a soldier for that matter.  Please just remember that most of us were just kids trying to serve our country when no one else would.  We've given up so much so people could pretend to be something they are not in the privacy of there own homes and talk how they want.  So when you see a soldier don't ask them how many people they've killed or what they blew up, but just tell them thanks and leave it at that.  A simple thank you won't stop the nightmares or the PTSD, but it will let them know that they were not forgotten."

God Speed little brother.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


14 November 2007

Top Ten Stupidest Calls

14 November 2007

"Top Ten Stupidest Calls"

A local news report out here had me thinking.  Are some people really that stupid when it comes to calling for the rescue squad?   I mean, c'mon, I know that to THEM it may seem like an emergency and all, but...well, I am gonna let YOU decide.

10.  A female had called the rescue squad because she "had a splinter in her finger and she has tried to spend the last two hours trying to get it out."  

Are you Fucking KIDDING ME?!?!?!

Unless the splinter is the size of a phone pole (in that case if she can't get it out, then she needs to get the crap beat out of her), you are gonna have me come to your house, you are gonna make me wheel you out on the cot, and take you to the emergency room so that some doctor can tell you what an idiot you are!!!  Save yourself the trouble, I will tell you that for a fraction of the cost.  I will still take you to the hospital..I am sure the nurses need a laugh.

9.  A gentleman called stating "I have hemroids and they really hurt."

Well, no shit Sherlock (no pun intended).

And what is it that you really want ME to do about it?  First of all, I don't want your stinky ass on my cot just in case one of your ass asteroids decide to burst. Clean up would involve some HAZ MAT  team to come and declare a federal emergency.  Also, there is this thing called Preparation H.  Take a guess as to what the "H" stands for.  If you have some, can you bring it with you? I want to rub it on you and see if you will go away.

8.  "My son just threw up."

Of course he did.....ONE TIME!!!!!

What he DIDN'T tell you is that your precious little angel wolfed down his bagel in two bites and upset his stomach as he tried to beat the land speed record posted by Guiness for "fastest digestion from tounge to toilet".  Way to go Johnny, your mom should be proud.

7. A man called in the middle of the night because he "couldn't sleep."

Tip #1. Stay OFF the crack, dipshit.

Tip #2. If you aren't on crack, disregard number 1...dipshit.

So, what is it that you want ME to do for you?  Let me put you in my truck and take you to the hospital with all the lights and sirens going.  Apparently, you can't make it to Walgreens (which are everywhere and open 24 hours....in a row) to get something tohelp you sleep.  How about I knock you in the head with my oxygen bottle? You will be rendered unconscious, and I will feel better...it's a win-win.

6. (By the way...these are all REAL calls)

"I am having a panic attack (okay,  you really WILL need an ambulance) and I am out of medicine so I need a ride to the hospital to get another script).

You should have stopped while you were ahead genius.  EMT does not stand for early morning taxi.  Let me get up and cater to your lazy ass because you ran out of medicine and want some more.  You think you are panicing now? Wait till you get the bill. Oh yeah, while your there..see if you can get a prescription for BUY A CLUE!!!

5. A female called because "I have a sore throat".

Obviously it wasn't too sore because you called 9-1-1 for an ambulance.  So, out of bed once again to come and Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave the day!!!!!

Don't even begin to ask for something for the pain, because all I am going to do is get the biggest needle I have and inject you with a high dose of SHUT THE FUCK UP...

4. Another female called......because "I have a wax build up in my ear."

I can't even write here.....just get in and shut up!!!!!

3.  A guy called because "I toked on some bad weed".

I wish you could see the smile on my face here.  First of all, let's call a public service entity because you did something illegal and now you want me to rectify it.  Next, you want to go to the hospital so that you can get "treated".  Finally, I am sure y ou will "never do that again."

Here is my take on that.  You are a dumb ass that should go to jail on the charge of larceny.  You are stealing my oxygen just being alive.  Second of all, you don't need a squad, you need a bag of Doritos and a Pepsi, but hey, I haven't used a 12 gauge needle in a while, and finally....well, you know I will see you next week after you snort cocaine for the first time.

2. A guy cut his index finger in the fashion of a papercut, calls the ambulance to take him to the hospital because he thinks "it could potentially be life threatening". 

TO WHO?????

To the nurse who has to scrub the 8 years of dirt off your hand just to see where it may have cut at?  Or to me, who has to whip in and out of traffic to get to you while some guy cross town is having a massive heart attack and I got pulled away because you think you could "die" from your scratch.  God, you make me want to puke.

The follow up to him...he took the bus home.

1.  A female who was having some sort of pain was in the waiting room and had been in there for several hours (Major city so you know it is gonna be a while).  I think the recorded time was 10 hours in the ER.  So, little miss can't be wrong decides "I will beat the system."  Leaves AMA and goes home...to call the ambulance....who ends up taking her BACK from where she just left......

...and put her right back in the waiting room....where she waited...for 6 more hours....

Nice Try!!!

I gotta run...I think someone who was dancing in circles is sdizzy...and needs the squad.


Rounding Third and Heading Home,


15 August 2007

Dear Citizens

15 August 2007

"Dear Citizens"

I had a buddy of mine send me this letter via Myspace and I found it strong enough to post...so here it is.

Dear citizens of (and visitors to) Multnomah County,

By and large, you're a good bunch. I enjoy providing you with the help you need when you call 911. You make my workdays (and nights) interesting. However, from time to time, I notice a few small issues -- perhaps we can call them gaps in your knowledge? -- that make my job a little bit more frustrating. Herein I offer a few simple pieces of advice to help make everyone's emergency experience more satisfying.

1. When I ask you questions, please strive to tell me the full and complete truth. There's no badge or gun on me. I'm not going to get you in trouble for being high on drugs, but I really would like to know what exactly you did. You're not fooling anyone. Likewise, I don't care who you were having sex with, where, with what exciting accessories, and what your respective spouses will think, but if it's contributed to your condition you should probably bring it up.

2. I regret to inform you life is not like TV. We do not run from the ambulance to the patient, we do not drive everyone to the hospital with lights and sirens, and most dead people stay dead despite our best efforts. On the other hand, we are not just a fancy taxi ride. I can start an IV (in your arm or leg or neck), put a breathing tube down your throat, do an EKG to see if you're having a heart attack, shock your heart if it's in a bad rhythm, and give about thirty different drugs for different medical conditions. I can do more in the short term than most nurses. I had to go to school for years. Respect me and I'll respect you.

3. In a related vein, if you could keep the drama to a bare minimum when your parent/sibling/spouse/friend/neighbor/coworker is hurt or sick, it will help everyone immensely. I understand that the situation is upsetting, and I respect your feelings, but the best thing you can do for the patient, me, and even yourself is try to remain as calm as possible. Shouting at me to do something or hurry up will not help. Yelling in general is not, in fact, helpful. Trying to keep out of our way, answering the questions we ask in a succinct and informative manner, and keeping your dramatic tendencies restrained are the absolute best thing you can do.

4. However, if it is your young child who is badly hurt or critically ill, you are allowed all the drama you want.

5. If I am trying to help you and this makes you upset for some reason, please do not try and hit me. I may not be as big and beefy as some of my coworkers. I make up for it in dirty tricks. If you do decide you'd like to tussle, I'd like to point out that you get ONE swing and it is never free. I have giant zip-ties, sedatives, and a radio that can call a whole lot of cops, who aren't nearly as nice as me.

6. If you are driving and happen to see my big vehicle with all the blinkies and woo-woos, please get the hell out of the way. Specifically, pull ALL THE WAY to the right of the street and STOP YOUR CAR. You don't know where I'm going and when I'll need to turn. Unless you're driving a Hummer I've probably got more weight than you, and if you do something stupid that I can't avoid and we stack it up, things won't come out well for you. Also I'll lose my job.

7. Finally, exercise a modicum of common sense about when to call 911.

Examples of when 911 is IS appropriate: Traffic accidents with injuries. Chest pain. Trouble breathing. Lack of breathing. Serious bleeding. Unconsciousness. Seizures. Strokes.

Examples of when 911 may NOT be appropriate: Blisters. Small cuts. Dissatisfaction with your fast food order. Needing a prescription refill. Colds. Minor problem (sore leg, stomachache) which has been going on for three days.

Bearing all that in mind, it's a pleasure to serve you, and hopefully I won't be showing up at your doorstep, street corner, or car door anytime soon.

One of Your Many Hardworking (If Underpaid) County Paramedics.

"Riviting..."      -Life as a Paramedic

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


11 August 2007

So you want to be an EMT Part II

11 Aug 2007

"So You Want To Be An EMT Part II"

When we last left our super heroes....

You know, to me, there are different levels of stupidity that one strives to reach.

There are those who are so arrogant and self centered, that their actual reality gets skewed and they think that their own perfection should be listed as one of the ten commandments.  Here is a commandment for you:  Thou shall get a friggin' clue.  So you went to an ivy league school. So you make 6 or seven figures a year. So your car cost more than I will make in 10 years. At least I am not gallivanting around town with my nose so high, I can smell what they are serving for dinner on the space shuttle.  You all think you brought sexy back. Well Sexy is back..and they have a receipt. They feel they were cheated.

Next, there are those who are stupid by nature. These people can't help themselves and a great deal of empathy and remorse goes out to them.  No, I am not talking about those who are mentally retarted Because the mentally retarded will learn from their mistakes.  They aren't stupid, they are just slow.  I am talking about the ones who will, for instance, date someone who will physically and mentally demean them knowing full well that they are getting used, yet will stay with this person because they have absolutely NO self confidence and they think that this person is the one.  Hello!!!!  Wake the fuck up and smell the military style black coffee.  If your ass hurts when you sit, it is because reality just placed its big ole boot print half way up your rectum.  If you chose to go back and endure most pain, don't tell me it hurts when I hit you upside the head as hard as I can and tell you "dumbass, I told you so."  Blue zone parking is over there.

But, the ones who take the cake, are those who are stupid for absolutely no reason.  Maybe there is a faulty valve in the world's oxygen dispenser and they are suffering from a little bit of anoxia.  Or maybe, they have to make an appointment with their own brain to have a complete thought.  Nevertheless, these are the ones that you need to watch out for. These are the ones that you end up doing double takes on. These are the ones that keep me employed.

Case in point.  Remember that "crunch" that I mentioned at the end of the last entry.  For those of you who have deducted that a traffic accident had just happened, give yourself five points. For those of you who guessed that the segway in has to deal with someone of a lesser mental capacity for common sense, chalk up another twenty points.  Now, here is where we incorporate the honor system.  I will tell you what happened next, if you guessed it, give yourself the points, if you didn't, well don't feel too bad, I wouldn't have gotten it either.

1215 Hours

Now, I am quite familiar with snap, crackle, and pop.  (Yeah...just add milk).

But last time I checked, Crunch wasn't part of their forte. Maybe he was the straight brother that is in prison or something like that.

Looking up, I see the rest of flying metal and what seems to be the remains of a minivan.

 (Yes, I know what they look like, just stick with me here.)

The front end was somewhere in the trees, the bumper was just beyond the driver's door laying in the middle of the road, and the occupants that sat in their seats seemed to be unharmed trying to gather their thoughts.

Normally, this is where I would insert compassion and my aggressiveness to take control of the situation. But, I didn't. Nope, nothing from me. No hurrying to get the jump bag, no screaming over the radio to get the fire department, no sprinting across the wreckage to determine the severity of injury.  Close your mouths, I haven't lost my compassion, nor have I lost my determination and skill.  What I have failed to revive is my tolerance to stupidity and sheer ignorance.  Fine, raise your hand if you think I am being too hard on these patients.  Now let me tell you why I am being a little salty with them.

The mini-van in question hit a semi truck....

A Bright Green Semi Truck...

That was Parked.....

Okay, who guessed this?  For all of you who raised your hands....You are all a bunch of liars....but give yourself the points anyway.

Looking at Bill, I pointed to the light bar and started to stroll over to the spill of stupidity watching where I stepped. I didn't want to get any moron fluid all over my polished boots.  Coming up to the passenger side, I began to assess for damages and injuries. Inside, there was a mother and her young daughter, both wearing their seat belts, both crying, both wondering what happened.

"Ma'am, are you okay?" I asked with a sarcastic undertone.

"I think I am, I don't know" she said gulping air in between tears as if someone had just sucker punched her in the gut.

"Are you sure, because you just drove into a parked truck!" I matter-of-factly told her while pointing to the obvious.

"What? I didn't see the truck there?" She told me trying to rationallizing her lack of brain function.

I know how this can go though. You are just driving along the back country roads, listening to the music way too loud, feeling the breeze coming through your windows,  Sunglasses reflecting the harmful UV rays that cause havoc to your retina, just loving life in all its colors and senses when, out of no where, a BIG GREEN NEON SEMI TRUCK pops out of the woods and parks its trailer right in front of you smack dab in the middle of the road causing you to break from your 15 MPH speed and slam full force (at around 10 MPH now) face first into the bumper bending the polished chrome slightly while your vehicle is now a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.  God damn Peterbuilts.

Surveying the scene and chatting it up with the police chief who was the officer on scene, Bill, Danielle, and I gathered our necesary information, asked if anyone wanted a trip to the hospital knowing everyone involved would decline, and headed back to the station so that we could grill our lunch in peace and quiet away from those who have their IQ under the mental Mendoza Line (baseball reference...look it up).

Or so we thought.....

Apparently, in the country, when one goes stupid, it carries with the breeze and begins to contaminate the general population by some osmosis process that absorbs into the skin and goes directly to the central nervous system causing all those idiots to seizure out into the streets and flood the realm of all sanity with its overwhemingly urge to infect others.

Another, case in point...

There is nothing more that I love about cooking than getting to cook out on the grill with my friends despite the simple fact that I am at work. The smell of the hickory imminating through the air replenshes my proverbial dismal mood from the close contact of those who are less fortunate in the department of brain cells.  Bill had the grill lit in very little time as Danielle prepared the burgers that I had just purchased so that we can enjoy a fine prepared meal within the confines of our close living quarters. 

Do you smell it???

No, not the food.

I see idiot on radar....

 (Con..Sonar...unidentified stupidity bearing 180, heading toward us at 2 knots)

Before I could close the garage door and put up the closed sign, Idiot number two comes up to the bay door pulling up his sleeve to display is self made tattoo with the simple phrase "I Love Sharon".  Sit down, here comes the stupidity.

"Hey, is there any way to get this off my arm?" He asked in a serious tone.

Now, Have you ever seen "The Mind of Mencia"?  It stars Carlos Mencia and he is a comic who tells it like it is. The funniest shit ever. Anyway, he does a bit as an Indian shop owner where he ends up telling different breeds of people as to what he thinks.

 (This is the best I could do).

Looking at Dr. Einstein, I couldn't help but to take this fastball and hit it out of the park.

"So...um...where is Sharon?" I asked coyly watching Danielle in my peripheral vision disappear into the crew room and spit up her Lipton Iced Tea, Lemon, in the glass bottle all over the dining table.

With a stupid (that's the theme here) smile on his face, he replied "well...."

"Well, Alex, I'll take 'stupid things I have done that will never come off my body' for $200."  I chimed.

Bill thought it was funny, the moron didn't get it.

"It is there forever, that isn't coming off." Bill told him slowly so that he would understand.

"Never?!?!?" Captain Obvious asked.

"Well,no. There IS three things you can do.."I told him giving false hope.

As he looked intently for the answers, I began to label off  some ideas.

"First, you could start wearing long sleeves and if you have sex with a different girl, just tell her that you have a rare skin disease and have to keep your shirt on. Sure she won't have sex with you then but in the end, you will be doing all of us a great service."

"Second, you could just cut off your arm. If you want, I can call the fire department, they have just the tool."

"Finally, you can go and kiss Sharon's ass and hope that she will take you back. Look on the bright side, you didn't find a girl named Jordananna. That would have REALLY sucked."

Deflating his balloon of hope, he turned and walked away dejected...and still with Sharon's affection pasted on his arm...for life.

God, I love my job!!!

We did end up going on a call later that day which is a whole story in itself, but noting that I felt noteworthy of blogging about. 

To move ahead a little, Danielle DID come back to ride again, and I don't think she could have picked a better day. She got the expirience of a lifetime.

You want to know what happened???

Well, keep anticipating...I will tell you soon.

School starts in January to become an EMT.

See ya there...

Rounding Third and Heading Home,



12 July 2007

So, you wanna be an EMT

12 July 2007

"So, You Want to be an EMT"

Remember as a kid hearing the siren somewhere close to where you were and getting on your bike with your best friends following the ambulance down the street to see who it was that needed help.

The red and white lights of the squad seemed to have that mesmerizing spell that drew you close like a mosquito to a bug zapper.

   (OOOooo...that is gonna leave a mark).

Then, there they were. The EMTs who seemed to emerge out of the truck in one of those movie slow motion sequences, walking toward the house where their services have been requested.  You stand on the tree lawn with all the other nosy neighbors standing on your tip toes trying to get a peek inside the house wondering what is actualling going on and if everyone is okay.  

You watch the patient coming out on the cot and in all their glory, the paramedics load him or her up and drive away similar to a cowboy riding into the sunset     (see the difference)

Oh, don't deny it...we all have done it.  Some of us grew out of it....

Now, add a beautiful, but hot summer day, your two best friends, and a fast vehicle, and you know what you get???


No, dumbass......(those gosh darn Dukes)




(Remember the "BIG DOG story...)

And introducing to the show.......Danielle

 (Say Hi, Danielle...)


(Oh, don't forget the vehicle........)

Now, for those of you who don't know the supporting cast, I will give you a brief rund down.

Bill is a professional firefighter for the city that I used to work in. I met Bill in a car that was upside down in the pouring rain around zero dark thirty in the morning while we were trying to get someone who what one too many Pabst Blue Ribbon and hyrdoplaned off the road.  Bill and I have become the best of friends and now he has come to work for me a few days a month.  Working with Bill is like being on vacation with your bestest buddy...and getting paid for it.  Life is good.

Throw Danielle into the mix.

I mean, what good is a great show unless you have a beautiful, talented, extremely intelligent, and did I mention beautiful, female to play opposite the lead characters. 

Danielle, I have known since late 1993 on accident (no, not the kind where you park your car into another) and we had become inseperable for the next eight months doing everything and anything together with our friends. 

For the record, because I know this is coming, we never dated. And I will leave it at that.

Anyways, Danielle, who is in marketing, wanted to see what life was like in the big, white box on wheels. So, what better way to show her than to have a couple of her best friends show her "Life as a Paramedic".

I hope she has insurance.

0855 Hours

It was already beginning to get really scorching hot and I knew that today was going to be one of those days where we were gonna work our asses off in some capacity.

Finishing up the morning cleaning details, my attention was turned by thesound a vehicle entering the lot and crunching the gravel as it found a shady spot.  As the dust began to settle, a figure emerged from beyond the tinted windows walking to greet both Bill and me ready to go fast and think even faster.

Today was Danielle's ride-a-long. And boy, we didn't want to disappoint her.

The morning started out with us showing her the equipment and detailing safety procedures in the event of Bill and I getting separated at an accident or other incident that requires both our attentions.  Our next stop was something a LOT more pressing but with just as much importance....

Going to Wakeman Hardware......

....which is an adventure in itself.

Walking into this store is kinda like sitting on the porch with the little boy who plays the banjo at the beginning of Deliverance.

 (Whew....I just got chills).

Oh sure, it has all the comforts of a hardware store, with the added bonus of smelling like the animal pens at the local county fair when the air conditioning isn't working and the wind is out of the south.

Today, our task was to get propane for the grill.   Getting in and getting back out would have been the most ideal of task, but once you are in, you are kinda intrigued as to what you can find.   One side of the store is the typical hardware part (minus the smell) where you can get drill bits, screws, gardening supplies, etc. 

The other side of the store is a combination, hunting/camping supply shop.   Warm clothing, lanterns, hunting and fishing licenses, automatic weapons....you know, everything you would find in the country.

For those of you who are paying attention, I DID say automatic weapons.  By this, I am not talking a 9mm Beretta   But a fully automatic M4 assault rifle like the Army uses.

 (okay, the grenade launcher was on backorder though.)

I guess this is for those who goes hunting and aren't a really good shot.

Don't ask...I really don't know.

Like DisneyWorld or any other favorite amusement park, everyone has a favorite ride or part of the park that always brings them closer and no matter how many times you see it, you have to go back due to sheer curiousity andintrigue.

For Danielle,  it is the "free, take one" basket.   Each day, it is something new, something exciting, something that will help your everyday life and change the way you live.

Today, it was "Toilet leak detector".

Hey....it was free.

Okay, let's get the hell out of Dodge before Dueling Banjoes starts playing.

Our next stop was the local Mickey Mart which is a Gas station/Subway/ATM/Local hang out.

Our item of choice...cancer sticks...I mean cigarettes. Bill needed to reload. Danielle needed her Lemon Lipton Iced Tea in the glass bottle.

 Accept no substitutes. Her Birthday is in February...Stock up now for her.

Now that we were stocked up on provisions and the essentials, it was time to get ready for work. Time to show her what she came to see. Time to clean the grammer and drop the hammer lights and sirens.  

I was ready, I was pumped, I was psyched. Any minute, a call would come in and we would be off into the wild blue yonder.  We would be ready, we would be equipped, we would be prepared.

We would only have to wait 4 seconds.

Not even getting into the squad, our attention was averted by the sound of metal on metal and a vehicle coming to rest with more parts scattered over the intersection than it came in with.

Damn it....here we go....

...to be continued.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,



05 July 2007

Top Ten Stupid Things Drunks Say After They Wreck

04 July 2007


"Top Ten Stupid Things Drunks Say After They Wreck"




Happy Fourth of July to you all!!!

Here we are celebrating Momma America's 231st Birthday by taking the day off from our labors and enjoying the mid-point of the summer solstice. 

For the layperson out there, we call this a holiday (hol-i-dey). (I put that in there for those of you out there who are like me which really have no meaning of what that word actually is.)

Whether you are cooking out, golfing on the links, sitting on the beach, or out watching pyrotechnics (professionally done of course), I am sure that it is time that is well spent with friends and family in order to recharge the overworked batteries that take us day to day.

For those of us in the civil service field, we call it Trauma Season. (trou-mah, see-zuhn).

And might you ask as to what this really means.....

Well, open up another Vernors .  Grab your favorite lawn chair.., and let me entertain you....

Now, with every holiday, there is this thing I like to call alcohol (al-kuh-haul).  By, itself, it is a fun, mind numbing substance that should be taken in moderation (mod-uh-rey-shuh).  When this moderation is not considered, it creates this thing called a drunk (no phonetic spelling here).  Now, add, what is normally, a simple task, such as driving a car, into the equation, and we have what I like to call....a menace (men-is)

The above picture is a result of that...

See, if you drink, and then you drive, there is a high probability that you will crash and  chances are I get to come and tell you what an idiot you are while performing my obligitory duties in taking care of your sorry ass (do I sound bitter???).

I don't even want to start...

So, to celebrate the holiday, I thought I would give you the top ten most stupid things I have been told from someone that I have rendered care to.  

Hold on to your ass, Fred....

10. "I wasn't going that fast"  This translates into, "sir, I was doing WELL under 90 when I hit that tree with full force."  Believe me, speeding is the least of your problems at this point.

9. "I was on my way home". Well, you must have gotten lost seeing your license says that you live in a city that is two counties the OTHER way.  I know it is hard now-a-days seeing that the only place to stop and ask for directions is a local dive bar where you have to have a couple of beers before you can get any info.....oh look, free wings.

8. "I am gonna sue".  Who???  The Catholic Church because God put the only tree on the side of the road that you found with the front end of your car?  You can't even remember your name let alone to call a lawyer. Have a Coke and shut the hell up.

7. "You can't take me to the hospital".  Sure I can, You see that big white truck over there...no, the one in the middle. It has four wheels, an engine, and lots of pretty lights on it.  Oh yeah, it is still in one piece too...I WIN!!!!

6. "What happened"  I will try to speak slow here.  You were driving home after a long night partying, minding your own business, when all of a sudden, this phone pole jumped out in front of you and just came out of no where.  You did everything you could to avoid it, but to no avail, you hit it.  It sure is a good thing that you had that sixth tall Miller Lite before you left, otherwise that pole might have missed you.

5."I have a child" Well, looks like they may need to find a new ride to soccer practice tomorrow.  Apparently Johnny Walker was a little more important to you than Johnny Junior.

4. "I don't have health insurance so I can't go". In about 3 days, you won't have a driver's license either.  I guess you can afford that insurance now.  I think there is a coupon in the Sunday paper for 20% off all emergency medical flights. Have your nurse bring you a copy.

3. "What happened". See the trend....

2. "Is my car bad?" Well, the good news is the hazard lights still work....

1. "I just don't want to get in trouble". Fear not friend, the stupidity fairy will come down and grant you the dumbass of despair mulligan and you can just go on your merry way.  But until he gets here, could you hold still? I have to plug you with the biggest needle I can find.

Be safe out there!!!!

Rounding Third and Heading Home,



29 May 2007

Moving on up

29 May 2007

"Moving On Up"

Has it really been 2 months since my last entry???

Well, for that, I apologize.  There is no excuse.  I will send myself to my room without dinner. (Good thing I hide some snacks in strategic places).

Here's the deal.  I have traded in my navy blues for some white shirts at the station.

For those of you who aren't in the network, still hung over from Memorial Day, or just plain don't get it , this means that I have been promoted.

Yes, sports fans, yours truly is now the boss....

 See...Moses wore a white shirt.

So, I have been REALLY busy trying to get acclaimated with the biz and all it has to offer. 

I think I will need to put some liquor in my office.

Anyways, it is the beginning of "Trauma Season" in the country which is keeping us even more so on our toes.   We have already flown  three and have not even come to the first full month of the hunt.  Good for business, bad for patients.

So, as one of my first orders to give, I am going to give you a brief list of what-not-to-do's for the up coming summer months.  Read it, know it, love it!!!

1.  Whew, it is gotten hot.  One word.....Hydrate.  Oh sure, we love to root around your arms with a needle big enough to drive a Mack truck through just to give you some unflavored Gatorade so that your temperature will fall below the Mendoza line in temperature. (A baseball reference....google it.) But I would much rather you drink when you are out in the sun (And as much as I would LOVE to include alcohol, it isn't quite what I am going for) than for me to come in my party sized disco truck and give you new meaning to the term "plug and play".

2. Click it, or ticket. Who cares that the seat belt doesn't match the color of the handbag that you are carrying today. It's your car, you should have thought of that before you bought it.  The only thing worse than getting in an accident and not having your seat belt on, is getting pulled over and getting cited for it.  I have already cut one out this month who didn't have a belt on. Let's just say he will be sipping trough a straw for quite a while.

3. OOOoooo....ahhhhhh.  Fireworks really make the night sky beautiful. So. Let's keep them there...in the sky.  Or better yet, away from you.  Lighting an M-100 and seeing how far you can throw it, ranks right up there with gas prices on the stupidity scale.  Unless you want your significant other to open your ketchup bottles for you for the rest of your life, think before you light.  Blowing your hand off and my looking for the pieces in the middle of the night isn't my idea of PAR-TAY!!!!

4. Does this make me look fat?  No, but your head split wide open and your brains (or lack there of) which are hanging down by  your knees because you thought it was cooler to ride your motorcycle without a helmet does.  Remember the three we flew? Two of them didn't have a helment.  One of them is partially paralized now.  Hey, it's up to you.

This is all for now.  I am sure to have some more insightful little nuggets for you all real soon here.

But, until then. Stay safe and use some common sense. 

Oh yeah....DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE EITHER!!!!!!!!!!

How was that for subliminal???

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


27 March 2007

A Civil Servant's Wish

27 March 2007

"A Civil Servant's Wish"

Okay, my back is WAY sore... Had to go pick up Jabba off the floor this morning....That AFLAC duck looks like a new friend now...

Anyways, someone sent this to me via myspace so I thought that I would repost this as an entry for those who don't have my profile or Myspace to begin with.

I will tell you about Jabba later....

"A Civil Servant's Wish"

I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 6 in the morning as I check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try and save his life.

I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I've become too familiar with.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a call, Is a this false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What Hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?" Or to call and ask what is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?

I wish you could be in the emergency room, as a doctor pronounces dead, the beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past 25 minutes, knowing she will never go on her first date or say the words, "I love you Mommy", ever again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the ambulance or engine or cruiser, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever to get here!"

I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. What if this was my daughter, sister, my girlfriend or a friend? What were her parent's reaction going to be when they opened the door to find a
police officer with hat in hand?

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call.

I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters and Paramedics out and when we call for them and our heart drops because no one answers back or to here a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife needing assistance.

I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally and sometimes physically abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes of "It will never happen to me". I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain of missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone's property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking, "Is my Mommy okay?" not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him as they take him away in the Medic Unit. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.

Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us...I wish you could though.

It's okay love, I am being careful...

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


08 March 2007

You Might Be An EMT if...

08 March 2007

"You Might Be An EMT If..."

Alright, campers...

I REALLY wish I had something to share with you but I am in a streak of absolutely NOTHING at work right now and the calls that I DO get are really rather boring and would probably put you to sleep in mid sentence.

So I thought that I would do my version of "You might be a redneck..." with my own kinda style....

Also, I dedicate this entry to my great friend, Danielle, who needs a little "pick me up" right now...

1. You might be an EMT if....when the phone rings at your house, you jump up, throw your pants on, grab a pen and paper and answer y our phone with your unit number.

2. You might be an EMT if...when shopping for a new car, you ask the salesperson what the width of the roof is so you can place your lightbar on it.

3. You might be an EMT if...when you meet someone for the first time, you look at their arms instead of their eyes and determine what gauge needle you could successfully stick into their arm.

4. You might be an EMT if...your version of a three course meal consist of a 20 oz. Pepsi, a small bag of Doritos, at least two bites of a Subway sandwich, and a piece of Doublemint gum afterwards.

5. You might be an EMT if...your idea of multi-tasking is writing your run report while sitting on the throne and texting your mom who seems to keep calling you while you are doing compressions on the full arrest that you had six hours ago.

6. You might be an EMT if...you have ever walked into a house for a call and the only thing you are carrying in is your coffee cup.

7. You might be an EMT if...you have ever ran lights and sirens to get to the nearest bathroom before your partner really does test to see if the front seats have been scotchgarded.

8. You might be an EMT if...your idea of a good time is breaking a glass window of a car and entering it upside down on a Friday night to get to a patient.

9. You might be an EMT if...you have seen "Backdraft", "Bringing Out the Dead", "Mother, Jugs, and Speed", or every episode of "Third Watch"  more than 3 times.

10. You might be an EMT if...You play Paramedic Bingo. (Don't ask).

11. You might be an EMT if...you have ever had the same patient multiple times in one day...for the same complaint.

12. You might be an EMT if...you own three or more EMS shirts of any sort and wear them on your days off.

13. You might be an EMT if...you have ever acted crazier than the psych patient to scare them and shut them up.

14. You might be an EMT if...Dr. House on television is your hero.

15. You might be an EMT if...you critique the medics on the Discovery Channel.

16. You might be an EMT if...you have ever noticed that the heavier the patient, the less clothes they are wearing.

17. You might be an EMT if...you have ever had mail forwarded to your station.

18. You might be an EMT if...you have ever let the rookie go first because you knew what you were getting into.

19. You might be an EMT if...you realize that the newer you are, the more crap you have on your belt.

and finally....

20. You might be an EMT if...You thought ANY of these were the least bit funny.

Okay..so I was pressed for time...

Stay safe.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


19 February 2007

Because you had a bad day

19 February 2007

"Because you had a bad day"

Have any of you read that poem "Don't Quit"?  It goes like this:

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road your trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and its turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When they might have won, had they stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victors cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when your hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit!

I wrote a poem, too from this great work of inspirational literature we call poetry.


We'll title it "Screw it"

<clears throat>

In the land of the Blue Star,
Tucked far, far away.
The unfortunate Gods from up above,
came to ruin my day.

It all started out,
as simplistic as can be,
a 9-1-1 for chest pain,
they asked to please hurry.

Still groggy from my slumber,
the sleep I wiped away.
Having little to no clue,
on the events of the day.

Dressing like Eskimos,
the snow left us no doubt.
It was time to brave the elements,
to help a poor soul out.

So, to the squad I ventured,
game face on and ready to go.
I turned the key only to find,
the squad laughing saying "Hell no!!"

"There is no way I am starting.
Have you seen the snow outside?
Forget it if you think I'm going,
Go find another ride."

The truck laid there listless,
no battery to start.
It's time to get a second plan,
to help the lady with a bad heart.

Ejecting from the first truck,
We moved to unit 2.
Crossing fingers that this one would start,
if it didn't, we were  screwed.

With a quick turn of the igition,
The beast became alive.
Screaming as the doors opened,
and putting into drive.

With lights and sirens wailing,
we soon were on our way.
But something in me told me,
this is only the beginning of our day.

And at the scene we soon pulled up,
Our patient we had found.
From the looks she displayed on her face,
It was soon before she's down.

Shifting into overdrive,
I started to render care,
As angst and pain had settled in,
I knew to get out of there.

So a quick trip to the stretcher,
and securing her in her place.
We locked and loaded and venrtured off,
to the hospital with grace.

We made it there with time to spare,
And gave her to the staff.
Still pissed the first squad didn't start,
And mimicing its laugh.

With a few more minutes,
it's back to base we showed.
Just a few more feet to back this in,
and rest our weary souls.

Blinded by the morning sun,
and caught in a huge drift.
I got the squad in a little crooked,
along with the piece of wood I lift.

The wood thought it was funny,
about what happened on the floor.
So to add to all my misery,
I went through the glass door.

What once was that of a patio door,
laid in mountains of shattered glass.
And as I cursed many four letter words,
the wood sat there and laughed.

Adding to my frustration,
I chucked it out the door.
I stood there yelling at the squad,

Over an hour later,
the last shard was thrown away.
I put my hands together,
for the quick ending of this day.

So, for whoever wrote that poem,
The one they titled "Don't quit".
All I can say is I hope that you die,
As I finish my poem "Screw it."

And for all my faitful readers,
I am sorry for my dismay.
Because three tall cold ones into this,
I am having a better day.

 Again as all of you who read this,
and me that have come to known.
I leave you with my salutaion,
"Rounding Third, and heading Home"


24 January 2007

The Laws of EMS

24 January 2007

"The Laws of EMS"

The Laws of EMS work....How many of these can you identify with. (Thanks to Robin for these)

The First Law of EMS:
All emergency calls will wait until you begin to
eat, regardless of the time.
The EMS Law of Gravity:
Any instrument, when dropped, will always come to rest in the least
accessible place possible.

The EMS Law of Time and Distance:
The distance of the call from the hospital increases as the time to
shift change decreases.

Corollary 1 - The shortest distance between the
station and the scene is under construction.

The EMS Rule of Random Simultaneity:
Emergency calls will randomly come in all at once.

The Axiom of Late-Night Runs:
If you respond to any motor vehicle accident call after midnight and do
not find a drunk on the scene, keep looking - somebody is still missing.

The EMS Law of Options:
Any patient, when given the option of either going to jail or going to
the hospital by a police officer, will always be inside the ambulance
before you are.

EMS Rules of the Bathroom:
A. If a call is received between 0500 and 0700, the location of the
call will always be in the bathroom.
B. If you have just gone to the bathroom, no call will be received.
C. If you have not just gone to the bathroom, you will soon regret it,
because the probability of receiving a run increases proportionally to
the time elapsed since last going to the bathroom.

The First Principle of Triage:
In any accident, the degree of injury suffered by a patient is
inversely proportional to the amount and volume of agonized screaming
produced by that patient.

The Gross Injury Rule:
Any injury, the sight of which makes you sick, should immediately be
covered by 4x4s and Kerlix.

The EMS Law of Light:
As the seriousness of any given injury increases, the availability of
light to examine that injury decreases.

The EMS Law of Space:
The amount of space which is needed to work on a patient varies
inversely with the amount of space which is available to work on that patient.

The EMS Theory of Relativity:
The number of distraught and uncooperative relatives surrounding any
given patient varies exponentially with the seriousness of the
patient's illness or injury.

The EMS Theory of Weight:
The weight of the patient that you are about to transport increases by
the square of the sum of the number of floors which must be ascended to
reach the patient plus the number of floors which must be descended
while carrying the patient.
Corollary 1 - Very heavy patients tend to gravitate toward locations
which are furthest from sea level.
Corollary 2 - If the patient is heavy, the elevator is broken, and the
lights in the stairwell are out.

The EMS Rules of No-Transport:
A Life-or-Death situation will immediately be created by driving away
from the home of patient whom you have just advised to go to the
hospital in a private vehicle.

The First EMS Rule of Bystanders:
Any bystander who offers you help will give you none.

The Second EMS Rule of Bystanders:
Always assume that any Physician found at the scene of an emergency is
a Gynecologist, until proven otherwise.

The EMS Rule of Warning Devices:
Any ambulance, whether it is responding to a call or traveling to a
hospital, with lights and siren, will be totally ignored by all
motorists, pedestrians, and dogs which may be found in or near the
roads along its route.

The EMS Rule of Rules:
As soon as an EMS Rule is accepted as absolute, an
exception to that Rule will immediately occur.


Rounding Third and Heading Home,


21 January 2007

What the Discovery Channel DOESN'T Show You

21 January 2007

"What the Discovery Channel Doesn't Show You"

Show of hands.

Who is addicted to those reality documentaries like "The Critical Hour", "Trauma: Life in the ER",  "COPS", and anything else that puts you in the front seat of the action?

Wow....quite a bit of you.  A bunch of adrenalin junkies here.  Cool...this should be easy.

Now, out of all you reality trekkers, how many of you have wondered what REALLY goes on when the camera isn't rolling or what may be on the editing room floor?

Good, yet another decent show of hands...

Well, today, I am going to tell you, because, what they don't show you is what I write about and we all know as to how "candid" I can be.

A word to the wise, if you haven't eaten yet..cancel the chinese order, tell the piza guy to circle the block a few times, and let your spouse know to turn the heat down on the oven...you may need a few minutes.

1010 Hours

Another Saturday in EMS.

For some reason under God, the weekends are prime time for crime time.  Assaults are up, DUI's increase, and although it really isn't a crime, the wierd and unexplained emerge from the bowels of purgatory and come back to haunt the Earth for one long weekend.  It is kinda like playing football...and you are always the visiting team.  

The territory is unfamiliar, the fans are unfriendly, and most importantly you never know what the next play will hold for you.  Good thing I have insurance.

Sitting in the back bunk area, I was just getting comfortable after checking the truck, the drugs, and the rest of the "to-do" things that needed to accomplished before it was time to relax in a realm of leisure.

So I grabbed my MP3 player... (Yeah that is it)

My ESPN: The Magazine...

  (Great read)

and my sleeping bag... 

(No..this is NOT what mine looks like...Mine has race cars on it).

Ahhh....what better way to pass the time away on a cold, snowy day.

Of course, like it was just waiting for this paticular moment.....The Bat phone rings.....

Sure...and why shouldn't it.

"Hi there, this is the Sherrifs Department. We just got a call for the rescue squad at (add your address of choice here...I am not telling where we went). Third party call states he talked to his brother and he needed the squad. Said he feels like he is 'dying'."

For those of you in the civil service field, there is a key word(s) that kinda click your inner synapsis and kinda change the way you approach the call.

And for those of you who aren't in the field, I will let you guess what the word(s) could be.




Any guesses????

Okay. Who said "dying"?

If you did.........well then.....

 ....nope...try again....

Did you say "Sherrif's Department????


The correct answer is........

"Third Party".

Why would THIS be the answer?  Well, I am really glad you asked.

Usually Third Party calls are one of three things:

1) It is someone who lives in like Siberia who is talking to their fifth cousin's third wife's mother's next door neighbor from when she was in high school and all of a sudden the person on the other line drops the phone causing a panic to the caller to think that the person on the other line has passed out in mid sentence prompting a 411 call to find the right 911 number to send someone over to their house at like warp speed thinking that they coded and come to find out that when you get there, the only thing they need is some oxygen because you just busted down their $1,200 french doors ready to zap someone back into submission.

2) A neighbor, friend, or relative who hasn't talked to someone since Reagan was president decided to pick up the phone and call a number where no one was answering. This immediately translates into "Oh My God!!!  I need someone to check on them!!!" 

Soooo...off we go...again...to break some more glass....again....and find no reason for concern.....again. But boy, won't they be pissed when they see the damage you caused.

And 3).  The actual 2% of these calls that really warrant the rescue squad.  These are the ones that you assume the top two..walk in with just your clipboard, and find the patient who looks like Giant Smurf because they have lost all oxygen.  Sigh....

Grabbing my coat, I slowly made my way to the truck as I was hoping it be one of the first two. Preferably number one. That way I don't have to break any glass and search the unknown. 

"Your brother's cousin's sister's roomate's dog's groomer's next door neighbor from three flights up called the squad thinking you were in distress. Are you okay and do you need the squad?"

"Nope, I am fine. Don't know why they called."

"Okay then...bye bye see you."

Ahhh...the memories.

Pulling out of the bay, I am really trying to get a game face on while I reach for the clipboard to take inside with me.  Yeah, I know....I am pressing my luck.

The ride through the country with the freshly fallen snow was actually theraputic and very picturesque.  It made me just want take my time and enjoy the scenery...from the cab of the heated truck.

Pulling down an open desolate road, we began looking for house numbers to see just how far until our impending doom creeps closer.  It wasn't too far down the road where we were flagged down.

 "Over here............"

Feeling a disturbance in the force, I went anyways and grabbed the jump bag....

 (for all of you new to the blog here)

and made it up to the front porch of the house that looked like it was straight out of Deliverance.

Our progress was cut short by the brother who had made the call.  A taller man with a look of not only concern, but disappointment on his face. His words to us felt heavy and sorrowful.  I had a really bad feeling about this.

"Hey guys, I am sorry. I just don't know what is wrong with him. He never wants help but today he was all about me calling you guys.  I just wanted to say sorry in advance."

Uuuuuuuuuuttttttt OOOOhhhhhhhh.

Rule of thumb. When someone apologizes prior to the act, it is most likely a sign that you are about to get your ass kicked in some way or another.

Watch my tail, Goose. I'm going in.

And there it was......

What a house looks like after a nuclear fall out. 

 Ya'll better double glove.

With lack of proper lighting, all I could initally see was what looked like the sofa cushions ripped to shreads and scattered like confetti on Broadway in New York at midnight on New Year's.  The color of it gave a clue that it was from the 70's and from the looks of the rest of the room, it had been there since then too.  The couch, I think was plaid at one time and now resembles something that came out of a firefighter's training house after a live burn.  Below me were magazines and books that came waist high parting for a small two inch path that I would venture to say was where the patient walked.  Another clue would be that the carpet was worn out in this so-called-path and it looked like if you ever brought a vaccuum into this place, the vaccuum would look at it and say "hell with this..I am outta here."  Empty food cartons and grocery bags littered the rest of the floor compiling into a corner of the room where I assume a chair might have been...or still be there.

Moving on, I peeked into the kitchen. The once all white tile and counter was now speckled with mold and growth that I don't even think forensic scientist could determine. Any type of dishes that the person owned hadn't been washed...since the FIRST gulf war.  Rat droppings and roaches have made thier home here and it was imminent that even they  have packed up for cleaner pastures.  Mail from the late 80's piled up on the kitchen table overflowing  a quarter of the room hiding what I am sure was old beyond rotted food. 

At this point, the stench began to settle in.  Now, for those who aren't in the field, let me fill you in on this paticular smell.  Not only does it make you want to vomit on site, but the stench wreaks so bad, that it settles in your clothes. And I don't care HOW good Tide works on making things clean, your only recourse is to burn the outfit you have on...and do it in a remote area down wind.

Moving to my right, the next room was the bathroom....

If you all need a garbage can to go and puke in...I will give you a minute.

Okay. Ready? Are you sure?

(Danielle, knowing you, you better get a tissue)

The first thing that caught my eye was the sink.  My first car had less rust on it than the fixtures and drain had on it.  The pipes that protruded from under it were so corroded that there were actual holes in them....and what came out ofthose holes lookedlike something from The Swamp Thing".  A toothbrush (I am assuming it was a toothbrush) was covered in black mold and had a combination of slime and spider web on it.  God knows what was in the bristles.  The shower hadn't seen an occupant in this century as the shower curtain I think was also white when it came out of the package when new. Now it was more of a battleship gray.  I think the cure for cancer was in that curtain somewhere.

Okay....everyone breathe!!!!!!  Nice deep breath.....This is gonna start getting worse.

The toliet was last on my tour of the commode.  The water inside the bowl was pitch black. It looked like someone dumped a combination of tar and motor oil in there (which was probably best...then I couldn't see the bottom.) The porceilin on the toilet was cracked in several places and the mounting screws had seemed to dissipate into a pile of iron ferrite.  The smell that came from the bathroom only accelerated the odor eating bacteria that I felt crawling into my flesh.  I thought of closing the door, but I didn't want to lose my hand.

Taking a few more steps, it was time to see the patient...and thinking it couldn't get any worse....I stood there corrected as our eyes made contact....I was wrong.

The first thought that came to mind.....

There he was....staring at me.....all 550 pounds of him...and that was a generous estimate.

Now, for all of you who think that I am being mean and insensitive, let me clarify something for you. I am not against the obese. I deal with them on a daily basis and I treat them like any other patient.


There is obese....and there is "What the Hell happened to you" obese.

And, for the record, those who are morbidly obese, I know it is "not their fault" and may be seeing a physician for the problem at hand, and for that, I am nothing but empathtic and hope for a speedy recovery for you.


For those who just sit there and do nothing about it, then all I can say is "What the F***?!?!?!".

Scanning the room, the layout consist of a bed (which gave out LONG ago) a dresser (covered in who knows what) and a bookshelf. On the bookshelf was almost every Sci-Fi novel ever written (and everyone that every flea market carried). Also on the shelf were every single action figure that Marvel and DC comicsever put out. As impressive as the collection was, the dolls (sorry...action figures...it is a guy who owns them) were in poor shape and would have a low resale value. Lining the walls and covering the front of the bed where a normal person's head board would be was a shotty, yet noticeable display of porn. We aren't talking the high end stuff either. More along the lines of " BBW of color in the land of midgets 34" genre.  Oh yeah..it was horrible.

Oh yeah...did I mention that the patient was naked????

 Yeah..this is more accurate.

Turning to Phil, he had already gotten on the radio to call for mutual aid for a bariatric cot to be delivered to the scene.

 This is the normal cot we carry in our squad...

 This is what I needed..God, I hope Phil ordered some Advil too.

The room was lit by a single 60 watt bulb and even that was having a hard time keeping up.

Beginning my interview of the patient, his genereal complaint was "I thought I was going to kick the bucket".  Well, first you are gonna have to FIND the bucket.

Rolling himself into a sitting position (gag here), he began to tell me his medical history and the care we was receiving...or lack there of.

Finding out that he was diabetic, I figured I would check his sugar levels (seeing it was the only piece of equipment that I didn't have to size up on him.  Getting some blood in the test strip, his sugar came back at 40 mg/dl. (This is pretty low).  However, he was talking and conversing with no problem so I thought I would try a less invasive technique that they taught us in school to see how it would work.  I call it "Let's drink some Orange Juice".

Calling to his brother to bring the juice, I listened for the sound of any help that might come to pull me out of this black hole that seemed to have sucked me in like a bug to a flouresent zapper...


In the distance, I could hear the tones drop for the mutual aid from the neighboring service requesting they bring their special cot..and their special truck. 

Phil came back into the room which wasn't big enough for all of us and gave me the proper blood pressure cuff to get a reading.  Taking the vitals, I also plugged the pulse ox (yeah this thing) to check is oxygen level....and guess what??  It was low too.....85% to be exact. Geez, can't this guy get anything right?

Soooo....I got nasal cannula and placed it on him giving him the much needed oxygen that his oversized frame needed.  As if it were saying "Thank You", the numbers climbed up almost instantly to where I felt was an acceptable level.  Good....problem solved there.

Chugging his orange juice, the patient stated that he was feeling much better now.....but stil wanted to go to the hospital.

  That's me to the left there....

Trying not to step on anything that I didn't recognize (which was everything in the room) I treated him as best I could with what little I had. All I wanted to do was three things.

A) get some oxygen of my own.

B) find solid ground and run as fast as I can away.

and C)  make a bonfire with my uniform.

What seemed like hours was, in reality, only a couple of minutes when the other EMS company arrived.  The paramedic stepped into the room, looked, and walked right out. Hey, can you blame him?

Unloading their cot on the porch, our next step was going to be the epic one....

How do we get him out.

I mean, I am not skinny by any means, but even I had to step high and postition myself jsut so to get through the hallway, now I had to move a Mack truck down a Golf cart path.  I sure hope he can walk some.

Advising the patient of our dillema, the first shed of light came upon us when he said he felt well enough to walk to the cot.  That's good, because if you didn't, There were gonna be a lot of firefighters making way for a new picture window in your bedroom with their K-12 saws...

Oh yeah....firefighters love to break glass and kick ass...

Helping Willy to his feet (no, that was not his name), I thought that the moving part would become a cinch seeing he said he could walk....until I saw the sheet.....that was stuck way up his ass...

Okay...NOW I need a therapist.

Oh yeah, if you think I helped him remove it, you better re-read my contract.

So, here we were moving him to the living room.  I almost expected to hear the "beep" that trucks make when they move in reverse.   Half way out, he asked for two things...and two things only...

First...his shoes. He didn't want to step in snow.  Okay, I can respect that.

The second, his shaw...he was cold.

HELLO?!?!?!  You are naked?  Did you ever think about any clothes or a blanket or such?

Nope, he wanted his shaw, which in comparison to his body, was about the size of three sheets of toilet paper.  Hey, I am not gonna stop him.  Let's just keep moving.

Looking around, I noticed that the fire department had shown up to assist us transfer the patient. I bet they had no idea when the pagers called for a "Lift assist" that they would be moving a small country. (Yes, I am being mean...my back is telling me I have a right to be.)

Okay. Cot. Patient. Locked and loaded.  Let's get him to the truck.  Using eight people to move him into the squad, I had taken a deep breath of relief and began to thank everyone for their efforts.  Throwing my gear back in our rig, I was just about to get inside and start a report, when Phil came up and asked me "do you need to take any of our gear with you?"


Color me confused if you will.

Here, thinking that the patient was on THEIR cot and in THEIR truck, that he became THEIR patient.

Apparently not.  I guess I had got voted "most likely to get hosed in a EMS run when caring for a patient over 500 lbs."  Yea me.

So, I got what I needed, closed the door to the back of the squad, and told the driver up front to drive it like she stole it.

As we started away, the smell had begun to seep out again and with a combination of heat from the patient compartment, it was something just short of a biological weapon.  I think my skin was beginning to melt.

Spiking a bag, the other medic and I began looking for a site to stick an IV in with.

This is where if you were religious, you started praying to God...and hard.

Finding a vein in his arms was like trying to thread a needle in a hay stack blindfolded at 60 MPH.  Thinking it couldn't get any worse, the patient turned to me and asked the question that just was the icing on the cake...

"You have done this while moving before,I mean, I just don't know how you can do that?

What are you KIDDING ME?!?!?

So I looked at him (my patience already at a low) and replied..

"Usually we are pretty drunk so the unsteady hands are offset by the moving of the truck. It's a science, but man is it fun...."

There. That oughta shut him up.

As we got closer to the hospital, our IV tries steadily increased from one..to two..to three...to six...and so forth....until I heard from the other side.

"Holy Shit...I got it."


Tape it down with some tape (how redundant was that) and make sure he doesn't move that arm....ever.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful and the other medic and I took turns lecturing the patient as to health care and his lack of maid service.  Like it was going to do any good.

Arriving at the hospital, we carefully got him out of the truck and into the ER...where he looked like a Macy"s float coming down 49th street.  Moving him to the bed, it had only taken eight of us to transfer him and leave care to those who get paid a LOT more than I do.

Filling out the report, I felt like a runner who sprinted the New York City Marathon (see my NYC friends....I am referencing you and your city....it's my shout out..lol).

It was off to the station after that to change clothes...and look for a new job. (kidding there).

A few hours later, I went back with another patient and found that they discharged Tiny after a couple insulin shots and probably a meal.

Great....Hope I am sick next time he calls.

Welp, another one saved. Another story written. Another backache to aleviate.

I am off to go raid the drug store for some pain meds.....I hope they have industral strength.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


17 January 2007

Drinking and Driving..A Music Video

17 January 2007

"Drinking and Driving..A Music Video"

The number of Drunk Driving accidents in the recent weeks have just sky rocketed in this area.

I cannot stress how important it is to not do this....There is really no amount of yelling at you I can do...someone will still do it.

So, I have added a video a friend sent me and by clicking on the link below, you can go to it and watch it. 

Click here to Watch Video

My God People...use some common sense...and watch out for others, it could be your loved ones that they could affect.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


16 January 2007

The Plot Thickens...Part II

16 January 2007

"The Plot Thickens...Part II"

Divide and Conquer

This concise bit of governing (or wartime) advice comes to us from Latin divide et impera ("divide and rule").   It was a Roman maxim which was first used in its English form in the late 16th to early 17th centuries.  This quotation is from 1608: "For a Prince, that he may have good success against either rebels or forraine enemies, it is a sure axioms, Divide and rule."  Various other quotations claim the phrase to have been a maxim of Machiavelli and a motto of Phillip of Macedonia (father of Alexander the Great),

(This came from the site www.takeourword.com)

How does this translate for our superheros????

Well, pull up a chair and let's catch up with our story.

There she was. Standing in the door way, breathing like she ran the Boston marathon in full sprint, the overly obnoxious female that had waved us into the realm of the unknown waves her arms frantically while pointing to the outer doors that lead to the parking lot.

Take me to DefCon 3 please.....


Most people who have to make decisions have deadlines and timetables in order to function properly. 

I had about five seconds....no pressure. (This is where I roll my eyes).

Packaging up the monitor really quickly, I handed it to Darnell and told her to go with Lassie and see if Timmy really did fall in the well. (Please people...it's a metaphor).

Pulling the radio to my mouth, I called dispatch and told that I needed more help and another squad.

Here's the thing. Most companies that run this sort of service are usually mid to high tech and have knowledgeable and trained personnel to operate and maneuver their vehicles.

With us...it's a crap shoot.

You may get what you want if the jet stream has shifted course over a three degree latitutional line stemming from the Tropic of Cancer causing the cloud cover that obstructs the moon which is 78.6573% full to elevate the tides to come in another 4.36 inches making the ambient temperature a cool 2.495867 degrees wamer.

But hey...wouldn't it be easier just to roll the dice???

Here ya go....


  Best of Luck!!!!

So here I am...

In a high traffic area with two very nervous adults, an almost completely unconscious teenager, a jump bag that is very limited with equipment, and my only help has left to try to contain the other storm that was brewing out in the lot.

Yep, General...I need DefCon 2

  Make it fast...

Okay...time to switch gears here.  Instead of getting frustrated with Murphy's Law, why not give these two ladies that are standing over looking as if their fasaid will soon crumble some meaningless task to give their minds a little distraction.

Deputizing the two women...I sent one outside to get some blankets off the cot that was right out the door. The other, I made hold the IV bag while I planted a pipeline into the young patient's arm.  Not even flinching, I began to get a little concerned. Usually, if someone sticks a sharp piece of metal into your arm, you would flinch....she took it like a champ. Whoa boy!!!

Securing the line to her forearm, I took a second to look up and listen.

What did I hear????


Nothing is bad.

Here I am now..out of options. I mean, there is only so much that I can do with the minimal equipment that I have and even I began to get nervous as the vitals for my patient began to lower beyond my comfort level.  I think I could literally hear my heartbeat in my ears.

She needed to go...and she needed to go now.


As if the clouds had parted, the radio crackled with a voice, a familiar voice. It was someone that I knew. It was someone that was coming to help.

Chris, an Intermediate, was a couple of minutes away stating that the fire department was right in front of him. His words were "hold tight, here comes the calvary."

"And the Lord said, you've got to riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise up!"

Here came help and if felt like the preacher on Sunday coming to save us all.  Talk about the biggest sigh of relief....it felt like Miller Time.

  Ahh, the taste of victory.

Sirens began to play in the distance and as they got louder, I became a littleless of an internal basket case....only.....

Waiting for my help to come and help me package up, I realized that no one was coming through the door.



It wasn't soon after my relief that turned back into frustration that Lassie came back into the room.

"The fire department is here." As if she hand delivered them herself.

Thank you Captain Obvious.

"Well....where are they?" I said to her with that "well duh" voice.

"They are outside helping the chest pain." She answered back as if it was HER patient.

Take me to DefCon one....

By now, my frustration has turned into rage. I could feel the heat coming off my ears.

"Why don't you go and get them and tell them I need them in here." I made it clear to her so she wouldn't have any doubt.

"Well who do you need?" She asked as if I was running up her minutes on a cell phone.

Now...can anyone really be THIS stupid?!?!?!

Don't answer that!!!!

"Look, I am gonna make this easy...even for you. If they have a big Yellow coat on...then bring them to me!!!"  I was trying to remain calm with the family still in the room looking over what is beginning to be a patient with an uphill battle.

Realizing the reason that paramedics don't carry hand guns, my inept friend returned with a company of firefighters ready to lend a hand.

Instructing them as to what I needed them to do, they effortlessly packaged up my patient and escorted her to the truck so that I can do a little more than sit with a thumb up my ass (I wouldn't recommend that).

Regaining some dignity and composure, I reassessed my patient and began my immediate course of action.  Through the back doors, I could see the curious firemen looking in seeing how the patient was doing. Or it could be the fact that the teenager was very attractive yet not alert enough to know who they are let alone their advances. (don't ask).

As if the grace of God was still with my, another familiar head popped in the back of the rig seeing what help I needed. Sean, an EMT who works for our company, arrived just in time to take the floor show on the road.  Instructing him to drive, we began our journey to the hospital.

Seeing that I am pressed for time here, I will tell you that the trip in was pretty uneventful and to this day, I still haven't heard what went on with her.  I can tell you that she was being seen by a specialist BEFORE this for what her family thought was a stroke.....Lucky me.

I haven't seen Lassie again but I know that she is around somewhere.  I hope REALLY far away.

Dar's patient was also being seen by a specialist for an abnormality in her heart. She spent a few nights in the hospital and has fully recovered from what I gathered.

Dar did a good job...it was her first call without another medic.

Kudos to you.

Until next time folks.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,