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Sunday, August 24, 2008

TC With Multiple Vehicles

A while back Eric and I were dispatched to a TC on the Morongo Grade with multiple vehicles involved. A jaguar had been speeding up the highway and ended up clipping the trailer of a slow moving truck. The dashboard on the passenger side was pushed all the way back into the passenger seat. We never found the front tire of the Jag. Also, there was a motorcycle involved somehow. He ended up laying the bike down and sliding under the trailer. He crawled out on his own. We put him on a backboard and sent him to the trauma center. The driver of the Jaguar signed out but he had a nasty limp and a possible broken arm. The driver of the truck was unharmed.

The best photo I have of what was once a newer model Jaguar.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Possible OD

The call came in about noon for a familiar address. This time we were dispatched for a possible overdose. I remember the address because it was a memorable call the last time we were there. This time we arrived to find the son at the front door. He told us that he thought his mom had chased down about 100 tablets of aspirin with acetaminophen with alcohol. Sure enough, when we found her she wreaked of alcohol. She showed no signs of having taken the pills and denied it. She did admit to the drinking. She was able to answer all the questions appropriately which means she doesn't have to go to the hospital if she doesn't want to go. Just as I was taking her blood pressure MBA and the SO arrived on scene. I missed her blood pressure the first time and then got it on the second try. I had to have Ryan, the MBA EMT, take it just to make sure I didn't mess up. It was 58/32. At this point we informed her that we were going to take her to the hospital. Thankfully she decided to cooperate. If she hadn't, the sheriffs deputy could have made her go with MBA. The MBA medics (a new guy and his FTO) were having a hard time getting an IV. They even tried two jugular sticks and nothing. Found out later they got two IV's en route. One in the wrist and the other in the ankle. I think it's only a matter of time until we go back there.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Timing is Everything

I had just finished grilling some chicken on the BBQ. I walked up to the dinner table and as I set the plate of chicken down...."Medic Engine 461, MBA, medical aid." It gets worse. The call was for a bloody nose. At this point I'm grumbling a little bit since dinner was interrupted. When we got on scene the nose in question had stopped bleeding. The patient has a previous medical condition that lends itself to bloody noses. She just wanted to get checked out before she had her fiance take her to the hospital. Her nose had bee bleeding since the night before. I can understand wanting to get checked out by us first. This we did and sent her on her way, cancelling the ambulance. Then it was back to dinner.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Probie Down (almost)

We have a new firefighter working with us on Thursdays and Fridays named Grant. Like all new guys that start on our shift (myself included) we welcome the new guy by going out and training real hard. Admittedly we were a little easier on Grant then on other newbies since Erin and I didn't want to be out in the heat either. In his second week with us Grant became dizzy and light headed after the morning workout (no training yet). After laying on the couch for a couple of minutes, during which time I checked his vitals, he felt better. He then got up and sat at the kitchen table and started shaking. At this point I checked his blood sugar. It was in the low forties. No wonder he wasn't feeling well. We gave him a fruit shake and then made him breakfast. This is the second rookie in a row we've almost broken and we didn't even train hard.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Did You Guys Know That There is a Fire Down On the Grade?!

About ten in the morning we were in the apparatus bay when a car pulled up. The driver asked, "Did you guys know that here is a fire down on the grade?" This was repeated by three other drivers. It took a lot of self control not to say something like, "Yeah, we know. We're just waiting so it can get a little bigger." We finally asked the last driver if he had called 911. He said no.

We got dressed and started responding. At this point we called dispatch to inform them that we had multiple reports of a fire on the Morongo Grade and that we would like some help. As we went down the grade we began to see smoke...a good sign. As we rounded one of the corners we saw the fire. It was a small spot fire on the side of the road. There was a CHP unit and a marine unit on scene setting up cones to block off the slow lane. Since the fire was in Riverside county we called Paris (the Riverside county fire dispatch) and asked if they had anyone responding. Turns out that both San Bernardino and Riverside counties had half the world responding.

We were first on scene followed very closely by engine 36 from Riverside county. Eric grabbed the line with Anthony and attacked the right side of the fire. I helped the firefighter from 36 attack the left side. Within a few minutes we had the fire contained. The Battalion Chief from Riverside decided that we had done enough by putting the fire out and released us (with an unprecedented thank you) so we could go back to our own area. We got to play and then we didn't have to do mop up. My kind of fire.

The view as we were leaving.

Crews starting mop up.

The engine in the foreground marks how far the fire spread.

Additional crews for mop up.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


We received an interesting phone call from Comm Center. The dispatcher told us that a guy called in an stated that he had ingested some bleach. He also said that he felt embarrassed and then he hung up. The dispatcher gave us the address over the phone and said that he'd tone out MBA and the sheriffs department as well. Our question was why didn't you just tone us out too?! As we arrived on scene the dispatcher said that we should stage until the SO arrives. A little late! The patient was standing in his doorway looking at us. Good thing he wasn't a psycho.

The patients' story goes something like this. He came home (maybe from work???) and discovered that his feet smelled really bad. He decided to take a bath and scrub his feet with bleach. I think that there was alcohol involved at some point in this story. He then said that he fell asleep in the tub. When he woke up he was thirsty so he grabbed the cup and took a swig....of bleach. The only complaint that he had was a bad aftertaste. We checked him out and then signed him out AMA.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Ashley (AKA Junior) doing a reverse hose lay. Here he is grabing our blower. Anyone see something amiss in this picture?

Junior grabbing the hose bundles.

Ashley pulling 200 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose.

Chris (He works Saturdays with me and Eric) doing his reverse hose lay.

Note that Chris has his suspenders on!

Pulling the 2 1/2 inch hose and bundles towards the objective (about where that bush is beyond the walls.

Our Deputy Chief decided to show us that he can still pull hose.

Craig grabbing the saws.

Later in the day we got to do more hose lays, the 2 1/2 inch exposure and attack lines. It was a long tiring day for all of us. This is Ashley again. Eric can be seen "pulling knobs" as we call it. That's all that Engineers do, well and chauffeur us around.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

MVFD Station 2

We spent three days at station 2 this week cleaning. We cleared all the weeds and trimmed all the trees. Here is what it looks like now.

Eric picking up the tools and trash can at the end of a long day.

This dog came walking up to us. It was hot and dehydrated. We gave it some water and shade while I called the owner. The dog made it back home about 20 minutes later. Oh yeah, this is Grant, aka GG. He is our new firefighter on Thursdays and Fridays.

There was 2 feet of brush all through here with all of the trees reaching the ground.

We even had to cut some branches up here so the engine would fit.

Finishing touches. Not a very flattering picture. This was actually taken while GG sat in the shade with the dog.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vehicle Fire

Last week was one of our firefighters last week. He got a job on a box (an ambulance) and is moving from the area. We were hoping for a good call for him. A little after 5 pm we got toned out for a vehicle fire up on the Yucca grade on highway 62 at Hoopa Tr. We very quickly got dressed and went responding. Just as we turned onto the highway we could see way off in the distance (several miles) a faint wisp of smoke. Hehehe. We ended up pulling up just after ME121 from San Bernardino County. Anthony and I backed up their fireman. We knocked down the fire pretty quick but the damage was done.

The woman driving what was once a Ford Exploder said that she pulled off the highway when it started to overheat. As she did smoke started pouring out from under the hood. By the time that a tow truck driver pulled over to help, flames were rolling out under the glove compartment. The woman was still sitting in the drivers seat. I take this as proof that Darwin was right. The tow truck driver got her out and away from the vehicle. These are some shots of what was left of the Explorer.

From here the damage doesn't look so bad. Eric is chatting with our local CHP officers. We have a great working relationship with them.

The damaged end.

The fire went all through the passenger compartment. You can see the head liner that we had to rip out. We put it back in once the fire was extinguished.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lightning and Tones

This video was taken during a thunderstorm that came through one evening. For those of you that haven't heard what it is like to get "toned out" you can hear our tones go off at the end of the video clip.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mir Space Station

At 2011 last night we all decided to go outside and gaze up at the heavens. We got to see the Mir space station cruise by like a tailless shooting star. It was just about as exciting as this post. Yes, we're bored.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Patients Are All Young

Over that last few days of work I have not had a patient over the age of 23. The first call was for a 20 year old female that was having chest pain, shortness of breath, and a headache. She stated that she had a history of high blood pressure and that she had not been taking her medication.

The next call was for an 18 year old patient having a seizure. More accurately, she was having multiple seizures. By the time that we arrived on scene she was able to walk but her mom told us that, over the last hour, the patient had had 3 seizures, each lasting about 10 minutes. I did a quick assessment, plugged in a line and checked her blood sugar. I asked the patient if she had an aura (a tell tale sign that she was about to have a seizure). She said that she did and that she would let me know if she was going to have another seizure. At that point there was not much else to do other than wait for the ambulance.

Our next call was 22 hours later...for the same person. She had been discharged by the hospital later that night and started having seizures the next day. It made my assessment a little easier since I remembered her name, medical history, medications and allergies. Other than that the call went just about the same as the previous one.

My next patient called at 4:30 in the morning. She was a 23 year old female complaining of sever menstrual cramps. As a paramedic I have the ability, at my discretion, to do something for pain. Unfortunately some people know this and they call 911 and fake pain. This patient had called 911 3 times in the last couple of months with three different complaints of severe pain. Putting that aside, the way she acted on scene did not coincide with a patient in that much pain. Her vitals were all wrong and she was amazingly able to talk with so much as a grimace whenever we asked her a question. I wasn't willing to give her any morphine and I'm fairly liberal with it. The best part was when MBA showed up because the medic was female. Eric went outside and explained everything. Then the medic walked in and asked what the problem was. When the patient said that she was having severe menstrual cramps the medic asked rhetorically, "You called 911 for menstrual cramps?!" The patient then got really defensive and said that she didn't understand to which the medic said, "I'm 35 years old and have a kid, I know about pain." hehehe There are some things that a male paramedic just can't get away with saying.

My next patient was a 21 year old female that passed out while doing the dishes. When we got there she was laying on the couch complaining of a severe headache. We checked everything from her heart to her blood sugar it all checked out. After talking to Katie she thinks it may have been the start of a migraine. Who knows. We put her on a backboard, gave her some oxygen and started a line. After that all we could do was send her to the hospital for further testing.

Another call we had was for a fall with injuries. A 15 year old boy fell on a cup in his room and dislocated his patella (knee cap). We found him still laying on the floor in a lot of pain, especially when he tried to move. I started a line on him and tried to dope him up on morphine. By the time that MBA had shown up I had just finished giving him 6mg of morphine but he said that it wasn't doing a thing for his pain. Unfortunately there isn't a lot that I can do for someone that has a high drug tolerance for morphine so we packaged him up as best we could (we used a backboard and some pillows for support), gave him an ice pack, and sent him on his way. We told him that he better listen to his mom and clean his room after this accident.

My most recent patient was only 4 years old. His older sister knocked a TV over onto his head. His mom was panicking thinking that her son had a severe head injury. As I talked to the kid it became apparent that he was fine. He pointed to the spot where the TV made contact with his head and there wasn't even a red spot. Half way through my assessment the kid looked at his mom who was crying and he stopped talking. At this point I had my firefighter go and grab what we call a pedi-buddy. It's just a stuffed animal that we carry on the engine for just such occasions. With the help of the stuffed animal the patient again started talking to me. Thankfully the mom decided to sign him out AMA and take him to the hospital herself. This was one of those times where calming the mother down was the best treatment for my patient.

The average age of my patients over the last 8 calls is only 17!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fat Status

Junior once said that he enjoyed donuts more than ice cream...I'm not so sure.

Monday, August 4, 2008


These are shots of some of the amazing thunderstorms that happen in our neck of the woods. This one stayed over the mountains from us. The down side is it's still really hot with the added bonus of humidity!

These were taken right in front of our station.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

King of Beers

I'm entertained by the fact that Budweiser paints their trucks camouflage near the marine base. I see these trucks every Thursday and can't help thinking that there are beer trucks in Iraq hiding so the the insurgents don't confiscate them.

Friday, August 1, 2008


This was the largest beetle that I have ever seen in the "wild." After taking a couple of pictures we just let him go about his business. We were too afraid to do anything to him!

Check out the size of his chompers!
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