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Monday, June 24, 2013

For The Ladies

My wife designed a t-shirt for the wives of firemen. As she says, "Fire Wives, hold your head up high as you mow that lawn and take out that trash while your spouse is on duty!"

It's just a little something to show how much our jobs as firefighters impact our significant others.

Teespring requires at least an order of 50 before they'll print. So if you like it, or know someone that will, order up.

Dead Man Walking

Dead man walking driving. At least he was.

The gentleman was driving down the freeway and took one of the exits. Since it was an exit that lead to the nearest hospital I'm going to assume the guy wasn't feeling well and was headed that way instead of calling 911. I don't know any of that for sure but that's what I'm going with.

On the off ramp, while still at a high rate of speed, the man kicked the bucket. His heart had had enough and had quit. He sailed through the intersection, down an embankment and into a fence.

PD was first on scene and they found the driver unresponsive. Engine 57 was right behind them. They secured the vehicle then rapidly extricated the driver and placed him on the ground. Once it was determined that he was pulse-less and apneic CPR was started.

We arrived and assisted with the resuscitation efforts and moving the patient up the hill to the ambulance. The AMR medic asked for 2 riders and got them. We cleared the scene and went back to cooking dinner.

The crew from engine 57 were at the hospital for over an hour while the staff tried to revive the patient. Attempts were ultimately unsuccessful.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Poor Choices

When given the ability to choose between two choices some people just aren't that good at making the right decision. Take, for example, my patient named Julia (yes, I made up that name).

We were called to Julia's house because she had overdosed on sleeping pills. Outside we noticed that her boyfriend was sitting on the curb with standard issue police bracelets on. One of the officers told us our patient was in the back bedroom.

We found Julia crumpled on the floor unable to carry a conversation much less the weight of her own body. On the small of her back was a tattoo that said "Mario's property." Her boyfriend outside was Robert.

After some questioning it became apparent that Julia had taken her grandfathers sleeping pills (he has been dead for more than 2 years) the night before. The boyfriend decided to let her sleep it off. The only reason 911 had been called at all is that her parole officer stopped by for an unannounced visit.

We carried Julia out to the gurney and sent her on her way. I'm sure in a few hours she'll be back making stellar choices. A few of which are sure to involve EMS.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Come on. Seriously?

Just before two in the morning the tones went off. As the computer voice rattled off the address my my mind immediately recalled who lived there. It was one of our frequent flyers. In fact, he had just called 911 the morning before.

We walked up to the apartment and found the door open. Just inside, sitting on the stairs, was my patient.

I said hi to Joe (age 31) and asked why he called tonight. He said that he had a fever of 100.7 and that he had been feeling sick for 2 days. I probed a little further. He had had some nausea and vomited a couple of times. He also had a cough.

About this time his girlfriend appeared at the top of the stairs. She had been feeling the same way for several days but was now on the mend. She had gone to her personal physician who had told her to drink lots of fluids and get some rest. And to take some OTC medications to alleviate some of the symptoms.

So basically, they had the flu. I tried to explain what they would do in the ER (blood draws, possible a chest x-ray and then send them home with the same orders as the private doctor) in hopes that he would change his mind about going to the hospital. It didn't work. Instead he jumped up on the gurney and started moaning about all the aches and pains in his body.

Calling 911 for a mild flu? When you're 31? Really? Come on.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ever Wanted To Hang Your BC?

Ever wanted to hang your BC? We did. I mean we hung him. Not that we really wanted least not then.

At my department we have drills periodically assigned to us to complete as a company. Some of them are engine drills. Others are truck drills. The purpose of these drills is to ensure that we are staying on top of our game. That way (in theory), when the time comes, we will be able to perform. And each of these events are timed.

On this particular day we were tasked with setting up the aerial ladder for a high pick point rescue. That is to say that we are practicing using the tip of the aerial ladder as a point from which we can raise someone. It doesn't really matter from where (for all you rescue gods out there I know that's not entirely true but I'm simplifying things).

So with my BC and DC (division chief, aka my BC's boss) watching we set everything up. Everything went off without a hitch. While we set things up we talked about how, with more resources, things would be different like having a dedicated safety officer.

Once we had the rope system in place to lower a rescuer to the victim my BC asked us to set up to raise the victim and the rescuer. This involved setting up another anchor point and building a 3:1 mechanical advantage. During the time that we were setting things up my BC donned a harness. Once we were ready he gave us the order to lift him.

We got him about 10 feet in the air and it suddenly became really tempting to lock him in place and go to Starbucks. Fortunately for him none of us wanted him hung.
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