Category Archives:

Katherine Howell – Frantic

I just finished reading* a great EMS-police crime/thriller written by Katherine Howell, a former Australian “ambulance officer.” One of the main characters is a woman paramedic, the other is a female detective. The paramedic’s husband, a police officer, gets shot and their baby is kidnapped. From that point on it is a nonstop rush to […]

Yankees Fan

Circus atmosphere:Yankees come up big, top Red Sox in series opener Connecticut is divided in a diagonal line between Red Sox and Yankees territory. The Red Sox rule the North Eastern section, the Yankees the South Western. There is much intermixing, however, and the center of the state (where I live) is up for grabs. […]

No Chest Compressions

File under: Something New Every Day The group home patient with a history of mental retardation was found unresponsive in his wheel chair. The small frail man has significant kifofis. His body is flaccid and he cannot even hold his head up. The quick story is he was found that way this morning. Normally he […]


We are called to a nursing home for a lift assist. I have never done a straight lift assist in a nursing home before, so I am a little puzzled. Isn’t this something that nursing homes are supposed to do themselves? The short, squat nurse demands to know why we have brought in our stretcher, […]


You arrive on scene for a patient with a painful broken hand. The first responder, as he is trained, has a nonrebreather on the patient. You thank him for the report, and then take the nonrebreather off and say to the patient, we’re going to see how you do without this for a minute. Sometimes […]

Good Folk

One of my EMS heroes is Thom Dick, the author of People Care, and a regular contributor to both JEMS and Emergency Medical Services. He has an interesting column in the April Jems called “Spring-Man: What are your jittery patients going to do next?” The gist of the article is to be quiet, to listen, […]

Richter Scale

Precepting has been going well. My preceptee has a knack for us getting calls – no cardiac arrests yet, but a steady diet of low grade ALS calls – chest pains, COPD, hypoglycemia, broken hips, pneumonias, syncopes. For the most part, I just sit back and watch her. I might draw up a saline lock […]


This morning we had a call for a 70 year old man with dsypnea and found him guppy-breathing with a BP of 210/100, HR – 144, skin ice cool and clammy, unable to get a SAT, ETCO2 of 50, RR of 32. Wheezes and crackles in lungs. Upright CO2 wave form. He was sitting on […]

A Tip

Instead of writing about one of my calls – I haven’t had much to write about lately — I’m going to write about a call a medic I know did a few weeks ago. In addition to being a good story, it is instructive. The call comes in as a syncope. A basic crew responds […]


I like it when my preceptee beats me to work. It shows good work ethic. And I’m almost always 15 minutes early. *** There is a pro and con article in one of this month’s emergency medical services magazines about cell phone use on the job. I hate it when my partner’s phone goes off […]

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