Monday, September 28, 2009

Level 1 by Air...

Once upon a time I was out working again. A call came out for an injured person at the lake. The story dispatch gets is that a guy climbed up a rock face and jumped into the water. When his gravitational experience came to an abrupt halt he was flat on his back in the water. The 15 or so bystanders helped him out of the water and brought him up to the highest point away from the water. Unfortunately this meant I had to climb out of a boat, and up the rock face. If you remember my previous posts, you’ll no doubt recall a story called “Climbing up the Mountain.” Oddly enough, the same cop I hiked up that mountain with previously was the one who was piloting the boat I was on. Needless to say I will never answer up a call with this guy again.

Upon arriving, I see a young male on his back, unresponsive. As soon as I make contact with him he becomes awake and agitated. Pupils pinpoint, and displaying classic head injury symptoms. In the middle of his tantrums asking for water he would lose consciousness. Now, how to get a combative trauma patient collared, boarded, strapped, assessed, carried down a rock face, and into a boat with one EMT and 15 bystanders? This was gonna suck, and the suck was going to be bad. Fortunately I was able to hold it together long enough to use the radio properly. Thankfully I was in the one area of the lake with radio reception. “Medic 51, can you please have the officers responding expedite their response.” The next thing I learned was how loud those boat motors get when the throttle opens up, it was quite impressive. So with an army of bystanders, cops, and 2 fire medics we finally were able to get this guy secured to the back board. There really wasn’t any time or opportunity to do an assessment. We were able to look at his back before covering it with a board, and get a pulse and oxygen saturation. Back looked banged up, but no step-offs, Pulse of 43 and irregular, and oxygen saturation was about the only vitals sign we had within normal limits. Patient did admit to consuming alcohol and ecstasy. We get back to solid land, turf him to the flight medics, and that was that.

Please, take a lesson from this. If you ever decide to jump off a rock face while under the influence of a psychoactive substance, please, please, please do it near a dock or something.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

From the blog : A Day In The Life Of An Ambulance Driver.

I thought this was a great tip for all those who have to deal with long bone fractures and haven't invested in a portable x-ray machine.

Thanks to "Ambulance Driver" for allowing me to repost this link.


I am going to share with you a e-mail conversation I had with my former manager.



Aspiring models needed. In addition to informational booths and demonstrations, as part of the National Safety Month celebration I am organizing a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) fashion show. I am looking for a few models for fashion shows during the upcoming National Safety Month celebration at Campus 2 on Wednesday, June 17th from 10am to 2pm in the Campus 2 Conference Center and at Campus 1 in the 1234 Building on Monday, June 22nd from 10am to 2pm. I need the models to display the appropriate and inappropriate ways to wear various types of PPE (gloves, gowns, goggles, face sheilds[sic], masks, etc.) The fashion shows will last about 5-10 minutes and are planned to run every half hour beginning at 10:15am.

It would wonderful if any of you could volunteer some of your time between 10:15am and 2:00pm to help educate and entertain your staff at Campus 1 or 2. If you could also recommend or delegate other staff members to help in the celebration that would be great too!! If you could show up in the Conference Center or 1234 Building (report to me) at 10 minutes after the hour (10:10am, 11:10am, 12:10am 1:10am or 40 minutes after the hour 10:40am, 11:40am, 12:40am 1:40am) that would be great. You only need to bring yourself, I will supply the PPE for all the models. I will asking the audience questions about what the PPE you are modeling is appropriate for. I also plan to introduce you (so if you want to make up a model name for yourself, feel free and I will introduce you as such). Please e-mail me or call me at (55555) with your comittment or questions. Thanks for your help.

Seriously... A fashion show... She even referred to it as a celebration. Who thinks this stuff up? I can see it now. Some highly paid executive is sitting in their leather chair that is strategically perforated for proper air flow thinking "We need to do something with our excess budget...I know, we'll have a fashion show, and then we will all wear pink and have a tea party."

It's good to know that some nimrod with an ass that is nice and cool is making these decisions that don't pertain to the staff at all. Well some of the staff will go. But these are the same hopelessly loyal people who also went to every high school football game for 3 years after they graduated. And not to pick up chicks...

My reply:

I want my model name to be "Hans Big-gloved" And I will wear a full Tyvek suite, Gas mask, and a hard had that was so generously gifted to me from the Fire Dept. I just need a pair of size 12 knee high rubber boots and some knee pads. I can probably muster up some body armor and reflective clothing. I feel that should cover the minimum PPE requirements for invasive procedures such as doing blood glucose checks and assessing lung sounds...


But on a serious note..... no...

Needless to say I was not in the fashion show.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday Night Steel 9/8/09

So last night my friends and I went to go shoot a steel match at the Rio Salado Range ( This is the first match I have shot since after the wedding, so it's been at least six months. If anybody tells you that shooting, or anything for that matter is a perishable skill, believe it. We safely shot the match, and finished alright. But our times sucked. We all used to be able to finish the stages in less than 100 seconds, which isn't great. But our times were closer to the mid to high 100's. We sucked. We need more range time. Bad...

Is anyone willing to sponsor some amateur shooters??? We'll take all the bullets, powders, and primers we can get.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When you jack up your ankle, please do it at sea level.

So there I was working at one of our local outdoor recreational areas. It has been a somewhat slow day so my partner left early. As I am driving around I am thinking of what kind of stuff might happen later in the day. Would we get lucky and have a nice trauma call, or maybe get to respond to something in one of the off-roading areas. Maybe I'll even get to turn my lights on today. No, Not so much...

So while I am driving I hear "We're getting a report of an injury, a hiker with a broken ankle stuck on a cliff over the Lake" come over the radio. "Ummm" I think, " a broken ankle, that could be cool". Then I realize that they said "cliff". Cliff's are pointy, and tall, and to make this even more concerning, there was water under this particular one. I right then made the quick decision that I am not going anywhere near this frigging cliff. So I get on the radio and let them know, what I said was "Medic 51, show me responding". What I wanted to say was "Medic 51, I am gonna go get a burger and an icy cold Coke, let me know when they get this patient closer to sea level".

Now just a point of clarification here, since this is my first post relating to any kind of story. My call sign is not Medic 51. I changed it to protect the ignorant. However 51 is a really cool number, and I wanted to put in a little reference to Johnny and Roy, and if you don't know Johnny and Roy, your need to check out and look up "Emergency".

So anyway, after a short drive I show up to see two cops beat me there. There talking with the patients family members to get some information and find out whats going on. So as it turns out this 50 year old guy decided to go hiking with the family. And he decided, that like many other things in life, his trip would be made better by consuming massive quantities of alcohol.

So here's the run down so far. A drunk guy, with a bad ankle, on a cliff. A big, pointy, tall, hot, sharp cliff.

And to put me at ease, he isn't on top of a cliff strictly speaking. He was just on top of a tall hill, or depending on how you look at it, a small mountain. Our plan so far is to tell this guy to stop moving, sit down, and wait for the helicopter to pick him up. We figure by the time we got to him he had been up there with no water, and this ankle injury for at least an hour and a half. The sooner we got this drunk dude to sit down and get the helicopter to him we could get him to me. All the while I will be sitting in my comfortably air conditioned truck listening to music and drinking an ice cold Coke Zero.

As the helicopter is on the way we keep watching this guy. He won't stay still. This a problem because we are going to be putting a helicopter up there. Helicopters are dangerous things. They have spinning rotors that throw little bits of rocks, dirt, cactus, and other such hard pointy things around. Add in the fact that the sun is going down and the situation sucks even more.

While all this is going on one of the cops on scene looks at me and says "You got your hiking boots on?" I reply "shit". I put together a some supplies in my Camelback and get ready to go. Obviously this guy I started hiking with is an experienced desert hiker, and I am not. And I would also like to personally thank the guy who decided to put a barb wire fence in the middle of nowhere. It was rather comical listening to the radio chatter of the units on the ground. Stuff like "we might need the helicopter for the medic". I will admit that the cop I was hiking with was a good 100 yards ahead of me. But in all fairness, I don't hike, the atmosphere was getting thinner, and I think he was levitating...

Once we finally do get to the top we see our patient. Well actually we smell our patient, then we see him. He is a late 40's male, with a history of substance abuse, and drunk. His ankle is pretty swollen, and the foot looks a bit cyanotic, but otherwise fine. He was a bit hypertensive, but frankly so was I.

About ten minutes after we get to the top of the hill the helicopter shows up. This is a police helicopter that can deliver the patient to the ambulance waiting on the ground. I can't explain how excited I was to not have to hike down that mountain, but rather have a ride down with a helicopter. That didn't turn out to be the case though. For about 15 minutes the helicopter couldn't find a good place to set down. While it was moving around and hovering looking for a landing zone we were being pelted with small rocks and assorted other desert lifeforms. Although I do have to say, looking up to see a helicopter shifting side to side 20 feet above your head is quite the eerie experience.

Eventually they do find a place to set one skid down. ONE skid, the other one was kind of hanging off the edge of a rock face. Suddenly I decided that I wasn't so excited about a helicopter ride. Fortunately for me, they told us to hike back down, unfortunately for me, they told us to hike back down. The trip down wasn't quite as bad. It was pretty dark, but our pilot was nice enough to fly back around and light the area up for us. Once again, thanks for that barb wire fence.

Post #1

For years I have seen, done, and heard a great many funny, stupid, and interesting things. Lately I had the great idea to put them all online to share with the world. Or at least a very small part of it, or mostly just the people who follow me on facebook.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I am 24 years old guy living and working in Arizona. I work at an undisclosed hospital, and volunteer as an EMT for an undisclosed agency. As a hobby I enjoy practical shooting and other similar sports. I would love to do it more, but lead has gotten quite expensive. And in March of this year I married a VERY VERY tolerant woman. No really... I do some stupid shit... anyone else would have probably kicked me to the curb by now.

Honestly this is the weakest into in the history of internet blogging, but I really have nothing else to say right now. Check back for new updates. And please feel free to leave comments.