Hurricane Wind

I stopped at the State armory and unloaded five bags of clothes for the hurricane victims. I was ruthless going through my closet. Every Christmas I get a sweater from my father and his wife. They sit in my closet because I rarely wear anything besides my work clothes and then jeans or workout clothes […]


A woman in a nursing home is in severe respiratory distress. History of COPD. Her lungs are decreased with an expiratory wheeze. Her SATs are in the 80’s. The nurse’s aide who gives me her paperwork says she is a DNR, but the papers haven’t been signed by her doctor yet. I give the patient […]


I’ve been playing poker seriously for over five years. When I say seriously, I don’t mean I play for big money, I mean that I am a student of the game. I read books about it, discuss the game with friends, run simulations, constantly try out new strategies. I started out playing in the local […]

Honey, I Love You

I come in at six and find the night crew is out on a call. A few minutes later they clear their scene with a refusal, but then are dispatched to a possible dead body/overdose at a local business. They ask me to respond in the second ambulance to meet them there in case it […]

Diamond in the Rough (Excerpt)

The first three chapters of an EMS novel-in-progress. I originally wrote this as a shorty story, then last November expanded it to a novel as part of “National Novel Writing Month” an event where participants have 30 days to produce a 50,000 word novel. You are not graded on content, just quantity. I finished a […]

Homer Jones

We get sent for a premature baby difficulty breathing. Lights and sirens response. A minute later we get the update we want to hear, “Baby breathing normally.” We arrive to find a twenty-three-day-old baby sleeping comfortably on his mother’s knee. She tells us he was born seven weeks prematurely. For about a minute his head […]

It is Unethical

230 lb guy slips in the shower, lands on his shoulder. When we get there he is in extreme pain and has an obviously deformed shoulder. It is either fractured, dislocated or both. What do you do for pain? Morphine. Okay, now here’s the catch. The location is a drug and alcohol rehab clinic, the […]

School's Out/ The Grasshopper and The Ants

I love being a paramedic, but I periodically wonder about the future. How long can I continue in this field? Will my back hold up? Will 70-80 hours a week of work destroy my life? Will there continue to be 70-80 hours of work a week available for me? What will happen to me when […]

Viva Las Vegas

I’m on the Strip in Las Vegas. A volcano erupts in front of the Mirage, giant spumes of electrical lava shoot up into the night sky. Outside Treasure Island, an attacking pirate ship blasts it cannons, setting the rigging of a merchant ship on fire. I’m walking across the street when I hear a loud […]

Dead is Dead (Or Is it?)

We get dispatched for a report of a man unresponsive in a locked car, covered with blood. Priority One. My partner and I speculate as we head out lights and sirens toward the address in the neighboring town, a street lined with cheap hotels, where many marginal people rent by the week. We both think […]

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