Saturday, February 28, 2009


From the IAFF site…

“It is with deepest regret and sorrow to report the line-of-duty death of Fire Fighter Michael Darrington of IAFF Local 92 – Toledo, Ohio. Brother Darrington, 45, passed away on Friday, February 27, 2009 at the fire station after a number of emergency runs earlier during his tour.

Funeral information will be posted as soon as it is available.”

Reposted from pink, warm, and dry.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gray hair?

So, as I am standing in front of the mirror this morning naked and I am filled with a strange desire to work out. But don't worry the desire passed as quickly as it came on. Then I became concerned, I looked closer in the mirror only to see four gray hairs in my goatee. I found one the other day and plucked it out, but it was quickly replaced with four of the little buggers. I think I might shave the damn thing off. Honestly I'm not ready to be old enough to have gray hair. I still feel like a kid. Well, I almost still feel like a kid, minus the morning aches and pains.

I have come to realize that time passes regardless of what we may do to stop it or slow it down. So I guess that's why we must live in the moment, cause that is all that time is, moment strung together in a chain.

Well that is enough deep thinking for this simple public servant. When is the weather going break? More snow today? I am ready to be sipping a rum drink, on the water, in the sun, with my closest friends. Summer seems to get shorter, and winter longer every year.

I guess I am an islander without an island. So when I win the lotto (LOL) I will be moving to the islands. Drinking cold rum drinks, and being one with the sea. Until that happens I guess I will settle for awesome Michigan summers, and great friends. Fins up!

By the way, I went flying with the sheriff's Department helicopter unit yesterday. It was a great time again. I have been up with these guys many times. What a great group of people. I took a guy from work with me. He started smiling when we walked into the hanger and he saw the helicopters. He was still smiling when I dropped him off at his car after our flight. The corners of his mouth have to be sore today. He was as giddy as a school girl. He told me that he was a little nervous when we got into the chopper. Then said the floating feeling he got when we took off was awesome. It always makes me feel good when somebody gets to do something for the first time in their lives with me. No worries. JS

Sunday, February 15, 2009

boring day at work.

This is very bad. My partner and I thought it was funny so I posted it. I promise my next video blog will be worthy of viewing. I hope you at least got a short laugh out of it. JS

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I have a strong love of flying. I really love helicopters. Since I finally figured out how to post video on my blog, I thought I would take this chance to post some videos I took while flying in some helicopters. The videos where shot from a US Army Blackhawk and from a Sheriff Department Helicopter. Look for future video blog posts. JS

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Going flying again

I guess I couldn't come up with anything to say tonight. So I thought I might rub it in a little. I'm going flying with the cops again in the helicopter next week. Probably as close as I would ever come to being as cool as crzegrl..... Can't wait! Above arr some pics from previous flights. JS

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

another trip around the sun.

I am swiftly approaching my thirty first year on this planet. Thirty one, only one year younger than my grandfather when he died, only 3 years younger than my father when he had his first MI and triple bypass. I know 31 is not very old, but tell that to my body. It seems I start every day with 800mg of Motrin to just be able to move. I am way out of shape and know that is part of the problem. That's not why I am writing this. Honestly, I'm not sure why I'm writting this. When I graduated from high school I thought I would meet some wonderful women, be married, have kids, and be at the job of my dreams. Nobody told me the job of my dreams pays less than $30,000 a year, and that's working 2 of those dream jobs.

I spent years getting an education to make $30,000 a year, and just to be called an ambulance driver. I knew I wanted to be a firefighter and EMT from the time I was a little boy. I guess being in Michigan, I should just be happy I have a job right now. It is the job I have always wanted.... I think. I have no desire to be a nurse or anything else. I'm just not sure things are going the way I planned them.

I thought I had life all figured out. I do know the secret to life is happiness. But how do I achieve that happiness again? I used to get it by looking at my patients faces when I helped them, I used to get it running into a burning building with a hose line. But even those things are not what they used to be for me. Later I found happiness in a cold drink in the warm sun on a boat or beach. Of late I have been looking for it in sex, but that's not what it used to be either. I still enjoy these things but they have lost something.

I do long for love and A life partner. Don't get me wrong I have been in love before, Have I been in love........ But I don't even know if that will bring the happiness I seek.

I find myself pondering my existence and questioning my faith this evening. I feel that I am living a good life and that I am a good person. But even that doesn't comfort me anymore. I was so sure in Heaven and Hell, but now I wonder if that even matters. If god is out there, then he or she has some explaining to do when I get to the pearly gates.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed or sad, just pondering my mortality and place in life. I can tell you this: I have done a great deal of living and plan to do a great deal more. I would not change my life experiences for anything. I have had some wild adventures and made some great friends along the way. But where do I go from here? JS

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lack of vacation

As I sit here at my computer looking outside at the snow and listening to a Spanish version of the Eagles "Hotel California" on radio margaritaville. I am saddened because I will not be making it to the islands this winter. I love the Caribbean. I have spent a little time down there on a few islands and shores. Did I say I love the Caribbean? Next winter I hope to be back in the islands. Let me use this post to tell you about some of my favorite waterfront destinations.

My most favorite is Key West. I have gone there by ship, plane, and have driven there as well. That's a long drive from Michigan. I'm a bit of a history buff. There is a lot of history on Key West. Key West started as a town of "wreckers" Ships would get caught on the reefs and the wreckers would rescue the crew, then claim salvage rights on the cargo and remove it for sale or reward. There is also the Hemingway house, Truman's Little White house, Fort Zach Taylor, and many other historic attractions. You are also a short drive from Pennakamp coral reef state park. The SCUBA diving is wonderful, and the bars on Key West are awesome. Sloppy Joe's, Hog's Breath, and my favorite, the original Margaritaville.

Let me tell about my least favorite, Jamaica. It is very much the second world, maybe even the third world. But that's not the problem. The people are rude and even down right mean. That is one country I will never drive in again. I learned to drive in Detroit, They drive way worse than Detroiters. I was scared while driving there. I will never go back!

The Dominican Republic is also very poor and third worldish. But the people I met there were some of the nicest people I have met in the whole world. The Island is lined with jungles and breath taking mountains. Some of the prettiest landscape I have ever seen. The American dollar goes a long way as well. I am very much thinking about going back.

Cozumel Mexico, I have been there a few times. When I first started going there it was a fishing town and a SCUBA divers destination. The SCUBA diving is amazing there, and it is super easy to find a dive shop, they are on ever corner down there. But lately it has become very commercialized and the Dollar does not go as far as it used to. It is still a great place to go but has lost a great deal of its charm. If you really like history you will find many ruins on the island as well. Its still worth the trip.

USVI, St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix are very beautiful. They are territories of the United States and do not require a passport. Most of St. Johns is a park and wildlife preserve. Rent a jeep, take the top off and drive around these islands. The laws are the same as the USA with one exception, they drive on the wrong side of the road. The view in the rain forests and from the top of a mountain road is well worth it. The SCUBA diving is also amazing. Go dive Coki beach on St. Thomas, or the Wall at Cane Bay on St. Croix. If You like beaches, check out Megans bay. These islands are not cheap, but are safe and worth seeing!

I could go on and on about the islands, so will just list some other places worth going if you get the chance:
British Virgin Islands... not as nice as USVI
Cayman Islands... Safe, great SCUBA, but costly
Puerto Rico... Lots of history, no passport needed
New Orleans...Like a warm Detriot, with a great bar district and tons of history.

The Islands are worth seeing, and I feel like I belong down there. I'm an Islander with out an island... JS

Work injury update

I went back to the clinic, I'm still a little sore but the doc says I'm fit for duty. I'm happy, I'm back to work tomorrow! JS

Friday, February 6, 2009


You know you have awesome friends when:

You show up drunk at 0330am at their home and say you need some place to stay, and they say ok, and are happy to see you!

When you can post blog entries from their couch, while watching their tv, and they are not even home.

You can use their hot tub anytime you want with out asking.

When you are short on rent, they cover you for a few days.

When they defend you to others, no matter how wrong you may be.

When they are leaving for drill for the weekend, yet insist you stay at their home and drink their milk.

They ask to use your truck at 0130am, you say "of course", and you never think to ask why.

They will let you dictate your blog post to them beacause you are a very bad typist.

Tell me about any you may think of.

Some post from other bloggers:

When they don't shoot your ass for showing up at 0330, then proceed to make you breakfast when you surface later that morning!!! hehehehehehe CG

When they let you shoot anything in their mini arsenal. But refuse to let you borrow them after a particularly bad argument with your husband... EJ

When they drive the boat into dock so you can get off and use a toilet in a real restroom instead of a lake. twice. SR

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

work injury

So, we arrive at local big hospital for an inter-facility transfer. 250lbs plus patient sitting in the chair next to the hospital bed. patient is alert and orientated X3, GCS 15. My partner is out in the hall gathering the paperwork for the transport. I ask the patient if he can walk, he tells me he can. We move our cot as close as we can to the chair with the patient in it. My partner gets in front of the patient, I get behind the patient. We help the patient get up. Our patient starts walking to the cot, he gets with in 1/2 step of the cot and his legs give out. I lean forward and bear hug the patient from behind so he doesn't fall. I caught him, then promptly yelled "HELP" to my partner, and we lowered the patient to the cot. I tell my partner we will need a lift assist to raise the cot, load, unload, and transfer the patient. I then told him after this call we need to make the clinic. I have injured my back and re injured my shoulder. We call dispatch and inform them of the problem. They send another crew to help us out. We finish the call then have to report to station one. We get to the station, fill out incident reports, and head off to the clinic. Long story short, I'm off duty until I get re-evaluated on Friday. They gave me a script and sent me on my way. I'll be honest, my shoulder is a little sore but my back is just killing me right now. Lets hope for a speedy recovery. JS

Monday, February 2, 2009

LLSR BSA Summer camp

Above is the staff photos from Lost Lake Scout Reservation 1998 and 1997, also is pick of the 1998 C.O.P.E. (ropes course) staff. In my time at LLSR I served as the Backpacking trek director, COPE course instructor, climbing tower director, and shooting sports instructor. This was almost twelve years ago. Where does the time go? It seem like only a few months ago I was teaching teenagers how to rappel. Some of the closest friends I have in my life are friends I made in scouting and on camp staff. Both of my current room mates are in the 1998 picture. I remember being camp staff as some of the best times in my life. While working in high adventure our lives often were in each others hands, Maybe that's how I ended up in the fire service. Most of my friends from scouting ended up in the military, including my room mates and my best friend. I will be honest, working at camp was probably my first time on my own away from my parents. We did a lot of drinking at night. I was just thinking about how much I missed that experience. I was saddened to realize that I am no longer in my youth. I got lost and became an adult. When did that happen? I want to go back to the woods to rappel, teach, and drink. I will always cherish the memories I have of Lost Lake, but now maybe its time to look forward, and start living life again. JS

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fishing, four wheeling, and fat firemen

Let me start by saying thank you to our host Beth. My partner at the ambulance service is a firefighter as well at another department. Last week he invited me out for some ice fishing and a bit of hard drinking. Other than my partner I didn't know a single person at the party. What I did know is that most of the people there were firefighters from my partners department. There is something to be said about the brotherhood of firefighters. While I didn't know anyone, I was welcomed in and treated like I was a life long friend. They feed me, they laughed with me, and they drank with me just because of the job I do two counties over. It didn't matter what department I came from I was one of their own. What a great group of people! Anyway, here are some pictures from the event. JS