Under Construction :) Under Construction :) Under Construction :) Under Construction :) Under Construction :) Under Construction :) Under Construction :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Employment Win

Guess who has a job? Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

And I get one of these:


And one of these:


And some of these:


Thank you, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That 3-week withdrawal from emergency medicine was BRUTAL.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Please Don't Text And Drive

To the idiot in the Jeep in front of me on the highway this afternoon:

1. We were in the middle of a monsoon.

2. We were doing more than 40 mph.

3. One of your headlights was out.

4. You were texting and driving. I could see your phone.

5. You were swerving into the other north bound lane AND the oncoming south bound lane.

6. I was playing this really fun game called preemptive triage via possible mechanism of injury.

7. I realized I only have one oxygen tank in my truck. Somebody (or -bodies) would've been SOL.

8. The game got even more fun when I started keeping my foot over my brake and looking at ideal places for you to crash based on room for staging areas.

9. During that really awesome drift/swerve where you were almost entirely in the south bound lane, I concluded that I didn't want to get out of my truck in the rain.

10. Thank you very much for getting back in your lane and putting away your phone after I leaned on my horn and flashed my brights.

By the way, I really liked the 'oh shit' expression on your face when you realized you were on the wrong side of the road. And the followup expression when you looked in your rearview and saw that I was wearing a blue uniform jacket and aviators.

Because if you hadn't put away your phone, your license plate number and vehicle description were 2 seconds away from being broadcast over 9-1-1 dispatch.

PS: I hope you got home and hugged your family.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I missed college. I missed classes. I missed my friends. I missed college parties.

I missed volunteering to be vomited on at least once a week with our campus EMS squad. I missed my friends calling my cellphone instead of the Public Safety department and our official dispatchers, in a drunkenly sensible attempt to avoid being "reported" for drinking. Particularly if the soon-to-be patient is underage.

If I'm on duty, I have to radio my partner for backup because we're usually on opposite sides of the campus, and our radio system involves everyone on our frequency hearing everything. Nevermind that I have to call Public Safety anyways to let them know where and what I'm doing.

We are not the FBI. This is not going on your permanent record. You are not going to get expelled. No one is calling your parents. And hopefully no one is using the video recorder on their iPhone.

If you are sick enough to require more medical attention than we can provide, the fire station across the street will be glad to take you to the local ER. It's only 5 minutes away, and we can go with you if you want someone familiar holding back your hair enroute. The firefighters even stock these, just for us college kids. And they order extras right before our big annual parties.

Now that is what I call a good mutual aid relationship. :)

...Just don't puke on the new ambulance.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Love of My Life

This is an ode to my baby, the love of my life, and the reason I haven't been around. Between the check engine light, stalling when I turn the wheel too sharply, the crack in the windshield, and putting on the spare tire last week cause I had a leak, she needs some serious tender loving care. Positive thoughts appreciated for my job interviews this week, cause this lovely lady will be getting dropped off for some rest and relaxation time as soon as I've signed papers that promise a paycheck within the next month. I don't want to clean out my emergency fund unless I know I've got more on the way. Nevermind that I need her to get to interviews, and hopefully a place of employment after that.

Ain't she purdy? And yes, it's that back passenger wheel that I switched out after this photo. You can see the chunk missing from the rim at the bottom, which had a sharp pointy edge that got bent in and wore through the tire. Switching to the spare means I won't be doing more than 50mph or using my 4x4 until I get new tires. (FYI: the previous owner cracked the rim, not me.)

But you know what?

That's my baby.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/11 and The 'Stan

Everyone's got a 9/11 post. I was twelve years old and living in New York City.

End of story.

So here's to my best friend from childhood, currently deployed to the middle of nowhere, Afghanistan. You'd better kick some military ass and get your E4. Your monthly care package is a little belated but definitely enroute. I'm so proud of you for doing your EMT training while you're over there. You're going to be an awesome tech. I wish I was there to watch your back. I'll be waiting to completely embarrass you at the gate when you come home for leave next month.

I love you. Stay safe.

Bagram Valley
Photo compliments of NATO's AfghanistanMatters.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Great Commonwealth

Finally mostly settled in up here and already doing shifts with the campus volunteer squad. If it's not a scheduled party night, you can almost safely plan on having six hours of study time while dragging around a jump kit and listening to Public Safety chatter on the radio. No, we do not have an ambulance. I looked in to getting one, but we don't even have $10,000 for a used one, let alone stocking and maintenance. Fortunately, the local fire station is across the street.

And they like to have barbecues. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Last Call

This time yesterday, I'd just finished my last call at my private ambulance company in New York City, a normal hospital to nursing home discharge. This time yesterday, I was sitting in the courtyard of the nursing home, playing dominoes with two elderly Latino men and my very Jamaican partner. This time yesterday, I was plotting with the one old man who spoke no English so we could defeat the other two at the table.

And not long after this yesterday, I sat in my car across the street from our ambulance base, crying.

I miss you guys.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rookies and Flag Downs

Towards the end of shift. Sitting on a half-empty street with another one of our units, passing time as we keep the engines running for the mediocre air conditioning and music in 100+ degree heat. Taking bets as to whether we'll have another call before we get off.

The van pulls up to the curb in front of us. The driver hops out, frantically waving to us.

You don't just jump out of your bus for a crazy person in a van. It's late at night in New York City, and the general public thinks all ambulances carry narcotics.

"Our friend is having a seizure!"

My rookie partner is at the patient's side in the time it takes me to flag down the other unit for backup. Rookie partner looks like a deer in headlights.

The teenage patient is actively seizing, sprawled on a bench seat in the van.

Two more passengers have joined the driver on the sidewalk. They know a name and age, and that this is the patient's third migraine induced seizure in two weeks. The patient said they felt sick and began vomiting prior to seizing.

The stretcher lines up with the bench seat, we slide the patient on, and the tech from the other unit catches my eye and gives a nod towards my rookie partner reaching to put the stretcher in Trendelenburg rather than positioning for aspiration precautions. I intervene, and look towards the tech. This is technically rookie partner's patient, and so far they're looking as though they should be the one on the stretcher. I can't drive Code 1 and babysit from the driver's seat.

The tech winks and grabs their BP cuff from their bus, hopping into my bus with rookie partner.

In the 2 minutes I take to go 1.7 miles, I find the time to call a notification.

But we have no paperwork on arrival despite two techs in the back.

"It's rookie partner's call," the other tech informs me with an evil grin, before stepping outside for a cigarette.

First order of business: Get rookie partner a coffee. Second order of business: Walk through how Patient Care Reports are essentially the same for a flagdown. Third order of business: Show rookie partner that our patient in the trauma room is now sitting up and talking coherently.

The relief on rookie partner's face? Priceless.