Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On The QRS Truck Yesterday...

... I spent 12 hours on the QRS Truck yesterday. Basically, the detail involves responding to help out a BLS unit in the middle of an ALS call, back- up a Paramedic, or respond out of the area to some of the mostly fire-based BLS services.
The call itself was minor- seven year old with a dog bite to the hand. I was enroute to obtain a refusal- the First Responders on scene weren't familiar or comfortable with the procedure- no problem.
The problem came along when, after consulting the map I found myself more confused than before.
Maybe this has happened to you- sometimes you just can not visualize the route to the call.
So, I radioed ahead for directions:

... ShakyTown VFD from QRS 1, directions to Elm, I'm inbound on South Main... uh, uh, uh, uh, standby, (pause------------) Go on down South Main till the, the thing, right you know in there uh, before uh you know,uh, uh, uh there's an intersection and then uh, uh, uh turn and go down the one and you'll come right up on Elm, uh, uh, uh copy?
Dispatch from QRS 1, directions to Elm...

... 'til next time,
Pedro the Paramedic

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Law Of Karma

"According to the seed that’s sown,
So is the fruit you reap there from,
Doer of good will gather good,
Doer of evil, evil reaps,
Down is the seed and thou shalt taste
The fruit thereof."

... or something like that- what goes around comes around.
Watch yer poopers evil doers- big train a' comin'

The Temporary Partner

Amy, my almost steady partner of the last three years is on vacation. The Medic brought in to replace her is an extremely unpleasant young woman- I think her name is Melanoma. I've encountered dogs that are very much like her- snarling, dead eyed, unkempt mongrels at once angry and afraid of the world and everything on it.
I will be happy when she is gone.
I miss Amy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"I Just Like To Watch..."

... if you just like to watch emergencies- you know, maybe you're a yet to be indited EMS Manager, working hard at keeping the Board from going through the books- maybe need a diversion- try these thirty episodes of TVs best and closest ever depiction of EMS on the streets- next to Mother, Jugs and Speed of course.

From FANCAST Beta- Emergency!

... and when the Board finally does close in- tell 'em Johnny and Roy made ya' do it... now, who loves ya baby?

Yup- Pedro the Paramedic

Monday, May 19, 2008

The System Abuser Chronicles- Part Two

The American College of Emergency Physicians have done some research, circa 2006, into the whole "frequent flyer" phenomenon.

Here's the link

Apparently the good doctors aren't seeing the same patients as EMS providers or even their own ER nursing staffs.

This morning Pedro the Paramedic took the area's last ALS ambulance out of service to transport a fully ambulatory 40- something male to the ER after his persistently errant golf swing caused him to develop a bad case of right-nut-pain.

Interestingly this gentleman and his family are some of our best customers- having required ambulance transport for such debilitating afflictions as- a sore thumb secondary to a hammer strike, loose stool, a stuffy nose- dispatched Priority One as a person in respiratory distress, tooth aches (yes more than once)- well, you get the idea...

And one of lifes little ironies that even the good folks at the American College of Emergency Physicians would appreciate- the hospital we took this patient to was famous (or infamous) in the not so old days for having the uninsured forcibly removed from the Emergency Room, beaten and prosecuted- oh yeah- you know who you are.

Heath care in the USA- can't live with it, can't live... uh, with it...

Peace, love and all that,
Pedro the Paramedic

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The System Abuser Chronicles- Part One

Dispatched Priority One for a "diabetic emergency"- on scene we discovered that the patient had been driven by family to the wound care center this morning, where the staff referred the patient to a local hospital, as a direct admission, for treatment of an infection to the right biggie toe. Yes, I do indeed realize this can be a serious complication for a diabetic, but- the family put the patient back in the car, drove 45 minutes back to their home- coming within less than a hundred yards of the hospital- had some lunch, watched part of the hockey game and then- called 911.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Don't Worry, the Goverment Will Take Care of Us

Yes, you're government has a plan for you... let's just limit the discussion today to an analysis of some simple statistics- Now, statistically speaking- during your lifetime you WILL be the victim of a violent crime, and of course, statistically here in the USA it will involve a firearm. But, hey now- do not be alarmed. Because your Government as always has a plan- again, consulting the stats- every American will be in prisoned at least once some time in their lives- statistically speaking mind you- So, alright, let the bastards try and shoot you in there. Uncle Sam to the rescue one more time. Yea, USA numero uno...

Pedro the Paramedic

Monday, May 12, 2008

Even More Home Town News...

... if your home town is PICHER, Oklahoma- or if you end up down wind. Enjoy that breath of fresh air folks...

The news is here:


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Home Town News

The town I work in has gone through a lot of changes in the last few years- most bad. We have regular outbreaks of violence, overdoses and fires.
Some can be attributed to free lance thugs and gangs with guns and drugs.
There is a lot of alcohol related domestic violence.
Even on the road and in the nicest homes in the "good" section of town there is an epidemic of that lard and sugar rage that permeates middle class America.

"We have met the enemy and he is us"
Pogo- by Walt Kelly/ year unknown

Friday, May 9, 2008

Danger Will Smith, Or Who Ever You Are...

... Let me let you in on one of Pedro's numero uno rules of EMS survival-

I am more important than you, more important than the patient or the patients family. I am the most important person involved.
My family depends on me, my family is more important than you, more important than your family, more important than the patient.
I will not allow you, your actions or inactions to endanger me while I attempt to perform my job.

Don't think I don't care- I do, way too much- but you are not going to keep me from going home in one piece. Never.

Adios and Love,
Pedro the Paramedic

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

...It's On My List...

I make lists for myself- nothing too exotic- cut the grass, change the oil, meeting at.... You get the idea. I'm in a stretch where I am working 12 on/ 12 off- there seems to be no end in sight, so I have begun adding an item to the top of my daily list- SLEEP.

By the way, maybe some-one can help me with this- are EMS schedules an honest result of the true needs of the service or in reality just the expected outcome of allowing the busboys to run the kitchen- as it were, or is.

Now I know the answer to this question, but you need to give it some thought- is your EMS schedule allowing you a healthy, sustainable lifestyle? Hope so, but I bet for most of you (us) it's not...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Heathcare- USA Style

Finished up what was actually kind of a brutal EMS shift- on the way home I stopped at the local VFD for a plate of spaghetti. No- Pedro don't like the Sp'ghetts that much- no, this was a fund raiser my friend. We see them all the time- why it's like supplemental heath insurance! Now forget for a moment all the system abusers you see everyday- toe pain, finger pain, itchy this, scratchy, shaky, silly, my doctor told me to call, I'm too sad, I'm too happy,drug seeker, you know, you know.
No Padrone'- we were actually buying dinner so an 11 year old girl could get a bone marrow transplant- yes that is right- in 21st century USA we are trying to finance life saving medical procedures with noodles and red sauce.
That's just peachy you say, unemployed immigrants, let 'em git jobs and git theys own heath care insurance. Yup- good plan knucklehead- this family has jobs, and they serve the community and dey pay taxes- but... like alot of us... their health care plan fell short... and the caring healthcare pros that intervened on the little girls behalf basically said- ok, you ain't getting in the happy circle of life till we have $xx,xxxx, cash, up front- we will bill you for the rest.
So- the system is broken- you know it is, you see it. Till it can be fixed Pedro the Paramedic will eat VFD spaghetti and buy the raffle tickets and, and and...

Hey, is it some- how immoral that people in this country are being denied the most basic forms of care for no reason other than their insurance status?

Let Pedro the Paramedic just say it folks- any nation that requires it's sick and injured to pay first or die is wrong and rotten and immoral at it's very core.

Now please- let me repeat... right here in the USA, everyday, all the time, routinely- we sacrifice moms, dads, kids for no reason other than- they can't afford the cost of saving and maintaining their sorry asses- again, in 21st century USA we are trying to finance life saving medical procedures with noodles and red sauce, again, in 21st century USA we are trying to finance life saving medical procedures with noodles and red sauce, again, in 21st century USA we are trying to finance life saving medical procedures with noodles and red sauce, again, in 21st century USA we are trying to finance life saving medical procedures with noodles and red sauce...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

To Those We Serve...

"Were it not for the presence of the unwashed and the half educated, the formless, queer and incomplete, the unreasonable and absurd, the infinite shapes of the human tadpole, the horizon would not wear so wide a grin."
Frank Moore Colby
Imaginary Obligations

"No sir, I am not a public servant- I'm a public official."
Pedro the Paramedic
Setting it Straight One More Time

Saturday, May 3, 2008

America's Sootiest City

Yea, you're number one! Pittsburgh, the legendary "Smokey City" is back on top of the heap as it were. It has regained its rightful place as America's Sootiest City. As a former visitor to the Pittsburgh area I can attest that the air is indeed sooty, gritty and well-I guess you'd have to call it particulate.
The natives aren't too worried though- or so I gather from some of the news reports- they have the head in the sand syndrome mastered- hey, sand, more particulates- no wonder...

Air quality aside, I would have to put Pittsburgh in the mix with St Louie/ Kansas City, Atlanta and Bakersfield as among the most inhospitable, corrupt and blighted urban area's in the nation.

My memory of Pittsburgh is of a town full of lard seekers, butter-rollers and glum dinosaurs. The backward, sullen and swollen sons and daughters of the Linkhorns...

But don't just take my word for it...

"Hunched in its ravine, it is a hard-bitten, proletarian town, populated by immigrants ... from beyond the Carpathian mountains. Bingo parlors abound, as do establishments dealing in prosthetics."
Peter Conrad writing for the March 13, 1994 edition of The Observer Review of London

... The American Lung Association... They started this whole mess didn't they?

Friday, May 2, 2008

What's All That Junk On Your Belt Dude?

When I first started in EMS I looked for things to hang from my belt- lights (sometimes two, yes two flashlights), carabiners, trauma shears, pouches for gloves, pouches for stethoscopes and of course my radio- and back in the olden days the average portable was about the size and weight of a really good red-brick.
I only began reflecting on this because today, in the ER parking lot, I saw an EMSer packin' enough stuff on his belt to fill a Galls to the roof- walking hardware store... jingle, jangle, jingle...
Today- well I'm down to what I consider the bare essentials- two pairs of gloves in my right front pocket and a very light weight UHF portable clipped to my belt. Everything else is in the ambulance, in the House Bag or on my partner...