Mar 28, 2011


Its finally time to share my news.
I'm packing my things and headed to a new home.
Well the Blog is actually

It will now be at

I will be forwarding this blog spot address to my new domain in a few days
so you will be able to get to my new place through this site still.

I'm hoping to make things easy for folks who already follow my feed by forwarding that also.

And for any of the Kindle readers I am trying to do the leg work so that also gets a smooth
transition to the new site.

Its still a work in progress but it is up and running.
So I hope you continue to follow me to my new home.

As always thank you for your support

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Mar 22, 2011

Passion of a Junkie

It's a Jeep thing

Traffic four lanes wide and easily ten cars deep, all cars idling at the busiest intersection in town. My son strapped in to his car seat sipping his juice rocking with his daddy to Diamond Eyes by Shinedown. As we wait for the light to turn green on the way to see his grandparents we share nothing with these folks around us other than that we are waiting for the light to turn green. There sitting right in front of us though is a White base black soft top Jeep Wrangler, with two youngsters (age of not yet rebelling against the folks but filled with free thought) in the back seat. As I glance back from smiling at Lil Man, I see the frantic wave of these two youngsters hands through the back plastic window. Their gleaming smiles ear to ear, so enthusiastic at the simplest of gestures that they want to participate in. I throw my version of the wave back at them as the light turns green and follow them through. They turn off to hit the mall and with a pass I throw a nod and a sign of mutual appreciation for the love of a life style to the driver, who graciously throws one back my way. The Jeep Wave, a simple gesture and like we say "Its a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand."
As with most of my passions, I'm not alone nor unique in my infatuations/appreciations/addictions, and in no way am I the biggest self proclaiming lover of my passion.  I am however fanatical about them to a point where I feel others just don't understand where I'm coming from. Whether its my appreciation for my Jeep, My infatuation with being a Tennessee Squire and all things JD, My addiction to college football and The Ohio State University, or my passion for EMS, you just not understood unless you live the life.
EMS is more than just a job; Its a life style. EMS is more than being an ambulance driver, an ER taxi, or band-aid buggie; Its about being professionals trained in life saving treatments and care of our clients. EMS is more than traumas, chest pains, or "bull shit" nursing home runs; its caring for any disease, any injury, any time or any place. EMS is more than a stepping stone of Emergency services; its the future of the public safety system.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Mar 18, 2011

Winds of change

Things are changing around the blog, stick with me for updates.

Hope it wont be long now before I can get the details out to ya'll

Mar 15, 2011


The excitement of relentless searching for the object of my affection, looking high and low for items I only use a fraction of my life. The enjoyment of planning my life out in detail to the clothes I will be wearing is like heaven to me. Having to decide how to cram all this stuff into one half of a duffel bag to cut down on packing space is what I dream about at night. That is why I loath the concept of vacation packing. Its also inevitable that I will forget something, this trip alone I forgot a belt for pants, and a coat, time before I forgot my pillow and sunglasses. The joy of packing for me is only dwarfed by the enthusiasm I have towards unpacking. 

Getting back to the grind after vacation is as complicated as getting ready to go on the trip. Nothing is where it was before we left, and getting out the door on time was impossible for my first day back. My ID tags which lay on the counter along with my pens find themselves in drawers. My boots usually sit next to the front door, but when we go on vacation they find themselves in the closet. Let me rephrase this, getting out the door was the easy part but the problem lays with how many times I had to run back in to get something I forgot. I do not mind picking up before leaving for vacation, after all with no one in the house it totally needs to be straightened up.  

It baffles my mind when I have to figure where the correct place for all my gear is, no matter. I grabbed what I needed and obviously am hoping I do not need that what I forgot. I will be ready to go next week, I'm still gearing up this week.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Mar 8, 2011

The 21inch snow storm of 3/7/11

With my son at the folks and the Wife working a double I could focus on the night worry free. It was a lack luster night for calls over all, which was great. A few falls and abdominal pains, a few left overs from public drunkenness day, and not a single motor vehicle accident needing EMS. Most of our time was spent working at the station keeping up with the added duty's the job description never tells you of, shoveling.

Sure we had to shovel, but it was to just keep our rigs capable of getting out of the station, but our tires were the first to tread through the untouched city roads at times. Sure we struggled with how to extricate a resident from their house with a three foot snow berm at the end of the driveway. Over all we felt it was a good night but it was only 2100hrs, and the snow kept falling, so still we shoveled and piled it in mounds, and still it kept falling. We would venture out ever so often, and shovel not knowing where to put the snow that kept falling. Inches at a time we would clear with no end in sight but we encountered a phenomenal display of  Thundersnow. We were all in good spirits, which I credit to my survival of my the trip home.

I sent a courtesy pick up for an employee walking into work, punched out and was meeting my wife to give her a ride up south mountain. The wife's two door car had no chance in making it home, so we had planned to meet at Walgreen's in hopes to park in a cleared lot and carpool home. When I arrived I found a struggling Cavalier in a barren stretch of parking lot smaller than a landing strip in the Peruvian jungle. Questioning our choice, I suggested the Hospital lot within eye sight, Wife agreeing she stepped on the gas and went no where. Physically pushing the cavalier back she got traction and turned it around, only to get stuck as I jumped in the my Wrangler. Moving it the 10 yards closer I jumped out and gave her another push where she again gained traction and was off. Back to the wrangler I head towards the exit of the parking lot rounding the building to see her stuck. Grabbing the tail end with my now frozen hands I give her a shove and off she went leaving me covered in the snowy remains of tire kick back.

Back on city streets I pursue her around the corner to come upon her stuck in a snow bank 20 yards from the very barren parking lot of the hospital. Sliding to a stop I jump out and heave ho, heave ho, oh no shes in there good. One more try and she brakes free, once more leaving me covered in snowy remains of tire kick back. No matter she was in a cleared lot and parked safe, and she jumped in the Jeep.

"Why are you so out of breath and wet?" she innocently asked, "Shut up" I replied with a smile "you know why." Off we went to climb the beast of south mountain. A direct shot from the parking lot up a mile stretch to the base, where a drastic sixty degree incline awaited. The four wheel drive making easy work of the mess that were the roads we ventured on. Rounding a slight bend I see in the distance a sight only to familiar, "Shit" I burst out, to roll up on my courtesy pick up rig wheel deep in a snow bank. After a quick explanation from the crew it was agreed upon that they were stuck and it was time to push. Freeing the rig from the snow bank we still had to battle with the absence of traction and an up hill battle to get them out. A few more shoves and the gracious assistance of a county plow truck and the rig was buried with a three foot snow berm and in need of a tow.

Back in the wrangler we ascended leaving the crew to wait, climbing we followed the evil plow hoping to pass him as he stopped. A block from our road we made our move as he sat idling as if to taunt us. With out warning he continued forward blocking my pass and pushing a five foot jeep impassible wall through my roads intersection with out a second thought. Unable to make it the final few hundreds yards to the homestead we were forced to slide back down the mountain, passing the still stuck rig and ventured back to work to plan out our next adventure.

Luckily a few hours of waiting around the station we ventured back out and had no issues as the town had enough time to clean up and let me in front of my house. An hour later of snow blowing I was able to finally pull the Jeep into my drive way.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Mar 6, 2011

Staffing Dynamics; A tale as old as time

Since the beginning of all conceivable time it has been wondered what is the best way to staff an ambulance. It has been debated amongst the paper pushers, Emergency Managers, Director's, Board Officials, Supervisors, and Preparedness experts. Though no single perfect solution had ever been forged from these discussions.

So what is best for the system as a whole? Double Medic rigs, Medic/Basic trucks, Double Basic with ALS Fly car, Medic with Driver only, or Double Basic's with hospital being ALS? Frankly how do you even debate when the idea of Best is so foreign also. Best for patients, Best for sustainability, Best for retention, Best for profit margin?  Obviously we have to do whats in the best interest for the patient, but if we can not retain staff how does this benifit patients? If we can not afford to be paid and stay in business how does that benifit patients? When the idea of whats best for the patient is so abstract and different from system to system how can we possibly define how to best serve the system with out being with in the system?

As usual I have gone on a bit of a tangant so; Locally the career shops run Medic/Basic or Medic/Driver only rigs as the standard. Occasionally Double Medic trucks as the staffing allows, though its not the set precedent regionally. The majority of the volunteer world has what they can get, mostly who shows up to the call, which would lend to a lot of Basic only trucks. 

Now obviously I don't intend to have the all mighty answer that will change the world of EMS staffing dynamics as we know it. I realize that it really is system dependent on what works for your area. If you hoped for a large volunteer base to staff Basic rigs in hopes to only rely on paid ALS Fly cars you'd have to plan for the increase death rate due to poor volunteer turn out in my system. Though if this works for your system I applaud your community and believe that you turn out much stronger and more confident basic providers than other systems.

The way I see it, the use of Double Medic trucks have the ability to demoralizing providers over time with a constant barrage of patients who do not require advanced interventions. It allows the poison to seep in and self questioning of why am I a paramedic if I only do BLS calls. This along with the lack of exposure for Basic providers will create weaker providers by not exposing them to calls. Inevitably decreasing our future recruitment by excluding those who want a bit of exposure to see if its for them.

Use of Medic/Basic trucks allows a proper assessment by a medic and transport by a basic if warrented. Which seems to be an excellent idea for doing whats best for a patient. On the other hand having a Medic right there is a bit of a crutch for a Basic provider. Knowing that a ALS assessment occured and it must be a BLS call can lead to weaker providers. Can these folks handle being with no medic as a safety net?

Use of Basic only rigs where as the hospital acts as closest ALS leads to a rapid mentality. Everything is a load and go situation, everything is hurried in fear of the patient crashing. In the unlikley occurance of an ALS assist can they calm themselves and revert from the load and go mentality of rushed care.

 Use of double Basic rigs with ALS fly car of course strengthens the Basic providers skill set but they also get engrained with the crutch mentality knowing that ALS is coming. Can they handle themselves in a system overload situation? Where they must transport to the hospital due to all fly cars being tied up is unseen.

So as I knew I wasnt going to have a solution, rather just open up discussion and set forth my opinion. When it comes down to it, it really is system dependant and there is no real solution that fits everyone. Though I'm sure you all knew that.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Mar 5, 2011

First Responders Network

EMS Today is over,
but thanks to some great folks and their insight,
they have shared some great video's with us
from Baltimore.

Mar 3, 2011

Lemon Gator-Aid

I have to believe its a conspiracy, the fact that it wont sell to the consumer in the stores its pushed off onto the hospital world to get rid of it. Figure its great for a non high fructose corn syrup drink and the fact that several elderly folks with diminished taste buds frequent the hospitals they can easily pass the drinks off as a good source of re-hydration. Unfortunately even the elderly patients know better then to be tricked by this attempt. So what does the hospital do? They pass it onto the EMS room, because those fools will drink anything free when constricted by the confines of high call volume. Its Gator-Aid, but not any Aid, its lemon Aid. I didn't think anyone honestly liked watered down fake lemon flavor'd liquids. That was until I was partnered with English, he loves the stuff. I thinks its just plain odd.

Mar 1, 2011

Embrace the Machines?

So I'm finishing up a call cleaning the stretcher in the ER and I go to restock equipment and supplies used. For us locally the Trauma hospital has an automated dispensing machine known as the McKesson. It works rather simply, plug in your user ID along with password and then with use of the touch screen interface you select your needed supplies. Than it dispenses drawers and cabinet doors to allow access to your goodies. It replaces the logic of grabbing out of a large storage area or bothering a busy nurse with a medial task, with pure automation.

My only problem in this embrace of automation? The fact that when you have only 4 Atrovent's left in the machine it does not require you to count the remaining quantity. 

OK so whats the problem with that? Its that when there is 30 albuterols the very next to administer that it requires a count to confirm the correct number of remaining stock!

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Feb 28, 2011

Good Bye Old Friend

We've been together for so long it seems, since before I lived on my own. I can still remember the day I meet you. All the fond memories I have with you, the things we have shared, the nights we spent together keeping each other company. 


Laughing through the good times, Crying at the losses we have had, and always willing to share the ever changing world events knowing we have seen history together. All of that has been amazing to know I have someone out there that has always been there for me. You my friend have stimulated my sense of exploration along with my ever need for comedic relief. Even from the times we seemed to grow apart, with my job and my growing relationship with the girl, we always knew we'd stay together through it all. 

----Click-----      -----Click-----

Ugh.....I told you from the start that even with me moving on to the new unknowns you'd be there through it all. I didn't lie, you where there when I moved out of my folks. You were there when we got our own place, and than when we had a home. You were their when my son was born, and I figured you'd be there for the rest of life. Lately though I feel that its less and less a sure thing, you seem to be loosing the battle within and I'm not sure how much more I can take this with our friendship.

----Click-----   ----Click-----   ----Click-----   -----Click-----

Come on!....Frankly you've become very unreliable lately and being as busy as I am with life you seem less of a good fit. It'd be different if I felt you were trying but you take the longest time to get yourself going and your always blacking out. I don't have time for these shenanigans, I don't have time to wait, you ever try waiting around with an infant? 

I'm sorry TV but you're being replaced.

Feb 24, 2011

Food for thought: L&D

Here's a question for you; Upon pulling into the ambulance parking space at the hospital with an active MI that you will be going straight to the Cath lab (a person having a heart attack going to the procedure table, for the lay people) would you take off the defibrillator pads, the electrodes and discontinue any IV's you had established? I mean figuring that your at the hospital and even though you had to go up a few stories in the building to get to the Cath lab you were already in the hospital, so everything is ok and the patient cant obviously get any worse on you. Right?

So than why is it that same mentality is applied to OB calls? Why is it so common place to forget to take the OB kit with us into the hospital when we take the patient in active labor to L&D?

The last place I'd want to play catch is in an elevator with no mitts!

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Feb 23, 2011

I try not to be Political

I'm not claiming I know everything thats going on, and I don't expect you to agree, but 

You know what grinds my gears? Wisconsin

I try not to be involved in politics, because the system is broken and it wont make a bit of difference who is in charge until we fix the system. With that being said, I have to say how disgusted I am in Wisconsin and their strife. I mean we all need to take a stand with them! These public employees are being asked to pay for a whopping 20% of health care premiums, that with instituting radical ideology of merit based pay! How dare they! I mean why reward only the ones who work hard? Rather they must continue to pay everyone the same regardless of how much or how little work they do, after all thats only fair.

Ok a little sarcasm there, but I don't feel your strife folks. I'm not sorry you have a great retirement and haven't had to pay your fair share of health benefits.  Why don't I feel your struggle? When I began my career, there was no retirement plan in place, fortunately now there is and I feel lucky to have one. The cost of private sector health care is paid for completely by those who own the insurance. I know, crazy 100% of the cost of health insurance is paid for by the employee. Did I mention that the cost of private health care for a small business is also through the roof? I'm sorry your being asked to suffer a burden by paying 20% of the cost, but frankly you have a job and have never cried over being paid to much.

I also don't agree that your job performance isn't based on how hard you work. I believe that the harder you work the more productive you are. The more productive you are the more productive the company is. The more productive the company is, the more revenue it will generate. Thus (theoretically) the better they compensate those who were productive.

Welcome to the new America, gas is $4+, health care is expensive, Taxes are astronomical, Unemployment is record breaking and the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Feb 22, 2011


Logistics is a thing of beauty
its the wife bringing food to the station
and being able to arrange the drop off on a scene of a call.

Secretly and covertly placing the goods within the ambulance and
slipping into the night.
With out ever knowing that she was even there.

She knows how the system works, understands the dimensions
and is able to operate cohesively with its
less than predictable nature

All with out waking the sleeping child in the car
or breaking a sweat

I think I married a Ninja! 

Feb 19, 2011

Can you tell me where these go?

Sitting around the station I was reminded of a great story that was encountered in a foreign hospital on a rare bring home transfer. Stubs and my self had traveled two and a half hours to get to the sending facility, which we have dropped off to before. Its a hospital that dwarfs our three local shops combined, but of course its a level one Trauma center, Burn center, a Pediatric center, Cancer specialist, Heart specialist, and they even have a few actual Tim Horton/Dunkin Donut shops and a Cold Stone Creamery in house.

So with a hospital this big its easy to get lost, infact its real easy to get lost. They employ St. Benards to rome the halls in search for lost visitors. Information kioask every thousand yards to keep folks on track, and its highly suggested you travel in groups larger than three as a standard safety procedure. Colored lines stripe the corridor floors to lead you to the associated unit, whether it be Blue for the lab, Red for the ER, Green for Oncology, Black for Radiology or even White with blue polka dots for Cold Stone.

We had a general idea of where we were heading and with stretcher in tow we headed in for our adventure. Waiting for an elevator we gazed upon a very lost and confused young lady, looking lost but to proud to admit it. Looking at the signs she tried to decipher where she was in terms of where she needed to be. Finally asking for help she gave the closest guy a chance with no luck, but behold her savior was about to make him self known.

A lonely deaf gentleman, standing in the wings who had always wanted to be a knight in shining armor saw his chance. He approached this lovely young lady and began trying to help, but unfortunately he was no better than the lot of the folks standing at this busy intersection of the hospital. He led her down one corridor than back and around a corner and back, the whole time explaining how he was a nice guy or still lived with his mother. He finally admitted that he wasn't really sure where she was looking for, whether he didn't understand her fully due to his hearing impairment or just had no clue how to take her to where she was looking we may never know.

Finally going to and from the various locations with her escort the young lady finally asked the question, "where do these Elevators go?" he replied simply "They go Up and Down"

Stubs and I lock eyes and grin, as the elevator doors open and quickly slip in to escape before we cracked up in laughter. As we turned to hit the button for the ninth floor we were surprised to hear the young lady ask us to hit the fifth floor knob. Our joy would have to wait I thought as the doors closed and it began to go up a floor, "Oh No!" the young lady let out "I was hoping for the elevator that goes left to right." As she turned and grinned we reached the fifth floor, and with that she departed. Leaving those remaining in the elevator all with ear to ear smiles.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Feb 15, 2011

I'm out of places to look.

I give up! I am through, its impossible and I admit defeat! I am not a quitter but damn it I'm finished. I have searched all over and am out of places left to look for it. Impossible to rationalize that there are only so many places to look, and yet each and every one of them has yielded no success. 

Its only four rooms, all the cabinets are locked up, the stair ways are blocked off and the closets closed. No Open windows or doors and no holes in the floors or walls. Every last conceivable location looked over with a fine tooth comb.

 Still no success!

The only one who possibly knows where the object of my affection may be isn't talking. Or at least isn't talking in any rational form, rather just babbling along. Sure he has the dexterity to hold and "throw" but not the stature to place it atop any object. So its hard to imagine where he has put it.

I have to admit my little man has bested me at hiding the remote control,
8 weekends in a row!

Feb 14, 2011

Ambulance Hi-Jinx

As I sit behind my laptop and ponder, I am drawn constantly to reminiscing pranks that have been pulled over the years in this station. The pranks that have been lengthy and the ones that happen so fast a blink of an eye would miss it. Here are a few of my favorites, though I don't recommend doing them (which absolves me from liability right?)

Never fall asleep in my passenger seat when returning from an out of town transfer, you'll pay!

The set up is simple, once my partner dozes off, take the first rest stop I find and with careful placement of the rig behind a parked tractor trailer, I place the rig in park. Hold on tight to the steering wheel while shaking your arms as if slamming on the brakes, immatating the steering wheel shake. Begin to scream at the top of you lungs "Oh God! Hold On!" etc. By this time the partner awakes in a dead panic, turn your head at the partner and continue screaming. "Ahhh!!! OH NO!!" Partner seeing the tractor trailer directly in front of the rig grabs onto the dash board and began screaming at the top of his lungs at the idea of our implied impending demise.

Hiding in shower stall to scare Nerf Herder when he went to change at end of shift.

I patiently waited thirty minutes while NH played on the computer after he clocked out. Even being given candy by my dispatcher to sustain the wait. NH entered the rest room and he closed the door, holding my breath as to not give my self away. As he turned unsuspectingly towards the mirror, I sprang my surprise on this unknowing victim. Pulling back the shower curtain and yelling surprise. NH stumbled back against the wall looking like a cat being starttled, his back hunched and conforming his fingers like cat claws to defend himself. The sheer look of terror in his eyes as he was completly startled. I ran out of the rest room with the door slamming behing me. Extensive cursing from behind the closed door was quickly drowned out but the laughter from the crew room and dispatch who had all been in on the prank. To this day Nerf Herder wont go into the rest room with out checking out the shower stall.

Good old pranks, theres just something I enjoy about them, mainly the terror which is involved from the recipient.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Feb 8, 2011

Turtle the House Cat

As I sit on my perch watching my kingdom, I hear the roar of the invasion party. The frigid night breeze through my fur, I peer over the edge and spy on these would be attackers. A simple group of men and their iron horse adorned with light to pierce through the night. The snow crumbles from under my paws and I fear they may have taken notice of me so I slip into the shadows and begin to plan my ambush. They advance in a hurry with hands full of weapons and make their way past any obstacle I have set forth. Not even the largest of snow berms slow them down. Up the stairs of my tower I flee, heading for the top to wage what may be my final battle. They continue to pursue me up the tower, not even slowing for the dark corridor laden with the pits and holes in the floor. They advance past the ice covered climb to the second floor and through the tricycle barrier. Hot on my tail, I claw my way into the inner sanctum of the tower's third floor, surly they can not follow. The door will hold them out allowing me to regroup and ready my counter attack. Catching my breath I feel surrounded and not yet ready for the impending strike. Through the door they enter and I quickly retreat under the camouflage of canvas and wood. They move in slowly talking in their strange language, they have not noticed me and are attending to one of their kind laying atop my position. Assured they have not noticed me I debate my move, lay in wait or use my position to strike fear in them. My back begins to rise, as I hold my ground I am poised to attack waiting my perfect opportunity. One member leaves back to the Iron horse outside no doubt, to bring heavier seige equipment. This is my chance one man already down from my earlier attack I must not waste this oppertunity! For I am Turtle, The House Cat! AHHH!!!!

"Well Hello there Kitty" I say as the feline's paw bat at my boot three consecutive times, then darts out from under the bed. The Home owner chuckles "Thats Turtle" she musters in her raspy voice, while my partner English returns with the stair chair we continue on our task. Never the wiser to the world of Turtle the House cat.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Feb 7, 2011


Have you ever thought about the principles let alone the physics behind juggling? We all know how its suppose to work, it seems easy, one ball must always be in the air and the other two can be in a hand respectfully. Simple right? How many of us can actually put this into practice though? I surely can not, as much as I would like to be able to juggle I have yet to be able to master this task. It always seems to be the transition part of juggling that gets me. That may be why I went into EMS rather than the circus, though there is always room for another clown at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus I hear.

In life though we juggle things constantly, and most of the time we have no one around clapping when we pull it off. Sure there may not be any showmanship when we pull off the boss calls home to discuss an incident while we're changing the baby's diaper routine or The wife calls when lil man's sick while your driving emergency to a male down not breathing show stopping finally. It takes just as much talent to pull off, so what if its not two guys frantically tossing shiny sharp swords between themselves with a woman standing in the middle. It doesn't mean that our feat is any less amazing. In fact it may be more so than any three ring circus act out there. 

If you ask me those guys who toss around the flaming bowling pins calling it a fire dance have nothing on those of us who have just dropped off the GSW to the hospital staff than call to tell our child good night and sweet dreams. Juggling that emotional roller coaster takes talent.

Be Safe

Feb 5, 2011

Nerf Herder saved me

Now the funny thing about the whole jury duty event was that along with myself another coworker was in the random juror pool. 

She was my Supervisor and was my rig mate for a good portion of the beginning of my career.

Funnier was that a coworker was a witness and it created a conflict of interest. 
But not just any coworker, one that we in the jury pool both trained, one that we both review Qa/Qi for, 
and best of all one that I have been to Vegas with!

Nerf Herder saved me from Jury duty!

Feb 1, 2011

Fighting Kids Cancer

Dear Readers

    I want to tell you a little about a cause I greatly believe in, a cause that I hope you can get behind too. A few years ago I became involved with a few fellow coworkers to take a stand against childhood cancer. We joined up with St. Baldrick's and to show our solidarity with kids affected with cancer we had our heads shaved. It showed a comitment to the children that they were not alone. I am becoming reinvested in my fight and I hope

What would you look like bald? 

You'd look like a hero for kids with cancer!

Shaving your head is a great way to show your support for kids undergoing chemotherapy treatment while raising funds for life-saving research.

Mission Statement

The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

Our History
On March 17, 2000, reinsurance executives Tim Kenny, John Bender and Enda McDonnell turned their industry's St. Patrick's Day party into a benefit for kids with cancer. The three planned to raise "$17,000 on the 17th," recruiting 17 colleagues to raise $1,000 each to be shorn. Instead, the first St. Baldrick's event raised over $104,000!

The event had a life of its own and quickly grew into the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research! The Foundation now funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. Since 2000, events have taken place in 28 countries and 50 US states, raising over $87 million. More than 144,000 volunteers-- including over 12,000 women-- have shaved their heads in solidarity of children with cancer, while requesting donations of support from friends and family – each one becoming a walking billboard for the cause!

So heres my plea to my followers, to my readers, to my fans
You've heard it right - I'm shaving my head in solidarity with children who have cancer and typically lose their hair during treatment, while raising critical funds for childhood cancer research!
Click the link below

In the US, more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease. Please make a donation on my behalf to support childhood cancer research so that all children diagnosed with cancer will have a better chance for a cure.

To make a donation, click on "Make A Donation" or donate by mail or phone.

Thank you for your support!

Email me at
for details on how to help!!!

Jan 31, 2011

A Tale of Passing Ships

To My Wife:

A ship is docked in port sheltered from the rampant storms rolling through the seas. This ship is beautiful and she is illustrious, known through the world for her abilities to handle any job near or far, a true jewel in the world of sailing. Her sails new and pristine, always the one of fashion. Her rigging made of gold, always polished to a shine. She is the pride of the shipping fleet. In the serene waters of the harbor she is calm and still, with her crew at rest, anticipation of tomorrows journey only just dreams as the light of the moon shimmers on her deck. Set to sail at dawn, she sits waiting, hoping that her companion ship will arrive safe in the harbor before the early dawn.

Her companion ship forever sailing the seas of night, navigating the vast emptiness of the ocean by starlight. Pushing through the waves and fighting through the storms which try to blow it off course. Heading to the same port of call known as home where she sits. He is weathered and battered from the struggles at sea. His crew worn and tired but always pressing forward, with patched sails and improvised rigging they have nothing to show but their love of the sailing life. No treasure, no goods, just stories and tales of the adventure on the high seas to pass on in port.

With dawn approaching the entrance to the harbor is in sight, out of food rations and the last few ounces of water left he catches a southerly breeze into the protection of the bay. At last he will see his beloved companion and the life at sea will have been worth it. But alas his beauty is no longer docked, on the horizon sails her silhouette as the morning light breaks over the ocean.

The mere glimmer of her silhouette on the horizon renews his affection to his companion ship. This life of passing may not be ideal but they are in it together and together they will be.

Ambulance Junkie

Jan 26, 2011

A Love Story

Open prescription bottles in my sink all barren of the pills once in them, empty beer cans lay waste on my tiled floor. I lay in the bath filled with cold water to numb the pain, feeling strung out and fading fast. My breaths slowing and more shallow with every passing minute. My eye lids getting heavier, the light diminishing, I'm unable to keep my eyes open. My heart slowing but my thoughts as strong as ever.

In the darkness of my own mind all I can think of is him, the one I loved who never loved me back. The pain and hurt that I went through day after day, night after night the tears I have cried. He was the one who was supposed to protect me, care for me, and love me. Not yell at me, abuse me or strike me. This will get his attention, he'll have to love me after this, he'll realize what I mean to him. As soon as he calls back he'll realize that he made a mistake and it'll fix us. He should call back soon to say sorry for our fight and he'll know what he's done to me.

The seconds slip by, the time is fleeing, the cold icy grasp of death creeps its way up my legs pulling me towards the end. Oh god why hasn't he called yet, doesn't he know what he's made me do, doesn't he realize I'm trying to hurt myself to make him see how he hurt me. Why doesn't he love me?

She begins to cry, the terror setting in that she's ending her own life hoping it would make him love her. The tears escape her eyes and she wishes she could take it back, she's sorry, she didn't mean for it to be this way.

Her cell phone slipping from her hand she goes unconscious, slipping under the water she takes her last breath. This is death, no bright light, nothing but emptiness and loneliness. Never realizing she is surrounded, surrounded by a group of men and woman fighting for her life. Complete strangers who entered her bathroom unannounced and pulled her out from under the water tomb. Strangers who will not let her slip from their grasp, doing what they must to bring her back from the brink. They breathe for her because she can not, pressing on her chest pumping her heart for it does not beat on its own, by counteracting the drugs she took to stop the damage she has already done to herself.

The why doesn't matter to these strangers, its between her and her maker. All they know is that she's not going to meet him anytime soon if they have anything to say about it.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie


Jan 21, 2011

A Walk In The Park For Us, Is The Great Unknown

Its dark out and she was woken from a sound sleep by an unfamiliar feeling. An uneasy feeling begins to set in as she gains her baring, readjusting her position in bed she closes her eyes. The sensation does not go away no matter which way she lays. Sitting up in bed she just cant shake this feeling, the sensation, the pressure as if someone is sitting on her chest. Not like reflux she has had before, but a feeling scary enough to call for help. 

The 3am call for chest pain is a walk in the park for most, but for the 65 year old female who has never experienced this feeling a day in her life its not just a walk in the park. Its the change of a life time, its scary, its not normal, its new and unfamiliar. We in EMS assess, treat, reassess, repeat; its what makes good providers. What makes better providers is the ability to ease and calm by voice, the ones who reassure the patients through the process of our skill set. Informing our customer of the next step we will take, the multiple things that will be going on all at once all around her.

Not including the frequent flyers, EMS typically knows a lot more than the average person of what goes on in the Emergency room in the first few moments of the ambulance's arrival. Its simply a matter that we get exposed to the initial greeting and assessments of the patient by the ER staff, the annoying wait times for a room, the feeling of udder avoidance by staff, or the paparazzi like attention patients get. As with anything repetitive it begins to be ingrained with in or such common place for us ambulance folks we don't bat an eye at the process. We have become use to it, or if your still a wet tag you'll get use to it and understand everything that goes on and even what to expect from the staff, depending on your patient .

The ones who don't understand are our patients, who already are scared for calling over their personal emergency. We have talked them through what we will do but have we talked them through what will happen?

Recently I have been complimented by coworkers and recent patients on my inclusion of what will occur once the rig stops and the off loading begins. I find it odd that it may not be common place for providers to share their gained knowledge and continue to ease our customer through the transition into the hospital. I'm no expert of what will happen step by step but I know that the process in my region is strangely similar to our first few minutes with a patient. 

So if you know that there is a chance of waiting for a room let the customer know that you'll be with them waiting and they wont just be moved into a chair and avoided. If you know their injury or illness is considered minor and that they will be placed in triage inform them of how that process works. If you know that the customers condition is one that will gain the ER's entire attention tell them of how many people will be swarming around them. 

After all its the least we can do for our customers to help them through the transition.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Jan 18, 2011

A frigid Morning

This morning was a rough one, it was cold. Not just any cold, it was single digit cold. Most people were inside their toasty warm beds just starting to stir when I was battling my demons. I blame no one but myself, for if I could have been inside in the warmth of my bed I assure you I would have been.

I was preparing for my venture home in the cold, my honorable Wrangler by my side to whisk me the 2.5 miles to my "estate" on top of the mountain. I inserted my key into the lock and turned, thinking I had twisted my wrist the wrong direction I reversed and went the other way. Funny I thought to my self no click notifying me of the lock being disengaged. I pull the handle thinking there must be a mistake to no avail, turning the key back the original way I pull the handle.....Nothing! OK, no problem after all I have a passenger side to unlock and I'll just unlock the driver door from the inside and be on my way. Oh what a thought, home in my warm bed to partake in my favorite activity, sleep. My boots crunching in the hardened snow I make it to the passenger side door. Turn, pull, turn, pull, the twisting and rotating useless, with nothing being achieved I sigh into the vast emptiness of the city streets at five am. My breath pouring out of me like puff the magic dragon, no fear my tail gate will work! Ah the trusty tail gate, its never failed me before when I've locked myself out of the Jeep. Though that was when I had the summer soft top on and not the hard top, never the less I insert my key and turn.

At last I am able to get into the Jeep, what success in a small battle, feeling vindicated in my efforts the reality sets in. The real work has yet to begin, the car seat I worked so hard at placing and securing this past weekend now has to be removed. Not only removed to make room for my rear seat to fold down but it has to be accomplished blindly from the behind the seat. Fondling like teenager working his first bra clasp I fuddle at the task. Accomplishing that, I fold down the seat and crawl my less than petite frame into the back of the Jeep. I still am in rather good spirits thinking the lock cylinder was just frozen and that the interior lock button would release the door and allow me in.

What kind of a story would that be if I gained easy entry? As I am sprawled out comprehending that The locks are entirely to cold to even work and begin to think of how to make it home. Starting my Wrangler and sliding my physique out I am still clinging onto the slim hope that cranking the heat and warming up the interior would make the locks work. Now 45 minutes since my end of shift have passed and still no access into the Jeep other than through the tailgate. I have tried steaming hot water in an attempt to defrost the locks, thought about laying extension cords across a busy street to run a hair dryer to warm up the locks. Even considered walking home, but when its to cold to snow its to cold for extreme mountain walking. And yes for those who see snow less than once a year, there is such a reality as to cold to snow.

No other options panning out I realize I have to begin the daunting task of climbing into the Wrangler and some how pivot my self around contorting limbs into position not even the Kama-Sutra would recommend just to get into the drivers seat. I am so glad that the local lady's were with "johns" and the Urban Nomads were in shelters other wise there may be a new You Tube video posted labeled Bear rummaging through a Jeep. Now finally in the drivers seat I am content knowing that I can at least head home and get into my nice warm bed and my ordeal is over.

.....Then I realize the tail gate is still wide open....sighing I knew what I had to do. Climbing back out of my seat I struggle to find the inner strength to continue, reclining the passenger seat I tumble over the slanted rear seat and reach for the tail gate. I had no intention of trying to get the glass down, I would rather just suffer the cold single digit morning air. Making it home event free I park and pray to every religion known to man that my door locks be free and I can exit this frigid ice box.

It was twice as hard contorting on the way out than on the way in.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Jan 15, 2011

Lessons from Jury Duty?

Why is it that its said to be a privilege to serve but no one really wants to do it, well other than retired folks who's soaps are reruns. Maybe its that it seems to come at the most inopportune times, or maybe its the slow drawn out process just to be initiated into the realm of juror that is rather a pain in the ass.

If you have never gotten the "opportunity" to be called for Jury duty is interesting, and nothing like Law and Order makes it out to be. Don't get me wrong because even though it is time consuming, it was insightful into the process involved. Its similar to what I'd imagine the military draft was like only on a civilian aspect. Being randomly (though I'm convinced that because I voted in the last high profile election it threw flags up as still being an active member of society) selected by mail a few weeks before of my required attendance. Sure you can get excused but than you still need to show the next time, so you cant really get out of it. Upon your arrival you realize that you are one of a lucky few 120+ members of the community to be reviewed and given the chance to be scrutinized by a judge and lawyers.

Now it got me thinking, what if EMS worked the same way the courts did? Your in a motor vehicle crash, and are in need of care but you had to wait close to a year until a group of knowledgeable folks question a perspective gathering of 120 people who have randomly been selected just to weed through them and reduce down to 12 people. Now that would all have to occur before you even had the chance to be assessed or the evidence of mechanism of injury reviewed. Than once that group has been whittled down from 120 to 12 those same said knowledgeable folks than present the information to the group of 12 who make a decision of if you've really been in a Motor Vehicle Crash before they pass their verdict of to the Judge.

OK,OK,OK I know a little far fetched, right? Obviously there is no way legally let alone ethically this would be a reality. My only point is that in EMS we strive to make things better, but let us not forget they can always be worse.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Jan 13, 2011

Nominating has begun!

Follow the link to The Fire Critic to see the details and rules of the compotition.

Nomination period:

January 11 – January 19.
Beginning at 0000 hours EST on January 12th and ending at 2359 hours EST January 19th.

Nomination via email or contact form:

Nominate using E-mail directly at or our form on our contact page.
  • Please include the name of the blog
  • Please include the url of the blog (
  • Please include your name
  • Please include why you are nominating the blog
  • If you do not include your name the nomination will not be counted

 So what are you waiting for go nominate your favorite blog's
and if it happens to be for me that would be nice

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Jan 9, 2011

The "Helm"

The chair is not nearly as comfortable as I once remembered, the room is filled with dim light creating shadows blending into darkness. There is no view to speak of, just the television with its changing pictures, for all intents and purposes its a cave. Not the awesome kind of cave like a caped crusader of justice would have, not even the kind with a hidden pirate ship much like the Goonies ended up in. Rather just a dark cave when the computer monitor's time out. A dark and lonely cave void of life other than myself.

Its not often that I sit at the "helm" of the ship, frankly I am not the biggest fan of it. Now don't get me wrong I have nothing against dispatching but right now in my life I love being where the rubber meets the asphalt. Sure I'm inside away from the cold and snow right now but I still have to deal with the same individuals that you meet on the streets except now they are on the phone. They are hard to understand, sniffling, moaning and other various bodily noises and usually have no more useful information than that provided by a 5year old. Or they tell me every amount of useless information including the color of the patients shirt and shoe size thinking that will make a difference in the speed the ambulance arrives. I would much rather be on the road where I can at least match up my minds image to the actual weirdo that gave the call info. That always brings a smile to my face.

Some may not appreciate the way that I have referred to my current obligation as "the Helm", many may even think I have gone mad! How could a Dispatcher be referred to as controlling the direction of the ambulance? They just sit in their comfy location and spew out orders of where to go and what to do! They have no real power and they always pretend that they do. Or they tell me one thing and upon arrival its completely different, I was not prepared for the call in any way, Damn you Dispatch! I pity those who don't have a good dispatcher, and I can relate to a bad one too. Once you find the good ones make sure you keep a hold of them.

The idea of sitting the helm invokes the job of directing the vessel into open waters on its voyage, a seat of assumed power. In terms of EMS its the road guys apparent rivals, who are only out to harass you and make your night a living hell. As if they have any real ability to control what comes in and needs to be dispatched. When actually they should be the crews best friend. The invisible force that is there to help us when we need a little bit extra. the one who manages behind the scenes and usually never get any credit for a job well done.

Instead of sitting the "helm" I like to think my post tonight as being the radio DJ during the request hour, sure not every song coming through the radio is your favorite but if its a requested it should be played. Though sometimes if you sit through the boring whiny songs you get to hear what you have been waiting for!

Go ahead and dance you know you want to

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Jan 6, 2011


All the holiday splendor is over and the decorations are being picked up. The trees are being taken down and the stress of the family get together's are a memory of last year. Life has returned to normal and we can all relax, but some may not know that in several homes through America especially in my neck of the woods the holidays have yet to begin. 

In homes all through America and the world, Orthodox are preparing a traditional dinner for Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve? That was December 24th! On the contrary, in Orthodox homes who follow the Gregorian calender Christmas is celebrated on January 7th. With that being said, I have a tradition to celebrate every year since I can remember. I use to get out of school excused due to celebrating Russian Christmas. I always liked being able to celebrate a different holiday from most, not for the sake of religion, or the good thing to do to keep people happy, rather for the traditional importance I feel towards this event. The connection I have knowing this has occurred in my family with my grandparents my great grandparents all of who no longer are around. Knowing that in the short time my family has been in this country that we have embraced January 7th as our Christmas. Granted I never got presents of gifts, but it was never about that for "American Christmas was for gifts. The things I enjoy the most is the time with my parents, the smells out of the kitchen, and the joy I get from knowing this is worth passing down to my son, seeing him participate in the tradition I had done since I was young, thats worth having him experience it.

Tonight I will be going to my folks house to partake in the traditional aspects of  Christmas Eve dinner, such as washing our hands with coins to ask for prosperity in the coming year. Enjoying traditional ethnic fare and Momma Junkies Manhattan clam chowder. 

It really is one of the reasons that I am glad I have stayed in the area, in order to maintain a small part of my traditional heritage. Not many in the Junkie clan left locally to keep this small dinner going and I am glad we have the ability to keep momma Junkie happy and allow her grandson to participate annually. So I wish all of my readers a happy Russian Christmas from my Russian side of heritage. 

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie

Jan 1, 2011

New Years Resolution

Now that the booze has flowed, the clock struck midnight you've gotten that new years kiss and the ball has dropped its officially the event we have all been waiting for. A new year for us to reform our ways, make a resolution to make our selves better. Its a unique opportunistic time that comes along in a rare 365days, just like the one before or the one before that one before that one? Enough of the cynicism! Its a new year after all! A new slate with promises to break to our selves try really hard to keep going for a year. It allows us to lie to the ones who know us the best, the ones in the mirror and try real hard to change something about ourselves. This year we'll promise to hit the gym, kick that habit in order to quite smoking, cut our carbon footprint, recycle more, loose weight, car pool more, use public transit, achieve that goal of being more organized or other lies life changes we come up with.

If you haven't picked up on it yet, I do not believe in the all mighty power of the new years resolution. Nor have I in many, many years. I have no intention to stop being my sarcastic self, finding objects of amusement causing me to laugh (even at the expense of others), or even will I resolve to care more about petty things. I also have no intention of publicly making fun of people, pushing old folks down on street corners, stealing, or hitting anyone over the head with a Nine Iron.

I don't feel any need to resolve to change something that is making me who I am, much like I wouldn't resolve to start a R.A.P sheet for myself and ruin my "good" name. Now don't read this and think that I am totally against this holiday created by calender companies to market a product that you could make at home. I do appreciate the newness that the new year brings.

The new year is filled with potential, that new car smell of opportunity so to speak. The chance to start a new and go achieve the goals you have set for your self.

So if you have to resolve or just set goals to achieve in this fresh year best of luck to you. I hope this year is the year of action for all of us. Enough talk of what we want to do with our lives or our careers or our passions, this year is the year to make the move. Lets lay it all on the table and go all in, we have the mindset now lets have the success.

Happy New Year and all its potential.

Be Safe
Ambulance Junkie