Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From Outer Space to EMS...

... your new operational guidelines-

“Ok people listen up. I want you all to forget the flight plan. From this moment on, we are improvising a new mission.”
From the motion picture Apollo 13

From the far far reaches of space to those very, very few remaining in EMS...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Straight From The Mind Of An EMS Manager...

Straight From The Mind Of An EMS Manager... directly to a community near you...

#1- New and thoroughly obnoxious Paramedic explaining why she refused to give her 52 year old chest pain patient NTG and baby aspirin- "I thought she was a drug seeker"
EMS Manager-"Well, sure, yeah- you gotta follow your instincts in this business"

#2- EMT, reports for his shift late, slurring his speech, walking kinda funny and smelling like he maybe had more than a few is ordered to the EMS managers office. The plan is to have the local police administer a Breathalyzer- the police however are tied up on yet another shooting so it is decided to have blood drawn at our Command Hospital. Oh man- talk about bad timing- the EMS manager has a luncheon meeting. Ever know one of those guys to pass up free food? Of course not!
New plan is put into action- the possibly intox EMT is ordered to drive himself to the hospital in our Response Vehicle.
... and don't be late...

Welcome to our glowing Metropolis.

Monday, August 25, 2008

When An Emergency Vehicle Approaches...

... here's an easy one for all the motorists out there- when an emergency vehicle approaches, with it's emergency lights and/ or siren operating, you, the motorist must pull to the right and stop.
Do not pull to the left and stop, do not lock 'em up and stop in the middle of the lane, do not run the red light and stop in the middle of the intersection, do not pass the guy in front of you who just pulled to the right and stopped, do not be a jack-ass.
Pull to the right and stop.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Basic Compentency In EMS

Let me go out on a limb and make an across the board generalization about the Paramedics, EMT's and EMS managers out there in the field today-

... 90% of the Paramedics and EMT's, and 98% of the EMS managers I have encountered in my EMS career are, have been and will continue to be- not just incompetent, but dangerously incompetent and psychologically and physically unsuited to the challenges of the REAL EMS world. They are to a man (and woman), inept and wholly unable to manage even the most minor incident. Oh, and as the most competent and qualified burn out and leave, there is no one of merit to take their places- NO ONE ...

Feel better? Go ahead System Abuser- call 911 now...

Friday, August 22, 2008


Being in EMS you are privie to some philosophy and insight others aren't...

... Growing up is accepting what is... growing old is realizing everything they told you- EVERYTHING- is wrong... everything...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ockhams Razor

This could be both your quote for the day and your newly adopted philosophy on EMS-

"All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best."

This comes from the 14th century logician William of Ockham

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I ran across a Medic I had worked with for awhile about ten years ago. I hadn't seen or heard from him in quite some time. Tonight he informed me that after 22 year in EMS he was finally retiring from active duty as a fulltime Paramedic. I couldn't help wondering what brought about the decision- the bullshit, low pay, crappy hours, rotten partners? So I asked and Mike said:

"Pedro, I got into EMS because I wanted to help people and I did but, I stayed in it for so long 'cause I wanted to be part of something bigger than me, I wanted a sense of belonging- well, that hasn't happened after all these years so I am out of here"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's Where Knuckleheads Come From

Talking with a three year old can be enlightening- tonight I learned at last where all the knuckleheads come from- Knuckle Head Town

Sunday, August 10, 2008

You're Driving Me To Death

Here's an interesting tidbit ripped from the pages of JEMS- to paraphrase; as EMS providers, our work related death toll due to vehicle crashes is almost twice the rate of police and fire.

Someone's not being very careful behind the wheel now are they?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

You've Got Me Going In Circles

Do you find yourself becoming frustrated when attempting to collect histories from your patients? Sometimes it seems like they're talking in circles- and of course they are...

Paramedics and to a lesser extent EMTs, construct medical stories in a linear fashion- we need to have our facts organized in a compact and concise package.

Our patients on the other hand, live with their story- and so they construct their version the way it's lived- in a circle, a crazy lumpy circle looking thing...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Paramedic TV

Wow, just in case your real life dose of EMS isn't enough- here comes ParamedicTV
... a YouTube for Paramedics and their little EMT pals...

ParamedicTV is powered by

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Pleasure Dome

... I've been assigned to a new station- forced overtime, just for today... I know all of my temporary crew-mates of course, but I've never spent this much time with any of them.

These Medics do not speak to one another- except on an EMS call- no Hellos, Goodbyes. Sure as hell no "Hows the kids", "Whats for lunch","So, where did you go on vacation?"

They have been together here for a couple of years- I think they all stay because it's a pretty low volume station- easy work I suppose except for the tension in the station. I was afraid to ask what started the whole mess- I suppose I should get to the bottom of things in case I have to come back.

It's kind of liberating- no long goodbyes- just grab your stuff and go... Cool, See Ya'

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Your Quote Of The Day

Your quote of the day, courtesy of your old and dear pal Pedro the Paramedic...

"When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt" - Henry J. Kaiser

The quote itself is from the car guy Henry Kaiser- I lifted it from the homepage of the Soulcraft Frames website- I like the clean look of their bicycle frames and their "corporate philosophy"- I'd like to buy one of their mountain bike frames someday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"I Really, Really Hate This Place"

0811- Dispatched Priority One, unknown problem, 911 activated by the patients Life Alert device. If you're not familiar with Life Alert ("Help I've fallen and I can't get up") and similar alarms- they allow senior citizens to continue to abuse the 911 system long after they would otherwise have lost the ability to do so...

... which brings us to 0817 and our arrival on scene at the personal care home where our patient resides... Harry, and we know Harry quite well, met us at the main door, along with several members of the staff who were attempting, unsuccessfully to calm him down...

"So Harry why are we here today? What's going on?"
"What's going on? You can't hear that racket? (there was a crew doing some exterior repair work) I can't take it anymore, get me the hell out of here dammit!"

... and so the Emergency Medical Service saves yet another- and somehow my partner turned this fiasco into a billable ALS transport.

"Help, I haven't fallen, I'm not ill or injured, but I really hate this place and I can't get out"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wires Down

1317- one of our ALS ambulances was dispatched for a vehicle crash with wires down...

1321- my partner and I were dispatched, with the Fire Department to assist an ambulance that "came in contact with a live wire and is now stuck"

Seems my old nemesis, the evil Melanoma had proceeded to the scene at jet speed, to the exact co ordinates- without checking for the wires that were most definitely down- down on the ground directly beneath her ambulance. This fact was discovered only after her partner, when attempting to exit was greeted by the tell- tale Snap, Crackle, Pop below his feet, of that modern marvel- high tension electricity.

No one was hurt, the cops and the firefighters all had a good laugh and the driver of the car watched the whole thing from the Arbys across the street...

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