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


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


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