The Hook

I’ve met a lot of people who impress me in the work they do. They all are dedicated, motivated, and committed to the work of improving what we do and how we go about it. Without fail, each and every one of those people have had some sort of "hook." The "hook" is the thing that separates the person from the job. The "hook," in true Jedi fashion, pulls them away from what they are doing and gives them the ability to see all of what they do in the context of who they are. Our "hooks" teach us to…
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Go Sports!

I drop in on America to attend EMSToday in Washington DC. Because my family lives nearby, I’ve added a few days of time on the front and back of the conference time to visit and re-acquaint. My oldest brother and his wife are big football (NFL) fans so, of course, I accepted their invitation to spend Super Bowl Sunday at his house. I got to teach one of his kids to play the ukulele and we all had some fun. Food was laid out and we all settled into a darkened room to recline, dine and watch the spectacle of…
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Ten Years.

I just realized that January 4th has just slipped by. On that day, 10 years ago, I wrote my first post in this blog. Wow! Ten years ago, I was an EMT-B and a paramedic student. In the past 10 years, I’ve moved around a bit, had a few jobs, been through a half of a marriage (Herself and I are coming up on our 20th anniversary!), traveled to 16 countries on four different continents (4 1/2 if you count the Indian Sub-continent of Asia), and have had a LOT of fun! I covered some of those adventures in my…
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“…I Miss the Way the Lights Bounce Off the Buildings…”

I work in EMS but I came to it late in life. As such, I have a cadre of friends and a spouse who are, emphatically, NOT in EMS. This usually means I don’t talk about my day at work around the dinner table and, more commonly, I never answer truthfully when someone asks me, "What’s the worst call you’ve ever had?" The other part about coming to this line of work later in my life is that I really know that this is what I want to do. This is what I LOVE to do. Day to day, my…
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“…it is the one instrument you can’t play and not laugh.”

You ever get a song stuck in your head? I used to all the time but lately it’s been much more persistent. You see, back in October, I did a foolish thing while I was in Amsterdam. (Not that kind of foolish thing!) I bought a ukulele. Mrs. Maddog and I had met a few friends from the USA in the Netherlands as it was a halfway point between the Middle East and North America. Our friend, Steve, is an accomplished musician. Our wanderings through Amsterdam took us right by The Uke Boutique and we walked right in. After about…
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Misfits

I’m currently taking the 2-week CCEMTP course in the USA. That stands for Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport Program. It’s a big title for a big jump in knowledge and skill. In these 90 or so hours of training, I’ll be absorbing about 30 credits worth of nursing and medical school classes. It’s pretty intense and, at times, overwhelming. Other schools in the USA offer this course as a twice-a-week series over a few months. Since I’ve been flown in from the Middle East and can’t take 3 months for training, I’m in on the “super-intense-you’re-going-to-fail-and-your-brain-is-going-to-explode” version of CCEMTP. It’s…
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What have I learned?

One of my favorite blogging folks, ResqEllie, has written a funny post about what she’s learned in our profession. She finishes by asking the rest of us what we’ve learned in ours. I thought I’d answer with a list of a few of the things I’ve learned since coming to work in the Middle East 3 1/2 years ago:  We all bleed red. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, how you pray, how much money you have or what your last name is. When too much of what’s on the inside gets on the outside, you die. Drink lots of…
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An EMS Today Sit-down with Scott Kier

I sat down with a lot of folks, turned on my recorder and had some amazing conversations. One of them is a fellow FRN affiliate blogger, Scott Kier. He and I have collaborated on a few projects and I hope to continue to do so in the future. Scott writes EMS In the New Decade and it’s another worthy read. He addresses misconceptions about the EMS industry and speaks with experience and candor on a lot of issues that are bouncing around our profession. I managed to drag him away from his million commitments at EMS Today and steal 30…
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A Sit-Down with Resqellie, the Value of a Good Narrative

Resqellie is a blogger who’s been writing since February of 2005. She’s a dear friend of mine and a fabulous writer. I had a chance to catch up with her at EMSToday 2013 and, after plying her with good food and booze and Busboys and Poets in DC, she agreed to an interview. Ellie is warm, engaging and witty, much like she comes across in her blog. She had scheduled herself for 8-12 hours of classes per day of the conference was was looking for ways to get herself into more. She said that since her employer was paying for…
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Can You Hear Me Now? (Part 3)

A reader asked me if my patient from "Can You Hear Me Now (Part 2)" ever recovered. Here’s what I got from the cardiologist (who called our patient a "miracle") the next day: Melvin’s right coronary artery (RCA, or the main blood pipe that feeds the muscle of the right side of the heart) had been building up plaque for some time and was about 75% blocked. What gave him chest pain and brought him to us was a recent clot that blocked 99% of his left anterior descending artery (LAD). This kind of blockage, when it’s close to the…
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