Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's not my emergency!

Have you ever thought this? I have used that phrase myself, several times (and with more than one meaning at times). Steve Whitehead put it into a great post right here and I suggest you go check it out!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

does (apparatus) color matter?

We are all taught from the beginning of our experiences that safety is number one in our professions. Personal safety, crew safety, patient safety, scene safety…you know it.
I was sitting at work the other day and it came up in discussion that one of the local fire departments was ordering a new fire engine and had decided to go with black as the main color. Yup BLACK. The first thing that came to my mind was how is anyone going to see them on a scene at night? While I understand that light reflecting tape is used on emergency units along with multiple lights for safety, I still didn’t think that black was a safe choice of color for a piece of equipment like a fire engine. This conversation got the mouse wheel in my mind going, and I couldn’t stop myself from doing a little online research on the subject. I found plenty of information to include a slideshow presentation and eventually stumbled upon this very detailed and informing document from FEMA.
The reading is a little dry but I learned a few things about the different kinds of reflective striping and how each works individually plus I learned about NFPA standards/recommendations.
The conclusion of my research is although a black engine may look sweet it definitely is not safe, no matter how much scotchlite or how many lights you put on it. The best bet is to stick to the red, orange, slime/ yellow, or even white for the best visibility and conspicuity on scene.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

little work rant followed w/ needing your EMS advice...

I have always been a believer of "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle", "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger", and "everything happens for a reason".  For whatever reason I have continued to carry these beliefs through all phases in my life, from growing up to college, to my professional life.  I know there are going to be times when I don't have a clue as to what I am supposed to do about a pt, but I am sure that most of the time I will fall back on my basic instincts. Tonight I had another one of those "oh sh*t" calls that when I look back on and talk with my co-workers (medics and doctors) that I know I did what I could with what I had in the amount of time I had. I just get really frustrated when I meet up with a BLS unit and they have nothing done for a critical pt, no history, no oxygen, no vitals. Oh wait, they had a grocery bag full of pill bottles for me. They were so concerned with this pts condition that they walked hin to the ambulance start towards the hospital that is opposit the direction I am coming from then realize Im 5 blocks behind them and cant catch up, so they stop and wait and then have none of the above mentioned done. But when you are called for a SOB and your pt is cyanotic from the nipples to the top of his head, i think any oxygen will help and walking him to the unit won't. Just saying...

I try not to get frustrated on these kind of calls. I try to use calls as teachings for these kind of EMTs who are new or just don't know what to do. During the critical calls I direct and after I try and teach, by explaining why I did or didnt do something or explaining why I did a 12-lead or why I didnt/did run lights and sirens to the hospital,, etc. I also take the time to answer any questions the EMTs may have which usually include "Did I do what i could/should have?" "or is there anything else I could/should have done?" and I answer them truthfully but without sounding like an egotistical jerk. I find that the next time I run a call with those EMTs they tend to be a little more comfortable with me and they have the things we talked about done, they have the pt on O2, they have a BP for me, or pt history for me.

I am sure Im not the only provider who runs into this. Any tips on how I can better this where I run? It happens with a lot of EMTs. Maybe some kind of "asisting the medic" class or something?

Monday, March 15, 2010


I am jonesing for family time. I dont know how else to put it. I talked to my Mom and Dad on the phone last night and daily text my sisters. I follow the lives of my brother and his wife and kids on their blog, thanks to my SIL for keeping that up! I don't really keep tabs on the other brother, read his wife's FB every now and then.  I promised myself I would have more family time this year, but I havent been home since Christmas. I am making time next month to drive home and spend 2 days there.
I miss my baby sister, I miss my dad, my neice, nephew, everyone! Just a few more weeks and hopefully I will get to see all of them for my Mom's birthday....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


thats the only word I could come up with when I read about this...

Talk about an interesting call....

Ask me anything

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thank you for involving me

I am so new to this blogging thing. Or at least I feel so new. I have been reading the numerous posts that resulted from the biggest fire/ems blogger meet up ever and it just makes me feel like a very small part of such a huge thing. While I was like the teeny bopper meeting a rockstar or a movie star, every single person I met was so nice. I got hugs from people who I have been follwing online for ages. I know they had no idea who I was and I am sure they will be quick to forget that they even met me, they have forever made an impression on me. And while I feel I made several new network contacts, I know I made one new friend. April (known as Epi_junky) made the experience for me, and she probably has no idea. I simply offered her a semi-warm house to crash in, on a comfy sofa, and offered some cookies that well, I was pretty proud of (it was the first time I had ever baked cookies from scratch). I followed her around like a little lost but star struck puppy all day in Baltimore. If it had not been for her, I probably would never have even actually gone to Baltimore. The minute she arrived at my house and we said our hellos it was like she was a friend I had had for many years. She was kind enough to make sure I got introduced to all the "big names" we ran into. And again, while they knew who she was right away, I was not greeted with any less enthusiasm. And by golly I may only have 2 blog followers, but I felt like I was on top of the world several times on Friday. For the first time ever I felt like I was actually involved in something that was changing the EMS world that I have chosen to be a part of.

So thank you to all of the folks who include, but are not limited to (sorry if I forgot anyone), the following: Epi_junky (April Aaling), UKmedic999 (Mark Glensourse), thehappymedic(Justin Schorr), Tony Oliverio, Jared Scott, geekymedic, setla (Thaddeus Setla), Ambulance Driver (Kelly Grayson), ckempt (Chris Kaiser), natemt_b (Nate) and so many others. Thank you again fro making me feel part of such a large thing!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

ponderings on my career...

The news tonight of a paramedic killed simply because he was doing his job has really hit me hard. I can't imagine, trying to help a suicidal pt, trying to convince them that life is worth living, to have them attack you and ultimately kill you.

I have been in EMS for about 7 years. I have not seen many gruesome things, I have not run many "bad" calls. I consider myself blessed for this. It keeps me loving this job, being the "sparky medic". I am far from burnout at this point thanks to this. The down side is when I do get one of those career or life alterating calls how will I do? Will I be prepared? Will I know what to do? Will I make the right decisions? I guess I truly won't know until it happens.

For now I do what I feel needs done for my patient. I am thankful for the docs here who are very cool with us smudging that medical command line. I do however find myself reviewing my protocols after many calls, especially if I find myself second guessing if I should have given that drug I was hesitant to or if I should have done more or less. I always try to err on the patient safety side. This has kept me out of court and still with a job this long. I am still hungry for more knowledge, for more experience. Knowledge is easy to find, even more so now that I have expanded into the blogger world and made some amazing contacts at EMS Today this year in Baltimore. The experience side still leaves me hungry for more. I want to experience more, heck I'd even settle for observing more. Anyone interested in having a medic ride along?? Hit me up and let me know!