notokinthehead











{July 26, 2013}   I Work for a Higher Power

And I don’t mean someone with a fancy job title who makes more money than I do.

Here’s how my day has gone, so far:
04:00am- small fire in a machine shop. Piece of cake.

04:40am- 62 year old male, heart attack. With some Aspirin and some Nitroglycerin we were able to stop it, temporarily, and get him to the hospital.

10:30am- 84 year old female with severe stomach pain and possibly bloody stools. Package and transport.

13:00pm- 76 year old male fell, definite broken hip/pelvis. We gave him pain meds before we moved him and transported him.

18:00pm- requested by State Police to respond and check on a 43 year old male who had been assaulted. Upon arrival we fund out that his 20 year old son used his face for a punching bag, and he was positive he didn’t have any facial fractures because he’d fractured almost every bone in his face when he was younger and a “brawler”. We did not transport him. Good thing because any technician sitting in the back of the ambulance with him would have gotten drunk off his breath.

Five calls in one day is a lot for my department. Sometimes we can go a week without a single call. I’m a volunteer firefighter/EMT. That’s why I say I work for a Higher Power. I do it because it’s a calling to help people, not for the puny paycheck. Even if I didn’t get paid a penny for going on these calls I would still do it. I’ve never done anything more rewarding than holding an elderly patients hand while he writhed in pain, or holding a Mother while she cries because her daughter just completed suicide. You can’t put an hourly rate on this job. It has to be in your heart. And you have to have a strong heart to do the job without becoming damaged yourself.



{July 18, 2013}   Lightning Strikes Again

image

I’m scared to death of thunder and lightning. And my fears are legit: we fought a structure fire last night that was caused by lightning. Today we got called back for hot spots. I got nasty sweaty and dirty. And it’s 92° out with 94% humidity. Ugh!
We’re supposed to have more severe thunderstorms rolling in within the next two hours. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t start any fires or cause anyone else the heartache of losing their home.
I haven’t taken any pain killers in two days and man am I feeling it. Especially after the structure fires.



{July 6, 2013}   Day One

humidity

Today was the first day that my nephew has been here. He’s spending the weekend here and then he’ll be moved in on Friday. So far it’s gone well. He wants to be a medic in the Army and so I took him to the Fire Department with me and showed him around. He seemed to really enjoy it. One of my Lieutenants left a Fire Department shirt in my locker for him, which I thought was very nice. A seventeen year old boy isn’t going to be easy to live with but at least we’re starting off well.

I was awakened this morning by my pager going off. One of our frequent fliers passed away last night and her husband called 911 this morning. He said he couldn’t wake her after the six o’clock news last night but he thought she was just in a deep sleep, induced by this awful heat. However when he got up this morning (15 hours later) she hadn’t moved at all so he called 911. She had been gone for awhile and the house was hotter than it was outside. It was not a pleasant call, especially without first having some coffee.

Tomorrow I’m going to a big family cookout. One of my Aunts flew up from Georgia so we’re having a big get-together, and my nephew will finally get to meet the rest of the family. The poor kid has been in foster homes for so long (unbeknownst to my family, long story) and I think he needs to know he has a big family who loves him and cares about him.

Let’s hope this heat and awful humidity breaks up soon! We’ve been at a rather steady 92% humidity. Ugh.



image

I read the news with great sadness. 18 fellow firefighters have perished in the line of duty while fighting an out of control wildland fire in Arizona. To their families: words cannot heal the devastating loss. Be proud of them. They are true heroes who fought a hard battle. To the firefighters left behind: always remember the reason we do this job. It’s never easy. Carry your brothers and sisters close to your heart, they’re still fighting with you from Heaven. To the firefighters who lost the battle: thank you. Rest easy, we’ll take it from here.



Globe boots

The culprit.

Fight FireSo why am I a firefighter, you may ask? I don’t know, I kind of got dragged into the whole Fire Fighting/EMS thing by my brother, but I’ve stayed because I LOVE it. Now you’d think I’ve been doing it long enough that I’d know some of the basics, like what is and isn’t comfortable attire when you have to wear a bunch of fire-resistant clothing for long periods of time. Well, not really. For instance, tonight I wore ankle socks. Big no-no. I now have a giant blister on both of my heels from my turn-out boots. And I’m a big baby when it comes to sores like that. Seriously, I’d rather have a gaping cut and have to get stitches than suffer through a blister.

Now to google ways to ease the fiery pain of blisters!

 

 



{June 26, 2013}   I Am Blessed

Allow me to be weird and somewhat sappy for a minute.

It’s only Tuesday but it’s been a really long week already. I’ve been suffering an awful headache since last Thursday (this is day #5) and I’ve been right out straight. We had a twenty-two year old girl complete suicide last Thursday via hanging and it seemed to go South from there. I’ve been busting my ass cleaning houses to make some money and in return I’ve been aggravating my back, neck and shoulder injuries. We had a house struck by lighting, a woman fall asleep while driving and hit another vehicle, a boating accident, an elderly lady hallucinating and seeing spiders (my greatest fear, right up there with clowns) and I’ve been involved with a Police investigation (I didn’t do anything, I’m a witness). Between doctor appointments, work and life in general I’ve felt like I’ve been living in my own little hell. Poor, poor, pitiful me, right? Well, I reflect on all of my complaints and think to myself: what do I have to complain about?

I’m alive. My loved ones are alive and well. I can walk, can usually talk and I’m not facing anything life-threatening at the moment. I have a job, or two, when so many people can’t seem to find work with this economy. I have food in my refrigerator, a roof over my head and I don’t want for much. I’m lucky enough to have the “extras” in life: a swimming pool, a luxury car, friends and family who care about me… it really could be worse. I guess it’s a good day when I’m the medical provider and not the patient. That may just be my new favorite pick-me-up saying.

I’m realizing that I am blessed. It’s a good feeling to realize it, and I think I’m making good use of my blessings by helping people in crisis. Even on days when I’m feeling down and can’t help myself, I can help someone else. As we joke about in EMS- I’m one of the chosen few. 😀



{June 25, 2013}   Stick It

I’ve been dealing with some harassment as of late at the Fire Department. I am the only female on the department and there are two men in particular who have an issue with a female being on the department. So far their bullshit has only served to make me work harder and better myself as a firefighter/EMT. So when I came across this picture via Google I instantly lost it. I want to have this put on tee shirts and give them to these two guys. That or just wear it myself every day to piss them off.

I sure as hell can!

I sure as hell can!



Yep, summer has officially begun.

Car accidents, boating accidents and houses struck by lightning sums up my busy day.

I’m on the third floor and it’s eighty-six degrees in my bedroom. HOT! I’ve got an air cooler that you put water in and it’s supposed to be kind of like an A/C unit. Well, it doesn’t seem to be doing anything, so I ran down to the Fire Station where we have an awesome ice machine and got a bucket of ice. I dumped a bunch of ice in the water intake and then set a bowl of it behind the unit, where the air intake is. I’m hoping it helps cool it down a little. It’s much too hot and humid to sleep.

Hopefully tomorrow is a bit quieter. I have a muscle knot in my neck that is actually visible to the naked eye, it’s so big, and I’m hoping to get it taken care of tomorrow before this headache completely consumes me.

Before the storms rolled in today.

Before the storms rolled in today.



{June 21, 2013}   Stuck In A Poem

I’ve been writing this poem and I know where I want it to go, but the journey between the beginning and the end seems to be eluding me. Here’s what I have so far, hopefully the rest will fall into place soon, before it drives me bat-shit crazy (it’s about life in EMS):

We see so
much that we
don’t want to
see, we joke
about it to
keep from going
crazy. Like a
soldier we’re not
allowed to lose
our composure, but
when the lights
go out, we
feel just like
everybody else. We
cry tears for
those we couldn’t
help, we cry
for those we
do help, sometimes
we cry because
we know the
fragility of life.

We get covered
in blood and
lots of other
stuff, don’t think
it doesn’t phase
us.

 



{June 20, 2013}   Faith

Today has been a test for me. My doctor diagnosed me with A.D.D. and then I went off to work. Right off the bat we had two calls: a medical alarm activation, which turned out to be a fluke since there was no one home and as we cleared that call dispatch sent us to another. Echo-level cardiac arrest, hanging victim. She was a mere twenty-two years old. Her mother was, understandably, very upset. That call left me feeling empty and grateful at the same time.

It’ll be a little while, a week or two, before I will get the gruesome, heartbreaking image out of my head. What I’ve come to fully understand is this: there are some things that we will never be able to understand. That’s where Faith plays a roll.



et cetera