Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Train 'em... "Where ya' goin? Oh, Police Academy, huh?"
Train 'em... "What, EMT school??"
Train 'em..."Dude, you knew there was no money in this when you started."
Train 'em..."No, wait...this one's an idiot, he can't be trained."
Train 'em..."Now you want to be a firefighter??"
Train 'em..."WHAT?? POT?? IT'S PUBLIC SAFETY, MAN...HAVEN'T YOU EVER HEARD OF A RANDOM DRUG TEST??? SHEEESH!"
Train 'em... "Man, you can't spell, you can't type...you can't even stay awake! How'd you get this job, dude? Did you even graduate from high school??
Train 'em... "Dude...wake up...hey dude...wake up...DUDE!
Train 'em ..."Man, you gotta talk and type at the same time, bro. It's called multi-tasking!"
I wonder if there is an emergency dispatch center anywhere on this planet which remains fully staffed with fully trained dispatchers for one full year. Hell I wonder if there's such a thing as a "Retired Dispatcher"...not one of those "I used to work the road but then I hurt my back, so now I dispatch."...I'm talking about an honest to goodness, no joke, 30 year dispatcher. Ain't none of 'em here, I'll tell you that much! Got some that are pretty close, but...not yet.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Though I have grown to develop a certain level of detest for stupidity, the irony of it all, in fact, is that stupid people keep me in business. Without them, there would be much less demand for public servants, sworn to help those who are incapable of helping themselves. And so you learn to love ‘em a little, as scary as that sounds. The entertainment value alone makes it almost bearable. How can you help but laugh at the person who calls because “The rain stinks.” You certainly can’t reason with them. They’ll never consider the fact that “something” stinks and it just happens to be raining. No…it must be the rain. There’s poison in the rain and something must be done. So you tell them that you’ll “check it out” and then just hang up and laugh.
Ever see the old Warner Bros. cartoon with "Sam the Sheepdog" and "Ralph the Coyote" from the Bugs Bunny / Roadrunner Show?
Friday, August 25, 2006
We are not a damned "rolling free clinic". We don't issue clean bills of health. We don't have an Xray machine, CT, or laboratory on board. We aren't Psychiatrists. We aren't ass wipers. We're not gonna transport that drunk for you just because he shit himself and you don't want to put him in your car. Every day....and I mean EVERY DAY we get multiple requests from the Sheriff's Department, Police Department, and Highway Patrol requesting that we respond to a patient with no legitimate medical complaint but they just want us to "CHECK THEM OUT"....or "My officer says she's a little 'shaken up'". Shaken up?? Check them out?? What the hell do they want us to do, give them a 72 point maintenance inspection? These guys are medics not mechanics! All this crap could be solved with one simple question..."Do you want an ambulance to take you to the hospital?....You don't know right now?....OK, lemme know when you do."
We have to prioritize calls based on the medical need and severity of the patient's condition. We have to do this so that we can legally account for the need to divert an ambulance to a higher priority call. It sounds simple but you gotta have a system in place that legitimizes the need to divert from the stumped toe to the chest pain. Law Enforcement very rarely gives us enough information to even code the call much less give it the proper determinant for prioritization. I don't know if it's laziness on the officer's part or if it's laziness on the dispatcher's part but they don't seem to give a rat's ass that we have a job to do too. The following exchange is extremely common:
Me: "Rescue...go ahead."
Sheriff's Department: "Yeah, We need you guys to go to Pace and Palafox."
Me: "What's going on there?"
Sheriff's Department: "I got an officer out with a black male subject there who needs an ambulance."
Me: "What's wrong with him?"
Sheriff's Department: "I don't know, he just said to send EMS."
Me: "Can you ask him 'why'"?
Sheriff's Department: "(sigh)...hang on!...Car 223.....EMS wants to know why they're needed.......Copy....He says the patient's bleeding."
Me: "Bleeding from where, what happened?"
Sheriff's Department: "(bigger sigh)....Car 223....Do you have any further information for EMS?.....10-4....He doesn't have any further information."
Me: "That's not what I asked....I need to know if he's conscious?...if he's breathing?....if he's alert?...how was he injured?...we're running several calls right now and I may need to divert an ambulance.
Sheriff's Department: "(even bigger sigh...mumbles under breath) Lemme call you back."
Me: "*$&% #^&#!~"
This is an Unknown Problem...Bravo response (priority 3) because of some lazy freakin' police work! As often as we work with these other agencies, you'd think we'd have a decent working relationship with them by now. That ain't the case. Last week I had an ambulance crew who's patient decided that he wanted to fight. They had their hands full and called on the radio for the Sheriff's Office, 10-18 (local vernacular for emergency response). I made that request for them. A few minutes later, one of my call takers says "I got the Sheriff's Department on the line wanting to know why we need them to respond." I picked up the phone and said (for the second time) "My crew has a patient who's fighting them, they need some help." The dispatcher tells me that her Sergeant's asking for more information. WTF!? "I don't have any more information for you....my crew's in a fight with a patient and they need help....what the hell else do you need to know??" This is all very typical of the relationship we have with our friendly local constabulary.
It's easy, and perhaps unfair, for me to form the opinion that alot of cops are just damned lazy. The extra work load that Law Enforcement puts on us out of ignorance or laziness can be a tremendous burden...not only because it costs the county taxpayers alot of damned money to send an ambulance somewhere and on BS calls those costs are never recovered, and not only because of the work it creates for the medics who have to fill out Patient care forms and refusals and administrative personnel who have to process that paperwork, not only because of the extra work it creates in EMS dispatch (which is already an extremely busy place because it happens to be the primary answering point for 9-1-1 in our county)....but because we don't have as many ambulances as they do officers. We have to maintain a coverage for the county and very often, these cops are robbing ambulances from people who legitimately need them. I hate dealing with them. They are rarely accommodating and often rude. That's bad enough, but when it impacts the level of care we're able to provide to other patients, somebody ought to have the ability and authority to put a stop to it.
Are we the only EMS agency who has such a shitty working relationship with local law enforcement?
Thursday, July 20, 2006
“10-4” means “I copy", say one or the other. Either will do just fine but not both. You don’t have to say it and then define it!
“Be advised”…How many times a day do you hear that? You’re freaking advising me! If you advise me, then I will BE advised. You don’t have to tell me to “be advised” and then advise me. Just freaking do your "advising", and quit wasting my time!
“At this time”…boy, this is my favorite. “At this time, we’ll be enroute.” WELL, NO SHIT, AT THIS TIME!! When the hell else would you be enroute? At another time?? If it were at another time, why the hell would you be telling me now? Say what you mean, mean what you say, but dammit man, be brief!
I got all spooled up about this today when, after discovering they were not needed at the emergency call they were on, I dispatched an ambulance to another emergency call. I gave them the location and nature of the call…….their response……”Uhhh 10-4, copy….uhhh, be advised we’re gonna be enroute at this time.” Gonna be enroute?? If you're currently responding, why tell me you're "gonna be"? “ENROUTE would have been sufficient.” One word...it's quick, concise, and simple. It’s easy to feel like a genius when you spend your time dispatching imbeciles.
Monday, July 17, 2006
ring....ring....ring....ring...(damn, pick up the phone already!) ring...ring...."Uhhh...hello?"
Good afternoon, sir. This is the 9-1-1 center. Someone dialed 9-1-1 from that residence and hung up. Is there an emergency?
"Uhhhh...I didn't dial 9-1-1!"
Sir, someone dialed 9-1-1 from there. (Yeah right, uh huh, I just make random check calls to unwary citizens 'cause I got nothing else to do.)
"Uhhh...NO....not from here!" (Don't you love how Mr. Smith precedes everything with "uhhh"? You know right away you're dealing with NASA's finest rocket scientist!)
Is there someone else there who could have done it? (I know you did it!)
"Uhhh....no, I'm the only one here."
Were you just using the phone, sir? (Don't lie to me again, asshole.)
"Yeah, but I dailed 9-4-4, not 9-1-1." (OK, Einstein, look at your phone pad. The 4 is right next to the 1 isn't it? Yeah, it is! Couldn't be your fat fingers now could it?)
And did you happen to reach the 9-4-4 number that you dialed?" (Come on...lie again.)
"uhhh...no." (Holy shit! He tells the truth!)
This happens about a hundred times a day, sir. People accidently hit the 1 instead of the 4. It's a common mistake. We just ask that you stay on the line with us and let us know everything's OK, otherwise we have to call back to make sure. (We could've concluded this conversation by now, but NOOOOO you gotta draaaaaag it out by lying to me!)
"Yeah, OK. I'm sorry about that."
No problem, sir. You have a good day. (Now I'm lying. It IS a problem! And I hope you have a TERRIBLE day! You lie when you think you're in trouble and you come clean when you find out you're not in trouble...you're like a child!)
I hate IT (the situation) when people hang up on me. I hate PEOPLE (the ones who do the hanging up) when they LIE TO ME.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I disconnected from the call and began to build this very bizzare ambulance call. Sure to include the note to "Hold Back for Law Enforcement", I tried to explain in brief language what she had said. Before I could finish, the Sheriff's Department called back and said "We're there, the scene is not yet secure, but the deputy says there's blood everywhere!" Holy Shit! This chick was telling the truth! What was she, some wacked out Multiple Personality case?? Like Cybil!! (You know that wierd character played by Sally Field? Yeah, that's what she sounded like.) The suspense was endless. Finally the Sheriff's Department called us back and advised us to cancel. What?? Why??
Turns out the deputy arrived and upon stepping out of his cruiser, noticed puddles of red fluid in the yard leading up to the doorstep...blood. Or so he thought. Not waiting for backup, he drew his weapon, kicked open the door and found an apartment covered in the same red fluid. An adult female lying on the couch, motionless, covered in....yep....red fluid. At this time I'm sure the deputy is wondering why he didn't wait for backup. After urgently telling dispatch of the grissly murder scene he'd encountered, the woman "woke up". Also wondering what the hell was going on and what the hell is with all the blood. They began to look for the mysterious caller. Huddled upstairs was a nine year old girl who had not only covered the apartment in RED PAINT, but also the yard and her sleeping mother, then made a bogus call to 9-1-1 to report the "Murder". I don't know the ultimate outcome but I hope she got her little ass torn up, not only for the prank, but for freaking me the hell out! This definitely goes down as one of the wierdest calls I've ever gotten. Now I'm gonna have nightmares about that creepy little kid voice rattling on about murder and blood.....great.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
I'm sure some bleeding heart liberal has the idea that, indeed, more social services are needed to remedy this young lady's plight. Maybe some free occupational training, or some free planned parenthood classes....I say bullshit! What's needed is mandatory sterilization. She's not gonna quit hookin', so we gotta keep payin' for her "misfortunes"? Cuttin' and cauterizin'...that's the answer. Clip 'em and ship 'em, I say.
Their mink-like abundant proliferation is proof that Darwin was an idiot! Survival of the fittest, my fat ass! We ought to let them kill themselves off. We ought to encourage it! Screw handin' out clean needles and condoms...build a wall around 'em and hand out guns and bats!
Monday, June 05, 2006
PJ mentioned the added cost of jailing and providing law enforcement services to the recent massive influx of illegal aliens to this region of the country. An illegal alien gets in an accident because he was driving drunk....cost of ambulance ride to the emergency room - $750.00. Cost of ER services - $1250.00. Jail stay, court costs, deportation....at least $3000.00. Grand total...over $5000.00. None of which, this "undocumented worker" will ever pay. And that's just one Mexican on one night in one community. Who ultimately pays for it all? YOU DO! Tolerance...yeah, sure, uh huh, that's what we need.
Monday, May 29, 2006
No, we don't have a radio problem in this county. Everything works just fine.
Monday, May 22, 2006
There are certain inherent risks associated with the jobs of Paramedics and EMT's. It is accepted and assumed that sooner or later, one will either have to defend themselves or their partner from an assault. They're issued thousands of dollars worth of equipment and receive one training course after another on how to protect themselves from every conceivable threat that they could face, from WMD's and hazardous materials to bloodborne pathogens or simple environmental hazards...every conceivable threat, that is except for physical assault. It is here that they are left on their own. It cannot be assumed that law enforcement will be on scene or even within close enough proximity to effect a difference in the outcome of an overwhelming physical assault from a patient who is doped up, psychotic, or suicidal. It is, however, just about the only threat that medics can almost guarantee themselves that they will encounter. For most, it will be more than once. For some it may even be frequent, and still for others, depending on the communities they work in, it could be weekly or even daily.
So why do service providers everywhere fail to equip them with the proper skills to protect themselves in an unarmed or even armed confrontation? Law Enforcement officers spend their whole career training and retraining on how to restrain or take down an assailant with less than lethal force. If they can be trusted to be professional enough to handle such training and employ it at the proper times, why can't those in the Emergency Medical field? Who better to knock you down or choke you out than a medic who is duty bound to render aid to you afterwards? Think you'll get that from a cop? I'm suprised there hasn't been an outcry from medics for defensive tactics training. A person who is trained to engage in unarmed combat is less likely to cause permanent or life threatening injury to their opponent than one who is not trained. That is an indisputable fact.
Gotta go now. I gotta get my head back in the sand so I fit in with the rest of my industry.
Friday, May 19, 2006
"It's uhhhh, a FedEx truck."
"mmm hmmm. "
"And uhhhhhh it's headed East on I-10 uhhhhh you know, right before the bridge? And it's got an expired tag."
"mmm hmmm......sir, what's wrong with this truck?"
"I just told you, it's got a expired tag."
"An expired tag."
"Is it driving erratically or otherwise being unsafe?"
"Nope...but I uhhhhh did notice that his rear door is uhhhhhh being held down by a bungee cord."
"mmm hmmm. Sir, you dialed 9-1-1 to report an expired tag on a vehicle that's otherwise obeying the law?"
"Yeah. It's been out of date since December 2005, you know? I mean, uhhhhhh, it's FedEx, man. They can afford a tag, you know?"
"mmm hmmm.....stay on the line for the Florida Highway Patrol."
God, I love my job. If there were no stupid people, there would be no smart people, we'd all be exactly the same. It's all relative. Believe it or not, we need these dumbasses.
Monday, May 08, 2006
On the evening that Hurricane Katrina hit, most of the residents of Pass Christian Mississippi had evacuated. For the ones who remained, there was no time left. The only thing to do was to hunker down and get ready for a very severe beating. For the Public Safety folks, evacuation was never an option. Someone must stay behind. And that “someone” is usually Police and Fire personnel, for they will be the first to emerge after the storm to begin the exhaustive effort of saving lives.
The Pass Christian Police Department.
The Pass Christian Police Department is a metal building that was quickly compromised by the wind and began to collapse as the storm reached hurricane intensity. So, for the few officers who had taken refuge in the building along with the Chief and the Mayor, leaving was a matter of life or death. They fought the hurricane force winds and sought shelter in an older, sturdier government building nearby, City Hall, an effort which would eventually prove futile.
Seemingly safe from the winds, the men prepared to ride the storm out in safety. But Katrina soon threw her biggest suprise of all because the Gulf of Mexico which was normally a good quarter mile away began to rush in
Here's a view of City Hall from the back of the library. The view of the interior clearly shows why they had to evacuate.
Luck had not been on their side and that was not about to change as the water rushed down hill into the library and began to fill the building with the men inside. They had entered the windward side of the building and as fast as the water was rushing in, exiting the same way was impossible. The only other option was the front door. Made of metal and thick laminated glass, it might as well have been a brick wall. As the water continued to rise inside the building, the men tried everything to break out, including shooting their .40 caliber service pistols repeatedly into the glass. Nothing would work.
The .40 cal hollow points didn't even come close to penetrating this glass. In the second photo you can see through the library to City Hall.
The only thing left to do then was pray…hard. And pray they did. One of them must have been on good terms with the Almighty because just as they had resigned themselves to the tortuous death that awaited them, a car, which was in the parking lot between City Hall and the library, crashed through the back door, knocking down the entire wall, and miraculously, floated right out the front door, taking the officers and the mayor out with it as the water literally washed them out into the front parking lot. The only way that car could have fit through the double doors was bumper first and even then…just barely. They spent the rest of the night clinging to trees as Hurricane Katrina destroyed their town and killed friends and neighbors. The next day, the Mayor abandoned his office and left town. He has not been seen in Pass Christian since.
Here's the path that the car cut as it tore through the library. The water line is clearly visible as the books on the top shelf are all that survived.
Woe be unto the one who is arrogant enough to say that all of this was just coincidence. For there is no doubt among the men who almost drown in the town library that night, that there is most certainly a very powerful and merciful God who spared their lives.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Have we ever lost a caller because no one could answer? I would imagine we have. Could some woman, for example, who has just a few seconds to dial 9-1-1 before her abusive husband finds her locked in the closet and decides to beat her to sleep, miss her opportunity to get help because the Highway Patrol hasn't seen fit to fix their damned phone problem in two years? Feasibly, yes. Would a jury give a flying wombat shit about some arbitrary department policy requiring calltakers to stay on the line with a non-emergency caller while lost in some endless automated loop with another agency? Hell no! Would they blame the FHP? Doubtful. Would they blame our policy? Most likely. So why is it so damned hard to get someone up at the top of the food chain to issue one of the "thou shalt's" or the "thou shalt not's" in favor of prioritizing a presumed emergency on a ringing 9-1-1 line over a known non-emergency on some impossible transfer? Why can't someone with a higher pay grade and a little more job security have the scrote to "leak" to the media the problem with FHP and their reluctance to address it? Perhaps that would force them into replacing the whole damned system if need be. Why can't someone insist that we get a permanent direct line like we used to have? Why can't FHP, like just about every other public safety dispatch center in our entire state, get a damned Nextel as a back-up so we can make contact? We have a confidential private number for the damned water company for pete's sake! They don't put us in line with everyone else. Why the hell does FHP? We're 9-1-1...not Joe Schmuckatelli! Gimme just one day as king...just one day and I'll fix the world, or at least a whole damned lot of it!
Monday, May 01, 2006
MAN, I LOVE THIS FREE COUNTRY!!
Friday, April 28, 2006
If we don't get hit, this year, almost certainly someone nearby will. And very likely, those of us who are field deployable will be on some task force for response. So far, I've deployed out of town for Hurricane's Charley, Katrina and Ivan. How does a dispatcher deploy you say? I drive and operate this:
That's the bright side...all of it. Man I hate summer, but here it comes anyway.
They have built for us a phone system that does not meet even half of our specifications. About one third of the calls we take doesn't make it to the recall list. So you can give up on calling back that 9-1-1 hang-up you just got. Instant transfer keys will just quit working for no freaking apparent reason. Server connection is lost multiple times, daily and when that happens, nothing works. Currently, we have no working method for manually transfering a 9-1-1 call to a 7 or 10 digit number. That's a problem because if we don't have a working instant transfer key, the call does not get transferred to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Mark my words, this phone system will kill somebody! And until it does, nothing will happen. Apparently 16 months is not enough time for the clowns at (--CENSORED--) to work out the bugs on this system. It is essentially a beta program, a clear violation of the specifications that (--CENSORED--) bid upon. Only one other call center has this version and it's up in Alaska. I have no idea how well it works for them but it is cursed daily here in (--CENSORED--).
Boy, you look at EMS and Fire and how EVERYTHING they have is the absolute best money can buy. No expense is spared, and that is as it should be. But what the hell were they thinking by letting us go live on an unproven, untested, cheesy piece of shit system like this?? Our old call center was 1980's technology. Buttons, buttons...everywhere buttons. Little blinking lights and more freaking buttons. But by gawd those buttons worked, every single time. It was reliable. Now, Four or five computer screens is all you see and we have more stinking problems than anyone can count. The public knows nothing of it all. If they did they'd be pressuring their commisioners to fork out some jack for replacing this ridiculous piece of crap. "Don't worry" they say to us, "the County Attorney's on the job now. Things are about to happen." Bullshit! that was 6 months ago. Nothing's changed. Way to go folks! Just sweep it under the rug, no one will notice! Maybe it will kill someone but we'll cross that bridge then, right?
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
CALLER: "I need a 'bambulance' over here to carry my wife to the hospital."
ME: "Sir where are you?"
CALLER: (gives location)
ME: "What's a phone number where I can reach you if I need to call you back?"
CALLER: (gives phone number)
ME: "We're getting an ambulance headed that way now, I need to ask you a few questions, OK?
CALLER: "Yeah, OK."
ME: "Is your wife conscious?"
ME: "Is she conscious....is she awake?"
CALLER: "Yeah, she awake."
ME: "Is she breathing?"
CALLER: "Yeah, she breavin'."
ME: "Is she alert?"
CALLER: "Is she a what??"
ME: "Is your wife ALERT?
CALLER: "Man, I ain't never heard of no..."LERT"...she a African American."
ME: -- sigh--
Can you imagine the paralyzing fear that would envelop a child who just learned that mommy doesn't want them anymore and they're going to be taken away to live with strangers? What a bitch! They ought to rip her reproductive machine out so she can't pollute the world any further. If I were king, she'd be forced to live in a halfway house and work to pay for the foster care expenses of those children until they are self supporting adults. She'd also have her picture posted on billboards with a caption reading "Please don't breed with this woman, she's already given birth to four orphans!"
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Most people have a general idea of what
I decided to start this new blog to include a more specific subject matter than can be found at Wight Wing Wadical, specifically my job. Not everyone cares about what I do for a living or wants to hear me bitch about it. Many people may not even understand. Hell, most people probably won’t understand. Some of it I don’t understand. Complaining about work at work is most unadvisable. Therefore, most people must seek out a place to do so because bottling it in is even more unadvisable. This medium seems ideal, so I’ve chosen this place to put my thoughts in writing.