Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ambulance vs parked car


For the first time in almost ten years I was involved in a traffic crash with an ambulance. I am so pissed at myself. I lost my driving status today after the crash and hope I still have a job after they finish their investigation. I hit a parked car while pulling out of another parking spot. I don't know what I was thinking. I'm better than this. It was so stupid. I wasn't even on the phone. So everyone please pray for me and pray that I get to keep my job. JS

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas



Now that I'm sober... I was very drunk when I put my last post up. I had a great Christmas. I spent it with my family and friends. It was 2 days of eating, drinking, and being merry. I got 2 gifts, A blender from my folks and a fire t-shirt from my ex-girlfriend. But in my family, Christmas is not about gifts, its about love. I did no Christmas shopping this year, I gave no gifts, and yet I had a great Christmas. I hope everyone can find what we have found.... Above is a pic of my family and the poker game that broke out on Christmas day. JS

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas... I hope everyone has a great one. And Mark wishes everyone the Christmas Herpes.... JS

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fire Academy pt2





Fire Academy






Just thought I would put some pictures from class today. Tell me what you think. JS

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blocked

I seem to be suffering from some writers block. I am apologizing to both of my readers. If either of you have some Blog post ideas let me know.. Please. I will post more as It comes to me. JS

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fire academy

One of my favorite topics to teach is forcible entry. I teach it at the fire academy every year. This year I'm teaching it at 2 different academies. But where else could I go and teach people how to break into things? I just finished the classroom portion of the class, I will be teaching the practical next Saturday. We will be breaking locks, doors and windows. We will be playing with power saws inside. It will be a huge ball. Its every mans dream. By the way, when did the students get so young? JS

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Why I didn't go to class.

I'm a bad person. I didn't go to training this morning. I was supposed to teach extraction this morning. However I was very hung over and we got a lot of snow this morning. I didn't want to drive to the other side of the county on snow and ice covered roads while hung over. It seems like a smart choice, but I feel a little guilty. I hope the other instructors were able to pick up my slack. Most of them are a lot closer than me to the training site. Oh well. JS

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Partner update!

So I worked with that same partner again today. I think our conversation might have sank in a little. He was more pleasant to staff and patients today. I still don't like working with him, but he was better today. Lets just hope he keeps this up.


By the way, I finally got you use the hot tub over the weekend. It was great. Nothing like being drunk with people you love in a hot tub while its snowing... Great times. JS

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy turkey day!

I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Mine will be filled with turkey, rum, and a hot tub. Should be a great day. JS

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New job, strange partner, and a long drive.


As I told both of you not that long ago, I recently started a new job with an ambulance service. Don't worry, I still work for the fire department. The service I work for is based and owned by a large local hospital. We don't do any 911 work. We do CCT transfers and inter facility transfers. Because of this we are paid very well, and have the newest and best equipment. I knew this when I took the job. After many years on the job, working in the inner city, being vomited on, doing the lip lock on a lifeless baby, and seeing way more blood than any human should ever have to see, I was ready for a slower pace. I guess my partner doesn't feel the same way.

As we were returning from a long distance transfer, my partner and I had a little heart to heart. I'll be honest, I don't really like my partner, and after talking with other employees, this seems to be the feeling of everyone. My partner has less than a years experience in EMS. He has only been at this company a couple of weeks longer than me. He believes he knows all in the world of EMS. I expect this out of young EMT's, but this guy has about 3 years older than me. So I tell him.

Our conversation starts with him complaining about not doing any rescue work. I told him he came to the wrong place if he wanted to do rescue work. I also reminded him that rescue work doesn't pay as well and most ambulance services lose money on 911 contracts. I then said that I would rather have better pay and free benefits instead of less money and more siren. This upset him even more. Part of this guys problem is that he has a very short fuse, and everything has to be done his way. He gets upset the second that your opinion differs from his. Unlike other partners that have put up with this and moved on to another car, I will not. Mostly because I JUST DON"T CARE what my partner thinks of me. Don't get me wrong, I would much rather get along with my partner, but that's just not going to happen here.

Anyone that works in EMS knows that you don't piss off the dispatcher. He has turned pissing of the dispatcher in to his favorite pass time. Then he wonders why we get the shitty calls and get held over for every shift he works. HMM, I wonder?... The other day he got into an argument with a nurse about directions to a patients room in the hospital. The nurse was right, but that didn't stop him from calling her stupid loud enough for her to hear him. Last week he got into a shouting match with a civilian in regards to him parking the ambulance the wrong way in the fire lane while he was shopping. The civilian called in a complaint on him, and he couldn't figure out why. The guy is clueless. I had a patient ask me if he was always this angry while he was at work. I had to tell her yes. She asked why? and I said I don't know. I think its safe to say he is the worst partner I have ever had in my life!

So, during our conversation, he tells me that nobody wants to work with him and he has no friends. I said didn't you ever wonder why? It looked like he was getting ready to cry. I told him he can't talk to people the way he does, and that we are partners and that he is not the supervisor. I thought I was getting through to him. But when he came in the next day he continued act the same way he always did. I never rat out my partners unless I think they are doing something that will be harmful to a patient. But he was the exception!

I decide after trying to talk him about his issues and him not listening and just getting pissed off that I would go to the operation manager with this issue. I explain to him what is going on with this guy, and the dumb ass things he does while on the road. He even told a patient about his experience as a patient in a psych facility. That's not the kind of thing I would share with others! Anyway It sounds like operations is not going to do anything about the problem. I guess they would rather be reactive than proactive. I will be bidding the next open shift! I guess I just needed to vent. JS

Monday, November 24, 2008

Time to teach!


Next month I start teaching at the fire academy again. I really do enjoy teaching. Last academy while I was conducting a class, I realized how young the probies are. I don't ever remember being that young. I am teaching forcible entry again. I get payed to teach people how to break shit! Life doesn't get any better than that. As an added bonus, the Captain that is teaching vehicle extraction asked me to come out and help teach it again this year. I have done this before with him, but it is always an honor to be asked to come teach. Extraction is a great class to help teach. Being in the Detroit area, we get to go out to the General Motors proving grounds. GM gives us brand new, and prototypes cars to destroy. Talk about a great time. Getting payed to cut up cars that general population has not even seen yet. I'm looking forward to it. I wish I could take some pictures, but GM will not let us. Teaching this year will rock, all I'm doing is breaking stuff. JS

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Death on the job.

I went to a funeral for a fallen firefighter the other day. In the past couple of years I have been to five line of duty death funerals in the detroit area. The most recent was Walter Harris, he was killed in a calapse at a structure fire. Another died in a crash involving an engine returning from a fire. Yet another was trapped during a structure fire. The saddest was an EMT that was killed by traffic while treating a patient on the scene of an MVA. The last was a firefighter also working an mva during harsh weather conditions, she was struck by a skiding car.

This has made me think about my own mortality. Luckily i work in a sleepy part of the metro detroit area. We as first responders often forget that this could happen to anyone of us. So, I guess I'm telling all of you to just be careful out there. JS

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Line of duty death



We regret to inform you of the death of

Walter P.
Harris
Senior Firefighter
Detroit Fire Department
Engine 23, 6th Battalion

(Active)
Lived: 9/11/70 to 11/15/2008
Served: 3/11/1991 to 11/15/2008

Died in the line of duty.

Visitation:
Community Christian Fellowship
8131 E. Outer Dr.
Detroit, MI.
48213
Thursday, November, 20, 2008
4 to 9 pm.

Service:
Second Ebenezer Church
14601 Dequindre St.
Detroit, MI.
48212
Friday, November 21, 2008
10:00 am.

Firefighter Walt Harris of the Detroit Fire Department perished after being crushed in a collapse at a vacant home on the east side of Detroit. Harris, a 17 veteran firefighter, responded to the blaze with his brothers from Engine 23.

Firefighters and EMS attempted to revive him on the scene but were unable to do so. He will be missed by family and friends.

Our deepest sympathy to the Harris Family.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Free hot tub?

A couple of weeks ago my brother calls me and said that he is getting a hot tub for free and is picking it up by my house and wants to know if I will help him load it. I said sure, not knowing what I was getting myself into. I love my brother and his wife, I would do anything for them as they have for me. So, I figure load a hot tub... no problem. I live over an hour away from my brother. So I meet him where we are going to pick up the hot tub. Now, I'm only going to help load it. We meet the people we are picking it up from, and they seem a little off to me... (sorry Janine). Someone was supposed to bring tie down straps.. but forgot. So we leave my brothers truck and run to the store to get some tie down straps. We already have a plan on how to load the tub so we can get everything in one trip. Originally the people we were picking the tub up from wanted to load it on the bed rails... Not a good idea for such a long trip. The people also kept saying we had 2 trucks, and I kept telling them that I was just helping to load the tub, and was not driving my truck down to my brothers house. So we get back from the store, to find the tub loaded in his truck and taken apart. Now we have to load my truck with the rest of the parts. At this point I can't go down to my brothers because I'm on call at work and can not leave the area. Being poor my brothers gives me gas money and I drive down to his house as soon as I go off call that evening. Now we are trying to put it back together without seeing it taken apart. Let me tell you it was a task that required a few beers! So, I'm a pretty handy guy and my brother knows this. Let me tell you, my brother is one of the smartest people I know, he is working on his masters and is married to a doctor. But when it comes to mechanical things he can be confused. It blows my mind. (sorry BJ) So he tells a little fib to his wife and tells her that I know what I am doing. Honestly I was just guessing and getting advice from people that knew what they were doing. Of course when I left that night the tub was not in service. That took almost 3 weeks I think. My brother calls me again and asks me, would I help him set up the hot tub. I said sure as long as he bought the beer. Hot tub project day 2 consisted of leveling the ground where the tub was going as well as laying patio blocks to set the hot tub on. Later that day we put a new 220 breaker in his fuse box and ran the wire to the outside of the house where the tub was going.We completed the day with some drywall work needed after running the new wire. I was pretty sure that he could handle the rest on his own. Well the other day he called again and asked if I would help finish it. He also had to pick the pump up at the repair shop. So we decide that now we are going to do the project to code. So we are off to home depot to buy a spa kit breaker box, wire and underground wire tubing. We put the new box outside and tie in the 220 and put in the GFI breaker. Next we bury the wire in the tubing, and lastly we hook the tub up to the power. We turn all the breakers on and to our surprise the hot tub works. I'm very proud of the 2 of us.

So, last night I'm playing cards with my brother, his wife, and some other friends. I say to my brother "I think we did a great job for not knowing what we were doing". His wife looks at us and says "WHAT". In order to not have to pay somebody to come in and do this, my brother had told his wife that I had done this before and knew what I was doing. But he never told me this...... So the hot tub works, its to code, and I'm pretty sure my brother didn't get any last night. Just thought I would share this with you all.... Hope I didn't piss you off BJ & J9.. remember that I love you guys. JS

Saturday, November 8, 2008

stolen again meme

I stole this from Ninja Medic, who stole it from someone else.

A is for your age:
30... wow thirty already. I never thought I would live this long!

B is for beer of choice:
no, thanks... Give me some rum. But if I have to drink beer give me a corona or newcastle

C is for what you care about right now.
Winning the poker game

D is for your dog's name:
Allie Bean

E is for one essential item you use everyday:
pocket knife.

F is for one favorite TV show:
Rescue me.. go figure.

G is for favorite game to watch:
not so much... I don't like sports.

H is for Home town :
Detroit Michigan...... Waterford.

I is for instruments you play:
air guitar.

J is for favorite juice:
any as long as its mixed with rum.

K is for whose butt you'd like to kick:
weak minded liberal followers.

L is for last place you ate:
My kitchen table.

M is for marriage:
Never been.

N is for your Middle name:
James.

O is for overnight hospital stay:
when I was 8 or 9 I had an infection in my leg.

P is for people you were with today:
my mom, BJ and all the poker buds.

Q is for quote:
"Live every day like it was your last... No regrets.".

R is for Biggest regret:
A relationship decision I made a few years ago.

S is for SEX:
yes please.

T is for time you woke up today:
0830.

U is for underwear you have on now:
boxer briefs... the best of both worlds.

V is for a vegetable you love:
corn.

W is for worst habit:
smoking.

X is for xylophone (because it always is):
uh huh.

Y is for something yummy you ate today:
bacon

Z is for zodiac sign:
Taurus

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The vote

I don't normally talk about politics on my blog, but after a night of drinking I can't contain myself. What kind of a country do we live in when a junior senator can beat a war hero in the race for president? Don't get me wrong, Obama may be a good man but that doesn't mean he should lead our country. I am very fearful for our future. A great deal of people can't even tell you why they voted for Obama. I am very nervous about my second amendment rights. I am also worried about our strength as country as he will reduce our military. I'm sure this post will upset a few of my readers, but these are my feelings. The biggest thing I feel right now is fear. I am fearful of our future as a nation. JS

Friday, October 31, 2008

Devils night in the D



Let me start by saying that I do not work for the Detroit Fire Department. Above are a couple of pictures from an arson fire last night in Detroit. I was in Detroit last night hanging with the FD in hopes of getting to see some good working fires. My partner took alot more photos than I did last night. I hope to get them from him. If and when I do, I will post them.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another job!


I took this picture while working for another private ambulance company.


I am going back to the world of private EMS. I have not worked in private EMS in a couple of years. The problem is I need the money. I am so broke right now, I can't afford to go to the dentist for a toothache I have had for the last week! Don't get me wrong, I don't mind private ems. It just is not my dream job. So the list of jobs I currently have is as follows: Firefighter EMT at a suburban Detroit Fire Department, armed protection officer (when work is available), and EMT for a local ambulance service. I'm looking forward to hold overs and dialysis patients...LOL. Really, it is not a bad gig, and to be honest I am kinda looking forward to it. It will help to improve my patient care skills and give me some more stories for my blog. So, everyone wish me luck on my first day! JS

Monday, October 20, 2008

Search and Rescue


Lucid, this post is for you. I got lucky. I worked at a Boy Scout camp/ reservation for a few years. While there I worked as a ropes course instructor, climbing and rappelling director, shooting range instructor, ranger, and backpacking trek supervisor. The camp that I worked at was roughly 1/2 the size of a township. Most of it was undeveloped woodlands, with swamps, lakes, rivers, and hills. The backpacking trek took place in what we called the back country. Needless to say I knew the property better than most of the staff.

Picture this, I'm taking a shower late at night. Our showers consisted of a large tiled room with a dozen shower heads on the walls. No privacy at all. So, I'm showering and the camp director walks in and turns off the shower. He then throws me my clothes and says "grab your jump bag and met me at the office". So I did that. When I get there he briefs me and says we have two lost campers in the woods. He then says "grab a camp truck (retired US Army M887 trucks) and go search for them".

We have a general idea of what area of the reservation they may be in. At this time the search team consists of me, the camp director, and program director. I asked "why me?" and he said "you know the property better than any other staff member". So, following orders, I hop into the old camouflage truck and drive off to a distant corner of the property.

I park the truck on the border of the property and state land. I know there is an old fence row here and decided to start my search there. Remember, this is before cell phones, GPS, and FRMS radios. Like an idiot, I leave my compass and topo map in the truck. I start walking the fence row. I walk in for maybe 15 or 20 mins. I was just about to turn around and head back to the M887, and I could hear a very distant "help". Not thinking, I start running into the swamp away from the fence row. I ran for some distance. I found the lost campers.

They decided to go for a walk, and started following deer trails. It got dark, and they were very lost. When I found them they were ok, just a little scared. I talk to them and tell them that everything is ok and they calm down. We get ready to leave and I realize that I'm now lost.

We have no moon, it is overcast, so I have no stars. I also don't have my compass or map. I'm not worried, I'm just pissed at myself. I knew better. If I could just walk a straight line, I could find my way out. Walking a straight line I would eventually come across a set of power lines, or fire trail, or fence row, or even a road. But the conditions would not allow it. So I decide we will start walking in what I think is the right direction. If we don't come across a landmark shortly we will start a fire and try to sleep for the night. At least in the morning I can use the sun for direction and walk a straight line.

So we start walking, they have no idea that I'm just as lost as they are. But I'm not panicking. We walk for about 20 mins and I start thinking to myself we should stop for the night because I'm sure we are walking in circles. I tell myself that we will only walk for five more mins. Just when I'm about to give up, I trip on the fence row. I look around and realize that I'm within 25 feet of where I left the fence row in the first place. So we walk the fence row back to the truck. I then drive them back into base camp, and nobody is any the wiser that I screw up. I looked like a hero that night. Eventually I told everyone the story and how lucky I was. JS

Friday, October 17, 2008

fakes, actors, and dirt bags



Let me start out by saying I'm sorry to BJ. This going to be a negative post. The picture above shows some proof of what I have done so both of my readers know I'm not a fake, actor or dirt bag.

During the Hurricane Katrina response I worked with FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration. During Katrina FEMA "borrowed" about 4,000 firefighters from around the country. The 2,600 in Louisiana were assigned to me and my staff. I was the Fire Service operation chief for the Louisiana Incident Management Team (IMT). Some of you in emergency services maybe familiar with IMT teams. We were one of the first in the country, the model that other IMT's were developed from. Most of what I did was paper work and managing personal. Sorry about the lengthy history, I promise it will be relevant to the story.

In my state we have an EMS expo every year. This is an event for people to get CEU and see whats new and great in EMS. One of the presenters at expo a couple of years ago did a presentation on what he did during the Katrina response. He was one of the 2,600 firefighters assigned to Louisiana and a community relations mission, under the direction of my IMT. During his presentation he lied often. If he did the things he said he was doing, then he was operating outside of the chain of command and what we firefighter call "freelancing". How did he work up the balls to do this? I wish expo would have researched their presenters better.

The reason I bring this up is because I currently work with a guy that wants me and others to believe he was a special ops combat veteran. I live with 2 solders and a combat wounded vet. I know more than the average civilian about the army. I believe this guy is bold face lying to me and others we work with. To add to it the guy is a dick. So my question is how do I confirm if he has done what he says he has done? And if he has not, how do I expose him? I hate people that lie like this. What make them think it is ok? I would like to hear everyone's feed back on this person and this topic. What do you think? JS

Thursday, October 16, 2008

ALS vs BLS

I am currently working on a fire department BLS transport unit, and I may be a little biased being a long time basic EMT. I have in the past worked on ALS units as well. Why is it that EMT-B's and EMT-P's can not get along in the field. I hate it when I hear "you are just a basic". I have been treating and transporting patients longer than most of the ALS crews I work with. Don't get me wrong, I feel ALS is very important in the prehospital world, but not every patient requires ALS. If you are moving good air with a combi-tube or an OPA why delay care to insert an ET tube? I am a firm believer in load and go. High flow O2 and High flow diesel cures all. Not really, but in my world it does. As prehospital providers we need to work together. If I give an ALS crew a history and set of vitals, why do they ask the patient all the same question again, and then act surprised when the history and vitals I gave them are the same as the ones they just wasted time re obtaining. This seems counter productive and shows no faith in the basic EMT, and it tends to upset the patient to have to answer the same questions twice. We should have continuing care and not repetitive care. Hospitals are guilty of this as well. A great deal of ER staff will do the same thing as we are trying to give report, and rarely ever do I see the hospital staff read a run report. We need to work together all the way through patient care, from scene to hospital discharge. JS

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

sadness


I went to the dock for the last time of 2008. I untied the boat, and started it up. I slowly motored it over to the launch. The boat has given me many memories this year, and pulling it out of the water means I can no longer deny that summer is over. Lets hope it is a short winter. I am already wanting spring to get here.... JS

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lord Stanley's Cup



Above is a photo of My friend and I with the Stanley cup. Also is a photo of Me with the Oakland county Sheriff.



I have a good friend that works in the county Sheriff's office. He called me today and said that the Stanley cup was there and I could come down and see it. So I did. I also got a chance to chat with the county Sheriff again. He presented me with an award a few years ago. I should have thanked him for letting me fly around in his helicopters. JS

Open house


Last Sunday was my departments open house. I love PR events like this. It gives us a chance to talk to the public and answer any questions about emergency services that they might have. It also lets them see what their tax dollars are being spent on. We had wonderful weather, and a great turn out. I think our guests enjoyed the helicopter the most from Survival flight at the University of Michigan Medical center. I would have rather had AeroMed there, but that wasn't really an option. JS

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Drunk fights

So what makes people fight when they are drunk? I'm laying in bed last night just about to fall asleep and. Beeeeeeeeeeeep, Bravo 1 respond to a head injury, result of a fight, Blank bar. He is bleeding from the head, and has a broken leg. Now we are the people that are going to help him. But this man now wants to fight with us! The pbt showed him at a 0.107 bac. He was drinking, but I wouldn't say he was all out drunk. 0.080 bac is the limit in michigan to drive. But I have seen this many times. We are there to help and the patient only wants to fight with us. This really pisses me off. Why do people act like that? JS

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An old friend


I reconnected with an old friend yesterday. I have really missed her. I had not talked to her in while. Somehow we ended up talking yesterday. We agreed to meet for drinks. That was a bad idea, it became just like old times. Early this morning we were sitting at the airport with tickets to Chicago in our hands... Needless to say, the night got a little out of hand. We started out at our old pub. We stayed till closing time. Both of us having a great time and not wanting the night to end, we decided to go to the casino. We stayed there for a few hours, and she did pretty well. So having some coin in our pockets, and still being pretty drunk, and both of us having a couple of days off, we decide we should go to Chicago. We drive to the airport, park the car, and walk to the ticket counter. We buy two round trip tickets to Chicago, and head to our gate. We had about an hour and a half till our flight left. We get to the gate and have a seat. We fall asleep. My friend wakes me up about ten minutes before we are to start boarding. Now we are very tired and starting to sober up. She said to me "Do you really think this is a good idea?". We agree, now that we are sober, this is not a good idea. We have no car or place to stay in Chicago, nobody knows we are going, and we could put her winnings to better use. We make a mad dash to the ticket counter to try and get the money back. We were lucky and able to get the money back, and we were able to make a mild recovery back to responsible adults. So we drive home, talking about how stupid we are, and trying to stay awake. It was an all around good time.... I have really missed her. JS

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fire prevention


October is national fire prevention month. The first week of October is fire prevention week. It is also marks the anniversary of the great Chicago fire. So I just want to talk briefly about some fire safety. Remember to change the batteries in your smoke alarms. Practice home fire drills. If you have kids, practice Stop, Drop, and Roll. These simple things can save your life.

In honor of fire prevention month/ week most Fire Departments will host open houses. My stations open house is October 5th, noon till 4pm. So, if you know where I work stop be and say hello. If you don't know where I work, go visit your local Fire Department. This is a great time to let your kids climb on the fire trucks, and to answer any questions about the fire service or modern EMS that you may have. It is also a great time to see your tax dollars at work. Stay safe. JS

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fat and naked

In my time in EMS I have noticed that any time a super fat person needs help, they are always naked. Why is this? I would rather not see my patients naked. Don't get me wrong, I'm bigger than most, but I would never do what I have seen some of these people do. I remember going on a DIB. When we arrived we found our 550lbs patient laying in bed of a mobile home. This patient really smelled bad and was in respiratory distress. Oh, and she was naked. It took eight firefighters to move her onto a stokes basket and carry her out. She was so large that we had to pick up her rolls and place them on top of her so we could get her through the door way. We had to take the cot of the ambulance and placed the stokes on the floor of the rig. How do you get this large? When people do this they just don't endanger their own lives, they also endanger our lives as rescuers. I don't know why I brought this up today. Sorry if I offended anyone. JS

Friday, September 26, 2008

S.S. Arthur Anderson




As both of you know, I'm a bit of a history nut. I really like maritime history, and really enjoy great lakes history. A few days ago I took a little safari to Port Huron. Its about an hour drive from where I live. I was looking at the shipping schedule and saw the Anderson was due at the Blue Water bridge in about 20 mins. For those of you that don't know, the Anderson was the ship that was with the Edmond Fitzgerald the night it sank in Lake Superior over 30 years ago. It was the first on the scene, and they were the last ones to talk to the Fitz before she sank on that stormy November night. For me it was very cool to get see this famous ship underway! JS

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

machine rescue


As both of you know, I'm a state certified fire instructor. I just finished a train the trainer class on machine rescue. The class was taught by Michigan State University. It was a good class. Its funny though, I have never been on a real machine rescue. The closest I have been is some real good auto extractions. Train the trainer is a class for instructors. When you complete train the trainer you are then qualified to teach the regular course. I'm not sure I'm ready to teach a class on something I have never done. It just doesn't seem right. I guess I will just present the material as best I can. JS

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The END


As both of you know, I hate winter. I live in Michigan. I love the summers here. But fall is coming. This is the last weekend of summer. I will be taking my boat out of the water any day now. As I was driving this morning I realized it was 80 degrees outside. So I called all my close friends and said "its the last boat trip of the summer". I was surprised when almost all of my friends said they would be here. I gave then real short notice. I think everyone just wants to get everything they can out of whats left of summer. It really is the end of summer. I'm not ready to winterize the boat yet, it feels like I just put it in the water! I think I need to move to Key West, where summer lasts all year long. I love Key West! Oh well, I'm not ready to leave my friends and family for warm weather yet. I guess I will just have to battle through the snow and ice for another winter! JS

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Death and the job.

I was reading a post on the blog "on the clock" titled "dead", and it made me want to speak on the topic of death and the job. I have worked in emergency services for about ten years. In that time I have seen a great deal of death. I remember my first CPR like it was yesterday, but I can't remember many since then. I think we all have different ways of dealing with death on the job.

Traumatic deaths are always worse than natural deaths. My first cpr was a man about 85 years old, he had died as a result of a large cardiac history. That was very easy to get over. Not long after that I had my first traumatic death. It was a self inflicted gun shot wound to the head. It was a middle aged married man, and he did it in a state park. I will never forget the sight of a body laying in a pool of blood. Those are the two of the calls that stand out the most for me. It's probably because they were the first deaths I had seen on the job.

Call me cold or heartless. But I have learned to deal with the death on the job. I just don't feel for my patients anymore. I believe it is their emergency and not mine. Don't get me wrong, I do everything I can to save the people I treat, but you can't save them all. The best you can hope for is to save some. I like what I do. I get to make a difference in someones life every time I go to work, and I do my best not to lose sight of that. But if I let every death I saw bother me, I would be an emotional wreck and in a nut house.

I would like to talk about false hope. EMS crews seem to do this a great deal. I have told many family members that their loved one is dead. Is is not a pleasant job, but has to be done. If a patient is obviously dead on scene, why work them? Why give the family false hope? Why would you start CPR on a cold patient with rigor? Because you want to put on a show for the family. Or is it because you like to give false hope. Or is it because you are to chicken shit to tell the family that their loved on is dead. Just let the doc at the hospital tell them, is that what you are thinking? I think it is better to tell them on scene and let them start healing. We do this job to help people and that doesn't always mean treating a patient, it could be more important to comfort the patients loved ones.

Now people in our profession deal with death differently. Some let it eat them up inside and they get burned out. Some turn to god and religion, some turn to drinking, some use sex. Me, I use my friends and family. Talking to them about a bad call always helps me deal with what we do. So I think it is important that we support each other. Its also important to remember that what bothers your coworker may not bother you. You may think its no big deal but they might be having a hard time with it. So, don't tell them to suck it up, or call them a pussy. Listen to them, and help them heal. We need to be there for each other, it is hard for other people not in our business to understand what we go through. We can all deal with death on the job, we just need the right outlet. JS

Sunday, September 14, 2008

SCUBA in the rain.


All it has done for the last 4 days is rain, but we didn't let that stop us from SCUBA diving the past couple of days. It was Kyle, Brian, and myself. Brian in a brand new diver, and doesn't have much experience in the murky, cold waters of Michigan. Visibility was about ten feet, and that's pretty good for where we were diving. Watching a new diver is always fun. Not to pick on Brian but I don't think he ever let go of the inflator valve on his Buoyancy compensator vest. He was constantly waving his arms try to control his direction, and of course he couldn't keep a good distance from the bottom. But don't get me wrong, Brian is a great dive Buddy. We were all like this when we first started diving. We had a good time. On our first dive we went to a couple of boat wrecks and swam around. On a later dive we went diving where the pier for an old amusement park used to be. We found some old stuff buried in the muck for a different era. BJ, you should have been there. Needless to say, rain be damned, we had a great time. I can't wait to dive again! Oh, a wet suit does not make me look good! JS

Friday, September 12, 2008

Remembering 9/11


I woke up this morning not thinking about the date, That is the first time in seven years I had not thought about 9/11. I got up, shined my shoes and donned my class A dress uniform. Then I drove to my firehouse, met my brothers, loaded up in a department vehicle and drove to the church. As I saw the flag draped coffin enter the church, I heard a fellow firefighter say "Its fitting for a firefighter to be buried on Sept. 11th.". That was when I realized it was 9/11.

My 9/11 story is pretty boring. I was at home and watched it happen on TV like the rest of America. I remember being worried about my many friends in the military, and wanted to make sure my family was OK. Next I called many of my fellow firefighters. We all wanted to do something. Most of us wanted to drive to NYC and help. That's the kind of people firefighters are.

As it turned out my department sent a few of us to NYC a few weeks after 9/11. As I was standing on the roof of the TEN HOUSE (FDNY E10 L10, being used as a command center) looking out on ground zero, it suddenly became real to me. Later that day as I was standing in ground zero, it took everything I had not to start crying. I was on the very ground where 343 of my brothers gave their lives for others. The people of New York were very good to the members of my department.

Seven years later I want to know. Why is America forgetting? Remember all the American flags? You couldn't find one at the store, everyone was sold out. Remember how nice everyone was to each other? Remember how we all came together? I do. Lets bring that back. Lets be the same people we were on 9/12/01. JS

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

my thoughts.....

The political left wants me to be tolerant. Why can't they be tolerant of me. I don't make anybody eat meat. But why do others tell me I can't eat meat? I don't make anyone own a firearm, why does the left want to stop me from owning one? I think if a group is going to preach tolerance, they need to be tolerant of every ones views, and not just their own. JS

Friday, September 5, 2008

doctor anonymous and crzegrl

I have to admit that tonight is the first time I have ever listened to Dr. A's show. I think I am hooked. Needless to say I will be listening again. Tonight he had Emily on from crzegrl.net. Emily is a personal friend of mine. I thought her interview was very informational and entertaining. For anyone that missed it you can replay it from Dr. A's blog. You will find a link to Dr. A's and crzegrl's blog on the right side of my page. Check them out. JS

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Big House.




As both of you know, I'm Not a big fan of U of M. I don't really like Ann Arbor. Today on my flight with the cops we flew over Michigan Stadium. So here are some pictures, and check out the new videos. One of us taking off and one of us landing. JS

Monday, September 1, 2008

on the boat


We were out on the boat and I was talking to BJ about my blog. Needless to say he had some input for me. He said that often my blog was to negative and I should be more positive in my writing, maybe he is right. He also said I'm not articulate enough in my post, and I come off far less intelligent than I really am. I don't know about that. Do I sound like an idiot in my posts? I'll be honest, I'm a fireman not a writer. So let me ask both of my readers this, what can I do to improve my blog? Please be serious. I would like to know.

I would also like to say that BJ was drinking.. no, he was drunk while we were out there. He got a hold of my camera and took a picture of his penis while I wasn't looking. I told him I was going to post it on my blog. I decided not, so BJ just for you, I will not post the picture of your penis.

Being on the boat today made me realize summer is almost over. Where did it go? It seems the older I get, the faster summer goes by. Why is that? I'm not ready to pull the boat out of the water for the year. It feels like I just put it in. I'm not ready for snow and ice. I say bring on global warming.....JS

Flying with the cops again.


I love to fly. Tomorrow I get to flying again with the local sheriffs office aviation unit. I'm really looking forward to going up again. What a great program this is. Where else can a guy like me go flying around in a law enforcement helicopter on patrol? It is very cool. JS

Friday, August 29, 2008

100 Random facts about me


1)I was born in the 1970's

2)I have brown hair

3)I'm a neat freak.

4)I love to fly.

5)I'm scared of heights.

6)I carry a gun at one of my jobs.

7)I was conceived on a boat.

8)I love being on the water.

9)I'm a scuba diver.

10)I never went to college.

11)I have taught for a college.

12)I'm scared to death of snakes.

13)I like reading others blogs.

14)I love the Caribbean.

15)I'm a big fan of every thing Jimmy Buffett.

16)I hate winter in Michigan.

17)I love summer in Michigan.

18)My favorite drink is rum and coke.

19)I hate vodka.

20)I have a younger sister.

21)I have worked for the federal government.

22)I have seen the death rattle.

23)I have cheated death more than once.

24)I hate pro sports.

25)My parents are still married and in love with each other.

26)My friends are very loyal.

27)I'm overweight.

28)I have been in love before.

29)I'm a republican.

30)Blue is my favorite color.

31)I have brown eyes.

31)I'm addicted to ice cream.

32)Key West is my favorite place in the world.

33)I have ADD and love bright things that shine.

34)I'm a firefighter EMT.

35)I Love to cook.

36)I love to eat good food.

37)I smoke cigarettes, cigars and a pipe, and I like it.

38)I'm very bad with money.

39)I think Lee Marvin is more of a bad ass that John Wayne.

40)I Worked in New Orleans for Katrina Relief.

41)I Partied in New Orleans years before Katrina.

42)I loved LEGO's

43)I can ride a motorcycle.

44)I love American history.

45)I love unplanned road trips. (safari)

46)I wear a size 12 shoe.

47)My best friend of over twenty years, would do anything for me, as I would him.

48)I put a great deal of meaning into words like: Honor, loyalty, duty, and trust.

49)I love to rappel.

50)I have the vigil honor. (oa)

51)I have never seen the Pacific ocean.

52)I act more like my mother than my father.

53)I look a great deal like my father.

54)I have a temper.

55)I love nature and being outside.

56)I love music.

57)I drive a Ford pickup truck.

58)I have cut myself with a chainsaw. Not on purpose.

59)I Think suicide is a cheaters way out.

60)I love to sing.

61)I can't carry a tune in a paper bag.

62)I won't take pain meds beyond motrin.

63)I love to take pictures.

64)I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut.

65)I am very close with my family.

66)I have been accused of being a ghetto medic.

67)I Feel like sleeping is a waste of time.

68)I want to see the world.

69)I used to be attracted to lesbians.

70)My dad was an elected politician.

71)I want to SCUBA dive world war II wrecks in the south pacific.

72)I want to go to NYC again.

73)I like women in uniform.

74)I know what fork is for what at a formal meal.

75)I like wearing a suit.

76)I still want my mommy when I'm sick.

77)I like shooting sporting clays.

78)I play paintball.

79)I hate being alone.

80)I love poker night with the boys.

81)I love my flip flops.

82)I want to be like Tully Mars.

83)I had my drivers license suspended.

84)I have been called a drunk.

85)I love telling stories around a campfire.

86)I have started to find gray hair on my head.

87)I hate text messages! Just call me.

88)I have no tattoos.

89)I like to skinny dip.

90)I still like to drive lights and sirens.

91)I missed my true calling as a charter boat captain.

92)I want to open Island Air & Sea Charters when I retire.

93)I have never been married.

94)I don't have any kids.

95)I like to cuddle.

96)I Wish I could speak Spanish.

97)I wish I could play guitar.

98)I Dyed my hair blonde once.

99)I know the meaning of life.

100)I love every minute I'm alive.

Thanks to Crzegrl for the Idea of this entry.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Katrina pictures


Boat washed up near the Gulf.


Camp Allen- housing for federal employees


inside tent in camp Allen


Camp Allen outside


Truck washed up on road.


Boat on sidewalk near some condos.


Home in the 9th ward.


Me behind my desk.


Home near broken levee.


Garbage on the road.


Supplies being delivered to a drc.


flooded home.


Barge washed up next to Mississippi river shore.


FedEx truck caught in the flood.


My team.


Bourbon street, the french quarter never flooded.


Fallen building.