Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pure Michigan, The final installment of our safari

We awoke refreshed in our hotel room, we were ready for our next day in the sun. We got packed up and headed off for Muskegeon. The first thing we saw as we enter the town was a parade driving towards us, it was the first time I was welcomed in such a way... LOL! As we are driving along the shore we see an old navy transport ship moored at the docks. We wander down to the docks and pay our admission fee to tour the World War II LST. This ship saw action in the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. It was then converted into a car ferry for the great lakes, and then restored as an LST and turned into a museum ship.

After visiting the ship we return to our trip down the coast. Our next stop was Grand Haven, this is a beachfront resort town. While there we toured both museums in town, ate lunch at a local pub, and walked the boardwalk. While on the boardwalk I receive a call from an old friend who tells me that she is in need of a minor rescue. As it turned out she had left her keys in one location and her car in another. We picked her her up. Some of you may know her as the blogger Crzegrl. We promptly informed her that she was like Peurto Rico on this trip. She could give us her opinion but had no vote in what was on the agenda, we did agree to return her to her man at some point so she could get to her car. Like that we were off again. Our next stop on our trip took us to Holland. Just like you would think, the city was settled by the dutch. We took in the views of the shore line and sang like it was going out of style. By now it was time to return Crzegrl to her man and we headed off to Fremont. The Fremont airport to be exact. You see Crzegrl's friends were all waiting to meet her for some skydiving. We introduced ourselves to our new flying friends and watched them and Crzegrl board a plane and take off. About 10 mins later we were watching crzegrl fall out of the sky. After she landed we went out for some drinks with our new friends. What a group of great people. I felt welcome right away, and Ben, thanks for the beer dude. As the evening drew to a close, we said good bye to Crzegrl and our new friends. It was time to move down the road and head for home. This was a great trip. We did so much in so little time. We saw lighthouses, sandy beaches, rolling hills, crystal clear waters, sand dunes, old warships, old friends, new friends, and rekindled our own wanderlust. All done by the waters of Pure Michigan! JS

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michigan west coast safari pt3

We stayed longer in torch lake than we planned. We played on the waverunner and enjoyed the summer sun on the beach with a bottle of rum. We went for a late lunch and headed out. We started down the coast and watched one of the best sunsets I have ever seen. We sat on a sand dune and watched lake Michigan shallow up the evening sun. After that we stopped at a road side stand and bought some fresh strawberries. After briefly trying to feed strawberrys to a deer, we moved down the road reading historic landmark signs and taking in the view of the coast. We stopped in manistee and saw an old rail ferry ship. We stopped and had some chicken salad on the beach, then moved on to a motel for the night. It was a very full day and I'll post the pics when I get home. JS

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michigan safari pt2

I awoke this morning to a mild hang over and the warm summer sun beating on my face. I had a loose rememberance of the night before. We stayed the night with a guy from my best friends army unit. We grilled some steaks and watched one of the prettiest sunsets I have seen in a long time. We drank beer and solved lifes problems late into the early morning. The view I awoke to this morning was breath taking, to see the morning sun light dancing across the surface of the crystal clear lake. It's safe to say that I like it here. We won't get too comfortable for there is way too much to see and do and we will be down the road.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michigan west coast safari day 1

Our view of Torch Lake

So I meet up with my best friend at his parents house. After helping his dad move some furniture and replacing a toliet wax gasket we load up in the truck and head off for torch lake in north west michigan. The drive has been fun. Driving in northern Michigan is beautiful. We have chatted most of the way and come up with solutions for all the worlds problems. Only have about 90 min left in this leg of the trip. I will update all three of you tomorrow on our adventures of this evening. Js

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Do I stay or Do I go? Pick of the shift

We were called to a large hospital for one going to a nursing home from the ER. After we call en route we get a page that says "Tx dispatch". So we call our dispatcher and she informs us that another crew took this patient off the floor a few hours ago. She then tells us that the patient bit and punched the tech on the other crew and the ECF refused the patient. As a result of this they were forced to take the patient back to the er. The care manager was now trying to send her to a different ECF.

We arrive on scene in the ER. I make patient contact while my partner goes off for the paperwork. While chatting with the patient I discover that the patient does not want to go anywhere but home. The patient is A&Ox3 and sharp as a tack. My partner is waiting for the care manager to come down from the floor with the paperwork. I go to him and tell him what I have learned from the patient.

When the care manager arrives we inform her that we can not take a patient anywhere against their will if they are alert, orientated, and their own guardian. The care manager then says "But she has dementia and is not A&Ox3.". So I asked the patient the same questions again, and again she is A&Ox3. Now I explain that if I take this patient I am kidnapping her. The care manager now sees the light. I told her that the patient may need to be petitioned, but unless she is under a court order or is not her own guardian then I can't take her anywhere. SO leaving the ER nursing staff upset, we head off to our bus and call ourselves in service.

What would you have done differently? JS

Monday, June 22, 2009

I spotted a Movie star!

I recently watched the movie "Gran Torino". The Movie starred Clint Eastwood and was based in Highland Park, Michigan. For those of you that don't know, Highland park is a really bad area, as bad as any part of Detroit, as a matter of fact it is surrounded by Detroit on all sides. I worked EMS in Highland Park at one time. It looked like all of the movie was shot in the Detroit metro area. By the way It was a great movie, rent it!

Anyway, while at the ambulance bay at the hospital today I noticed that the ambulance from the movie was parked in the bay. The crew was aware that their truck was in the movie, but said that I was the first person to notice it. In one of the last scenes of the movie there is a Highland Park police car and this ambulance parked in the middle of the scene. By the way, this ambulance service doesn't do 911 or rescue calls in Highland Park. But they do work in the metro Detroit area. So watch the movie and tell me if you see it. Above are two pics of the ambulance taken from my phone. JS

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The view from my office and fathers day reflections

Today I am stationed in one of the best places in the metro area. We are the primary emergency car for a small upper class lakeside community. The only better place to be today is with my dad on fathers day. Since we are slow out here today, let me tell you about the greatest father on the planet. Growing my dad often worked two or three jobs so we wouldn't want for anything. Working like that he still somehow found time to be at home with us. He even served as my troops scoutmaster while I was a boy scout. A job I think he still has. To this day my now adult friends still go to him for advice and guidance. I don't think the man got a full nights sleep until I was in my twenties. I remember as boy growing up wanting to be just like him. As I got older I realized I could never be the man he is and the best I could hope for was to make him proud of me and what I have done with my life. He may not always agree with the chooses I have made in my life, but most of the time I think he is proud of me. So today I would like to tell my father that I love him and thank him for just being the great man he is.

I would also like to thank the man that served as a second dad to me. This is my best friends dad. As a teenager I could talk to him about things that I wouldn't talk to my own parents about. He always steered me in the right direction. And even though I was not his, he always treated me like one of his own children. I always felt welcome in his home and with his family. So bill, I just want to say thank you and send my love.

To my dad and bill:
happy fathers day!

ps posted from my phone. Thanks dad. But I can't figure out how to add pics from my phone.

ps posted from my phone. Thanks dad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My new iPhone

Let me start by saying.. "I love this frickin thing!" I'm not very tech smart, but this thing is very user friendly. God bless my father for ordering it for me. I think it has a bigger hard drive than my p.c.! The bad part is that I am becoming addicted. I'm already twittering, facebooking, myspacing, and soon to be blogging from it. My dad started playing with it today, and now I think he is going to get one for himself. The darn thing takes good pics, and has great sound quality. What can I say.... I'm in love with my new phone! JS

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The awesome EMS blog

I am now a co-blogger at The Awesome EMS Blog. I know that the site founder is looking for other bloggers to share stories and post pics on the blog. So if you would all do me a favor and go check out the blog at Let me know what you think. JS

Monday, June 15, 2009

flagged down (pick of the shift)

While painting fire hydrants today I was flagged down by a person in a residential area. The person stated that she had an injured duck in her yard. She had called animal control but they had said they could do nothing as the duck was wild life. As I approached the duck I could tell that it was injured and was bleeding from an eye. I put my fire gloves on and picked the duck up and put it in a box. I then drove the duck to the closest vet. The women behind the desk said that she would not take the duck because it was wild. The duck was very calm and let people pick it up. As she finished telling me that, the female DVM entered the lobby. I told her that if she didn't take the duck I was just going to kill it. Honestly, I would not have killed the duck, but I thought it might encourage the vet to take the duck from me... and it worked.

What would you have done on this call? JS

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pick of the shift

Pick of the shift will be a new regular topic on my blog. Every shift that I have a run I will post a blog entry about one call during that shift. I want all three of my readers to tell what they think and what they might have done differently.

Tonight's story:
We respond to a 60 year old male that is an umpire at a little league game. He has been hit on the top of the head with a 70mph fast ball. The patient had a small bump and laceration on the top of the head. Witnesses state that the man was knocked out for about 15 seconds. The patient is alert and orientated when we arrive and is laying on the ground. Patient denies any back or neck pain. Patient then stands on his own. We ask the man to take a couple of steps to the cot. The man sits on the cot and I give him an ice pack for his head. Patient vital sign are as follows bp 150/88, rate 88, resp 18, rates his pain at a 2. As we arrive at the hospital he tells me that he is dizzy and feels like he is going to vomit. We push him into the ER and turn over care. What would you have done? JS

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ideas anyone?

So I hit a block again. For the last week I have been writing about a family vacation. While I enjoyed the trip, I know its not what all three of my readers want to hear about. So I'm looking for ideas again. Tell me what you want to know about me or my past. I would be more than happy to field question about the fire service, EMS, FEMA, and Katrina. Or anything else that comes to mind. Hope to hear from you soon. JS

Friday, June 12, 2009

Psych patient

I'll be honest, I have never really thought about killing myself. But if I were going to do it, it would be with a large caliber hallow point bullet to the head. I would just want to make sure I did it right, unlike these other methods I have seen before.

Yesterday I transported a guy that tried to kill himself with a home made bomb. All he did was burn his hands and get some time in the psych hospital. Not a good way to try to kill himself.

Cutting wrists then running down a busy road yelling for help. I saw this in the beginning of my career. We treated her and transported her. She also did not die.

Try to hang yourself by tying an electric cord around the decorative molding in a hallway arch. Its decorative because its not load bearing. He fell and broke his leg when the molding snapped and he called 911 with his cell phone cause he couldn't get off the floor with with his injured leg.

I had a guy once that tried to kill himself by running out in front of a van, next to the van was an ambulance, my ambulance. He was in bad shape and almost didn't make it but he lived. So if you are going to try death by traffic make sure an ambulance is not in said traffic.

You got any funny attempt suicide stories, please tell me about it. JS

My holiday weekend pt4... The final day!

We wake up to the sound of rain tapping on the roof of our home on wheels. We decide that on this day we will go to Baltimore Maryland. We really have no reason for the visit. As we come into Baltimore we realize we have no destination in mind. So, my father is looking at the map, (which often is not a good idea), and he says he sees Fort McHenry on the map. None of us knew the anything about the fort, but figured we had nothing better to do. We enter the parking lot an park the car. We then went into the visitors center and learned that the national anthem was written here during the war of 1812. It was written on a ship in the river while Francis Scott Key watched the fort get bombarded by British forces. In the morning "By dawns early light", He saw that our flag still flew over the fort. The fort never fell! While touring to fort ground he found the Baltimore fire boats. Of course I yelled to the first firefighter I saw, "can we come take some pics of the boats?". He answered sure and allowed us on the docks with the fire boats. The funny thing is that the guy we talked to on the docks had family about 2 miles from where I live in Michigan. I then asked if there was a station that sold fire dept t-shirts. He pointed us in the right direction. We arrived at the fire station. This was one of the largest firehouses I have ever seen. 2 engine co.s, a truck co, a rescue co, a haz-mat team and truck, 2 chiefs, A tech rescue unit, an air tender, and 2 ambulances. 48 guys on shift in one station! Of course while I'm looking at trucks and buying a tshirt my mom is getting chatty with the guys on duty. I walked up to find her talking with a guy on the rescue and a Lt. From there we went to the Piers. Down there we toured a World War II submarine and the USS Constellation (wood vessel). After that we went out for some dinner and returned to the RV, for tomorrow we would be heading home! JS

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My holiday weekend pt3

The sun rose and day three started on our Shepp family safari. This morning we were headed off to Emmitsburg Maryland. Emmitsburg is the home of the National Fire Academy and the national fallen firefighters memorial. We enter at the gate and trade our ID's for FEMA visitor passes. The academy was once a catholic college. While touring the grounds we found 2 Secret Service blackhawks staged on the grounds. We also chatted with some other Firefighters that were attending classes. Next we packed up and headed back to Gettysburg. We went and watched the sunset from little round top. It was the hold out of union snipers during the battle. While up there we ran into a civil war reenactor in regular clothing and his wife. This man was a wealth of information and told us many things about the battle. We stayed there until dark chatting with our new friends. It is really amazing what you can learn by meeting new friends, and that is one of the best things about safaris. JS

Above are some photos from that day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My holiday weekend pt2

So day 2 of our adventure saw us loading up in the car and driving to Washington DC. We decide it would be a good idea to park in the out laying area and ride the metro into the city. This is my moms idea. My mother doesn't like enclosed spaces, so this kind of surprised me. We park the car and walk up to the elevated platform at the metro station. We board the train and find a seat, about 30 seconds into the ride the train goes underground and my mom starts to freak out. I said if this bothers you, why did you suggest taking the subway? She said she didn't know it went underground. I can not believe this because my mother is a very intelligent women. So, we change train and decide that our first stop should be Arlington national cemetery. Here is a little history: Arlington was the home of CS General Robert E Lee. It was a plantation his wife's family owned. As a way to get back at Lee the Union dug a mass grave for civil war dead right behind the house thus making it a national cemetery. The US government took the land by saying that taxes were owed on it, but it was just a way to make Lee pay for leaving the US army and the union.

I had not been to Arlington since I was a child. We saw the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknowns. It was just as breath taking as I remember it. What really bothered me was the lack of reverence taken by other visitors. It seemed to me that they thought they were in a theme park and not hallowed ground. I was very upset. I have very few pictures of Arlington because I believe you don't take pictures in a cemetery! I did get some pics from Lees house over looking the Potomac and the national mall.

Next we walked from Arlington to the Lincoln memorial, crossing the bridge over the Potomac on foot. We went to the Korean war memorial, then the Vietnam wall, then the Washington monument, and then stopping in front of the White house. During our tour the helicopter "Marine one" was leaving the White House lawn. I got some video of it and will post it on YouTube in the near future. While in front of the White house mom had to stop and talk to the Secret Service agents on the lawn, while she was doing that I found a crash truck parked near by. I wandered over and had a conversation with a great DC firefighter. He and the truck were on a standby detail for "Marine one".

We started walking to the nearest metro station and then boarded the train to our car. When we got back to the car we had a picnic style dinner and drove to Annapolis so I could put my feet in the Chesapeake bay. We returned at about midnight to the RV. We had a great day filled with Americana! JS

Above are some pics of DC. a few from Lees house, one with me and the crash truck, mom and dad with a ranger at the Korean war memorial, and one of Marine one.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My holiday weekend pt1

So I loaded up in the motor home with my parents for a Shepp family safari. We headed out east and set up base camp near Gettysburg PA. I'm a bit of a history buff so this was a very cool trip. We arrived early Friday morning and headed off to tour the battlefield. We went to the new visitor center, I say new because I once visited to old center and it was free. The new Visitors center charges admission. This really bothered me because I thought our tax dollars funded our national park system. So we didn't tour the visitors center, we went to the gift shop and purchased the driving tour C.D.. It took us a little over 3 hours to complete the tour. I would recommend this to anyone interested in visiting Gettysburg. Anyway the battlefield was breath taking, above are some pics from the battlefield. JS

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm back!

I got home from work today and comcast finally connected my Internet. So I promise that blog posts will soon follow. Since my last post I have been to Baltimore, Washington DC, Gettysburg, and the National Fire Academy at Emmitsburg. I have also moved, and been on a few more runs... I have a great deal to write about...

Does anybody know what happened to Or Emily? I seem to have lost contact with her...... JS