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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Closing Hwy 62

At just after seven in the morning we were dispatched to a TC on the Morongo grade with multiple vehicles involved. Since it was at shift change the off going crew jumped into engine 2 and followed. We found that the bridge had iced over and that at least 7 vehicles had wrecked. One person sustained minor injuries. We ended up slipping and sliding all over the place. As I stepped around the front of the engine I started skidding in my turnouts towards and SUV that had hit the center divider (later on Eric would slip and fall none too gracefully in this same spot). I managed to stay on my feet and skated all the way up to the first person. I stopped right at her feet, stood up erect, and introduced myself. She was cracking up and said that she was fine. After checking on everyone and treating the one injured patient we turned our attention to re opening the highway. We called for CalTrans to come salt the road. Soon a few Marines came walking down from their convoy. They helped a bunch by shoveling dirt onto the ice behind several of the stuck vehicles to get them out. The first lady that I talked to later told me that she had photos of several firefighters, a couple of CHP officers and a marine all slipping and falling on the ice. I wish that I could get a hold of those shots. At one point we had to turn around an MBA ambulance trying to go to the trauma center down in Palm Springs.

The view from inside Engine 462. The semi in the oncoming lanes is stuck too.

The view from the other side of the bridge looking at ME461. There is the SUV that I slid up to.

If you look carefully you can see people walking back to their cars. They had hiked back into town during the closure to get coffee.

Some helpful marines with the firefighters.

CalTrans finally making an appearance.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Possible OD

We were toned out for a person down. When we arrived on scene we found what would best be described as a small shack. We were met by a man that told us his friend was inside and unconscious. As I walked in I found a woman about 60 years old that was laying on the couch, barely breathing. Grant immediately grabbed the BVM and dropped in an OPA (an airway adjunct that keeps the tongue from blocking the air passage). We had been called to a different location for this same patient only a couple of weeks prior. I immediately checked her pupils which were pinpoint (indicative of narcotic overdose which would explain her breathing problems). I also checked her for Fentanyl patches (said narcotic) and found several. I gave her 2 mg of Narcan IM (in the muscle) and managed to make it so that she was breathing a little better but still out of it. About this time we got her blood pressure which was in the toilet, 64/48. Just as I was blowing the first attempt at an IV MBA showed up. I gave the medic a quick run down and he started looking for an IV. While he did that I got a blood sugar, which was 27. My patient was one serious problem after another. The MBA medic got an IV in the jugular vein and we pushed an amp of D50W and gave her a fluid bolus. She also go 2 mg of Narcan through her IV. She would go back and forth between being able to protect her own airway and choking on her own spit. the medic from MBA asked if I would tag along since she had so many different issues going on. In the back of the ambulance we tried to nasally intubate her 3 times but were unsuccessful. We did get both her blood sugar and her blood pressure up. We found out later that she had overdosed on her seizure medication as well and that's why we couldn't get her to stay conscious.
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