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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Operation Gobble, From The Inside

In reality all we did was provide some muscle to move 75, 15 pound turkeys.

Grant holding up a fine specimen.

Grant and one of our Reserve Captains.

People had to sign up ahead of time to get a turkey and then had to be signed off from a master list. This helped avoid a mad rush, mostly.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Operation Gobble

I grabbed this article from the Hi-Desert Newspaper website. I guess I owe ice cream again.

Firefighter/Paramedic KW, left, and firefighter Grant Grafius grapple with several pounds of Thanksgiving cheer as they set aside turkeys for Morongo Valley Elementary School. Custom food baskets will be created by school staff to share with student families and needy neighbors.

By Rebecca Unger / Hi-Desert Star
Saturday, November 22, 2008 12:07 AM PST

MORONGO VALLEY — The employees and volunteers of the Morongo Valley Community Service District office, and the on-duty firefighters next door, put in a busy hour Friday helping Mike Pollack and the Golden State Water Company distribute 45 frozen turkeys.

This is the 18th year the water company has partnered with Ralphs grocery stores to help bring Thanksgiving meals to more homes for the holiday.

“Over the years, Operation Gobble has given away more than 8,500 turkeys,” said Pollack, a water company supervisor.

This year, the donation came from the Ralphs store in Indian Wells.

Besides the 45 given away Friday, another 25 turkeys were set aside for
Morongo Valley Elementary School, which will include them in meal baskets to be given to needy student families and other residents.

An additional five turkeys go to the Church of the Lighted Cross to be served as part of its public Thanksgiving dinner.

Terri Alyea of Morongo Valley is unemployed this year, so is grateful for the two turkeys — about 30 pounds worth — that she’ll be able to prepare for her loved ones.

“You have to be content no matter where you are,” Alyea said, referring to her change in circumstance for this holiday. And she stayed upbeat, describing the from-scratch pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce she planned to delight her 12 guests with.

Indeed, the warm Hi-Desert air fairly rang with “Thank you,” and “Happy Thanksgiving,” as the lined-up recipients got their names checked off the list and their bags filled.

“We do this throughout the company,” said Golden State Water office manager Cindi Ribera. She is especially grateful herself this season, as she is back in her Pioneertown home for her first Thanksgiving since the Sawtooth fire destroyed everything she and her daughter, Leah, had.

Pollack looks forward to spending the holiday in Las Vegas, Nev., with his parents, and he joked with Community Services District manager Meg Foley about who makes the best deviled eggs. “My mom puts a little relish juice in the mix,” Pollack said with approval. “I use wasabi mayonnaise and sprinkle chili powder on top,” countered Foley. Some do like it hot!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Over the Line

Something that we've started doing for a little exercize and to bleed off some stress (from what I don't know) is play some over the line. I haven't played baseball in a while and I've descovered that I have a lot of fun at it and that there is no risk of me getting picked up by an MLB team.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Illegal Burn

With the severe fire danger this summer the state of California has banned all fires. As a result we get quite a few illegal burns. We have had two major brush fires here in the Morongo Valley in the last three years so the citizens are a little nervous. This night we got a call stating that the RP (reporting party) could see flames from their house. When we got on scene we found that this home owner didn't just have one illegal fire going on, he had two. Plus evidence of a third. He tried to say that he was being safe and that had hoses just in case. I tried to use his hoses. One wouldn't reach either fire and the other one only dribbled. We put both out and gave the man a written warning.

Friday, November 21, 2008

TC Rollover on the Morongo Grade

We got toned out to assist Riverside county with a vehicle over the side. As we were driving down the grade we saw an MBA unit coming northbound. They were the first unit on scene beating us by only a couple of minutes. When we arrived on scene we found that a BMW M3 convertible had been doing about 70 mph when a tire blew. The driver over corrected and lost control sending him careening over the side. He bounced off a boulder and landed on the roof of the car about 20 feet below the road. I climbed down the embankment and had the gear tossed to me. When I got to the vehicle I found an off duty paramedic in the car with the patient. He had cut the patient out of his seat belt and was just sort of getting in the way. The MBA medic had a student who was standing outside the car looking rather useless. I climbed in the opposite side and grabbed C-Spine. I then asked the off duty medic to get out of the way since he was not dressed to be in an overturned car with blood everywhere. I also asked the medic intern to "strip and flip" the patient while I maintained C-Spine. It took him a couple of minutes to get into gear. We ended up getting the patient on the backboard. He had a pretty good cut on the left side of his head that was bleeding quite a bit and he had a dislocated shoulder. After the call my turnouts were so covered in blood that I had to have my guys douse me in hydrogen peroxide and hose me off. It was a fun call.

Friday, November 7, 2008


The call came in for a person having a seizure. We arrived on scene to find the patient laying unconscious on the floor. The patients wife stated that he had had several seizures and that during the initial one he fell and hit his head on the microwave. We put in a cervical collar and on a backboard. We also administered high flow oxygen. He started having a seizure while I was starting his IV. It only lasted about 10 seconds. Later on he had a couple of more seizures which were stopped by Versed. By then MBA was on scene and we loaded him up. The transporting paramedic came back to the station afterwards and spoke to me about concerns that the patient may have been faking. If he was faking, he was good at it. Next time I'll look a little closer.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Random Photo

Our new growler.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Broken Arm

We got a call in the middle of the night for a fall with injuries. One of the older ladies in Morongo Valley tripped and fell in the bathroom and broke her upper arm. Remarkably she was in almost no pain. We splinted her arm and sent her on her way down to the hospital.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Officer Involved Traffic Collision

There are certain calls that make us hurry just a little bit more. We got toned out for an officer involved TC. Since we know most of the CHP officers and Sheriffs deputies in the area we hurried just a bit more. As we approached the scene traffic going our direction was backing up. That's never a good sign (at least not for the people involved). As we pulled up we could see that one CHP unit had been involved in a TC and that there was another on scene. There were also several more coming down the grade.

Once on scene I spotted someone laying on the side of the road with a CHP officer attending to them. As I approached the officer told me that she was driving the cruiser and that she was OK. The man laying on the ground was complaining of severe head pain. He also had a tender abdomen and pain in his pelvis. We put him in a cervical collar and onto a backboard.

It appears that the CHP officer flipped a U-Turn to go east bound from the shoulder into the center lane and that she didn't see is that there was a minivan driving west bound in the number one lane. The two vehicles hit on the drivers side almost head on.

A couple of days later her partner stopped by the station and let us know what happened at the hospital. Once the patient got to the hospital, he evidently started complaining that he was losing sensation in his legs. The RN thought that he was full of sh*t so she gave him a Foley catheter and took his temperature rectally. I don't know if this really happened but I hope that it did. The moral of this story...don't lie to nurses.

Monday, November 3, 2008

FF/PM John

This is John. I used to work with him at Gerber ambulance and he just got hired on here. He is the new firefighter/paramedic and is going to be working on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. The fun thing is that he hadn't put on turnouts in 18 years and yet he is still able to beat Ben and Casey at turnout drills. It's nice to have another medic on duty full time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chest Pain

We were dispatched for a patient experiencing chest pain. While en route to the call Chris asked if he could do the assessment. Once we got on scene we found our patient sitting on a chair in the living room. His pain was a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale. He stated that the pain had started suddenly and unprovoked. His vitals were all within normal limits. He did have a history of high blood pressure and some cardiac history. We put him on oxygen, hooked him up to the monitor and gave him some nitroglycerin. Just as I was about to start my IV MBA showed up with a paramedic intern. I decided to let the intern start the IV. As his preceptor and I stood by and watched he started the IV. I haven't seen someone shake that bad in a long time. His preceptor even told him that he needed to switch to decaf. Poor guy. We then loaded up our patient and sent him on his way. Overall Chris did a pretty good job on the assessment.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Late Night Calls

The call came in at about 0100 for a patient complaining of high blood pressure. When we arrived on scene we found the patient sitting in bed. The patient had no medical complaint what so ever. His wife had called because his blood pressure had been a little elevated for the past couple of hours. His blood pressure was a little high but not high enough to stress over. We waited for the ambulance and loaded him up. Not the type of call I want to wake up for at 0100.

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