Syndicated Columnists

Providence Firefighters stepping up

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:12

It’s not all about the fires that burn. Providence Firefighters making a stand, well done people!


“Modeled on a program developed in Manchester, N.H., Safe Stations makes Providence fire stations places anyone can go without fear of legal trouble to be connected with Providence Center counselors or other treatment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Standardized reporting process improves transition of patient care

Syndicated Columnists - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:40
"Clearly defined processes for the contemporaneous face-to-face communication of key information from emergency medical services (EMS) providers to healthcare providers in an emergency department (ED) are critical to improving patient safety, reducing medico-legal risk and integrating EMS with the healthcare system." — Transfer of Patient Care Between EMS Providers and Receiving Facilities ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

How a paramedic's #StopHeroin campaign morphed into opioid abuse prevention, treatment

Syndicated Columnists - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:30
The opioid epidemic has become national news – you can't turn on the TV without hearing a mention of the widespread issue. But for first responders, the opioid epidemic is more than a 6 p.m. news story. It's an everyday, around-the-clock problem that's plaguing both large and small fire and EMS departments. In St. Charles County, Mo., which is one of the nation's fastest-growing ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

10 best reasons to join, and stay, in EMS

Syndicated Columnists - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 08:30
After reading "10 worst reasons for joining EMS," Chris Maldonado suggested I do a companion piece about the 10 best reasons – a pretty good idea if you ask me. My editor agreed. Cataloging the good parts of EMS should come naturally to me. I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of guy who’d rather say something nice than nasty. Besides, I enjoyed most of my 20 years in the field ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Everybody else’s lights

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 08:04

Leanna’s Family made her this while she was at work.

Its a lonely time for the cops, firefighters, dispatchers and medics. Our homes and families are miles away, the Christmas lights we spent our days off perfecting shining for everybody but us.

The people behind the lights are the reason we find ourselves out in the cold, patroling the streets, answering the bell and keeping the neighborhood as safe as we can.

It’s Christmas time, and even though we had to leave our homes behind we bring some lights with us. We ride through neighborhoods not our own, our lights illumitating the way, flashes of red and blue bouncing back at us, reflections from darkened windows, crisp sirens piercing the silent night.

I love Christmas lights. I love the way they look. I love the way they make me feel when I look at them. I love leaving my house at four in the afternoon and turning them on, knowing full well I won’t be home till long after the timer turns them off.

I used to only turn them on when I was home to enjoy them. Then I realized the lights aren’t about me, or even for me. The lights are for everybody, just like everybody else’s lights are for me.

I’m glad I realized that, it makes me like the lights even more.

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Looking for the fire

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:45

I heard sirens last night, off in the distance, not close enough to cause and concern, until they got closer, and closer, and closer…

I actually got dressed, left my cozy little home and went searching. Never found the source of all the racket, but I guess I have officially become a Fire Buff.

I thought of this that I wrote for Fire Engineering a few years ago:


The Buffs across the street


“Who are those guys?” I asked one of the firefighters who was standing with me on the ramp at the Atwell’s Avenue fire station. “The Big Apple,” also known as Ladder Co. 6 was my assignment for the night; it was an overtime shift, and my first night in one of the busiest fire stations in the northeast.

“Dings,” was the answer, as if I knew what that meant.

“What’s a Ding?” I asked.

“Those guys,” somebody said, and pointed across the street where six cars were parked, and about a dozen guys stood around them, shooting the breeze, much like we were doing on our side of the street.

Turns out the “Dings” were the local fire buffs. I had no idea that people actually loved the fire service so much that they would wait outside the busy fire stations, listen to their scanners and respond to the same fire scenes as we did, only with cameras instead of axes and poles.

“Why don’t we invite them over?” I asked. The other firefighters either laughed or walked away. I couldn’t figure their response out then, and I still can’t figure it out. The way I saw it those people across the street were our supporters. For whatever reason they weren’t able to respond to the fires with us, but I’m sure they would have loved every second of it if they could. Maybe they were on a list somewhere, waiting for their chance. Maybe they had an injury or disability that prohibited them from doing the job that we took for granted. Maybe they were simply happy to be part of our world in whatever capacity they could. Whatever the reason, I thought that they were part of us, in some way. I still do.

From “Pictorial History of Firefighting” by Robert W. Masters

“Buffs have been variously defined as “sidewalk superintendents of fires,” as “fire-engine chasers who think they’re the guys for whom the bell tolls,” as “frustrated firemen,” and as “smoked hams who are never quite cured.” Irreverent as these definitions are, buffs have been called still nastier names by some firemen and chiefs. Traditionally, most professional fire-fighters look down on buffs, without good reason.”

Buffs, Dings, Uncured Hams- whatever people call them, I always liked having them around. At the risk of sounding condescending toward them, I thought it the ultimate compliment to us – the paid firefighters – to actually have what could be considered a fan club. As the years of my career went on, I got to know many of the people who “buffed fires,” and learned that they were passionate about the fire service, advocates for it, and many of them knew more about the history, workings, politics and characters that make up a fire department than we did.

Good thing I always respected them. Karma works, always. Being retired gives me ample opportunity to “ding.” If I had a dollar for every fire truck I followed I’d have a lot of bucks. When at home, my ears instantly tune in to sirens in the distance, and sometimes it’s all I can do to not get into my personal vehicle (the one with the fire department stickers) and find out what’s going on. I am the ultimate television Ding. Nary is a fire or other emergency displayed across my screen that I don’t have some criticism, advice or commentary for.

“That ain’t what it’s like!” I roar to the empty room as flames and no smoke fills the TV screen.

I’ll keep it going until the TV fire is out;

“Ya can’t see nuthin!” Where’s his pack! Ya call that proper apparatus placement! CPR my ass, they never start breathing!”

What can I say; I was born a Ding. Then I became a firefighter. But once the boots came off, and the turnout gear is displayed in the garage, back to my roots I went. I have yet to sit across the street from a busy firehouse, but don’t be surprised if some day you see a tall, grey and devilishly handsome old man outside your firehouse, watching and waiting, with his scanner tuned to your frequency.

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

EMS loses friend and mentor, Lou Jordan

Syndicated Columnists - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 07:53
He wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the caption, “EMS Artifact: Start conversation at your own risk,” and walking an EMS conference exhibit hall with him was simultaneously a study in professional networking and an exercise in frustration. It didn’t matter if you desperately wanted to see the new Tracheoblaster 5000 video laryngoscope or get pricing info on the latest generation of high-fidelity ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Inside EMS Podcast: The importance of pharmacology in EMS

Syndicated Columnists - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 12:28
Download this podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed In this Inside EMS Podcast episode, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson tackle the topic of pharmacology. How important is understanding the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and what are the easy ways of doing drug calculations" Check out this week's show for these answers and more. Learn more about the EMS1 Academy and schedule ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Whattaya mean EtOH?

EMScapades Cartoon - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:19
Categories: EMS, Syndicated Columnists

Change is not so good

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:25

Not me but I like it.

EMS has changed a lot since I started picking drunk people, overdoses and shooting victims off the streets, doing CPR at 50 MPH, IV’s at sixty, pushing the same five drugs hundreds of times, skipping backboard because they were stupid and saving lives while we were being reckless.

Not sure if things are better or worse, or if lives are being saved or if we have become shells of what we once were, burdened by oppressive regulations, obsessed with profit and completely lacking identity.

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

It’s Hard Advocating For Our EMS Patients

EMS Office Hours Podcast - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 13:16

Sometimes it feels like you are going against the current. Even your patients resist when you are trying to advocate for them. Its frustrating but its important to always come full circle and to keep going and doing the right thing. Take a listen below to see what I mean on this weeks podcast.




Check out the best resource to help you review for exams and allow you to focus on your weaknesses. Click here for details and to claim yours.

The 10 peer-reviewed articles on MIH-CP you need to read right now

Syndicated Columnists - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:54
Kevin McGinnis is often credited with coining the term “community paramedics” in a 2001 Rural Health News article. Since then, the debate around the terminology of community paramedicine versus mobile integrated healthcare remained relatively heated until a number of national organizations, including NAEMT and NAEMSP, released a joint vision statement defining each concept. Regardless of ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Wheezing, stridor ominous signs of impending airway loss in smoke inhalation

Syndicated Columnists - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:16
This article first appeared on, sponsored by Masimo. By James MacNeal, MD, MPH, DO, NRP Half of all fire-related deaths occur from smoke inhalation, which is a mechanism resulting in a pattern of injuries [1]. Just as a motor vehicle collision with intrusion may make you suspect multiple traumatic injuries, such as an intracranial bleed, pneumothorax or pericardial tamponade, smoke inhalation ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

The 51st

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:36

Congratulations to the newest members of The Providence Fire Department!

The 51st

The graduates:

“Every person who raises their right hand and takes the oath of office is from that day forward until the day they die a firefighter.

While never forgetting who we were before, we know that we will never be the same. It is an honor to belong in the fire service, not only because of who we are, but also because of those who came before us, and wore the uniform well, worked, lived and sometimes died doing the job.

At the end of the day, when the smoke has cleared, and the fires are out, and we make it home, we can rest easy, knowing that others like us are on duty, keeping things safe.

We know this because we live it, every second of every day, for life.  –  Michael Morse, Captain, Rescue Co. 5, (ret.) 1991-2016, 42nd Academy

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

How EMS is changing

Syndicated Columnists - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 16:30
To an outsider, EMS probably looks pretty similar today to how it did decades ago. Call 911, and an ambulance arrives and takes you to the hospital – simple. Yet we know that while progress can sometimes feel slow, in other ways the profession might be going through its most transformative era. Whether it’s a call to change "EMS" to "paramedicine," a push to reform reimbursement ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists


Subscribe to Volunteer Mobile Emergency Response Unit -- aggregator - Syndicated Columnists