Sep 29, 2010

I just don't know

I told my self that I would restrain my posts in order to extend the duration of my thoughts.
After all I fear the inevitable writers block.


I have been racking my brain tonight about what to do, and had to put it in writing. 
Where do I see this Blog going?

 I mean after all I started with the simple goal of creating a chronicle of my life and thoughts for my son. I don't really know the fix I have about creating this digital documentation for him, but its something i felt compelled to do. I think it all stems from the uncertainty I feel about life since he's blessed me. I don't mean getting cynical here but the birth of my little man as shed light on the frailty of life. Not to mention the complex and at some time over whelming feelings of my parental abilities or lack there of. I want him to know that the sacrifices that I endure are solely for him and his mother. Do I enjoy working the nights? Not really I'd rather his mother and I put him to bed together every night. As usual I've digressed.

I guess where I'm going here is that I have had enough positive feed back that I feel this obscure hobby has made me feel I could offer more to this world of EMS. In order to offer more, I'd have to theoretically increase my visibility....right? Though I am farther along then I ever expected (which may be part of the dilemma) I don't feel I'm in the D-list of influence and far from the C-list. Does it matter even, would I lose sight of the initial purpose of the blog, or inspire my son from the step forward I took.

I don't know if I get on board the "networked site" boat  which I have been offered 
 stay on my own island and see what happens.

I could sure use any and all comments about insight here from any readers who may have gone through similar feelings or have words of wisdom to settle my thoughts. 

Any advise would greatly appreciated from the Grand Pu-bas of the Blog-o-sphere if I am fortunate enough to have them as readers.

Be Safe 
Ambulance Junkie

Sep 28, 2010

Vegas Series: Meet Mr. Hero

Hanging out in the Centrifuge Bar at MGM in Las Vegas we are enjoying a night out. A bar filled to the brim with people enjoying them selves. Drinks in hand, Fly boy, Nerf Herder, and myself are comfortably set up against the wall people watching, life is good. Our other two former comrades, use to the crowded bar scene, work their way to the bar strategically near an unsuspecting group of ladies. M.S and Fidney anti up to the bar and buy two shots, enjoying them selves Fidney sets his eyes on his target.

Now maybe as outside observers, we could see the pack mentality, the configuration of these woman and the devotion to one in particular. A Petite blonde, the center of attention and the inevitable item of affection to Fidney. Making eye contact he strikes up a conversation, and buys the young lass a drink, on account of celebrating. Though he never really knows what the celebration is all about, and doesn't bother asking.

The rounds of drinks pass and we take notice of M.S with a shit eating grin on his face. We see the ladies look on in disbelief which quickly turns to horror. Fidney continues to ramble on in an animated fashion, arms flailing, head weaving side to side. Quickly M.S leaves his post as wing man and heads to us as to disassociate him self with Fidney. M.S weaves a tale of Fidney's feeble attempt to impress the ladies he was surrounded by. Mr. Hero's, as M.S renamed him, exploits of life as a medic in the big apple, include tales of dying baby's, being shot at, and saving those sworn to protect the people of NY. These are all in a days work for this man. By the looks of the ladies, what went from a casual interest, irrefutably changes to disbelief. With the bar tenders jumping on the bar to do a dance grabbing Fidney's attention in mid sentence these opportunistic ladies simultaneously finish their Cosmo's and beat feet.

Slightly dismayed Fidney heads to the rest of us and talks a big game. We let him chat on and on ever knowing the glorious ball of fire he was shot down in. We continue our adventures of the night and to this day we know Fidney as the man to drive an entire Bachelorette party from a bar, in Sin City.

Moral of this story guys: Never over play the hero card.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Sep 25, 2010


He's pushed down the hallway, under the the static glow of the white florescent lights. Surrounded by a team of  immaculately gowned people, with there identity hidden by mask's like super hero's. He's pushed through the doors into the sterilized room and moved to the table. Draped and prepped, the scalpel in hand the choice has been made. He decided a long time ago that when the time came he would leave a lasting gift to the world. He had signed his donor card against his families wishes. He understood the consequence of his actions, though he felt a stronger conviction for some one in need. Besides its not as though he needed the organs any more. His Family only disagreed for because of their faith, not morally, or ethically rather only religiously.

The phone rings late at night, its the hospital. The news they have been waiting for, they have a match. His little girl is getting her new heart today. He begins to shake with the anticipation and his nerves get the best of him. He sits on the bed and wells up with emotions as his wife approaches him with concern. He tells her the news and she begins to cry unable to hold back the joy. They wake their daughter and tell her to get ready. "Ready Father?" she asks. "Your getting a gift from God" he answers. Father picks up the phone and calls our station, telling us that the hospital in the city has the transplant. We have been waiting for for this day as much as the family it feels like.

We respond to pick up our patient, a twelve year old girl who has already battled more than her fair share. We escort her to the stretcher and load her in, grab her bags from Father and secure them in the rig. This is a magical day for this family and they deserve the red carpet. We are off to the city with this precious cargo, she is in no hurry due to distress but it is a time sensitive matter.

The organ has been harvested along with other companions, and loaded up for transportation. They are taking off from a small rural airport with their respective handlers. Anticipated by numerous people, Patients, Mothers, Fathers, Son's, Daughter's, Doctors, Nurses, and so on from across the east coast.

The weight of the situation is not lost on anyone who is touched by this call. In order for this young girl to have a chance of a more normal existence a life had to be lost. Think about the sacrifice made and the commitment to a cause that would only be fulfilled after your life has ended. That is a cause I can get behind.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Sep 21, 2010

An EMT's take on not Needing more Medics.

Recently fellow bloggers have put forth a topic of discussion that I feel I would weigh in on. Medic 999 posed the question of  "Do we really need Paramedics on ambulances?", which caused a well thought out response,   "We don't need more Medics"  from 510 Medic.

Both Bloggers are Paramedics and offer, in my opinion, a surprising response. They both seem to say that more medics is not the solution to an overwhelming problem in EMS. There is no need to have a Paramedic on every single ambulance let alone two. In fact I am willing to argue that the common place of having Medics on every single rig has lead to a decline in patient care and a Medic's overall ability. 

Now don't get on your soap box and assume I'm saying that Medics abilities are poor, or we don't need medics. One the contrary my dear reader, I am merely making reference to my comment on 510 Medic's blog, which was:

"I agree totally, I feel it is leading to a downward spiral of our providers. EMT’s who may not get the experience from the BLS truck, may not be as experienced with the “basics”. EMT’s only riding on ALS trucks then feel the need to advance them selves in order to get more patient contact and more experience. Thus becoming Paramedics, and with declining con-ed budget’s, are still not being as experienced as their predecessors. These newly carded Paramedics who have a lack of the “basics” typically turn out to be poorer providers. "

By this I refer to the idea that EMT's are rushing them selves into a Medic class before having confidence in their own ability or exposure to really bad patients. EMT's see Medics doing more skills, being paid more, and being the "life saver". They do not get a sound fundamental skill set that they can rely on through their career in EMS by rushing their advancement. These providers are then welcomed into a world of diminishing providers by being thrown into the captains chair by being cleared. The expectation of a systematic transition to gain and hone the much needed street skills is pushed aside to the need for a warm body to fill a schedule hole. The response to the negligence of clearing a provider before they are ready? They can make up needed skills in the continuous education training that is expected of all providers and catch up on their need. Sounds great, and almost reasonable right? Except we enter the new age of declining education budgets and fewer instructors. Now the much needed continuous education isn't being offered or being set aside for a later date. Now the new medics have to rely on their experience and their fundamental skill set. When all else fails they can rely on the basics after all right?

So if you have followed along, you may have picked up on the criticism systematic failure that faces EMS. 

"I’m not saying we need to triple the BLS trucks on the road but rather put weight on the experience gained for our EMT’s in a BLS setting. As with any performance overhaul its typically a good idea to start at the bottom/beginning."

I think we need to understand and credit that there is an enormous amount of applicable skills that can be learned in the Basic ambulance arena. By putting weight on this experience, EMS will only benefit with strengthening our base structuring and ultimately our future Medics.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Sep 19, 2010

What does OH, NC & MD have in common?

OhioNorth Carolina, and Maryland  all had crashes involving ambulance's this month thus far. With all of these being in the news lately and it has caused me to do some reflection on my own driving. Whether its due to youth, our inexperience, the inability to handle the adrenaline, or other motorist faults, we are at risk. A constant risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes, some of which have ended with fatalities of civilians and EMS providers.

Emergency Medical Services unfortunately involves the use of Ambulances. Ambulance's which are on every city street, rural road, state route and interstate highway. Roadways which are occupied by various other forms of vehicles. Vehicles have a molecular attraction to each other, much like moths to a flame. Being in the ambulance is possibly the most dangerous yet consistent part of our jobs. Yet I dare say that it is the most overlooked when it comes to safety, not necessarily by the industry but by the providers.

There are new safety features and innovations when it comes to patient compartment restraints, new ideology for paint schemes including the American's introduction (and acceptance) to the chevron. Emergency vehicles are being equipped with the same safety features many new age passenger vehicles have. Along with the addition of Opticom's to give us the right of way at intersections, are all valiant attempts for safety. This way of thinking excludes what I'd argue is the biggest factor of the accidents, the Human Factor.

As the articles have shown, some times EMS is the human factor, sometimes the populous is the human factor and sometimes in the case of training an inexperienced individual its multiple human factors. Now there is little we can do to fix the populous other than public service announcements and the hope it sinks in. On the other hand we can strive for better self control and a stronger diligence towards the inexperienced while training them. The need for repetitive assessments of current practices and skills would go a long way. A strong need to re-mediate any and all practices we may not have a full remembrance about. This is not a supervisory or managerial assessment but rather the responsibility of each individual to protect each other. Self assessments and continual application of safety concepts would go a long way

A few remediation points hopefully to spark self awareness: 
1. Never drive above the posted speed limits going to or returning from an incident. 
Now this by far is the hardest for me to do. Though I understand the thought behind it. There are posted speed limits set forth by the state as to the operator of a vehicle to know at which speed he can safely operate at. Safe operation includes such factors as population, road size and road conditions.  I find it hard to travel the speed limit because I rarely do in my personal vehicle.

2. Wear a Seat Belt.
This goes for both while in the front of the vehicle or passenger compartment while vehicle is in motion. Though not directly related to the concept of this piece a good point to make anyway. 

3. Stop and Clear all traffic controlled intersections.
If being in the ambulance is potentially the most dangerous part of the job, it being in emergency transit and entering an intersection is death defying! The factors involved in a safe intersection transition are numerous and readily relies on others. Stopping and making sure all traffic is stopped before you enter the intersection is imperative to life.

Now in no way is this a fix all to this months crashes. Nor do I intend to place any form of blame, rather I hope I get you to think of how to make yourself safer on the next run you make. After all, Your life and others depend on it. 

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Sep 17, 2010

Addition to my Digital Imprint

I'm sure it has already been coined but I haven't yet found an actually definition. So, I have to go by my opinion of the meaning and concept. So here we go, 

Digital Imprint: Your individual and distinctive influence of self or brand though the various outlets available on the internet. For Example Web Page's, Social Media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and/or Blogs. 

Like the term? Yes? No? 
It is fashioned after the idea of a Carbon footprint.

Anyway's I have added to my Digital Imprint in hopes to extend my slight influence and input on this ever changing world.

You may have noticed the Like button on the upper right hand column of the blog. Which I hope, is linked to the new Facebook Fan page for the Blog. It will soon also be added to the Digital Imprint page of the blog. 

I hope you find time to click the Like button and share the Fan page and ultimately the Blog with your various EMS networks and friends.

If not its OK, Because the true trason behind this Blog is so my son knows the kind of Father he has.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Sep 16, 2010

Vegas Series: Fidney's Surprise!

We were all boarding the plane and preparing to fly out of Vegas that morning. All taking our respective seats, I in the back quarter of the plane, isle seat with Nerf Herder the opposite isle side one row back. Fly Boy a row in front of me with his window seat and Fidney, likely still hung over, four rows up center seat. We were all muttering amongst our selfs of the fact that Las Vegas could be swallowed by the desert and we wouldn't care at all.

The welcome passengers greeting comes over the Jet Blue speaker system, along with notice of free movies extended to us all today due to a passenger having gum stuck on her seat. The Pilot, who likely was a former Red Bull aerial acrobatic pilot, tells of likely catching a great tail wind from the jet stream and cutting flight time down dramatically. Every passenger settling in for the trip to JFK. When suddenly from the quite comes a boisterous groan of disbelief.

"OH SHIT!" I hear, along with the rest of the plane.
"WHAT The Fuck" coming from a few rows up.
"I do not remember ordering that" Don't let it be him I remember thinking.
"THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS!" Comes exploding from the center seat four rows in front of me.
"Oh shit" I whisper through the seats to Fly Boy, ducking my head out of sight. I hear the faint giggling of Nerf Herder a row back.
"Think Fidney found the receipts" Fly Boy poses towards me as he slouches in his seat.
"I think so" replying as I glance over my shoulder at Nerf Herder who has assumed the proverbial airline's crashing position.
"A HUNDRED FIFTY!!" causing us to smirk and peak over the seats up in Fidney's general location.
"I did not order all this, No way in hell. Fly Boy what is this all about?"
"Um..." Fly Boy studder's "She really liked Appletini's?"
"She? Thirteen Dollar martini's Fly Boy!"
"NO, Actually they were Appletini's, and She really liked them" Not a valid argument from Fly Boy but a sarcastic and valiant effort.
"I don't remember ordering all of this for you guys last night?" a dumb founded Fidney says
"Well you didn't technically, Tatiana was not going to let us, But Ambulance Junkie kinda charmed her into it." Fly Boy jest's.
"Hey!" I utter "N.H and M.S helped too, I'm not only to blame here"
"Wait, Wait, Wait, Who's Tatiana?" Fidney wonders.
"Our Lounge Server from last night" We all chuckle.

As Fidney danced him self frantic last night, We had all been enjoying our lounge singer and being the life of the party. We had realized that Fidney had opened a tab, intended for himself, on our table. With a little sweet talking and over whelming peer pressure we had convinced out super nice Russian Lounge server to bring a round of drinks for the lot of us. Our group of five quickly included a group of three ladies we made small talk with. One of which was a mid forty's female who's father was the first Battalion chief of a major west coast metropolitan area. Needless to say our conversation was strongly centered around Fire and EMS. Our conversation continued and so did the rounds of drinks, including the Appletini's for the Chiefs daughter.

Fidney ever unknowing the booze which did flow thanks to him, well until he had to rummage through his pockets on the flight that is.

Sep 14, 2010

Vegas Series: The Prologue

"Vegas?" I jokingly pondered.
"Yeah it'd be fun" says Fly Boy. "think of it as a Man'cation"
"Wait...Vegas? like Las Vegas? Sin City?"
"Ya!! End of this month" Fly Boy burst out in excitement.
"Vegas" I say with confidence

 I hadn't really consider the proposition as usual, it was more the off the wall idea we entertained. This time was different though, it felt right. Why not? I thought, and as simple as that, we began to get excited. A trip away from the grind of work, away from this east coast existence. Fly Boy, Nerf Herder, and myself meeting up in NYC with Fidney and flying out to Sin City to hook up with M.S who now lived in Henderson. The five of us reuniting for the first time in a couple of years. We weren't age old friends, but we had all developed and honed our EMS skills together for a time. While we were traveling so far we'd of course take the time to head to Yosemite through Death Valley to flex our need for the out doors. See some sites, place some bets, and Fly Boy could even see his Grizzly bear he was so obsessed with.

It was a trip of a life time, and in all honesty it was the best thing to ever happen to me besides my bride and my son. It was just one of those moments that I was fully capable of letting go of control and decided to just go with the flow. The last time I truly did that was when I began dating the girl that became the love of my life, who is now the Mrs. Who, by the way was the ultimate decision

The antics we are known for carried over into our Man'cation and lead to some rather precarious moments. Whether in the NYC, aboard the air plane, in Las Vegas or Yosemite National Park we were never far from a laugh.

I hope you enjoy this sliver into my life outside of EMS.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Sep 8, 2010

A chance encounter

He sits waiting but for who he doesn't know.
I sit finishing up my chart from the last run.

He looks at the passing faces with confusion and concern.
I look at my fellow workers and strike up a conversation.

He wants to call out for help but is afraid.
I get the call for help and head for the scene.

He meets an officer and he answers "I cant move along" wiith an embarassed feeling.
I meet the officer who admits he thought he was just another vagrant.

He tries to stand but he can not.
I tell him not to stand, though he still attempts.

He doesn't know what to make of me
I don't know what to make of him.

He says he can do it on his own.
I say let us help.

He feels young at heart, he looks old and aged. The sun has blemished his skin, the wind has hardened his face. His wrinkles chissled in his face's granite fasade, His eyes blueish grey screaming out in pain and anguish. Time has washed all the color from his hair and beard leaving it white. His hands, rough as sand paper and cold as ice, his fingers jaggedly contorting inwards with lose of dexterity. This urban nomads right foot externally rotated from years of abuse to his body, his left leg bent.
He wears layers of clothes because he has no place to keep them, his boots tied up with rope. He has spent years on the street. Made it through heat waves and blizzards, droughts and floods, and has received hand outs and has been made a fool of. He is an old weathered man to stubborn to know when to give in to the help that surrounds him. Or maybe He feels to much pride to accept from those who offer assistance.

Not knowing what its like to be him, He knows not what it is to be me. There is something that connects us on this day, we are both fighting to keep him safe.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Sep 2, 2010

Off on Vacation

Realizing I have never spent more than 4 days off in a row with my son since he's been born, I am going to spend 11 days with him and the Mrs of course.

I am off to the area know as New England.

I shall return,
after a much needed family vacation.