Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hercules the Dog- I've Got My Eye On You

I invite you to watch the following video- preferably with your keen EMS eye- and tell me if you agree  with me when I say: They should have named the dog BULLSHIT!

I mean I love a good story and all, but I'm just not buying this one. My finely tuned, honed in the ghetto, B.S. detector went off almost immediately.

So- nice dog folks, god bless ya for giving him a home, but, ah- you know... bullshit.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Open Letter to the 911 Dispatch Center

Dear 911 Dispatch Center,
I know you guys are frightfully busy and I understand everyone makes mistakes, but- you keep sending me places I really shouldn't be.
Maybe you just don't understand the role of the ambulance in the modern urban setting.
So- for future reference- send the POLICE to the stabber and the ambulance to the stab-ee.
The system just doesn't work well when you do it backwards.
OK ? Police to the stabber, ambulance to the stab-ee.
Thank you.

Hey- it's almost time. Mark your calenders and don't forget to stay the hell home.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Night Shift in The City

The shift started like most of them do- with the tones going off. We rotated between red angry intoxes and blue dopers.The good, the bad, the ugly. The hopefull and the hopeless. Around us The City did its lurching, stumbling dance.Working girls on the sidewalk, pushers in the shadows, Gangsters patrolling their turf.
We can hear voices- yelling, fighting, laughing. Music. Sometimes the sound of gunfire.
Besides the denizons of the urban deep there's no one out but us, the cops and the garbage trucks.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

...And Here's Why EMSers Get Fat...

A brief exploration of health and nutrition issues relevant to Emergency Medical personnel.

I found this nutritional time bomb in the Medic/ EMS Room of a local hospital. Please note the upper right corner of the label- the maker of this blob of goo wants you to believe this thing is a good source of protein... don't believe that do you?

Here's the back label- you could have had three apples or a couple graham crackers and some juice, or three eggs, or two eggs, toast and coffee, or three bananas, or an orange, an apple, a banana and water...or a bowl of cereal- I hate lectures so I'll stop. I think I've made my point.

Here's the bottom line- if you let the EMS room overlords feed you this crap you will turn into a waddling tub of goo in short order. "Cause you are what you eat. Sorry.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Don't Make It Any Harder Than It Already Is

EMS is already a challenge- don't make it harder than it has to be by conjuring up demons from the nether world.

Does anyone know where paramedic students come up with the wacky scenarios they're always running past the EMS crews they precept with?

Here's an example, courtesy of Mark who precepted with us last night in the City:

"Ok, what if you had a patient with Ebola. What if they spontaneously combusted? Then what? What do we do then?"

C'mon- are you serious man? But hey, I am your preceptor and I did tell you "Never say never" so here goes-
  • Do we know for sure the patient has Ebola? If so we'll have to make some phone calls 'cause we got ourselves an incident.
  • Spontaneously combust? Don't think Ebola patients do that. BUT- if they do- hows 'bout we put the fire out. Now that was simple enough.
Happy now Mr. Medic Student? Hope so because that is the last goofy tangent you're going off on 'till graduation.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Road ID and Other Stuff to Look For...

The folks at Road ID would like First Responders to be on the look out for their products on runners and cyclists in distress. So, being both a runner and a cyclist (but not a Road ID user) I thought I would help spread the word.

More info here:

Also- be aware there are other bracelets, medallions and wallet cards you should be watching for.

OK- that's it. Get back to work.


November 21-27, 2011- National EMS Moratorium Week

Friday, July 1, 2011

The National EMS Moratorium

Help is on the way for the underappriciated, underpaid, overworked EMS worker- Paramedic, EMT-B, First Responder join hands- your day has come.

You know, as I make my rounds of the City at night, providing aid and comfort to the sick and injured, I don't always feel as appreciated as I feel my work warrants.

Case in point- last night we were doing a "check the welfare" call. We had to stop and wait at the entrance to the apartment building while the property manager went for the keys. I heard a bystander say- "They don't mind waiting. Not for the money they're making." Say what? Get real folks.

So here's what I'm proposing- the week of Thanksgiving 2011 I suggest that every EMS worker in the country- no, the world- stay home. That's right- seven days world wide with no emergency medical services anywhere, for anyone, for any price.

Seven days world wide of no 911 taxi cab. Seven days of treating grandpa's CHF all by yourself. Seven days of cleaning Lil' Timmies boo-boos and tending to the babies seizures. Seven days of you, Mr. and Ms. Public, carrying fat Uncle Ralphie down five flights of stairs when he has chest pain in the middle of the night. Hell- seven days of getting your own drugs or fixing your own overdose. Good luck folks.

Sound good there Paramedic? Let's say the week of November 21st 2011. Seven days with no Paramedics, no EMT B's or I's, no First Responders.

Seven days. The week of Thanksgiving 2011. The National EMS Moratorium. Spread the word.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Mutual Aid Call and the Urban Midnight Refusal

Going across the City border to help our paramedic-less neighbors in the dirty little town next door.

The little town on the Cities southern border has fallen on hard times. Dwindling population, rising crime rate, disintegrating school system, corrupt, indifferent government- and an EMS system run by a family of out of touch morons who can't keep a paramedic on staff to save their lives ( literally and figuratively). So it came as no surprise when we got a call to provide some EMS mutual aid in this cesspool of the future.

Our patient was a 20 year old male who had gotten an old fashioned ass-beating from persons unknown. In a place he didn't want to name. For reasons we wouldn't understand... OK, whatever.

When we pulled up he was sitting on some steps arguing loudly with the police. I recognized the guy immediately- we had treated and transported him the year before after he had been shot in the back. The shooting had been done by three teenage gangstas on bikes. Seriously.

I asked if he had been searched. Nope- he's the victim, why search him? Hey, in the City he would have been searched and if his attitude continued, cuffed. Plus he's a known druggie who has been involved in gun violence in the past- please search him before we go any further.

The prospect of being searched got our buddy really, really worked up. He escalated his argument with the police to the point that the sergeant on scene grabbed the kid and told him to "get the hell out of here while you still can"- this message was also relayed by the other officers . So the "patient" gathered up his homie and his girlfriend and disappeared down the sidewalk into the night.

... and we put our ambulance back into service with an Urban Midnight Refusal.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Different Dispatches For Different Folks

In this episode we briefly explore the workings of the urban 911 center- and how information differs from call taker to police desk to EMS dispatch...

I would never have been made aware of this EMS dispatch anomaly except for the fact that my partner loves to scan every damn frequency in his radio. This particular call had my medic unit being sent to a residence along with the police- there ended up being some rather important information being omitted from the EMS dispatch.

From the police channel-
  • "(car #) and (car #) go to 123 ELM Street. Family members there say there's a 78 year old male who's ill and is refusing to get help. They're saying he's out of control and locked in his bedroom. The man has an assault rifle and a semi auto pistol with him."
Now here's the dispatch we got over the EMS channel-
  • "Medic xx, E-1, you're going to 123 ELM Street for a 78 year old male who's been weak and short of breath for several days."
Well, they just may have forgotten something no?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Staff Meeting

The Staff Meeting- a brief glimpse into a real life big city EMS staff meeting- and you've got a front row seat.

We had a staff meeting at our station recently. If you're in EMS I'm sure you've sat through one of these things. Typically they go like this- "Uh, thanks guys, uh don't knock any more mirrors off the trucks, special detail, "he said, she said", don't forget to..., goodnight". That's about it right?

During this meeting we briefly discussed some disaster preparedness issues. Actually the discussion revealed our lack of preparedness and leadership.

At one point District Chief McButters was asked what sort of back-up communications plan we had in the event the UHF repeaters were knocked out. McButters said two things I found highly disturbing:
  1. " Uh, uh, uh."- allright, let's make it three things
  2. " Well, there are so many of them we should be OK"
  3. " You guys all say you're going home if something happens anyway (laughs)"
So- here's my analysis...

In regard to #1- this fat piece of shit is only worried how long he'll be off Facebook if there's a disaster. Hey- the man's got a farm to look after.

In regard to #2- what the man is saying is, there is either no plan or he doesn't know what it is. I can tell you that we have already had the EMS repeaters go down, the COMM center go down and in fact the whole 911 system go out. So if there's a plan let's hear it.

Finally, regarding #3- Sad-very, very sad. This man has generated so little respect that every Medic in the station has told him they will go home rather than have him "lead" them into harms way. What leaves me shaking my head is the fact that this lazy, inept ass thinks it's funny. It's not funny man- it is a major failure in leadership. I really can't think of anyone less suited to their role than this guy.

There you have it- my EMS staff meeting review. Will the last one out of EMS please turn off the lights and sirens.

Monday, June 6, 2011


"For I know the plans that I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

All photos-
None of these nice photographers in any way endorse the goings on here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Right Stuff

... Do you have the right stuff? Take a good look at yourself and let's see if you have what it takes to be a genuine Emergency Medical Paramedic Supervisor.

Based on my observations these are the qualities that every EMS Supervisor worth his breakfast burritos has:

  • A drivers license- c'mon you do have a drivers license don't ya? Hey- we'll work with you...
  • The ability to seamlessly flip between Facebook and videos of firetrucks on YouTube- and a superhuman reflex to get something that looks like work on the screen if you get an office visitor
  • You gotta be a delagator- the more of your work you can push off on others the more time you can spend in the drive thru at Mickie D's
  • Breakfast Burritos- you knew we'd come back to them- minimum three a day or don't apply. Same with the 44oz. Slurpee or Big Gulp or whatever they sell in your town. Three a day or don't waste our time
  • Physical fitness- if you are currently fit and trim, I would suggest bulking up a bit. Your belly should hang well over your belt and cause you to waddle when taking one of your hourly trips down the hall to ruin the shitter
  • You a good listener? You must have the ability to misinterpret and misquote every thing you hear
  • Do like meetings? Because you'll be going to a lot of meetings. But don't worry- there's always food and nobody expects you to have any input. In fact, at most meetings nobody wants you to talk at all. Just say- "Hi- is dem doughnuts I see over there? 'kay Bye"
  • Are you willing to work the grueling EMS supervisor schedule. You didn't think you were going to work that cushy 60 hour a week paramedic schedule did you? Expect to work five weekday eights- and like it.
  • Do you have the ability to become invisible when things go wrong? And pop up like a delicious toaster pastry when the going is good?
Well, does that sound like you paramedic? You just may be on your way to a career as an EMS Supervisor. Good luck.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Transport of the Non-Critically Ill EMS Patient

... a quick guide on the care and transport of the typical, less than critical EMS patient- a guide for EMS in these troubled, modern times...

Sure, my partner and I did have a "real" call last night. That would be the dude who fell off the roof at 0230 and pulled a big chunk o' concrete down on top of himself in the process. Oh, and his room-mate stole his narcs while he was laying on the sidewalk and then OD'd- enter ambulance #2.

But most EMS calls are to be honest, not stuff 911 should be called for. You've either had these patients or perhaps been one- the sore toes, thumbs, wieners, knees, elbows. The guy with the itchy ball, the chick whose PCP ordered a pregnancy test last week... the list goes on and on and on.

What is an over burdened EMS service to do?

Why not send these sub-acute patients to the ER via UPS? Yes, the folks in the uber dependable brown trucks. For one thing it would free up an ALS ambulance for real emergencies, and your patients get their very own tracking number so they'll never, ever get lost. Ever.

Plus if you were to send 'em signature required on delivery, they would be seen, triaged and seated as soon as they set foot in the building.

Win, win and win.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The City is Always Right...

I worked with the new guy yesterday. This is the Medic the City spent the entire winter recruiting. We have lots of openings and the intent was to fill them all with a big recruitment drive. We got one guy. Just one Medic.

With such a glaring staff shortage and such an obvious shortage of replacement Medics out in the world you'd think the City would put a little effort into retention. Hmmm...

The New Guy told me that he has been given verbal and then written warnings on five of the past six days by the same Chief for not wearing his badge and nameplate. So wear your stuff I said, just wear it. Can't says The New Guy- I was never issued a badge or nameplate. So we waited after our shift to talk to the Chief and obtain New Guys uniform jewelery. The meeting went like this...

"Hey Chief, you've been writing The New Guy up for being out of uniform for not wearing a badge or nameplate..."

Yup- he's gotta wear that stuff. Like you said- part of the uniform.

"But he's never been issued either of them"

That's right, we're out of them.

So- do you see the problem here?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm an Excellent Driver...

So what do you think? For what it's worth here's what I think- a 10 day suspended sentence for murdering your partner and a patient? Pretty damn lenient- look, let's not beat around the EMS bush here- this guy is a witless, brain dead, irresponsible jackass. He's a murderer- there I said it- Robert Genzen is a murderer. The thing that's really pissing me off is this killer rationalizing his crime with the " If we slow down, people will die, EMS will cease to function" argument. His lawyer maintains the verdict will have a "chilling effect and could change the way paramedics respond in an emergency". Let's hope so.

I hope there are ghosts. I hope the ghosts visit Bob every time he closes his eyes. Every time.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

City EMS Rings in the New Year.

2011- the first EMS call in the City was for a man with a laceration on his bum. Most of the City Paramedics are convinced that the 911 dispatchers held the call so it would be the first one of the year. The dispatcher who put it out kept cracking (no pun intended) up.

You would have had a good bet if you had guessed the first call would have been a shooting- we had a lot of them in 2010. The funny thing is the shooters got less accurate as the year went on- resulting in more transports and less pronouncements... and stabbings- lots of stabbings in the last quarter of 2010... knives are scary, fight a knife and you will get cut...

One of the ER's had a scoreboard up on New Years- happy drunks, mad drunks, out of control drunks, beat up drunks etc...

I actually got off late on New years Day- some happy drunk put his car into a pole at 0745 or so, right before shift change. He kept asking "...waz dat light red? Waz dat light red?" You never made it to the light jackass... happened at a super busy intersection- lucky no one got killed...

Hope you had a fun filled New Years- make yourself better in '11- no matter how good you were last year.