Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is This For You?

No matter who I have met in the EMS field, when I ask them why they went into it in the first place the universal response is something like... "'cuz i like helping people out". And then I listen to the older paramedic generation (who really aren't so old- like 37 or 38) whine about how they are "burnt out".  Hmmmm..... so let me get this straight.... you're 'burnt out' of helping people? Just sounds all like a matter of convenience to me really.  

For some, being in the EMS field just isn't the right job.  Take the guy in this video for example. But if the job isn't for you, it's not as bad to determine that as it is to determine that only AFTER one of your patients is FUBR because of it.  Folks, you can't sprint the entire marathon. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I concur

While doing my rotations at various hospitals in the area towards the completion of my AEMT-CC class, I have seen life imitating movies, which has in turn imitated life.  The other night I was either on the set of the movie "Catch Me If You Can", or I was doing rotations in the emergency department.  It went down almost exactly like this, verbatim....  click and listen, and then let me know if you concur. I do. Amazing what a guy like me can do wearing a stethescope around my neck and a lab coat over my street clothes, walking around a hospital. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

People are childish

I think I'm going to throw something through my TV if i have to see that Lexus car commercial where the guy in it has a rambling monologue comparing his new lexus to the Big Wheels toy he got when he was a kid. I would rather just see a copule of views of the car and some statement saying "get this car... it will make you feel like you were a kid again." Or show some nut job driving the car across a high school lawn doing donuts, and drag racing- "this car will make you feel like a kid again."

Everyone likes to try to feel like a kid again. That's why we eat ice cream, and go on amusement park rides. If there was some way for me to feel like a kid while being an attorney, I'm sure I would love my job as much as I do volunteering in EMS/Fire. But right now, I haven't found much that beats the adrenaline rush of going from zero to 100 when a call comes in, and the feeling of satisfaction and comraderie I get after a job well done with a patient or at a fire. My baby sweetheart princess and my power ranger son are always doing kid things- splashing in puddles outside, playing in mud, you know, doing things that 4 and 5 year olds just do because they are kids, and they like being kids. My wife and I constantly tell them not do do those things- but what match could our authority possibly be to their feelings of just being a kid?

All the time I spend going to continuing education classes; doing rotations at hospitals and county ambulances; responding to calls, training at the fire service academy, etc. etc. its all about feeling like a kid again. Even for the paid guys around here though, it certainly ain't for the paycheck! Here is what FDNY pays. Cha Ching, baby.  Yah, right. I don't think my wife would have a problem with me becoming a full time paramedic if there was an extra zero at the end of those figures. She still tells me "don't go on the call, Rich," whenever she hears my pager tones sound off.  That's followed by the obligatory "it's too dangerous" or "you're gonna catch something from these sick people" from her. But what she's really saying is, "help me with the laundry instead." Doesn't matter much though. Same thing's happening... such pleas are no match for a chance to be a kid again, if only for a short while. 

A call was toned out this morning. A kid hurt himself when he slipped on ice on his driveway while horsing around.  He loves ice hockey, just didn't want to put on the skates. The mom kept muttering "I kept telling him he was going to get hurt if he kept on doing that".  Mabye he'll learn to be a paramedic later on in life. It's not as painful. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Of mice and gentlemen

I just came back from a birthday party for one of my son's friends. It was in a movie theatre- a private showing of Desperaux, a mouse, who called himself a "gentelman". Following a code of honor is what made him more than a mouse, and even more than a man- Desperaux was a "gentleman". There's not much to do for adults when you're in a movie theatre, other than watch the movie. I, on the other hand, watched my son as he lost himself in the fantasy of the movie. Most of the other kids just chatted with each other about stuff that kindergardeners talk about... diareah, and doody, and what level they got to on DS Mario Brothers.

As we left the theatre, I held the door for a mother wheeling her baby carriage. My firefighter overcoat on, ruggedly unshaven, it was a friggin Norman Rockwell painting from the 1950s. "Daddy, you're a gentleman," my son Brandon told me. I was convinced that Brandon absorbed concepts from the movie that i have tried so hard to teach him since he was born. That is, until he asked me to stop at Waldbaums to get a block of cheese.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Of Belts and Suspenders

Question: "Does what you wear define you?" Even for that day, or moment? I put my belt on this morning. Then I clipped my fire department pager to it, and then my iPhone right next to it. I put on my suit. Then I put my fire department heavy coat on over it on the way to work. I slung my computer case over my shoulder. And then I stuck in its outside pocket copies of the drug protocols I have to study for next week's medic class quiz. Funny thing is, not all of this 'stuff' weighs me down daily as much as my struggle to accept the fact that I HAVE to be satisfied with my career as an attorney while pursuing my passion to be a paramedic.

A call comes over the fire pager on my way out to the car- auto accident, northern state parkway, exit 42. And then some follow up transmissions from various jericho fire and rescue officers- but none from an ambulance. I'm on my way. Oh, wait.... I'm SUSPENDED. That's right. Suspended. For three whole weeks. All because I wasn't able to attend a two hour class on how to use the radio. Later in the year, the fire department decided to make SCBA training part of that class too (thats the breathing apparatus used when you go into fires and such). Regardless... what is the point here??? I am suspended from responding to an auto accident because I supposedly lack training in how to use a breathing apparatus on my fire gear? Or is it the fact that I lack training on how to use a radio? I get it.... my radio skills are good enough to respond to 5 active fires in 2008 amongst the hunddreds of other calls to which I responded; good enough to take part in department operations training at the fire service academy where I took part in extinguishing fires in hi-rises, commercial properties, and vehicles; good enough to handle other auto accidents that resulted in life-threatening injuries; and good enough to ride on Nassau County ambulances for my rotations; but hey there, Ms. auto accident victim at exit 42 this morning, please stop bleeding as soon as you can, I can't help you right now because IM SUSPENDED. Please have your accident at another time and day. Thank you for your courtesy and consideration. It's so macabre, that the first chief who responded isn't an EMT. He did go thru the classroom training though, so, I guess he can use his radio and breathing apparatus to help this lady. Jericho's tax dollars, hard at work. Protecting our citizens and saving lives, one policy at a time.

I'm at my law office now. I took off my warm overcoat decorated with fire rescue patches and the like and threw it on the leather chair, revealing my tie and button down to my employees. One of my paralegals comes in and tells me she is going home because she feels sick. I told her I couldn't help her either- IM SUSPENDED.

New Year but not new here.

I decided to open up my blog again. How can you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been, right? I think my older entries are more interesting than the new. But hopefully even newer entries will be more interesting than those were.

Anyway, if you like or dont like what you see/read here, shout it out. dont be shy.