{November 1, 2013}   Don’t Drink and Drive


It’s simply not worth it. This was my wake up call at 01:30 this morning. Miraculously the single occupant wasn’t seriously injured and there were no children in the child seats that were ejected from the vehicle.
Stay safe everyone!

{March 19, 2013}   Cold Blanket



These photos were taken from inside my front door. It’s twenty-two degrees out and we have eleven inches of snow, it’s still snowing and we’re expecting another five to eight inches throughout the night tonight. So far we’ve skated through with only one car accident this snow storm… but it’s not over yet. One thing that sucks is having to clean my car off every hour in case my pager goes off. I did get to work the car accident with the female police sergeant this morning though 🙂

{March 19, 2013}   Job Offer

There’s a job offer on the table for me. I have to take it. My Chief pulled me aside at a car accident scene this morning and told me that the fire commission voted unanimously to hire me for a new position: Fire Department Clerk. It will not be officially offered to me until after the first Thursday in April. Chief said they will pay me a stipend plus my regular pay, should I accept the position. Of course I will. I’m doing the work now, only I’m not being paid for it.

I’ve been seriously considering taking some psych classes at the local community college. It’s something that has interested me since junior high and it would give me an advantage on the rescue squad since about 50% of our medical calls are for people with mental illnesses.

It’s been snowing steady since about three this morning and we have five inches of snow. It’s supposed to stop for a period this afternoon, but then they say it’ll start falling at 3″ per hour until we have around 20″. Just when I got comfortable wearing t-shirts and button ups without a jacket or sweatshirt…

{March 6, 2013}   It’s Beginning… Again.

I slept for 15 hours last night. Well, I didn’t actually sleep the whole time. Each time I’d wake up I’d shift a little and the pain in my back was unbearable, so I just laid there until I would doze off again. Finally about 14:30 I got up. I wouldn’t have had I not needed to pee. I feel like the world’s biggest bum.


When I finally got up and made my way to another room which you can see through the Windows (my bedroom has blackout drapes) I saw that the big snow storm we’ve been expecting is just getting started. The weather forecasters are saying we will see another foot + of snow from this storm. The last three storms we’ve had have delivered more than a foot of snow each. We’re slowly disappearing under this white blanket and it almost hurts that the Floridians are laughing at us. Fortunately, between storms the temps have been in the upper 30’s to the lower 40’s so we get some snow melt.

Typically these storms bring a load of emergency calls: chimney fires, trees on power lines, car accidents, fall victims and general medical calls. That’s just how it works. Fortunately, I have been able to keep my newest injury (dislocated pinky and deformed hand) a secret from the department by wearing my fire gloves and my nitrile gloves. If anyone got wind of it they’d put me an leave ASAP for liability reasons. Though I may be being a little dishonest by way of omitting information, I can’t be put on leave. Here’s my explanation: the fire and rescue is all that is keeping me together right now. My head is going crazy, it’s full of static and I’m doing crazy things to keep from spiraling completely out of control. When I am on a call or at the station my focus is strictly on the task at hand. Nothing else matters. I am so focused when I’m on a call that I don’t feel the pain in my body. When I worked that snowmobile accident the other day (just hours after dislocating my pinky) I was focused to the point where I didn’t feel my hand, nor do I know at what point it became deformed again. It’s unbelievable. I’ve never had any activity where I’ve been so focused and unselfish before. I love it.

I finally got an appointment with my psychotherapist for tomorrow (depending on the storm). However, orthopedics is overloaded with emergencies thanks to ski season and our abundance of ski mountains, so I have been unable to get in to see them. I was supposed to see them first thing Tuesday morning, but they ended up in surgery with my snowmobile accident victim and they haven’t rescheduled me yet. When I think about it, I’d much rather wait than have someone like that have to wait.

{March 4, 2013}   It’s Not Over Yet!

Dear Old Man Winter,
  I’ve seen more than enough of you this year. You make a difficult job near impossible. Please say your goodbyes and hit the road.

While shopping today my pager went off: snowmobile accident, unknown location, one male patient with broken wrist, broken hip, broken leg and back injuries. So being the adrenaline junkie that I am, I grabbed my friend and ran to my car. I got to the Fire Station about the time that dispatch was able to provide us with coordinates of their whereabouts. Being EMS personnel, myself and two others hopped on our ATV with the toboggan trailing behind. About five minutes into the woods the sky opened up and it was like a blizzard. Our patient did indeed have serious injuries and he was located down an embankment, through some trees and rested face-down on a frozen pond. It was one hell of an extrication. But we did it and we did it quickly and successfully.

So winter, you may go away now. I have experienced my first snowmobile accident and really don’t care to experience another. Especially just hours after dislocating one of my own joints. No, the half cast didn’t last very long at all. I took it off shortly after I returned home from the ER.

{October 29, 2012}   Natural Disasters

I’m a disaster. I’m not sure how ‘natural’ I am, but I’m definitely a disaster.

I spent a large portion of the day ‘battening down the hatches’ in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. I have gallons and gallons of fresh water stored, I tied down anything and everything that could fly away in the yard and I have every battery-operated device charging, like my cell phone, pager, portable radio and of course, my MP3 Player. I’m ready for the worst, so naturally we probably won’t get anything from this storm. It’s already begun raining and the wind is gusting, though they say we won’t see any real Hurricane weather until morning or early afternoon.

Just when I thought I was done with everything I got my PJ’s on and sat down to watch some TV. I heard sirens go screaming by my house and a few seconds later I heard a loud bang, like a gun shot. I jumped up, threw some day clothes on and headed out the door before my pager even went off. A police officer was in pursuit of a drunk driver who had run a stop sign and when the road came to a ‘T’ the drunk driver went straight into the woods. When I got on scene the car was about twenty yards into the trees with two trees laying on top of it. Long story short, we had to cut the trees away from the car and then use the jaws to extricate the guy who had very minor injuries, but opted for a full-package transport (backboard, cervical collar) in order to avoid the police a little longer.

Here’s the kicker of the whole story: the patient is a guy whom I reported to one of the police officers on Friday for being drunk, driving and having an open container in the vehicle. The police officer stopped him at the Fire department on Friday but let him go because his house was only a mile from the department. This happens to be the same police officer who gave chase to this guy tonight. I’m pissed because tonight’s events should not have happened, they could have been prevented. What if the drunk driver had hit another vehicle or seriously injured himself? What if there was a house where he crashed instead of a bunch of trees? And what about my safety and the safety of my fellow responders who had to cut trees and battery cables because only one of the airbags deployed?

The next couple of days should be a busy one for the Fire/Rescue department. Bring it on, Sandy!

The forecasted impact of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast. I’m ready!

{August 19, 2012}   Your Bad Luck= My Good Day

The world of EMS… I feel like I should feel bad for feeling good.

My day today:


I get a page for a forty-year old female having chest pain. I arrive on scene, get her vitals and begin taking a history on the patient. I ask her about any surgeries or medical problems she has had, such as diabetes or heart attacks. She informs me that she has had a gastric bypass, had a small portion of her intestine removed, had her gallbladder removed and a history of acid reflux. At the end of her laundry list of surgeries and medical problems she adds that “I haven’t had sex because my husband is in … (far away city)”. WHAT!? She was taken to the hospital via ambulance.


I reported for work, cleaning vacation homes. Not a very rewarding job, but it pays for gasoline for me to be able to volunteer as an EMT.


Motor vehicle accident, two vehicles, significant damage, injuries and fluids leaking. I abandoned my cleaning job, hopped in my truck and raced to the scene. I was one of the first on scene and I went directly to the vehicle which had not been checked by personnel yet. The driver and only occupant was a twenty-eight year old female and the vehicle had sustained significant damage without airbag deployment, so the first thing I did was climb into the back seat of the car and clamp onto her head to keep her from moving (in case she had a spinal injury). It seemed like forever, but it was really only five minutes maximum, before my team arrived and assisted me with extricating her from the vehicle. She and the other driver were back-boarded and taken to the hospital via ambulance.

So my conclusion for the day: I feel good because I knew what to do to help these people who were in distress and I was able to do it. I feel like I should feel bad for feeling good about it because it’s other people’s bad luck and misfortunes that enable me to feel good. Does that make sense to you?

et cetera