Category Archives: Medical

Rant #1

A monument for a child at Galong, New South Wa...

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Please allow me to postpone the second post in the I’m a Basic series. I need to vent. I’ve often said (jokingly… most of the time) that a permit should be required to pro-create. The events (and a particular case) of the last week have made me believe this to be true.  If you don’t want a child:

  1. Don’t get pregnant
  2. If you get pregnant, put the child up for adoption
  3. If you choose to keep the child, act like a RESPONSIBLE ADULT and care for it.

After working the negligent homicide of a three year old little girl due to the parents (both of them) being irresponsible douche bags with no regard for the human life they brought into this world, I’m left wondering why the man upstairs allows children to be given to people who don’t deserve them, and for all intents and purposes torture them, when there are thousands of loving, caring couples and singles who desperately want a child and can provide them with all the love, care, and material things they need.  I don’t like the weak being hurt, especially when they can’t defend themselves, and ESPECIALLY when it’s a child.

Thus endeth the sermon.


I’m a Basic, not a child

English: Mayport, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2007) - Firef...

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Any EMT with more than a month on the streets has worked with that Medic. The one who gives all the others a bad name. The one that sees you as a driver and a janitor, and not much else. There are several names for this Medic, most of which are not considered polite for normal conversation. I call him/her the Paragod. Paragods are the ones that think your title should be “ambulance driver”, your sole purpose is to stock the truck and lift the patient, and when asked a question, fires off a quick “you’re just an EMT, you wouldn’t get it.”

My typical response is something similar to “you’re more than welcome to drive AND treat your patient if you don’t want me here,” which usually gets me a stern talking to from the Commander and another station change. All this being said, what can we do as a collective to “re-educate” the Paragod that we’re more valuable than we’re treated. Before you say “you can’t teach a dumb dog new tricks,” lets think about it. What value IS a basic on an ALS truck, really?

The obvious first response is “driver,” which makes my nuts hurt. But it’s also a valuable part of an ALS team. As I’ve pointed out numerous times, albeit usually to my detriment, one cannot treat a patient and drive a bus at the same time. The other obvious response is “manual laborer,” i.e., the one who works with his back while the Paragod works with his brain. This one gives me a testicular twinge as well, but like it’s predecessor, is also a necessary part of the team.

Keep in mind, even though the focus of this post is the Paragod, I have worked with some AWESOME Medics that I would follow into the bowels of hell with a smile on my face. What I’ve noticed about these Medics is that they consider you a valuable part of the team, and express the sentiment. One Medic in particular, which I regularly refer to as my Mentor, has a favorite saying: “We’re partners. You go, we go.” This goes a LONG way when you’re spending 24 hours together in close quarters and environments that are less than ideal.

So how do we get the Paragod to accept us as a “partner,” instead of a “flunky?” Suggestions, anyone?

Why I do what I do

I’ve been asked more times than I can count why I put myself through EMT school if I have absolutely no desire to change careers.  The answer is simple: “Family Tradition”.  You see, TraumaPoppa was a career EMT for a little over 40 years (right?! I’m not even 40 years old and I can’t imagine being at the SAME employer for a literal lifetime).  He was also a volunteer firefighter before retirement.  Because of this, your humble Pig started going on medical calls around 6 years old.  Since TP (that’s TraumaPoppa, in this post) also taught CPR and first aid, I also went to those classes with him, and started helping him teach them when I was around 12.  Me and TP first tag-teamed a code when I was around 14, and since then it’s been a regular part of my life.  TraumaMama was an EMS dispatcher for his service (thus how they met and had a little Piglet) so you could say I was born with a medical side.  I have always had an interest in emergency medicine, but never really enough interest to do it full time.

A comment I left over at MotorCop gives a little more of the story:

I became a cop because I had a chance encounter one day (WAY too long ago) at 8 years old with a Police Officer. I had rode (my bike) to the neighborhood store, and when I came out, my chariot had been pilfered. I called my dad, and he called the local PD. This cop was the biggest, NICEST person I had ever met (besides Dad, of course). He made me feel instantly comfortable and safe. He asked me some questions, wrote some stuff down and then took me home in his patrol car. He even let me play with the lights and siren on the way home! That one moment solidified my career path in life. Fortunately I had the opportunity to work with this man for a few years before he retired; I’ll never forget “Head”.

As for becoming an EMT, I had a few events in my life when people VERY close to me, some Law Enforcement Officers, some family members, died in my arms and I was helpless to do anything about it. I decided I never wanted to feel that again, and went through EMT school. Will it bring them back? Hell no, nothing can. But that feeling might enable me to keep another Officer for family member around for a little longer.

What I would like to know, is why do YOU do what you do.  Everyone has some motivation for their career choices.  What’s yours?


Image courtesy of PhotoBucket user TristanWestbrook

Tomorrow I test for the NREMT-Basic.  Here are the two patches I’m trying for.  I’ve put a lot of time and effort (as has EVERYONE who has ever studied for this exam) and I’m hoping for the best.  With any luck, I’ll be able to report back in roughly 24 hours from now that I passed, and that I’m watching purple unicorns fly overhead in formation.  Okay, maybe just that I passed, but hey, who WOULDN’T want to see purple unicorns flying in formation?!!

Rescuing Friday the 13th

Rescuing Providence ( is posting all their Friday the 13th calls online as they happen (or after they clear, as the case may be).  The site is always good, but this just blows my mind!  Here is the direct link to the Friday the 13th post (