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Sunday, June 28, 2009


What a strange thing it is to go into peoples homes and get a glimpse of what their life is like. We got a call around 1030 for an unresponsive person. When we arrived we were met by the patients ex wife. She stated that they had been divorced for over 30 years but they still lived together. Evidently her 95 year old ex husband wasn't waking up this morning. When we went into the back bedroom we discovered that her ex had passed on sometime the night before. Since he had some rigor I chose not to work him up. We notified the Sheriffs department and told his ex wife. she wasn't surprised. As soon as the deputy showed up we turned the scene over to him. I can't imagine anyone living with an ex wife (or to be fair an ex husband) for 30 years.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Auto Vs Ped....Again

Some calls you just have to laugh at. We got toned out at about 2200 for an pedestrian struck by a vehicle. When we got there we discovered a 48 year old man at the local gas station with a cut on his hand and two cuts on his head. He stated that he was several miles down the road when he pulled over for his ex wife. Her new boyfriend just decided to run him over at that point (I'm sure my patient was totally blameless...yeah right. Did I mention that he'd been drinking). Once the cops showed up he decided that he'd sign out AMA and got a cab ride home. What I don't get is why he would stop the car to talk to his ex wife in the middle of no where. I love stupid people. Job security.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Line of Duty Death, Firefighter Cameron

Cameron, Jimmy E.

Age: 47

Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion

Firefighter Cameron passed away in his personal vehicle from a heart attack while performing a damage assessment survey for the fire department in the aftermath of a major storm that struck the Chester, SC, area. Incident Location: Douglas School Road (USNG: 17S MU 79563 29916)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Line of Duty Death, Firefighter Thompson

Thompson, William

Age: 65

Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion

Firefighter Thompson suffered an apparent heart attack and died at approximately 0715 hrs Thursday, June 18, 2009, while on his way to work. Firefighter Thompson had responded to an emergency call the previous evening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We got toned out about 1800 for a man with chest pain. When we arrived on scene we were met by his wife who escorted us inside. Her husband, who was in his 50's, was laying on the couch. He said that he had been working in the bathroom when he started to have chest pain and a little trouble breathing. We started getting a set of vitals and getting him on some oxygen when my firefighter told me that he had a fast pulse. We quickly hooked him up to the monitor and saw that he was in, what appeared to be, SVT at a rate above 240 beats a minute. I quickly had him try a Valsalva maneuver while I set up an IV. I tried 6 milligrams of Adenosine with no result. I then tried 12 milligrams with no result. About now the patient stated that he was starting to feel a little worse so I decided to turn to Edison Medison. Once I switched leads I immediately saw my, and my patients problem. He was in Ventricular Tachycardia. Now I know that there are going to be medics out there that just think that I'm a retarded medic. In my defense I found a rhythm strip of someone in SVT that had wider complexes than those of my patient in least in lead II. If you can't tell I'm a little defensive about my mistake and it's a little difficult to admit that I'm fallable as a medic. Once I discovered that my patient was in V-Tach I shocked him. He said it hurt like hell but immediately felt better. He converted into NSR at a rate of about 88. I learned that I'm not perfect and that it doesn't hurt to check another lead on some heart rhythms. In the end it was a good learning experience since no one got hurt (except my ego).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Line of Duty Death, Firefighter Lewis

Lewis, Lyle

Age: 50

Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion

Firefighter Lewis
had been assisting with an interior fire attack at a farm house when he reported not feeling well and exited the structure where he subsequently collapsed. Care was initiated on scene and he was transported to the local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. It was reported that he had used and switched out several SCBA bottles and that the temperatures were in the high 90's with extremely high humidity. Incident Location: Pending

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Line of Duty Death, Firefighter Mansfield

Mansfield, Conrad

Age: 45

Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion

Firefighter Mansfield
collapsed while participating in pump training. Mansfield was transported to the local hospital and then airlifted to a hospital in Toledo where he was placed on life support. Firefighter Mansfield succumbed to his injury on June 14th. Preliminary results indicate the nature of the fatal injury was a stroke, but a final determination is pending further investigation. Incident Location: Pending

Friday, June 12, 2009

Line of Duty Death, Firefighter Cole

Cole, Debra A.

Age: 40

Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion

Firefighter Cole collapsed in the station while on duty and after having run at least one emergency call. Her collapse was not witnessed but was overheard and she was tended to immediately by the rest of her crew. Cole was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she was treated and underwent almost 11 hours of surgery. Firefighter Cole succumbed to her injury at approximately 1630hrs the following day. The cause of death was reported by the department to have been a stroke. Incident Location: Western Avenue Station, 34 Crossing Drive (USNG: 19T CJ 9383 3207).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Line of Duty Death, Firefighter Reed

Reed, Jeffrey H

Age: 39

Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion

Firefighter Reed was operating a fire engine at the scene of a residential structure fire, when on June 6th at 0049hrs, as the department was mopping up the incident, Reed began to experience a medical issue. He was transported to the Pulaski Community Hospital and subsequently transferred to UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA, where he passed away. The nature of the fatal injury is still to be determined and reported. The cause of the fire in the vacant residence is under investigation. Incident Location: No house number. Cross Street: Hogans Pl. and Mount Olivet Road (USNG: 17S NA 1663 9967).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Line of Duty Death, Firefighter Tramel

I've decided to start posting LODD's (Line of Duty Deaths) in tribute to those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the communities in which they served. My heart goes out to the loved ones that are left behind. On average, about 100 firefighters per year die in the line of duty.

Tramel, Matthew Douglas

Age: 18

Cause of Death: Vehicle Collision

Firefighter Tramel was responding to a reported car fire when he lost control of his personal vehicle and struck a tree. The North Carolina Highway Patrol reported that wet road conditions and speed were contributing factors to the accident. Seat Belts: Equipped but not in use. Incident Location: Deep Branch Road and Normal Street (USNG: 17S PU 6410 3822)

Monday, June 8, 2009

He's Having A Seizure!

We got toned out around midnight for a man having seizures. These are usually fairly straight forward calls. When we got there we were escorted to the bedroom by the wife of the patient. She stated that he had had a seizure earlier in the evening and still wasn't acting right. When I walked in I was immediately greeted by the sound of a percolator, except that it was my patients lungs creating the sound. The patient was in severe respiratory distress and could barely speak. We immediately sat him upright and got him on some oxygen. I started an IV and gave him some nitroglycerin. All of this helped but what he really needed was CPAP and I didn't have it. As soon as MBA got there we loaded him up and they started him on a CPAP treatment. Before he left he was able to talk in complete sentences and thanks us. So much for a seizure call. Honestly, I was happy that it wasn't just a seizure call. It can get boring if you don't get the occasional curve ball.

Friday, June 5, 2009



(Gina Ferazzi / LAT)

From The New York Times:

Arsonist Sentenced to Death for Killing 5 Firefighters

Published: June 5, 2009

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California man was sentenced to death on Friday for setting a hillside inferno in 2006 that killed five United States Forest Service firefighters.

The penalty had been recommended by the jury that convicted the man, Raymond Lee Oyler, 38, of murder and arson in March.

In imposing the sentence, Judge W. Charles Morgan of the Superior Court in Riverside County said that Mr. Oyler had “set on a mission — why? no one knows — to create havoc in this county by setting fires of his own design, for his own purpose.”

Judge Morgan added, “He knew young men and young women would put their lives on the line to protect property and people.”

Mr. Oyler remained silent and stared straight ahead as the judge announced the sentence.

Federal and state fire officials said they believed this was the first time the death penalty had been given in a wildfire arson case in which firefighters were killed.

A jury on March 6 convicted Mr. Oyler of 5 counts of first-degree murder, 17 counts of using an incendiary device and 20 counts of arson for setting fires in the mountains of the San Gorgonio Pass, 90 miles east of Los Angeles, over six months in 2006.

The evidence included fire-starting contraptions Mr. Oyler had made of cigarettes and matches, DNA samples on two cigarette butts, and accounts from witnesses, prosecutors said. Mr. Oyler denied setting the blaze that killed the firefighters, although he did admit to starting 11 other fires, Mark McDonald, his lawyer, said in a telephone interview.

Mr. McDonald said Mr. Oyler had told him that he started one fire as a distraction to “break his dog out of the pound,” and set the others out of anger for losing custody of one of his three daughters because of his methamphetamine use.

On Oct. 26, 2006, forest service firefighters joined Riverside County crews already battling a large blaze, known as the Esperanza fire, as Santa Ana winds spread flames over slopes and canyons. While defending an isolated hilltop home, the five victims were caught in a “burn over,” according to testimony by fire investigators. A wall of flames 70 feet high, fed by 40 mile-an-hour winds and temperatures of up to 1,300 degrees, rolled over them.

Three firefighters — Jess McLean, 27; Jason McKay, 27; and Daniel Hoover-Najera, 20 — died on the slope. Two others — Captain Mark Loutzenhiser, 43; and Pablo Cerda, 23 — died later at a hospital with scorched lungs and third-degree burns over most of their bodies.

It was the most firefighters to die in a wildfire since 14 died in Colorado in 1994, said Ken Palmrose, a spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho,

During the trial, prosecutors showed large photographs of the men’s charred bodies, said Gloria Ayala, Mr. Hoover-Najera’s mother.

“I had been told he died of smoke inhalation,” Ms. Ayala said in an interview, “that it took 11 seconds. But when I saw that picture, the only part left with a flesh color was the tip of his nose. I will remember that forever.”
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