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A sixty year old woman who lives alone feels her throat begining to swell. This is not the first time it has happened — she has a history of angioedema — so she knows what to do. She takes her closest epi-pen (She has ten scattered about the house) and injects herself with the lifesaving […]

A Blanket

It is during the tail end of a snow storm that has left ten inches in six hours. We are on the way back from the hospital after a call where we had to wade through deep drifts to get to a patient’s farmhouse. The roads are barely plowed. We get called for a 93-year […]

People Care

If you are looking to get someone in EMS a great Christmas present, here is the book for them or for yourself: People Care: Career-Friendly Practices for Professional Caregivers Thom Dick is the author of Street Talk, a book of essays that came out about the time I was in EMT school in 1989. It […]

New AHA CPR and ECG Guidelines

I’m like a kid before Christmas waiting for the new AHA CPR and ECC guidelines to come out. For almost a year I have been following the evidence sheets posted on the Heart Association web site, and nearly everyday in November checked the site for the new guidelines to be posted. When they finally came […]

Bathroom Break

Today I did something for the first time I had never ever done before while working in EMS. In this job you learn when you are sitting around waiting for a call that if the urge to use the bathroom comes upon you, you act on it because it sucks to be suddenly hurtling down […]

Scandanavian Beauty

We get a third party call for a woman with abdominal pain coughing up blood. The neighbor meets us at the door and tells us the older woman is feeling woozy, and has been coughing up bright red blood. She also mentions that she hasn’t been acting quite right. Yesterday she was out raking the […]


On another site I keep a daily journal. I record evey call I do in a day along with some observations. It is from this journal that I draw most of the material for this blog. Here I try to write simple stories that I have given some thought too. There I just write whatever […]

Kind of Friends

We get called for an OD. A young woman took all her psych meds at the same time because she was depressed. Her ex-boyfriend broke into her house and stole her cell phone. And her best female friend committed suicide recently, so she was just feeling a little overwhelmed. She had a past history of […]


It’s Thanksgiving morning. I awake at 5:10, shower and dress, then open up the garage door to see a couple inches of snow on the ground. It’s beautiful, but I hate winter, hate the cold weather, hate driving in snow. When I get to the base, I can see from the tracks in the snow […]


Did a code at a nursing home last week. Patient, last seen allegedly an hour earlier, found apneic and pulseless in bed. She was asystole with cool, cyanotic skin. No shock advised on the first responders’ defibrillator. I intubated her, did a round of epi down the tube, then got an IV and did 25 […]

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