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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Driving's Training For Ash

Ash got his class B permit too.

He was supposed to stop within two feet of the cone....he really stopped within 2 centimeters.

He had a hard time backing into the cones.

But he eventually got it.

He was a little excited but than again, it's Ash.

A rare photo of Ash being serious.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

First Time Driving a Fire Vehicle

Tim's first time driving a fire apparatus. He was a little excited.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"That's Not a Parking Place"

We had just finished a two day course on trauma when we were toned out for a vehicle over the side. This is what we found when we arrived on scene.

The driver is a MD who said that he lost control when he hit the center divider.

The doctor was worried about me causing further damage to his car by stepping on the hood of his car to get over the barbed wire fence in which his car was entangled.

The driver was lucky enough to walk away from this accident. Grant said it best, "That is not a parking place."

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I'm playing engineer today. Grant and I did this training the day before.

Tim grabbing the rotary saw.

Grant enjoying the show.

Eric getting ready to be our downed firefighter.

Ash and Tim getting ready to advance the line to the far side of the building.

Eric over seeing their progress.

Tim had to crawl with the rotary saw to the nozzle.

Ash flowing some water.

We now have a simulated firefighter down.

Ash and Tim have to work together to crawl out with the downed firefighter.

It's tougher than it looks.

Once out of the building we simulated a full arrest. Since Tim is a paramedic student this was fun for me to watch.

Um...I think I'm supposed to do this....I think.

Ah well. He's gone. Let's go get lunch.

Actually Tim and Ash did a great job on this drill. They had to grab a multitude of tools, swing the axe 50 times, crawl a bunch, go through two air bottles and were still able to perform a decent full arrest scenario. In my experience the hardest time to do medical assessments is when you just did a ton of physical exertion and your tired. You have to be able to run on autopilot at that point.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

First Call of the New Year

New Years morning we got toned out for a rollover TC. While responding I made the prediction that ever one was going to sign out AMA and that the driver had just fallen asleep. When we arrived on scene that was exactly what we found.

All kinds of paperwork is done on a TC.

This was taking just as the car was being flipped onto its wheels.

Grant popping the hood to disconnect the battery.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Was Just Welding

About 5 in the afternoon we got toned out for a smoke investigation, a fairly common occurrence. Once we found the house the owner met us outside and said that he had been welding. He didn't think that the sparks were that big of a deal. We explained that we were under a red flag warning and that the neighbors are a bit jumpy since we've had some major fires in the last couple of years. He apologized and we went back to dinner.

Santa's Helpers

The week before Christmas some of the citizens of Morongo Valley, in conjunction with the local elementary school, gather toys to give to the children of families that have fallen on tough times. They graciously let us deliver the gifts and get the credit. This year Grant and I rode tailboard from house to house, except when we had to travel on the highway (had to put that in there for my mom). It was a lot of fun. We had Craig following us in the brush engine with his daughter so that she could help out too.

Me riding tailboard.

Grant on the other side.

Scrooge here didn't like getting his picture taken with the hat on. Bah Humbug!

Craig's daughter helping carry a bag of toys to another house.

Grant and I riding tailboard while delivering presents.

Approaching the next house we flip on the lights and sirens. The kids love it...OK, so do we.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jungle Gym Mishap

I was working on 461 with Curtis while Grant was off doing stuff with the water tender. We were toned out for a fall victim at the elementary school. Since we didn't know what we had we brought everything in. Turns out it was just a 9 year old that fell from the jungle gym and broke his arm. I ended up getting vitals, getting an ice pack, splinting the arm, and doing the paperwork all by my self. A one man show. Once MBA showed up their medic started a line and did some pain management. We contacted his mother and let her know that her child was being transported to DRMC with a representative from the school.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pediatric Anaphylaxis

After working out I was in the shower, shampoo in my hair, when the tones went off. We were dispatched for a child having difficulty breathing. I quickly jumped out of the shower and into t-shirt and turnout pants still dripping. When we arrived on scene we found a 6 year old kid that was in respiratory distress. His mom informed us that he had been hospitalized the day before with a severe allergic reaction to an unknown allergen. This morning while she was taking her son to school he started having the same trouble breathing. He did have a rash on his chest and he said that his throat felt like it was swelling shut. He wasn't wheezing, yet. I quickly gave him a subcutaneous shot of epinephrine, started an IV and gave him some benadryl. Within a couple of minutes he said that he was starting to feel better. By this time MBA was on scene and we sent him and his mom down to the hospital.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Personal Note

Last Saturday morning I got a phone call at the station from my parents letting me know that my grandma had gone into the ER and that it didn't look good. A couple of hours later I received the news that she had passed. My crew were very supportive. In going through pictures of my grandma I found this one that was sent to me by my dad. This photo was taken a while ago.

It reminds me of the line in The Gladiator, "Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back." Not grandma. I'm gonna miss her.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

On a Hike

A while back we got our Chief and our new Paramedic coordinator to go out on a wild land hike with us. We took them on our normal hike which is fairly strenuous. They both managed to make it to the top of the mountain with me and Chris but were almost completely spent. Just as the last of us reached the summit we were toned out for a medical aid. Chris and I said that we'd take it since we were the only ones in any condition to run the mile back to the engine. We took off in a down hill sprint and barely kept on our feet but we were responding to the call 5 minutes later.

Once we got on scene we found a familiar patient. The gentleman has a problem with passing out. His blood pressure fluctuates and when it dips, so does he. By the time that we got there he was a little more out of it than I remember but he was talking to us. I asked the wife if this was normal for him lately since he does have dementia and she told me that he was deteriorating mentally very rapidly. We put him on some oxygen, checked his vitals and blood sugar levels, and waited for the ambulance. Just under 30 minutes after we received the call our paramedic coordinator and Chief got to the brush engine and went back to normal response. Good thing we didn't wait for them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

School Stress

I remember when I was younger and in school I thought that the students had all the stress. Funny how years later I wish I only had the worries of a student. We were called to our local elementary school for an ill person. When we got there we were greeted by one of the faculty stating that she did not call us and that there was no way that we were going to take her to the hospital. She was feeling a little weak and dizzy and could tell that her blood pressure was up. We checked it for her and she was right. After letting her know that she needed to get checked out she said she would get in to see her doctor just as soon as she could. She then signed out AMA.

After that she related to us her last experience with the fire department. Several months earlier she had stopped by the station because she was feeling the same way she did today. She said that she was met by a larger paramedic that didn't seem to know what he was doing and another paramedic that was rather pushy about getting her to the hospital. She stated that she really didn't like the experience and was reluctant to call 911 since. She told us that we had restored her faith in the fire department and would no longer refuse to call us if she needed us.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Without Snow

Here is what the area of our snow rescue looked like without all the snow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stress, Compounded by Stress

Several days earlier, ME461 was dispatched for a full arrest. When they arrived they found a woman that had overdosed on some prescription medications. By the time that they arrived she had been dead for some time. From what I was told there were some obvious signs of death so they didn't try to work her up.

A couple of days later we were toned out to the same address. When we arrived we found the mother sitting in a chair having a little bit of difficulty breathing. She had a history of panic attacks and stress induced chest pain. We placed her on some oxygen and I started an IV. The most important thing that we did was listen. She and her family talked about their daughter and thanked us for everything that we had done. By the time that MBA arrived on scene our patient was feeling quite a bit better. Sometimes being a good paramedic means being an amateur shrink.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fall Victim With Difficulty Breathing

We were toned out for a person with trouble breathing. When we arrived we were met by her friend. Our patient told us that she had been in a fight with her boyfriend and that he had choked her. She stated that he had picked her up by her neck, choked her until she lost consciousness and threw her on the bed. At this point we radioed dispatch and asked for SO. While Eric was asking her some questions she became very agitated. She told us that she was bipolar and that she no longer took her medications. Shocker. We ended up watching our backs until MBA showed up and then we made a hasty exit. We figured it would be best not to be at the house when the boyfriend decided to come back.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kid With a Goose Egg

We got toned out in the evening for a child with a head injury. This was the third time that we have been to this residence for the same type of call. This time the 6 year old daughter had been jumping on the bed with her older sister. They ended up butting heads with the younger girl getting a nice goose egg. The girl did not lose consciousness or have any signs of a trauma to her brain. We ended up doing the same thing we did the other two times, had the mom sign out AMA and went home.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Great California Shake Up

This November we took part in the largest disaster drill ever staged. It was an imaginary earthquake that was supposed to be over 8.0 on the Richter scale. Local, county, state, and federal agencies participated. We had it pretty easy. We had to get dressed in full turnouts and pull all of the apparatus out of the bay. We then checked our building for any damage. We then went over to the elementary school and checked every building to make sure it was evacuated and safe. Other than that we have a couple of district owned buildings that we checked and then we would be available for emergencies. The school gets priority since it has a high number if occupants and can be an emergency shelter.

Here is our fearless leader, Curtis, talking with the principle.

Grant acting the part of the hero!

Way off in the distance you can see all the kids sitting by class waiting for the all clear. I bet they're glad that we did this in November and not August.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

21 Year Old With Chest Pain

We got a call about 10 at night. A 21 year old guy had developed chest pain. We checked his vitals and his heart and it all was well within normal limits. He stated that it came on all of the sudden. He appeared to be in decent physical shape so I really doubted any heart problems. We gave him some oxygen and I started a line. After that I gave him some Nitroglycerin. It didn't do much for him. MBA finally showed up and we sent him down to the hospital.
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