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20 years ago when I was an EMT-Intermediate, we used a device called an EOA (esophageal obdurator airway). The airway was designed to occlude the esophagus, thus enabling supraglottic ventilation. The main problem with the EOA was sometimes instead of going in the esophagus, it ended up in the trachea and was not recognized. I […]

Division of Labor

If you work commercial ambulance in a high volume system, and if one of you is a paramedic and one an EMT (the standard in our system), you and your partner are going to need to work out a way of dividing up the calls.

Blogging (Repost)

Write to elevate the spirit you have seen in people you have cared for — in their worst and best moments. Use your writing to try to understand the world, not to condemn it. Share your victories, your defeats, your frustrations and your hopes. Write to show that you have walked down the EMS streets.

Splinting (Update)

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My quest to be the Architectural Digests’ Best Splint Ever Winner, as well as getting an award for Most Improved Splinter continues.

The Heart of Health Care

You have these moments in life. Sometimes you see something for the first time. Other times you are just reminded of basic truths. This was such a moment for me when you see the world very clearly.

Back In The City

I had not worked a city shift in nearly three years since I took my second job as an EMS coordinator. I forgot how much I loved it. I feel like I am back to my roots.


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Perhaps if I had done what as a new EMT so many years ago I had done, the patient would have been more comfortable. Now, I am not saying take away my morphine and Fentanyl and just give me a pile of splints and cravats, but I am saying I recognize a clear area for improvement.

The Bridge

Please don’t let me slip and fall — I am already halfway across — please I do not wish to plummet to my icy death or to land on the jagged rocks at the river’s edge. If the bridge is to give out, let it break first at the far side and go one board at a time like in the cartoons and let me run fast, one board ahead of disaster. Please no Wyle Coyote falls for me.

Part One: Ice Road Paramedics

The road is like an ice rink that hasn’t been cleaned by a Zamboni. It’s a good thing you are wearing your Fort Smith Boots in this sleet storm because the water and freezing slush and ice are treacherous. You walk carefully. The last thing you need is for you or your partner to go feet up in the air, head and butt slamming to the ground.


The man has dementia to the point he forgets that he called us. He forgets that he went to the hospital yesterday for the same complaint, forgets that they saw him and sent him home, forgets what they told him about it. “You were the one who called them,” his wife says, after he demands to know why we are in his bedroom.

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