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Damsels in Distress

I grew up reading books like King Arthur and His Knights. Thus when I was a young boy watching EmergencyI imagined a paramedic as a sort of knight errant rescuing people in distress. The job of a paramedic seemed like noble work with the added reward of being thanked by rescued damsels – whether the […]

My Death

I almost died today. As we approached the intersection I looked up and I saw my death coming at me. It was a large box truck. I quickly calculated that at its rate of speed eastbound on Park and at our rate of speed southbound on Broad, there was going to be collision. The box […]

You Don't Have to Put on Your Red Lights

The hot line rings. Two-thirty in the morning. The dispatcher says, 80 Dorchester. That’s all. Just the address. That’s all we need to know. Calvin. I don’t work the nights as much as the other guys, but I know Calvin. We take our time getting up. Take a leak. Walk out to the ambulance. Drive […]


My preceptee got cut loose so I am back at work having to carry my own gear again. My rhythm is a little off, but I think I’ll get it back soon enough. Not much interesting so far – just the meat and potatoes of EMS in this town. 1) An old man with pneumonia […]

Ethical Question

Baby Medic just posted about doing three codes in two days. He includes this snippet: Thirty-nine years old, the family said, and they thought she was alive this morning but they couldn’t be sure. Someone thought they heard her get up and make coffee. “The lady deserves a chance at that age,” the doctor said […]


Today is the last day my latest preceptee will be with me. Tomorrow he rides with our chief paramedic, who if all goes well will formally approve his being “cut loose” to be a paramedic on his own. My preceptee has been with me for nine weeks and has been, by all standards, “a shit […]


My paramedic preceptor told me many years ago, “You’re a paramedic, billing isn’t your job. A patient doesn’t want to be asked their social security number when they’re having a heart attack.” Consequently, I didn’t pay too much attention to the back of my run forms. Sometimes I’d turn them in with the backs blank […]

A Paramedic's Diary

There is a new paramedic book out available as of now only from Amazon.UK, called Paramedic’s Diary by Stuart Gray, a London paramedic and the author of the A Paramedic’s Diary blog. It is a good read. EMS in England is much like it is here. They have a wonderful term — “a suspended” — […]


If you are a football fan, have you noticed lately how many more players sport dreadlocks under their helmets. You watch the player on the team you are rooting against run with the ball and you can’t help but think, someone ought to grab that guy by his hair and tackle him. That would be […]

Not a Scratch on Her

The call is for a rollover, no injuries. Non-priority dispatch. When we arrive we see the car off the road into the bushes. The officer tells us the driver, who is claiming no injuries, is sitting in the police car. As the officer is talking to us, a bystander approaches and interrupts. “When I got […]

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