notokinthehead











{April 30, 2013}   EMS Wrestling

Tonight, at a car accident, I did my first-ever Standing Take-down that was not part if a training exercise. This 20 year old girl went off the road, hit a large boulder and her car went end-for-end until it finally rested against a power pole. She got herself out if the car and was sitting in a passerby car when I arrived. We collared her and then did a standing take-down. It was pretty spectacular. If you don’t know what a standing take-down is, here’s a one minute video:

http://m.youtube.com/index?&desktop_uri=%2F#/watch?v=6QvVlEw4zeg



{April 27, 2013}   I’m a Cat Person

I’m not really a dog lover… but if it’s a cranky dog by nature I usually get along with them pretty well. One such dog owns my Auntie. He’s a Shitzu-Terrier-YourGuessIsAsGoodAsMine. He’s a mutt and his name is Jake. He’s about fourteen years old now and he’s a grumpy old dog, he doesn’t like anyone very much. BUT! I can do just about anything to this little guy and he loves me. I guess maybe we understand each other, you know- one grumpy being to another. Tonight Jake was a rock star:

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Jake and I.



{April 27, 2013}   I’m a Cat Person

I’m not really a dog lover… but if it’s a cranky dog by nature I usually get along with them pretty well. One such dog owns my Auntie. He’s a Shitzu-Terrier-YourGuessIsAsGoodAsMine. He’s a mutt and his name is Jake. He’s about fourteen years old now and he’s a grumpy old dog, he doesn’t like anyone very much. BUT! I can do just about anything to this little guy and he loves me. I guess maybe we understand each other, you know- one grumpy being to another. Tonight Jake was a rock star:

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Jake and I.



{April 26, 2013}   Another Promotion

In another meeting today I was once again promoted. This time to Coordinator of our incident report system. So I now officially hold four different jobs within the one fire department: Firefighter, EMT, Secretary and Coordinator. The pay really isn’t much better than before but the responsibilities are racking up. The stress levels are high and my confidence is low.

Tonight I’m heading out of town. I’m beginning to dislike this town and the people who run it, so I feel the need to leave it behind for a little while. I’ll be back at it tomorrow.



{April 23, 2013}   Where Is the Line Drawn?

Working as a firefighter-EMT in this small town is my dream job… but sometimes it’s a nightmare, too. Here’s an example:
Last night at 21:13 I responded to a call where a Police Officer was on scene for a welfare check. I arrive on scene to find an elderly female sitting on her toilet. The Officer tells me her daughter called for a welfare check because she had been unable to reach her mother by phone for a couple of days. He arrived, there was no answer at the door, he forced entry and found her on the toilet barely conscious. There was vomit and diaherrea all over the place. The patient was my Grandmother’s best friend, a lady I had called “Aunt” my entire life.

At 01:28 this morning I responded to another call. An 82 year old male who has fallen with a possible broken nose. He is my great Uncle, my Grandfather’s brother. He’s suffered from Alzheimer’s for about three years now. He’d tried running and fell flat on his face. His nose had right side displacement, meaning it was set off to the side (definitely broken) and he broke his right wrist. My Captain rode shotgun in my ambulance and while he allowed me to drive and write the report, I was not allowed patient contact because it was a family member.

I’ve been on several calls where a family member has been the patient. They are the most difficult calls because I’m not allowed to treat them, no matter how badly I want to take care of them. Two in one night was a double- whammy.



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German Shepherds are well known for “holding hands”- giving you their paw to hold while you pet them. My Shepherd, Sargent, does this every time you give him any attention. Tonight his aim was a little off and he got my throat with his nails. I never realized just how tender the skin of my neck is. Tears instantly sprang into my eyes and beads of blood surfaced on my neck.

My thoughts: damn, I really need to get his nails trimmed and… this is going to look bad for work (and anywhere else I go).



{April 18, 2013}   Every Day Is A Blessing

Yesterday morning my wake up call was my pager. That’s normal. But the dispatcher informed us that we were responding for a 50 year old male that was not conscious, not breathing and the female on scene refused to do CPR. We raced to the scene, my partner and I being the first to arrive, to find a male who was indeed unconscious and not breathing. I said his name a few times and observed his grayish color as I grasped his wrist, searching for a pulse. I almost immediately recoiled- his skin was cold, his eyes were half open and he was very stiff. Unfortunately, I now know what death smells like. That was the worst call I have been on to date.

Between the call yesterday morning and the awful tragedy in West, TX last night, I didn’t get much sleep last night. At times like these I realize just how true the saying is: every day is a blessing.

I’m praying for the victims and the victim’s families of the tragic events in West, TX last night. There’s much clean-up to be done but houses and (most) possessions are replaceable, the people are not. Many lives were lost, including volunteer firefighters and volunteer Emergency Medical Service workers. The people left behind have scars that will never completely heal, but with support and compassion we can all help ease the pain from their losses.



If you want fire… just wash the trucks!
After I washed the trucks and made them all shiny we spent about four and a half hours in another town fighting a structure fire. Then returned home only to fight one of our own a few hours later. Now all the guys keep saying “When we want a good fire, just have Fast Phoebe-Q wash the trucks!”. It’s all good, however I missed my eye exam and they’re not being very forgiving. I’m still trying to get them to give me another appointment.

Unfortunately the nerve blocks I had on Thursday have not worked this time around. It may or may not have something to do with the three fires we had over the weekend.

I want to take a moment to mention the attack on Boston yesterday. It’s very close to home. The devastation is unimaginable. I’m praying for all who have been touched by this tragedy. Also, many thanks and great job to my brave brothers and sisters with Boston Fire and EMS, as well as the other responding companies. It takes great selflessness to run into an unknown situation to help people like they did.



{April 15, 2013}   Of Mice And (Fire) Men

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I was at the Fire Station around 02:30 and thought, what the he’ll, I’ll wash the trucks. I went to fill a bucket with water and I found a little friend. (S)he is just a little baby. I took the little mouse outside and let him go at the side of the building… just as the police pulled up. How could I possibly look suspicious hanging out at the fire station at 02:30 in the morning, coming around the side of the building with a bucket in my hands? Believe it or not, she believed me. I had the picture to prove it, of course. I got the engines and the ambulance all cleaned, inside and out. Of course that means we’re bound to get a call for a fire in some mud hole.

I’m having my first eye exam in five years in three hours. I’m actually looking forward to it since I can no longer read road signs and can hardly see beyond the steering wheel at night.



Yesterday I got called out to an active chimney fire “across from the Elementary School”. I have to pass the location to get to the station to get an engine, so as I went by I was scoping it out. There was lots of smoke, but no fire. The female officer ( 🙂 ) flagged me down to tell me she couldn’t locate it, so I told her to keep looking, talk to me on the radio and I’d get a truck. I finally located it about a mile East of the school and there were flames coming out of that chimney that were about three feet high. Myself and a fellow firefighter quickly ascended the roof via a ladder, and dropped two chemical bombs and started punching a pike pole down the chimney. It was clogged solid. We were able to contain the fire, save the house and extinguish the remaining fire in the wood stove. After all was done the home owner admitted that he hadn’t gotten the chimney cleaned since it was erected… twelve years ago. He was very fortunate, and so were we. The side of my helmet got a little melted and the other firefighter who was on the roof with me melted the sleeve of his jacket.

You think chimney fire and you think piece of cake. And then you get one like we had yesterday and you realize that there is no such thing as routine in the fire/rescue service.

I thank God every day when our company returns home safely to their families. We’re blessed to be in a position to help people and doubly blessed when all goes well.



et cetera