Day:Night. Night:Day.

I frequently live in the nebulous, uncertain time between day and night shift. None of my friends know when I’m sleeping. They also don’t know whether I’m the guy who’s up to "antics" all night. We often make plans and then discover our confederates have gone to bed. They’re mostly friends of "Herself (Mrs. ‘maddog) and they ain’t EVER been on a night-shift. At the end of parties, there are some of us (awake) who look around and say, "We’re too alive and awake to go to sleep." After a bit, we realize we’ve got too many stories to tell…
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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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Gripe

I usually don’t complain (out loud). It really doesn’t serve to do so as an expatriate, living away from all that you grew to know as familiar. When I do voice complaints, it typically concerns something difficult about living abroad and delivered for the sake of humor. This time, my gripe is with my home country (and the texbook-publishing mega-business). You see, I’ve gotten my company to agree to send me back to the US for CCEMT-P course. I’m delighted to have the chance to do some more learning. I’m also a bit nervous about the degree of difficulty and…
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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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This call is the most important call of your career, each and every time.

Every year, I return to the USA at least once to attend an EMS conference. In 2013, I attended EMSToday in Washington, DC. As I usually do, I make time to meet up with some of my friends and blogging associates. This year, I got a chance to sit down with my friend Tom Bouthillet. My intention was to interview him as I have with other bloggers. We sat down in the lobby of his hotel, I clicked on the recorder and we started talking. Tom is one of the most genuine people you can ever meet. He invests himself…
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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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