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Monday, December 27, 2010

First Snowmageddon of the Year

Dear inventors of sandbags, 4 wheel drive, all terrain tires, and snow windshield wipers - my pickup truck and I would like to take a moment to thank you for getting us home last night in that blizzard. Also, thanks to all those folks with the flashing yellow lights and big ol' plows who like to slow us down on the highway. (I really do appreciate you guys... It's just a lingering jealousy that I don't have a plow and am stuck shoveling myself out...)

Seriously, though. If I'd been trapped at work, they would've had me on the road all night.

For all you crazy kids out there in this mess, be careful. Our big box truck stood the test today because nearly all of the roads we needed were plowed. Traction control can only do so much, if you even have it. The amount of ice that built up in our windshield wipers, and on our windshield as a result, made both my partner and I get completely turned around on two separate calls. And the wind... don't get me started on the wind.

I know you want to speed to that cardiac arrest. We did, too. Even after that sedan fishtailed partway into our lane while trying to pull to the right and scared the shit out of us.

But you know what? We got there in one piece, and the patient got to the hospital in one piece. No police officers, firefighters, medics, EMTs, family members or innocent bystanders were injured in the process.

Remember: Slow acceleration, slow deceleration, 3x the space you'd normally leave between yourself and the car in front of you. Drive like everyone else on the road is about to do something incredibly stupid. If you're responding to an MVA, chances are you'll be driving over the slippery sections that your patient lost control on. When you're out on scene, expect other cars on the road to be losing control on those same spots and stage appropriately. (This includes other first responders! That firetruck may not actually be able to stop. Get word to them via dispatch if possible.) Block the entire road if necessary until DOT trucks get there to clean things up. Level Zero is also known as: don't be stupid, because you of all people know that there is no one to save your sorry butt.

Snow can be very fun when you're off-duty:


Be safe. And bring your own shovel if your truck doesn't have one. <3

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