Syndicated Columnists

Dinners at an EMS station

EMScapades Cartoon - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 11:50

New comics every Tuesday and Friday!

Categories: EMS, Syndicated Columnists

What's worse, ignorance or apathy in EMS providers?

Syndicated Columnists - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 11:15
If you asked that question in a survey of EMS providers, the top two answers would be evenly divided between "I don’t know," and "I don’t care." Oh, a smattering of us would give lengthier answers; there would be a few well-reasoned, articulate responses to the questions, quite a few profane rants and maybe a few examples of incomprehensible word salad, typed in all caps ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Energy drinks may be to blame for firefighter's heat stroke

FireRehab.com - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:21
The firefighter was participating in a training exercise when he suffered a heat stroke

Thinking of marrying a medic?

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 08:14

Seven things you need to know when you marry a medic:

 

7. Your spouse will change.Then change again. Just when you think you know who you are married to, once again they change. And sometimes the person they become is not the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. But don’t despair, before long they will change into a person you love again. EMS has the potential to creep into a good person’s mind, turn optimism into dread, fun into drudgery, compassion into stone and a job into a way of seeing and reacting to life. But just as this profession takes, it also has the ability to give. Learning how to properly cope with sickness, and pain, suffering and abandonment, and ultimately death makes a person a little more alive than they once were, more in tune with themselves, and with time and patience better partners well suited for the long haul that a marriage is.

6. Your spouse will probably not react “properly” to injuries. You sliced the palm of your hand open while opening a can of tuna. Blood is everywhere, the tuna is ruined, lunch is ruined, and everything is ruined! Your spouse is on the couch in the living room. All you need is a little love, a caring person to sooth you, and an adept medic to clean your wound, dress it, give it a little kiss and let you know everything will be alright. What you get is this; “Put pressure on it.” And that is it. There will be no rapid couch extrication, no hurried response to your crisis, and no horror in the eyes of your spouse as they cringe at the sight of blood, boil water and cut up the sheets to make bandages. If you are lucky they might hand you a box of band-aids, but don’t count on it!

5. You will spend a lot of time alone. EMS never takes a break, never has a day off and definitely does not take a holiday. And speaking of holidays, forget about spending those together. If your spouse manages to get Christmas off it is very likely that most of the day will be spent sleeping due to all the overtime they worked to help provide for the big day. New Years Eve? Ha! If they are working, they are working. If they are not, they are working in their minds, thinking of the mayhem that is happening outside the safety of your home, reticent to go out and join the party because they have seen far too many repercussions from the people whose partying spun out of control. Even Easter and Thanksgiving bring with it vivid recollections of Congestive Heart Failure, abdominal pain, lonely old people with mystery illnesses, and crummy young people doing the Granny Drop for the holidays.

4. You will never have to wait at the ER. One of the greatest gifts of being married to a medic is getting the royal treatment whenever you have to go to the ER. Unless, of course, you are married to one of THOSE medics. Being one of THOSE medics makes going to an emergency room worse than dying from whatever it is that made you need to go to the ER in the first place! Most medics are not THOSE medics, and even the ones who are will likely have a few friends of like mindset who will help them through the morass of knuckleheads, drug seekers, nitwits, deadbeats…wait a minute, have I become one of THOSE medics?

3. Laundry becomes an adventure. In a normal household we have dark clothes, white clothes, and maybe a mixed bundle every now and then. In a medic’s home we have dark clothes, white clothes, potentially contaminated clothes, definitely contaminated clothes, DECON clothes, Haz Mat clothes, DEFCON 5 clothes and Biohazard clothes. As time progresses, you will find that your stringent adherence to separating the “ordinary” pile from the “what is that smell” clothes becomes less and less diligent, and the thought of a mixed load less horrifying. One day, you realize that you have mixed Little Johnnie’s Underoos with Big Mommy’s cargo pants, trauma shears and all. And you see it through, fold and put it all away like nothing ever happened.

2. Travelling becomes a battle of wills. It matters not if your spouse is driving, or in the Front Right Seat, either position spells a miserable ride for everybody else in the car. While driving, your medic speeds up when they hear sirens, goes through red lights, tries to answer the FM radio with an imaginary mic and backs into the garage. If you are determined, you can take control of the wheel, only to be stuck with the ultimate back seat driver sitting next to you. “Speed up, slow down, turn here, stop there,” it never ends until the trip is over, and even when it is over for you, your spouse is busy sizing up the “scene” even though you have been to your parent’s house a thousand times.

1. You will find true happiness. Your medic knows how to treat people, understands how precious life is, is willing to work long hours to provide for the family, and accepts that things never go as planned. Life as a medic’s sidekick will never be dull, or easy, or without hardship. Life with a medic by your side is exactly what you let it become, and as time moves relentlessly forward, the medic recedes and the person returns, loaded with valuable skill and knowledge, a million stories to tell the grandkids and an appreciation for the person by their side who has grown up right beside them.

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Kicking and Screaming

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 11:10

I love this quote from Chief Croker, FDNY in 1908:

“Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.”

— Chief Edward F. Croker, FDNY, speaking upon the death of a deputy chief and four firefighters in February of 1908

These things drive me nuts

That quote was glued onto the locker of one of the most fierce firefighters I ever knew. I never forgot it. The best compliment I ever got was from him, after a particularly difficult job. He said I was a good firefighter.

We have a job to do, and every one of us who puts on the uniform does that job according to the training we have received from the people who have done it before us.

Our first and foremost responsibility is to ourselves. We are here to save lives and protect property and get out alive. When there is a chance to save a life, by all means risk your own to do so. If there is no chance, say a prayer for the about-to-be-deceased, gear up and save who can be saved.

There is no glory in dying. Fighting for your life with every ounce of energy you have so that your children, wives, huabands mothers and fathers need not mourn your loss is honorable. We are no more brave than the person on the street who steps in front of a speeding train hoping to save the person who fell on the tracks, or ran into a burning house to rescue the baby.

Courage is everywhere; when called upon average people do extraordinary things. We are simply blessed to be called upon often.

Firefighters who do not value their lives and think it noble to die because it is their job get good firefighters killed.

We have chosen this vocation; nobody put a gun to our heads and made us do it. We are firefighters because we want to be firefighters. We understand the risks, and sacrifice, and take on those risks and sacrifices of our own free will.

In the unfortunate event that one of us falls, the rest of us will be there for the widow and children, not because we are great people, but because we are good firefighters, and good firefighters do what needs to be done…

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Jean Nate’

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 08:20

“It’s not really pain, it’s pressure.”

If I had a nickel for every patient who told me that, I’d have a lot of nickels.

“When did it begin?”

“A few days ago.”

“Why didn’t you call somebody?”

“I didn’t want to bother anybody.”

 

We attached the leads, she looked dreamily out the rear windows of the rescue. The essence of Jean Nate’ filled the small space, masking the lingering aromas that normally accompany us. It reminded me of my grandmother, long gone now. I swear she had a closet dedicated to the Jean Nate’ gift sets she received as presents from her brood. She lived to be a hundred. That’s a lot of birthdays, and a lot of Jean Nate’!

“Besides the pressure, how are you feeling?”

She took my hand, the one that had been resting close to her as I breathed in the memory of Nana.

“I think I’m going to die.”

We locked eyes, and in hers I saw no fear, no remorse, no anger or sadness. I have no idea what she saw in mine. I hope they didn’t reflect the image of Ventricular Tachycardia that glared from the monitor. and the worry that that image conveyed. V-Fib could be seconds away. Or worse.

“We need to do some things,” I explained as an IV went in and oxygen went on. Her vitals were consistent with V-Tach, but she was calm, glowing a little but not diaphoretic and resigned to accept whatever fate awaited her.

I pushed lidocaine, hoping to see her rhythm return to stable, but it was ineffective. cardioversion is next, normally, but the cowardly Rescue Lieutenant, knowing that Our Lady of Fatima was two streets away decided that rapid transport was preferable to sedating a ninty-eight year old lady, then shocking her heart.

We arrived at the ER before I could administer the second dose. Her condition hadn’t changed, nor had her demeanor.

I have a feeling that the sweet smell of Jean Nate’ in the back of the rig will be around longer than she will.

And I think she is ready to go.

http://www.ted.com/talks/noel_bairey_merz_the_single_biggest_health_threat_women_face.html

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

5 things to know about Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome

Syndicated Columnists - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 14:08
Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old college student from Ohio, died Monday after returning home from North Korea in a coma. Warmbier, who was held in custody for 18 months, was accused of taking a propaganda poster from a Pyongyang hotel. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison. North Korean officials said he was given a sleeping pill after suffering from botulism – a type of food poisoning ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

On the job selfies

EMScapades Cartoon - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 12:39

New comics every Tuesday and Friday!

Categories: EMS, Syndicated Columnists

Improve endotracheal intubation with First and TEN approach

Syndicated Columnists - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 09:23
Taking the time to prepare for intubation success on the First pass and following the Tongue, Epiglottis and arytenoid Notch landmarks will stack the cards in your favor during both routine and difficult airway scenarios. When attempting endotracheal intubation, most paramedics focus on quickly visualizing the vocal cords so I developed the First and TEN approach to slow the process to improve first ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Please, let me go…

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:26

Random post from the past that refuses to go quietly into the night…

PTSD is not always caused by a traumatic experience, years of not addressing frustration, hopelessness and helplessness is a big part of it.

 

We’re ready to leave the ER loading dock after dropping off a patient who was assaulted on Sunday. She said her headache came back and wants another Cat scan. A security guard approaches the ambulance and asks if we could check on a couple of babies that were in a car in their parking lot. There was nothing wrong with the babies, but the parents “wanted them checked.”

We find the car, no damage, no scratches, nothing. The two infants are sleeping in their car seats, parents walking around. The lady who backed into them is carrying on about how the babies need to go to the hospital in the ambulance because they need to be checked.

My radio comes to life.

“Engine 10 and Rescue 6, (the ambulance from the other side of the city,) respond to Homer Street for a possible drowning.”

The victim is reportedly two years old. I try to get myself out of the mess I’m in, the people involved in the “accident” are relentless. Homer Street is a few minutes away, in my first due district. The people involved in the accident insist the babies “be checked.” The scene, and that description is generous, is rapidly deteriorating, a crowd has formed and they are not on the side of the ambulance crew as tempers flare.

The radio confirms my fears, Engine 10 reports a two year old not breathing, no vital signs, CPR in progress. Rescue six is still five minutes out.

Somehow, I get the two babies into my rescue and 100 yards to the Children’s Hospital. Rescue 6 is approaching the scene, slowed by the dozens of speed bumps that litter the street.

Ten minutes later, they arrive, the two year old is still not breathing, we get him out of the ambulance and into a trauma room, where the life-saving efforts continue as I write this.

I don’t know if I could have made a difference, but when seconds count, being minutes away is sheer torture. Seeing the child that I should have been able to get to quickly rolling past me is torture. Seeing his mother arrive a few minutes later is torture. Looking at the people who kept me from doing my job is torture. Feeling contempt for a couple of babies who have nothing to do with any of this is torture.

Being here is torture.

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Fathers

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 09:39

The Enterprise as my cousin Rik Allen sees it now sits in Rod Roddenberry’s home. Rod commissioned the piece, it belongs with him, he owns it, as well it should be. His father, Gene Roddenberry’s vision started the whole thing, and those of us who have boldly gone where no man has gone before are better for it.

The piece itself is in its rightful place, the Roddenberry home, just as  the creative force that brought it together is where it belongs, The Allen home. Just as a sculpture is pieced together in small increments, so too is the desire and ability to create it. A person isn’t born with the ability to create art, or music, or to write, it is an innate ability that is nurtured, and grows from the desire to see if you can actually pull it off. And when you do, it is yours forever.

Rik certainly pulled it off, but not without a price. Life is never kind enough to bestow upon us a vision, and the patience needed to master the skills necessary to turn that vision into something tangible, without extracting something in return. The ability create something so visually stunning, and powerful is the culmination of a life lived with its fair share of loss, and lessons learned from those losses.

My Uncle Fred lost his life when the plane he was in crashed into the woods near Glastonbury, Connecticut. Me and my father drove for a few hours in the middle of the night the night of the accident, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes even though we seldom smoked, and keeping each other awake so we could be part of the search party. It was a strange, tragic adventure, one that brought us closer than either had felt in years. I was twenty-three, and Rik was seventeen or eighteen when he lost his father. I was profoundly affected by the experience.

It’s a strange world inside of our minds. I have no idea if that experience had anything to do with the creation of Enterprise 1701, but myself; I’m transported in time back to that ride through the woods on some deserted roads in the dead of the night when I see these pictures. Maybe it’s because Rod Roddenberry honors his father’s vision by keeping the Star Trek world alive and vibrant, and Rik’s father, wherever he is had his part in what is and what will become of his son’s passion and talent. Maybe our fathers are connected somehow, in some way, that we too will understand eventually.

Happy Father’s Day, Fred, Bob, and Gene, we’ll do our best to keep the dream alive.

http://www.rikallen.com

 

 

 

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Moving on

EMScapades Cartoon - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:56

Categories: EMS, Syndicated Columnists

Inside EMS Podcast: How to treat patients in high-traffic areas

Syndicated Columnists - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 15:04
<!--cke_bookmark_117S--><!--cke_bookmark_117E--> Download this podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed ​​In this Inside EMS Podcast episode, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson discuss aspects of a recent call regarding an EMS crew removing a patient from an airplane. Their discussion also reminds EMS providers that they're being filmed on every call, how ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

EMS grants: What is a DUNS number?

Syndicated Columnists - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 12:00
If you’ve been researching firefighting grants, you’ve probably heard of DUNS. And if you’ve tried to apply for a grant without a DUNS, you know how important they are. A DUNS number, which stands for Data Universal Numbering System, is a free, unique nine-digit number issued by Dun & Bradstreet to a single business entity. Your number is yours alone, even if you go out of business ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

20 Clues your dad is a firefighter

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 10:03

Captain Joseph Vinnacco “Doc Vinac” LODD 9 Jul 16, great guy, great dad.

Dedicated to Captain Joseph Vinnacco and his family.

Call your Dad, we don’t live forever!

 

You’re a firefighter and let’s face it, you’re a little different from the rest. As the years go by, and the experiences pile up, parts of “the job” begin to define who you are.

It doesn’t happen all at once, and most of the time you can’t even notice it. Your kids, not knowing the pre-firefighter you, simply accept you the way you are.

Ask a kid how he knows his dad is a firefighter and these are some of the things you might hear:

1) HE SAYS WEIRD THINGS LIKE “STAND BY,” OR “ROGER THAT,” INSTEAD OF “WAIT A SEC,” OR “OKAY,” LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.

2) EVERYTHING IS IN ITS PLACE…OR ELSE!

3) SOMETIMES, HE’S JUST NOT THERE, BUT HE ALWAYS COMES BACK.

4) NO MATTER WHERE HE IS, HE ALWAYS KNOWS HOW TO GET OUT FAST.

5) HE HAS MORE FIRE DEPARTMENT RELATED T-SHIRTS THAN DRESS SHIRTS.

6) HE WEARS RED SUSPENDERS TO HOLD HIS PANTS UP.

7) EVERY TIME THERE’S A FIRE ON TV HE SHOUTS AT THE SCREEN, “THAT’S NOT THE WAY IT IS! YA CAN’T SEE NUTHIN!” EVERY TIME.

8) THERE’S ALWAYS A PICK-UP TRUCK IN THE DRIVEWAY.

9) HE MAY NOT BE A BETTER COOK THAN YOUR MOM, BUT HE MAKES BETTER STUFF!

10) HE TELLS THE BEST STORIES.

11) SOMEHOW, HE’S ALWAYS IN THE THICK OF THINGS.

12) HE BACKS HIS PICK-UP INTO THE GARAGE.

13) SOMETIMES, FOR NO REASON YOU CAN THINK OF, HE WAKES YOU UP AND GIVES YOU A HUG, THEN GOES TO BED WITHOUT SAYING A WORD.

14) YOU CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS AND HOLIDAYS THE DAY BEFORE, OR AFTER THE ACTUAL DAY.

15) EVERYBODY BORROWS TOOLS FROM YOUR GARAGE.

16) IF HE ISN’T ON HIS FEET, HE’S SLEEPING…AND HE COULD BE SLEEPING ANYWHERE!

17) ALL OF THE SMOKE DETECTORS IN YOUR HOUSE WORK.

18) HIS MOUSTACHE TICKLES.

19) OUT OF ALL OF YOUR FRIEND’S MOMS, YOUR MOM IS THE PRETTIEST.

20) IT’S FATHER’S DAY, AND HE’S NOT HOME!

So there you have it. Twenty ways your kids know that you’re a firefighter. I’m sure there are many more that I’m not even aware of. I kind of hope that some day, when I’m long gone, they’ll get together over a few beverages and tell some stories about their dad, the fireman.

Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Fire-Dex unveils a new clothing system approach to advance firefighter safety

FireRehab.com - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 09:37
New Interceptor bundled package includes several products that reduce carcinogen exposure and heat stress

Remember REHAB for prolonged incidents

FireRehab.com - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 08:47
Use the acronym to plan for five key elements needed to handle rehab operations for dozens of firefighters over several hours

Remember REHAB for prolonged incidents

Syndicated Columnists - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 08:41
This article first appeared on FireRehab.com, sponsored by Masimo. It’s a sunny summer day, and the tones sound for a residential fire, smoke and flames showing from an apartment complex. You and your partner respond in the ambulance. En route, the first arriving engine company gives their first-in report: "Engine 1 is on scene of a three-story, multi-unit apartment structure, with smoke ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

Gaining Respect In EMS Through A College Degree?

EMS Office Hours Podcast - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 09:09

Some in EMS feel that having a college degree will fix so many of the problems we face as a profession. Having that formal education is key, but there is so much more that lends to getting the respect of our healthcare peers.

See what I mean in this weeks podcast and why “EMS self education” is what really leads to success.
 
 

 

Click here to subscribe, review and comment on iTunes. It takes just a few minutes and really helps the show. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the exclusive members only website at Turbo Medic and start your self education for EMS success. 

This study and training vault will build your knowledge base and make you a better clinician. Click here for details. 

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