Sunday, September 20, 2009

My trip to the V.A.

I was doing a hospital transfer from our base hospital to the closest VA. Our patient was a 34 year old combat vet with terminal cancer. He was going to the VA because the government wouldn't pay for care at the private hospital. He was one of the nicest and most agreeable patients I have ever had the privilege of treating or transporting. We chatted all the way to the VA, talking mostly of his young daughter, family, and the military.

My patient lived in Reno, he moved there to find work after getting out of the Army. He had returned to Michigan to see his family before he passed, but while he was here he got ill and was forced to go to the hospital.

We arrive at the VA, and from the moment we entered the hospital we were treated like crap. Some one had already accepted our patient via the telephone, but admissions wasn't going to let him in without a copy of his DD-214 (military discharge paperwork). The problem is his DD-214 is in Reno. After much conversation they decide to accept our patient.

Our patient is ambulatory but is laying on our cot because he is a little weak. We arrive on the floor and approach the desk. The unit clerk tells us last room on the right. We proceed down the hallway and enter room. I turn down the bed for our patient and we lower the cot so he can take the 2 steps to the bed. Just after our patient lays down his nurse enters the room, looks at me and starts yelling "You should have waited for me before you moved the patient!". I told him that I could have him get out of bed, walk back to our cot and then get back in bed, if that was what he wanted. He just stormed off down the hall. I quickly caught up with him, and tried to give report. He refused to take report from me or even look at the chart. So I walked away from him and started for the desk. Then the nurse said don't you need my signature? Like he was going to screw with me any way he could. I told him no, I don't need you to sign, we are a county unit, not a city unit! I then told him that the chart would be at the desk! We then promptly left the VA.

Our Veteran deserve better than this! And if this is what government health care is like, then we are all in trouble! JS

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My summer in photos

Little Round Top

The National Fire Academy


Hanging with D.C. Fire outside the White House

Lazy days on the boat

Recovered treasures

From the lake bed

Getting ready to get wet with members of the dive rescue team

On the range

Paintball weeked warriors 2009

Sunset from the boat

B-17 Bomber At Selfridge air base

World War II reenactment


With The

U.S. Army

Michigan west coast

Baltimore Harbor Fire Boat

Port Huron

Me and Mom at Michigans East Coast

Torch Lake... Thanks Kevin

Historic Fort Wayne (Detroit)

Party with health care providers, staying hydrated

Me and Crzegrl

Grab Life by the horns

Chillin with

my close friends

Fort Mchenry

It's safe to say I had a great summer! But I'm sad it's over. JS

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My wrist hurts (Pick of the Shift)

Let me start by thanking everyone that still reads my blog... Thanks for telling me.

We get dispatched Priority 2 for wrist pain at a local nursing home. We arrive at our patient. She is a 65 year old female. She is alert and has a normal LOC. She tell us that she fell over 14 hours ago in the shower. Staff gave her motrin for pain the night before. Her wrist is deformed, swollen, and bruised. Other than the motrin she had received no care for the injury. I splinted the wrist and put an ice pack on it. We then transported to the local ER, where we gave report and patient care to the staff.

What would you do?

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I'm going to do about the abuse. I reported it to the Doc at the ER but he didn't seem to care. JS

Monday, September 14, 2009

My friend Kristie

So I have this friend that has been blogging for a little while, but I had no clue that she had a blog. She is currently in Japan with her husband and the US Air Force. I'm more of an Amry guy, but I guess the USAF is ok.....

Kristie works as a Vet Tech in Japan and has also become a SCUBA diver. I'm trying to tell her that real divers dive in the freshwater that stays 42 degrees all year, but I don't think she is buying it. So to all three of you that read my blog, please go check out her blog! JS

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blog interest

Lately I have noticed a large drop in my blog post comments. This made me start to wonder, am I losing readers? Have people lost interest in what I have to say? Maybe I'm a little vain, but I was wondering if you guy would tell me in the comment section of this post, who still reads my blog.

If you are still reading, then thank you very much! I would really love to hear from my readers more often. I would also like to know what I can do to improve my blog as well. So if you don't mind, let me have it. JS

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9-11-01

I'm sure that a great deal of people will be blogging about this today. These are my thoughts about it. I can tell you what I was doing on that Tuesday morning but I will not, besides you probably don't care anyway. I do remember wanting to grab my gear and drive to NYC to help. I was also concerned about my many friends in the military. Most of all I wanted to know when it was going to end and what would happen next.

I had the honor of being at ground zero a few weeks after the attacks. My fire department sent a few of us there. I'll be honest, it didn't seem real to me until I was standing in the rubble where 343 of my brothers went on their last alarm. It wasn't until that moment that I really understood what happened September 11th, 2001. It all became very real to me!

It's hard to believe it was eight years ago, it seems like it happened last month. It's still very fresh in my mind. I wonder if my grandparents felt the same way about pearl harbor? Both are terrible but important events in our countries history. I hope we are safer today because of these events. It seems that the events of that warm September morning are fading in the minds of our citizens. What happened to all of those American flags we saw in the days and weeks after 9-11? What happened to the love for our fellow countrymen we saw? America has gone back to being a place where everyone's out for themselves!

Let me get off my soap box. I think it's important that we remember the men and women that gave their lives at the world trade center, pentagon, and flight 93! That day and the actions of our public safety and military personal will never fade from my memory. JS

Monday, September 7, 2009

Head laceration (pick of the shift)

We are dispatched to a 4 year old with a head laceration. We arrive on scene at a day care to find a worker holding a child outside. As we get out of the truck they rush to the back of the ambulance. The child has a laceration about 4 inches long above her left eye. The child is screaming. Staff says that the child was running and ran into the window sill corner causing the laceration. The staff also states that our patient did not have any LOC. All vital signs are stable and you are two blocks away from the hospital. What would you do? JS

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Busy Shift

I got into the firehouse a little early yesterday morning. We had just taken delivery of our new ALS transport unit (ambulance). The state inspector was there checking the truck so it can be licensed. The inspector approved the truck and it was cleared by the state for use. I asked the Capt if we could use the new alpha today, he said no because they were coming out to program the radios and re key the truck. We said ok. The Capt left to go home.

About five mins after the Capt left the tones go off for a 4 year old female with a bad head laceration. As we are getting into the old truck our Chief runs out and tells us to take the new truck! Then I say, "The Capt told us not to use the new truck.". Then The chief said "I don't care what the Capt said, I'm the Chief!". My partner and I make the flight of the bumble bee as we move the monitor and drug box over to the new truck, and we are off responding.

The only radio we have is a handheld clipped to my belt. As we get to the hospital, we notice that the ER is very busy. We give report to the nurse and hand over care of our patient. Then the radio on my side chirps up and says "Alpha 2 are you available for another call?". I respond and tell dispatch that we can be in service. Then dispatch tells us to respond mutual aid for ALS to BLANK city for a patient with chest pain. So we are off again in our brand new truck.

We transport this patient to the same hospital, Just as we are walking into the hospital The tone drop again. "All units respond to a smoke investigation at blank address.". We transfer care to the hospital staff, and then we are off again to the smoke investigation.

We finally catch a break and make it back to the station in time for lunch. Just as we finish eating, the tone go off again "Alpha 2 respond to BLANK address for syncope.". Like that we are off again!

We clear that call and get back to the station. Then the tone drop again, "All units respond to a confirmed structure at Blank office building, PD reports flame through the roof!". So we man the Ladder truck and respond. I spent most of my evening operating the ladder from the turn table. Above is a picture from the local paper of the fire.

I did get to sleep through the night, but I was awaken early this morning to "Alpha 2 respond to a barricaded gunman, stage in the area!". We are off again. I had to call in sick to my other job this morning because we were still staged on that call. As it turned out the police got him while he was using restroom. Just as we cleared that call the radio goes off again "All units respond to a fire alarm at BLANK address!". Thank god we got canceled en route. Needles to say I just got home from work! It was funny that I tweeted as I got to work yesterday that I hoped it was going to be a busy day. I guess I got my wish...... JS