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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Turfed calls

I have worked on both BLS and ALS units. At the time of this event I was working for a private ambulance service on a BLS unit, in a major urban city. The city fire/ems department turfs us this call because they say the patient is priority 3 and wanted to go to a hospital outside of their service area. We show up on scene as the other crew is walking out. They give as a brief report as they are walking out to their rig. We walk in to find a 68 y/o female patient sitting on a chair, with her family close by. She looks scared. We ask her "Whats going on?". She says "It feels like my heart is going to jump out of my chest.". So I take her pulse. As best as I can feel her pulse is over 160 bpm. We have no monitor or drug box. I'm thinking SVT. We tell the patient and her family that the hospital they have requested is really to far, and we would like to take her to the closest hospital priority one. We explain what we think is going and everyone agrees to go to the closest hospital. So we transport, and the hospital confirms SVT. So, I guess this goes back to one of my earlier blog postings. How do we get this lazy? How do you live with yourself after making a decision to turf a call like this to a BLS unit? These guys needed ask "when did we stop caring about patient?". JS

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ducks down the drain?

My Captain and I are sitting in the firehouse when we get a call for ducks stuck in a storm drain. It was a late warm summer night after a heavy rain. We arrive on scene to find a crowd of people gathered around a storm drain. We ask whats going on? We are told there are 2 baby ducklings trapped in the bottom of the storm drain. They were washed down during the heavy rains. The mother duck is quacking and pacing about 15 ft away from the crowd. We pulled the storm grate up, and I lowered my captain into the drain. He reached down and handed me the squeaking ducklings. I walked with the ducklings a few feet away from the crowd and set them down. I started to walk away from them and they follow me. They were so cute; so I picked them back up and walked them towards the mother duck. I set them and run away. The duckling's can't find me and start squeaking again, the mother duck comes over and gets her babies. I pull my captain out of the drain and we go back to the firehouse, knowing we save two small lives. JS

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sign and release

Anyone who has been in EMS more than six months is guilty of this, me included. We tend to get lazy, maybe its almost the end of your shift or maybe you just don't feel well. I don't think this is the norm, but it does happen. I have worked with people that knew they were going to sign off a patient before they even make contact with the patient. I have also worked with people that will spend an hour on scene trying to talk a patient into going to the hospital on a slip and fall when the patient clearly is OK and really doesn't want to go. What happens to us when we have these misjudgments? What happens is our patient don't get the care they need or deserve. Maybe there is no major negative effect except for the patient thinking "those guys were assholes". But, what happens when our laziness kills someone? How do we live with ourselves? Most of the time we never see the results of our actions.

I think part of the source of the problem is burnout. Most of us in EMS work as much as we can. Partly because we are so underpaid that the only way we can make ends meets is to work large amounts of overtime. I also think part of the problem is supervision and dispatch. How many times have you been cleared in off post for the night and on your way back to base, dispatch gives you a dialysis call that has been holding for over an hour. Now we are held over because dispatch has screwed up. So the patient is upset because we are so late picking them up, and we are upset because we are getting held over. Have you ever signed off a patient involved in a minor MVA because you got the call during the last half hour of your 24 hour shift? I'm not proud, but I have done these things myself and I think most of you have as well.

How do we fix this problem? How do we get management to care about our well being on the road? I have seen road crews bitch about supervision for years, then they get promoted to supervisor and do the same thing. Its is a circle of evil. How do we remain focused on our patients well being at the end of a very long 12 hour shift? If I had the answers to these problems I would be making a great deal more money. I guess the only thing we can do is to remember why we started doing this in the first place. We wanted to help people. So, I know it can be hard, but we must stay focused on our patients needs. We must remember to keep our own laziness in check. We all have the ability to provide great care, so lets make it happen. JS

Monday, August 18, 2008

my failure

I have done alot of things in my life. I've run into burning buildings, went SCUBA diving all over the Caribbean, rappelled upside down off a building, brought people back from the brink of death, lived off the land for weeks, went to ground zero in New York after 9/11, and worked in New Orleans during the Katrina recovery. For the most part I'm a happy person. I have great friends. I may be broke, but I think I'm doing OK. My failure is in relationships.

Since high school I have had 3 relationships. The first should have ended alot sooner than it did. She was nice, but not for me. The second was someone I worked with. That went off and on for 6 years. We are still friends, but we had way to many problems. That lasted about 6 years too long. The 3rd was not a relationship at all. I did however really love two of them. Don't get me wrong, I can get laid. But I want more than sex, and I'm not willing settle. My role models are my parents. They have been married for over thirty years and still can't keep their hand off each other. That seems to be hard to find.

My problem is women scare me. I just can't ask a girl out. I don't know how. I'm scared the answer will be no. I also think maybe I aim too high. The women I have slept with are normally people I have known for some time, add a good time and a little ETOH and we are in the bedroom. I have also been rejected for a relationship by some of these same women. When I am in a relationship, I am very loyal and loving.

I guess this almost sounds like a personal ad. It is not! Besides only 2 people will ever read this. I just wanted to open up a little. I turned 30 this year. Most of my friends are either married or in long term relationships, a few have kids. I'm lonely and I think that is because relationships are my failure. JS

Sunday, August 17, 2008

paintball, beer, and guns.

We had a great time camping this past weekend. It was me and nine of my closest friends. Rain and injuries be damned, it was fun. We ate like kings (thanks Kyle). We played many paintball games, including a few night games. We shot a pistol course, and sporting clays. It was great. Hope next year is as much fun. You should have been there BJ. JS

Sunday, August 10, 2008

my best partner

My sister and I behind an ambulance at our old fire department.

The photo I used in my last post is of my sister and me at a standby. That made me think about writing this post. My sister has been living in my shadow for most of her life. It really started in high school when she was only known as JS's little sister. I really made it hard for her to date. When I went to work on ropes courses and climbing events, she followed me there. She was a great climbing instructor. She decided she wanted to be a medic, so she went to basic EMT school. It was about that time that the local fire department had a help wanted sign up. I had wanted to be a firefighter for as long as I can remember. I told my sister about it, we applied and I got hired, and a month later she was hired. I went to the fire academy while she finished EMT school. Even though I was only hired a month before her, she was often referred to as "little JS". This even happened in a newspaper story written about our department sending us to ground zero in New York after 9/11. The writer referred to us as JS and his Little sister in the picture caption. This really upset my sister. She went on to work for AMR a private ambulance company and I went on to a bigger fire department. Some years later I was working for an ambulance service and I got her a job there after AMR pulled out of the area. I have had some good partners but my sister was the best partner I ever worked with. She and I could fight like cats and dogs, just like all siblings, but on scene we were an unbeatable team. I could read her mind and she mine. I trusted her unlike any partner I have ever had before. No matter what happened she always had my back, and I hers. True partners. Eventually they split us up, probably thinking we were a liability. We worked very well together. Now I'm a fire instructor and EMT, and she is a paramedic and firefighter. She may think she is still living in my shadow, and often referred to as "JS's little sister". But she is the best medic I have every worked with, and the person you want showing up when you call 911. JS

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Standby in the rain.

My partner/ sister and I at a standby function with a cub scout trying on my turnout gear.

I just got home from working a medical standby in the rain. The city I work for hosts many festivals. This one was a small music festival. It started raining ten minutes after we arrived and didn't stop until 15 minutes before we left. I like working standbys, but this one sucked. Standbys are nice because it gets us out in the public eye and lets us show off our equipment. It allows us to have a good positive image to the public. They see us working and talking. The main reason we are there is to provide medical care to anyone at the event. I also enjoy going to standbys to check out the "eye candy". These are great places to people watch and get paid for it. However today, I sat and watched it rain from inside an ambulance. I'm working a standby again tomorrow and I hope the weather is better. JS

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I love SCUBA

I just wanted to post some SCUBA pics. I'm really wanting to get back in the water. My last dive was in Feb. JS

Monday, August 4, 2008

Being pissed off

I guess its better to be pissed off than pissed on!

I was driving down a main road today going to a call during evening rush hour. We are responding to an ETOH patient in a store. Or so we were told. We were really going to a patient with a blood sugar of 38. I agree with lucid, D50 is a great drug.

But, what I'm pissed about is drivers. I'm coding down the road and nobody would yield the right of way. I passed people texting and talking on their cell phones completely unaware that they were being passed by an emergency vehicle. I had to sit and wait for green lights at every intersection. People piss me off. They are to involved in there own little worlds to see what is going on around them. JS

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tobacco, smoking, and the FDA

This is from the blog Rogue Medic. Hope you don't mind.

Yesterday the US House of Representatives passed a bill, HR1108 - the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, that would require the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to regulate tobacco as a drug.

One big clue that this will not be effective, probably will be counterproductive in discouraging teens from starting to smoke, is that Altria (used to be Phillip Morris, but changed the name for appearances' sake) supports the bill. Perhaps they see this as a way to prevent law suits from those injured/killed by using their product as designed. If this is an FDA approved use, approved with the full knowledge of the consequences, how can you blame the manufacturer for the expected outcome?

What is the expected outcome?



Heart Disease

. . .


So why would anyone use such a product?


What could be appealing about the appearance of those outcomes?

Well, the advertising connects cigarettes with sex, which is what is on the mind of just about every teen. Appearances have a lot to do with sexual relations.

But it is illegal to sell to teens and this will make for even more rules to prevent selling to teens.

The current laws do not work, so why would more laws work?

So why would legislators vote for something that does not work?

It isn't about effectiveness, it's about appearances.

Why do people elect representatives who are only interested in appearances?

People don't like looking past the superficial nature of appearances. This is something I have been addressing in my recent posts.

In order to sell cigarettes, you need to convince teens to consume enough to become addicted before they understand what mortality means. While there are plenty of adults who lack the rationality to make intelligent decisions they are not as numerous and impressionable as teens. The adult market is not a growth market the way the teen market is.

(4) Virtually all new users of tobacco products are under the minimum legal age to purchase such products. From HR 1108.

Here is an example of another problem with appearances. There is a lot of fear of being murdered, but you are almost three times as likely to be killed while driving. Do people exhibit much rational behavior while driving? Is the fear of being murdered completely out of proportion to the actual risk? Absolutely.

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has been doing their bit to keep the highway fatality rate up. They discourage people from flying, so that they take less safe means of transport. The number of people killed by terrorists on September 11, 2001 is far less than the number killed by the TSA since then, by encouraging people to drive, rather than fly. The more you drive, the more likely you will be be killed in a motor vehicle collision.

They have also boosted the cost of gasoline, since you use more to drive individually, than to fly as a group. The more you drive, the more fuel you use, even if the airlines cut back on flights proportionally. The more fuel you use, the greater the demand for fuel. The greater the demand relative to the supply, the higher the price.

Want to bring a liquid on the plane? No - too many people watch 24 and believe the silliness on that show, so we have to pretend that mixing liquid explosives in the toilet is a real threat. Mass murder in the skies: was the plot feasible?

Why do people act so stupidly?

Irrational fear.

When you by-pass rational assessment of a risk, people will do all sorts of stupid things just to feel safe.

Better to be killed by a good old American driving an American car, than the imaginary terrorist.

But terrorists are real.

Yes, but they will not be able to repeat what they did September 11, 2001. People will not just lie back and think of England, waiting for hostage negotiators to arrange their release, while the plane flies into a building. The possibility of a destination, other than a collision with a major landmark, no longer has a plausible appearance. The terrorists depended on the individual's concern for his own safety. Now almost everyone realizes that their only chance for safety is in controlling the cockpit. The security experts in the government lose power as people realize that a group of passengers is able to protect themselves better than the TSA - the ones who have hijacked the airports. When it comes to the TSA, thinking of England seems to be the recommendation of the government.

How does that relate to cigarettes?

The FDA would be regulating cigarettes as drugs. A drug suggests some therapeutic use.

What therapeutic use is there for cigarettes?

Cigarette use kills off a significant portion of the population, yet does nothing to decrease the birth rate for those who use this method of self-extermination. The children of smokers are more likely to behave as their parents did, through imitation, and pass this behavior on to their children. This is a slow acting poison, so it gets around the selection process of evolution. The users of cigarettes have already reproduced by the time the destructive nature manifests itself. So, there is no good use for cigarettes. Tobacco, on the other hand, is a crop with many other uses.

(13) Tobacco use is the foremost preventable cause of premature death in America. It causes over 400,000 deaths in the United States each year, and approximately 8,600,000 Americans have chronic illnesses related to smoking.

(14) Reducing the use of tobacco by minors by 50 percent would prevent well over 10,000,000 of today's children from becoming regular, daily smokers, saving over 3,000,000 of them from premature death due to tobacco-induced disease. Such a reduction in youth smoking would also result in approximately $75,000,000,000 in savings attributable to reduced health care costs.

(16) In 2005, the cigarette manufacturers spent more than $13,000,000,000 to attract new users, retain current users, increase current consumption, and generate favorable long-term attitudes toward smoking and tobacco use.

Are those in the government already spending this imaginary money they have, in their minds, saved?

This is putting the FDA Seal of Approval on cigarettes, what better sales ploy could you use?

"Would the FDA approve something harmful?"

The job of the pharmaceutical part of the FDA is to protect people from dangerous drugs, not to regulate the sale of products with no benefit to the consumer. Perhaps next they will take over the rest of ATF (The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). Maybe we should put the Department of Agriculture in charge of explosives, since fertilizer appears to be the best material for large home made bombs.

After all, it is not about addressing the problem, but the appearance of the problem.
Friday, August 1, 2008 1:48:00 AM EDT
J. S. said...
I can tell you are not a smoker. I am a long time smoker. I started smoking when I was 15. I didn't start because of advertising of tobbaco companies. I started to rebel from my parents. Thats the story with most teen smokers. 60 years ago you could blame the tobbacco companies, but not today. We all know that smoking can kill us. I treat COPD, and cancer patients every day, But I still smoke. Besides I spend thousands of dollars a year on health insurance... If I need medical care because of smoking, then I have more than payed for it.Besides thats what keeps us employed. JS

Friday, August 1, 2008 11:23:00 AM EDT
Rogue Medic said...
J. S. said...

"I didn't start because of advertising of tobbaco companies. I started to rebel from my parents. Thats the story with most teen smokers."

But where do you get the idea that something as conventional as smoking was rebellious against anything? Advertising.

"60 years ago you could blame the tobbacco companies, but not today. We all know that smoking can kill us."

What is able to get someone to ignore self-preservation? Effective advertising.

"I treat COPD, and cancer patients every day, But I still smoke."

And you claim that developing an addiction as a teen had nothing to do with the cigarette advertising?

"Besides I spend thousands of dollars a year on health insurance... If I need medical care because of smoking, then I have more than payed for it."

I don't see the connection. Are you paying high premiums, because of smoking? If you don't collect on them, is that much different from anyone else paying premiums to insure coverage for an undesirable event? If you live in earthquake country for fifty years, but there is no earthquake damage for you to collect on, should that entitle you to not pay anything, but collect if something does happen? Insurance is something we pay out for our peace of mind. Peace of mind about the ability to pay for repairs (health or otherwise), when repairs are needed and the damage meets the criteria of the contract. When we stop paying, there is no longer an obligation on the part of the insurer, even though we may feel that we deserve something back from all that we have paid out.

Or do you mean that the cigarette taxes you have paid cover your health insurance? The taxes on cigarettes are viewed as a windfall for politicians, something to punish smokers for doing something that the politicians and voters view as immoral. At the same time, it is an almost endless supply of money - the same as the cigarette companies, they depend on addiction to keep the money coming in. Sometimes the money goes to pay for unreimbursed healthcare, sometimes it may go into prevention (advertising, research, . . .). This does not mean you have paid ahead for your medical care.

In Maryland, they doubled the tax on cigarettes. This was an attempt to raise money to fund new progams, but it has only caused a lot of smokers to buy cigarettes out of state. It isn't as if Maryland is a big isolated state, like Alaska. Maryland Meets the Laffer Curve.

"Besides thats what keeps us employed."

It is a large part of what keeps us employed, but far from the only thing. I have regularly been critical of the oversupply of underqualified paramedics, since there seems to be no quality oversight in so many places.

J.S. response

When I said thats what keeps us employed I was meaning people that do things even though they may have a negitive effect, not just smokers. I also think health care is over priced and most healthcare providers are overpaid. EMS excluded. I pay for health care with insurance or out of pocket, not taxes. It is not the governments job to keep me healthy. I started smoking because my parents told me not to, not because the TV told me to. If I want to smoke I believe as an american it is my right, just like owning a firearm. I respect nonsmokers by not lighting up around them.... But let me smoke if i want to. Lawsuits against tobacco companies only costs me money buy forcing them to raise prices. I wish the nonsmoking world just let us be...... JS
I'm going to repost this on my blog.

Again this is from Rogue Medic.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Paintball, guns, and beer.

So, our man weekend is quickly approaching. It is going to be Aug 15th and 16th this year. Normally it is in late May or early June, however this year we had to push it back. Those of you that are going this is a reminder. During this weekend I host a group of friends on a camping trip to north western Michigan. Most of the guests are military, police, or fire. The weekend is a great time, and a good way for us to blow off some much built up steam. Kyle does a great job as camp cook. That man is the best outdoor or indoor cook I have ever met. During the day We will Play paintball, shoot sporting clays, shoot rifle target challenges, and shoot an action pistol course. After dark will play a night game of paintball. After that, and after the firearms are put away for the night, we will drink and tell stories around the campfire. I can't wait and I'm getting very excited. I think this is the 5th year we have done this. I'm so ready to go. JS