Archive for April2007


The house is dim and smells like a dead person. Dusty, unmopped wooden floors, filthy curtains, overflowing garbage in the kitchen. The patient is down the hall in a bedroom. Old man living with his two sons, or rather two sons living with their old man because what the old man is doing really isn’t […]

Random Comments

Random Comments at the ER this Week “I’m the only nurse for 30 patients so its going to be awhile.” “No! No! I just got four new patients. I cannot take another. I’m calling her back. She’s going to have to put him some place else. We’re full here! No! No! No!” “We don’t do […]

Rocky Mountain Medic/Ambulance Driver

If you haven’t read: Rocky Mountain Medic or A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver, you are missing two of the best-written EMS blogs out there. *** A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver is written by Steven “Kelly” Grayson, author of Life, Death and Everything in Between: A Paramedic’s Memoirs. […]

Ghost Blood

A medic who used to work for us a decade ago died the other day. He hadn’t yet turned fifty. He worked as a medic for many years, but then got hurt and had to find other work. He’d had some hardships and hadn’t been particularly healthy of late. We weren’t close, but when I […]

Wine Coolers

The call was for a drunk. We were updated that he was seizing, but he wasn’t when we got there. His wife said he’d been drinking vodka for a week and she wanted him to go to detox. I put in an IV lock, checked his ETCO2 which was 35 and his sugar which was […]


“Are you going to give me back my husband’s medicine list?” the woman asks. “No,” the medic says, deadpan. “I have a collection of them at home. Boxes actually. Overflowing. I particuarly like these — the little booklets with flowers on the cover. They are the Van Goughs of my collection. I’m seeing a psychiatrist […]

Load and Go/Stay and Play/Load and Go Stay and Play

Stay and Play or Load and Go? I had many interesting comments on this issue following a brief discussion of a call in my post on scene management called An Unappreciated Skill. While my style is always evolving, these are my current thoughts on the continual question. *** First off, my goal is to arrive […]

EMT to Medic School

My post on Tuesday generated quite a number of comments centering around the issue of EMTs going right from EMT class to medic school. Here are my thoughts on it: When I started you had to have at least a year of field experience before they would even consider you for admission to medic school. […]

An Underappreciated Skill

What makes a great EMT or a great paramedic? I’ll start of with some common and easy answers –compassion, impressive medical knowledge, outstanding airway and IV skills, cool head under crisis. I could go on. While this would clearly make a great subject for another post, what I want to talk about today is a […]

You Aren't Talking To Me

There is a scene in Apocalypse Nowwhere the Martin Sheen character shows up at an outpost base that is under fire by enemy forces and has been every night for months. He walks through the chaos looking for someone to report to. He asks a soldier who’s in charge and the flustered man says, “I […]

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