Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We were dispatched for a possible CVA. When we arrived we found the patient sitting in the back room of his house. The house wreaked of feces, both cat and human. He stated that he was having a bowel movement when he passed out. When he awoke, he was unable to get up. He then spent the next hour calling for his wife who was taking a nap. Once she awoke she was able to move her husband into the back room but she wasn't able to get him to stand. Once we arrived the husband insisted that he was alright and that he just needed help standing. Once we checked him out we helped him stand. He was incredibly unsteady on his feet and we finally were able to talk him into going to the hospital to get checked out.
Monday, December 29, 2008
A man driving home in his plumber van blew a tire and he lost control. He ended up hitting the center divider and then sliding across the highway only to go nose first over the 20 foot drop into a dry river bed. The van tumbled and rolled eventually landing on its wheels. The man self extricated out the passenger side of the van and climbed up to the embankment. At the time he refused to go to the hospital.
Here are the skid marks going from the center divider to the edge of the highway.
The skid marks headed over the edge.
Here is where the van landed. You can see the divot in the ground (in the foreground) that his tire left.
From this angle the van doesn't seem so bad.
It's starting not to look so good. No airbags were deployed.
The drivers side.
Here is what the driver was looking at when he wrecked.
He was lucky that nothing in back came flying forward to injure him.
Here the tow truck driver is trying to figure out the best way to get the van out of the river bed.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
By Jimmy Biggerstaff
Published: Saturday, December 20, 2008 1:46 AM CST
MORONGO VALLEY — Emergency responders from several agencies fought rough weather conditions in the snow-covered hills west of Yucca Valley Thursday afternoon to rescue a patient with a broken hip. John Doe, firefighter/paramedic at the Morongo Valley Fire Station related that he received an emergency call a little before 3 p.m. for an 81-year-old female patient with a possible hip fracture on Ben Mar Trail off Hoopa Trail. “We responded with two four-wheel-drive engines and proceeded up the dirt road as far as we could go,” Doe said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon. “The brush engine got stuck about two miles before the house on the private, unmaintained roads,” Doe continued.
Engine two got stuck in snow and mud about a mile short of the destination. “At that point, my engineer (Eric Griffiths) and I grabbed what equipment we needed and exited the vehicle,” Doe explained.
“Then we hiked the rest of the distance to the residence in the snow up to our knees.”
The uphill hike in the snow took about 20 minutes. Upon arrival, the firefighters determined the patient had a suspected fracture. “We then decided the best way to extricate her from her surroundings would be by helicopter and called for sheriff’s air rescue to lift her out.
“We were given a one hour estimated time of arrival,” Doe said. “At that time we decided to fashion a sled with the residents who were up there, who supplied the firefighters with a four-by-eight-foot sheet of plywood.
“We drilled holes in it and used rope to pull it. We medicated the patient for pain and loaded her up in several blankets and laid her on a cot which we used to move her to the makeshift sled,” Doe said. “My engineer and I began to pull her toward the ambulance, which was about two miles away, maybe a little further.”
With Morongo Basin Ambulance paramedic Melissa Wharssler attending the patient, firefighters began pulling her down the hill on the makeshift litter. About a third of the way to the ambulance, as the sun was setting, the first helicopter showed up.
About the same time, firefighter Grant Grafius joined his colleagues to provide additional manpower.
“We then had the initial chopper come in to look at the area from above to determine the best area to extricate the patient,” Doe said. “Then the second helicopter showed up to perform the actual basket extrication.”
The aircrews informed the ground team they had to land the airships to swap manpower, changing the winch operator from the first to the second helicopter, which took about 20 minutes.
“By now the sun was down, it was dark and the temperature was dropping quickly,” Doe said.
The helicopters returned and the first provided illumination while the second lowered first a doctor and then a rescue litter called a Stokes basket to the ground.
“At that point we loaded the patient into the Stokes basket and strapped her in,” Doe said.
The helicopter lifted the patient up, then lowered a cable that the doctor clipped onto a harness to be winched into the aircraft.
The patient was flown to Loma Linda University.
The firefighters began the return trek down the canyon in the dark, then worked to get their vehicles unstuck. “It was a long call, a very cold call,” Doe concluded.
Meg Foley, general manager of the Morongo Valley Community Services District and Fire Department, described the rescue as, “A well-coordinated effort by several agencies under very adverse conditions. They sure did a good job.”
One of the pranksters caught red handed.
The marshmallows are melting.
One down, one to go.
A work of art. We did get into a little trouble for this but it was worth it.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Once we got there we found an 81 year old woman laying in bed. She stated that her right hip hurt after a fall from bed this morning. As I was doing my assessment Melissa (one of the medics from MBA) showed up. I assume that she hiked in from the ambulance, almost two miles away. While Melissa and I worked on the patient Eric called for the helicopter. He was told that there would be an hour to an hour and fifteen minute ETA and that the chopper didn't have a medic on board. That made me really excited.
We decided that since the hopper had such an extended ETA we'd try to get her out ourselves. We put the neighbors in charge of coming up with a make shift sled. They found a 4'x8' sheet of plywood and drilled a couple of holes in one end. We then wrapped it in poly so it would slide easier and attached a rope through the holes. After loading up the patient on some Morphine we wrapped her in two sheets and two comforters, loaded her on a folding flat and carried her out to the sled. Eric and I then got to play the part of a mule team while Melissa stayed with the patient.
Here we are. The patient in in that bundle of blankets on the board. Eric decided he liked the idea of straps like I have instead of just using ropes. It hurt less.
About this time we called Grant and had him hike in for some extra manpower.
Here Melissa is realizing a bad thing just happened...
Sunset. The temperature started to drop rapidly. It was bad enough that we started calling dispatch to get the helicopters to hurry.
Here's Grant dealing with the cold. Even in rough conditions we keep our sense of humor.
This was the last photo of the call. This is the helicopter, hovering 30 feet above us, lowering the Stokes basket. This experience brought on a new meaning of cold. We gave a quick report to doctor Lions and got the patient into the Stokes basket. By this time my hands had lost all sensation and I wasn't able to get the buckle fastened without multiple attempts. Once the patient was on her way to Loma Linda Medical Center we started our trek back to our rigs.
On our way back Eric informed us that after this call we were to go back to the station, have a nice warm shower, eat a good dinner, and watch House for the rest of the evening. Surprisingly, we did just that...without interruption. What a fun afternoon.
This was a short video clip I took while covering the patient.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
White Christmas anyone?
Typical. It's about 25 degrees out and we're both in shorts. That didn't last too long.
Engine 462 was out all night babysitting some downed power lines, that's why it's covered in snow
This shot of the Joshua Tree is for my mom. She loves 'em.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The staging area for the parade is right in front of our station. You can see Grant cleaning up after one of the horses left a present.
Here we are in line. The wood chipper in front of us is dressed up like a horse.
A better view of the "horse."
Ashley got to escort Sparky around the parade. I felt sorry for them. They were right in front of the loudest siren in the Morongo Basin and they forgot their ear plugs
Sparky getting a ride back to the beginning of the parade.
Ashley gets a lot of crap from us because he has a large butt. His nickname is "donkey booty" and so when we saw that they had donkey rides we all chipped in and got him one. While he was riding away there were lots of comments like, "WOW! That's a lot of ass."