Archive for February2016

A Cigarette

The mental health team meets us outside. “We should wait for the police,” the clinician says. “She’s a big woman. When we went back up there she had a knife near her that wasn’t there the first time we were up with her. She’s very anxious today. When she’s off her meds, she can be […]

Scene Recollection

Entry Img

Just how accurate are EMS scene recollections? Try this psychology experiment. Go to this site: Run the tape excerpt and try to count the number of times the basketball is passed between people wearing white. That’s it. Just count the number of times the ball is passed. ***   Ponder this experiment the next time […]

Do You Think Your Heart is Healthy?

Entry Img

Check out this NPR radio podcast: Do You Think Your Heart is Healthy? I was fortunate enough to be asked to be one of three guests on the Colin McEnroe Show this week. I was on to talk about what people can do during a cardiac emergency from a paramedic’s perspective. Thanks to Colin and […]

Drug Addicts

Entry Img

The heroin epidemic is getting a lot of play in Connecticut. In 2015, according to the latest numbers there were 415 heroin deaths in the state, triple the number three years ago. There is a bill in the legislature to require all first responding agencies in the state to carry naloxone. Here’s a news article […]


Entry Img

An excerpt from Diamond in the Rough, the manuscript of an EMT’s wayward journey in EMS. In this chapter, Tim Anderson revisits a scene. *** The worst thing I saw was called anthropophagi. You can look it up in the dictionary, or wait a moment and figure it out for yourself from what I will […]

Suffering in the World

Entry Img

We are sent to a detox center for a diabetic. We find a sixty-year old Puerto Rican with a blood sugar over 600, although he has no complaint. He has come to the center to kick his heroin habit. But first now he will have to go to the ER to get his sugar under […]

Temptation to Steal

The folks over at have posted an excerpt from my new novel, Diamond in the Rough. In the excerpt, the narrator, a young EMT, realizes how easy it would be to steal money from a deceased patient, but his conscience gets the better of him — at least for now. Temptation to Steal Check […]


Entry Img

A Massachusetts firefighter this week went on a Facebook rant about heroin addicts. Massachusetts Firefighter Criticizes Narcan Use and Addicts His viewpoint, while certainly not representative of EMS, is not an isolated one. I have heard these sentiments expressed ever since I started in EMS. I have heard them from police, fire and EMS. Not […]

Opiates for Chronic Pain

Entry Img

Should paramedics give opiates to patients with chronic pain? I want the answer to this question. Now, until recently I have not questioned this practice. Today, I still medicate (well, most*) patients with chronic pain of 4 or more, who do not have contraindications, and who say yes when I ask them if they want […]