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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stupid Little Finger

The billowing pillar of smoke was visible from the station. The radio crackled to life. Dispatch was letting us know that they had multiple reports of smoke and flames showing, possible persons trapped. Pulling out of the station we noticed something that would complicate this call. A freight train had stopped on the tracks that separate us from the rest of the city. We would be on our own for a while.

We pulled up to find a 4 story apartment complex with fire rapidly spreading. The second and third floors had units that were fully involved. Several bystanders were screaming and pointing to a man apparently stuck on the third floor balcony.

While my captain gave a size up and set up IC my engineer and I went to work. We grabbed the 35' extension ladder and raced over to help the trapped man. There were several trees and bushes on the landscaped property which made setting up the ladder difficult but we did it. My engineer quickly slid under the ladder "footing" it to keep it from sliding away while I climbed.

I ascended the ladder and helped the guy over the railing. He either wasn't afraid of heights or he was more afraid of fire because he had no problem trusting us to get him to safety. After getting the gentleman to safety we went right back to it. We had reports of a kid stuck somewhere inside.

My captain led us into the not so towering inferno. He was using the thermal imager to scan through the black smoke for people. In one apartment we found a kitten. Rather then let the pet die I grabbed it and stuffed it into my coat pocket.

Several apartments later we found him. A little boy, no more than 3 years old, cowering in the corner of his room. As I reached for him he really started to cry. Thankfully I have a 3 year old at home and I can understand their whining. He was afraid that we were going to leave his puppy.

So with a child in one arm, a puppy in the other and a kitten in my pocket I followed my captain to the closest exit. Now out in the clear the boys mother ran up and took him from me. We handed them off to the AMR crew along with the animals. That's when I noticed it.

At some point during the daring rescue I had dislocated my pinky on my left hand. Hours later I would go to the ER for x-rays but for now, there was more work to do.

And that's how I dislocated my pinky. No matter what you may have heard I definitely did NOT do it playing basketball at the station for PT. That would be kind of lame.

Stupid little finger.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

We Have A Drug For That

We were toned out for a woman not feeling well. This seems to be a catch all from dispatch. If they can't figure out what's wrong they must just not be feeling well.

On scene we found an 75 year old woman that, surprisingly enough, wasn't feeling well.

She was fairly typical as far as her medical history. Some hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, low thyroid....the usual. She had been taking 8 medications for her ailments and hadn't been having any issues.

The old lady (yes mom and dad, 75 is old) had gone to her primary care physician a couple of days earlier for her annual physical. She was unclear as to what new medical problems her doctor had discovered but she left his office his office with 6 new medications.

Like a good patient she went and got all of her new scripts filled. Unfortunately she either had a bad reaction to one of her new medications or the combination of one or more of  them. Now she has to go through the process of trying to find out what drug is screwing things up.

Another reason to try and live more healthy now. But in case you don't want to or it's too late for that don't worry, they probably have a drug for that too.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Where's My Blog?

I recently came across a blog that was committing plagiarism and copyright infringement. The blogger had, over the course of years, copied my blog. At least they had copied every blog post that I had created.

At first I was a little miffed. I couldn't believe the audacity that this "blogger" had. They were infusing some of their own posts (an assumption on my part. Who knows, they may have just copied another blog). Then, after reading some of their posts I got really upset.

They had stolen over 275 posts and were using their blog to boost their book sales (although the trashy novel they were pimping looked very unimpressive). In addition to that they were getting money off of AdSense and were supposedly receiving blogging awards for their content.

I understand that my posts that they were pilfering probably didn't result in any boost in book sales and that the amount of money they made from Google ads was negligible. And I have never been one to covet blogging awards. That's not why I blog. But I really don't want someone else taking credit for my work.

The funny thing is the blog, according to their name, was about snoring. No wonder they wanted to plunder my blog. How many blog posts can someone read about sawing wood can someone read before they themselves fall asleep?

In the end I spent a good portion of my weekend reporting all of the misappropriated content to Google. They have been good about responding and taking down the plagiarized posts. And to the blogger thief, all I am going to say is "ffffppppppppllblblbbbbbttttttttttt!!" I wish I could be there to watch your reaction when you look at your blog and realize 2/3 of your content has been deleted!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Helping The Old Lady Cross The Road

We pulled up to the intersection and saw a PD unit sitting in the gas station. Almost before we could set the air brake on the truck officer was excitedly telling us what was going on. He had an elderly female that was lost and possibly altered. He also wanted to scoot because there was a home invasion in process and he wanted to be part of that action. I assume that that would be the police equivalent of a structure fire. We told him we were good and he tore out off down the street.

We turned our attention to Agnes. Agnes had left her home to go out and do something. What it was we would never find out. She couldn't remember. She had since become lost and flustered. The more questions we asked the more she would get anxious she would get.

Agnes just lived over the bridge (and through the woods?) but we didn't feel that it would be a good decision to let her drive herself home. We managed to get the phone numbers of her children and my captain started making phone calls. My engineer and I kept making small talk with the old lady trying to place her at ease.

Eventually my captain was able to talk to the son that lived about 30 minutes away. He was asked to come get his mother. We didn't want to leave Agnes sitting at a gas station by herself so we decided to take her back to the station. I chauffeured Agnes in her mid 80's Honda back to the station.

Back in quarters we figured that she must be hungry. She had apparently been lost for quite a while. So we headed upstairs and warmed her up a plate of leftovers and dished her up a side salad. Over the next 45 minutes we got to know Agnes. She regaled us with stories of her late husband, her kids and grandchildren.

Finally her son arrived. We talked for a few more minutes. We offered ice cream but it was refused. It was decided that he would leave her car parked behind the station for a day or two until he could get someone the help him shuttle it back to the house. He thanked us and took Agnes home.
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