4 months, eek :\

Sorry ya’ll, epic fail here.  Let’s be honest – following the rules of my last post would have been a great idea.  Whoops.  Anyways!  

Hi.  I think the reason I haven’t really updated is because I don’t really consider myself a new EMT anymore.  I’ve had a pretty good deal of experience.  Granted, it’s only been a year, but I have done a lot working for two agencies and volunteering at one.  I’m slowly working my way out of the commercial agency, namely because it’s soulless and generally a horrible place to work.  The municipal agency is great, aside from a shitty night last night.  Cardiac arrests are never easy, but even less so when the patient goes from fine to unresponsive in 2 minutes.  Even less than that when they go from a shockable rhythym known as ventricular tachycardia to an unshockable rythym known as asystole in 4 seconds.  It was debilitating to not be able to do anything.  CPR was done, BVM was used… but it was to no avail.  It was not a good day.

If you want something done right…

Of course, it’s been a month since my last post. Oops. Hi. I am alive and mostly well. Once again I’m muddling the lines of work and personal life, breaking Rules 1 and 11. If you haven’t been following along, there is a certain list of rules for relationships (and life) I try to abide by. Myself an a doctor friend have been perfecting these for about 8 years. Here they are, in all their glory!

1- Do not invite drama into your personal life. Ever.

2- Never chase. Courtships are mutual. Chasing is one-sided.

3- You cannot force relationships to work. You can NOT force relationships to work.

4- No second chances. Decisions to end relationships should be final.

5- Loving someone doesn’t guarantee or mean you must be with them.

6- Money and babies do not save (or start) relationships.

7- Friend zone is a black hole from which is it is nearly impossible to escape.

8- Don’t be afraid to try; don’t be afraid to move on.

9- People don’t typically change, even if they claim they have.

10- You cannot argue your way to happiness.

11- Keep it out of the family. The family being work, friends’ sisters, etc.

12- Twelve dates and it’s gone nowhere? END IT.

Anyways, that was a fun little side note. Essentially, I’m breaking rules 1 and 11. You can make an exception for one rule, but not to the #1 rule. Also, if you violate 2 or more rules, run away. Realistically, this is probably an awful idea, but meh. Moving on!

Movin’ on uppp!

I got the job!  I’m stoked.  I’m going to start part-time at about 20 hours a week.  I don’t actually know if I said anything on here about it, so here goes.  If you’re been reading, you’re well aware that I am not a fan of for-profit EMS.  I understand why it must be, but I don’t like working for it.  I interviewed at a local agency (where I have roots from being an Explorer at 16) and got hired!  They cover a small-ish town, but have a lot of busy thoroughfares, and a massive shopping mall.  I will literally never say this again, but I’m excited for 06:00 tomorrow!

“Bad day”

It’s really, really hard to explain those words to someone who isn’t involved with emergency services.  I don’t just say EMS, or fire, or police because while we all do different jobs, we all do it for the same reason.  It’s not just a job, it’s not some career, but it’s a niche.  It’s a calling (I think that was in Rescue Me).  It’s something that you can’t really explain to people on the outside.  Most people (sane people?) work in an office, or somewhere relatively normal.  We don’t get that.  We get one static area, our station, which is essentially where we can recuperate.  Outside of that, it’s our “scenes” or “jobs” if you’re from downstate.  The scenes change, every single day, every single call, every single time the tones drop.  Some of us know the area, others rely on GPS.  Those of us with no sense of direction (hi!) use both.

Let’s go through a “normal” call.  “Ambulance 0 on the air for an emergency” goes over the PA.  You have a grand total of 2 minutes to get from wherever you were to your ambulance, and be ready for the call information.  You get in, put on  your jacket and sunglasses, tell dispatch you’re ready for info and hold your breath.  You get your response code.  Priority 1 is lights and siren, that’s when you “go hot.”    You get called priority 1 to a chest pain call.  Off you go then, zooming through traffic and cursing at the bad drivers.  You get on scene.  Your patient is on the second floor, laying in a bed in a back bedroom.  You have to note EVERYTHING.  Situational awareness is key.  How wide are the doorways, what’s in your way, what’s the best route to get the patient out?  Can’t answer that?  Get a new job.  Great, your patient is in terrible shape and you need to go – 5 minutes ago.  You have to get them from wherever they are to where you want them to be.  Sounds easy, right?  Wrong.  How do you do it?  Backboard?  Stair chair?  Yeah, think of these things.  Ok now you’re in the ambulance and it’s deemed a priority 1 transport.  Off you go again, wee-woo wee-woo.  Now, as the driver, you have a shitfuckton of responsiblity.  You are not only responsible for the safety of your ambulance, but the crew working in the back, and your patient.  Who would EVER want to drive?!  Ok you’re at the ER.  Did you call ahead with a radio report to them?  You better hope so, or you’re gonna have a pissed off MD’s loafer so far up your ass.  Great, you’re in the ER!  All done!  Wait, no, not yet.  Give a full report.  Go through all of your acronyms (SAMPLE, OPQRRRSTI) and then tell them everything you saw or did.  Seriously.  Now, put it all into a paper report for your supervisors to scrutinize and look down their noses at.  

Ok, so that was one call.  Yay!  You’re like the best EMT ever now!  But, say it was a bad call.  Going back to the original thought, a bad day is one that you walk out of feeling crushed.  Today, for example.  You and your 3 coworkers charge up the stairs.  Your faces are masks of courage, you have ice in your veins, and you are ready to go to work.  You work quickly, efficiently, coldly.  Still… she ends up being number 4.  There is nothing to say.  You sweated like you were stoking the furnaces of hell, you might have felt bad breaking ribs doing CPR, but she did not feel it.  She won’t feel anything, ever again.

Still tired.

I know I know, I’m whining.  There is a lot going on right now.  I’m interviewing at a municipal agency next week, for one.  Firefighting class is going well.  It’s mildly amusing that my engine company is made up of the only 3 EMTs in the class.  We’re looking for witty names.  I’m also working part-time (yay holidays…….) at a local electronics retailer.  Provided things go well with the municipal agency, Len will be movin’ on up!  It will probably start with one 24 a week, then change up from there.  All I want is a boot in the door.  I will literally do anything to get it.  And finally, I’m touring the local Air National Guard base on Friday and making some decisions on paperwork, the rest of my life, etc.  No big deal.

I was going to write a massive post about how I hate commercial, for-profit ambulance services.  I really want to fume, and scream, and get angry over it.  The more I think about it, the more futile it seems.  They are a business.  They are a big, big, big business.  And, unfortunately, they are a necessary evil.  Sure, some might have a wheelchair service, or a stretcher van, but 99% of the time, they use a good old BLS ambulance.  It sucks, but it’s a fact of working as an entry-level commercial EMT.  Just typing that made me cringe.  I have nothing against businesses making money, but I hate having to be the one making it for them.  Now for the good:  Being a slave to commercial EMS, while soul-sucking and faith-in-humanity destroying isn’t hopeless.  It gives a new EMT a chance to acclimatize to the world of emergency services.  It gives the new EMT a chance to practice what they learned in class.  Essentially, it’s one big learning experience.  I believe that learning never stops, but I consider myself a good EMT.  For better or worse, I owe that to the place that I hate.  Huh.

Hello.

Len is tired.  Len is very, very, very tired.

Being a fireman is way too fun.

I’m taking Firefighter I, which is basics of firefighting.  This class is a freaking blast.  For starters, we have been doing donning and doffing.  This is putting on and taking off gear.  By putting on gear, we mean: 1) pants, 2) boots, 3) jacket, 4) nomex hood, 5) air mask, 6) air pack, 7) gloves, 8) helmet.  This adds up to 60ish pounds of gear.  This has to be done in less than 90 seconds.

After donning and doffing for an hour, we took a water break.  After a water break, we did some obstacles.  Putting on 60 lbs of gear then crawling through an 18″ wide tube is certainly an experience.