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Sunday, June 26, 2011

First Fire Of The Season

We were just at that point during dinner where you contemplate having seconds. You know that argument where you want more because it tasted so good but you know that if you do you'll regret it later? The tones decided for us.

Type 3 Engine

We headed out to the apparatus bay and put on our wildland gear. My captain and I jumped into the type 4 engine while the engineer and the other firefighter hopped into the type 3. We then headed for the neighboring city.

As we approached we could see the header. Fortunately the area that was ablaze was not populated and on flat terrain. Unfortunately it was in 3 foot tall, dry grass and it was windy. As we pulled up to one flank we saw a Calfire crew starting a progressive hose lay over a barbed wire fence. I'm not to sure how they thought they were going to catch a fast moving grass fire like that.

A couple hundred feet down the road a crew on a type 1 engine (affectionately know as a pavement princess since they really don't do well off road) had just cut a section of the fence. We radioed them and told them to get out of our way which they happily did. We just had better equipment for this kind of fire.

Type 4 engine
As we pulled up to the flames my captain came to a stop. I dismounted and started up the pump on the back. While I was doing this my captain ordered the guys on the other engine to go to the heel of the fire and to work their way back toward us in a pincher move to stop the fire.

For the next 30 minutes we battled the blaze. A couple of times the wind shifted and the fire jumped our lines. We then had to backtrack and catch those spots. Once the Calfire guys saw how we were attacking the fire they abandoned their progressive hose lay and started a mobile attack like us.

We were able to catch this fire quickly and kept it to about 20 acres. Once again it left me with the feeling that I love my job.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Good Samaritan

The call came in just after lunch, interrupting what should have been our siesta time. Once we were out of the barn the dispatcher told us that we were headed for a 40 year old male, ALOC.

We pulled into the upscale neighborhood we found a police cruiser next to a Ford Bronco. I jumped off the truck and headed over to the cop to find out what was going on. He informed me that the driver had found my patient laying on the side of the freeway. Much like the Good Samaritan in the bible the man had given the sick man a ride and had tried to find his house. Unfortunately the patient passed out before getting home.

As I walked up to the SUV I found a very heavy set man in the passenger seat barely managing to maintain his airway. He wreaked of alcohol. I did a quick assessment making sure that he was altered because of the booze and not because of some other underlining medical condition. I squeezed in and started an IV on the guy just before AMR showed up.

I think toward the end there the Good Samaritan was mostly just hoping to get the guy out of his vehicle before he threw up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wannabe Medic Tries To Fly

It was our 4th call in the first 3 hours of the shift. This time we were headed to the local motor cross park for a fall with injuries. Imagine that.

When we arrived on scene we had to hike a couple hundred yards to where our patient was waiting. He was sprawled out with both arms at 90 degree angles from his body with his palms up. He had his right leg bent at the knee with his right foot tucked under his left knee.

I walked up, introduced myself and asked what hurts. While I did this one of my firefighters knelt behind the rider and held his head in place. My patient told me that he had fractured both of his forearms and had a tib/fib fracture of the left leg. He also denied losing consciousness or hitting his head saying that he had braced himself with his arms preventing a head injury.

Since his assessment of his injuries was really good I asked him if he was an EMT. He said that he was and that he was (that is the key word) in his second month of paramedic school.

After doing a quick once over for life threatening injuries I decided that I had time some time to stay on scene and make life a little better for my patient. I had my engineer spike an IV bag for me while I started the line. I wish all my patients had veins that good. About this time AMR showed up and the newly arrived medic tried to chastise me for starting an IV on the broken arm. I had already told him about the patient's injuries so I asked him witch arm should I use? Then I told him that I was starting the IV high on the upper arm so it wouldn't interfere with splinting or any treatment in the hospital. I wanted to say go away and let me treat my patient.

Once the IV was going I gave my Superman impersonating wannabe medic some morphine for which he was very grateful. The AMR crew splinted his arms while my engineer and captain worked on getting his riding boot off of his left foot. After a couple of minutes he was splinted and strapped to a backboard. The MS helped to keep his pain down to a minimum.

The funny thing is the entire time we were there he was, understandably, worried about medic school and his inability to do anything while both arms were in casts. My entire crew and I passed knowing looks while suppressing a chuckle every time he would complain. We knew what he should be worried about was who was going to be wiping his butt for him.

I'd rather break both my legs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Burn Treatment: The Future Is Here

I saw this over at EMT Birdie's blog and had to share.

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