Living and Dying on the Street

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I didn’t think I cared. The frequency of the calls made it hard to care. Nuisance calls made up a large part of our routine. Spaced between medical emergencies, calls from the city’s underground emerged. Sivine Thatch made a lot of calls. He was a nuisance. One of many.   The tone from the station’s […]

The Worthless War Adventure

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editor’s note: My take on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes began some years ago when I made a correlation between EMS and detective work, and thought it would be fun to have an alter-ego. My station is located directly across from Baker Street, Holmes’s home in the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and […]

Everybody has a role in EMS

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I became idiot #1 for a day when this was originally published at EMS1, curious to see if people agree with that assessment without the provocative headline that led the story. ( I didn’t write the headline) Houston was underwater, Florida about to be, and I was nestled in my football chair in New England getting […]

The solution

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What if . . . We train our dispatchers to ask questions like medics in the field; assess the callers needs to the best of our ability and send the appropriate  resources: 1. Paramedic 2. EMT 3. UBER or similar 4. Police If none of the above is appropriate  or necessary, send nobody. We do […]

Incident Command for Dummies (or EMS officers)

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I think there are 16 floors, I can’t remember. It’s one of the older housing units in the city. A recent makeover helped, but it is tired. A lady called from the seventh floor, history of COPD and a multitude of other health issues. The call was dispatched as an ALS run, Engine 3 and […]

Elvis to the rescue!

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All she had was a wheelchair, a couch, a bed and a picture of Elvis. The place was clean, when you don’t have anything it’s easy to keep up. From her bed she told us about her pain. Four days now, getting worse every day. Diabetes for twenty of her fifty-three years had taken it’s […]

Developing the skills

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A big mistake I made when I was struggling with some demons was comparing myself to other firefighters, medics, emergency room staff and cops. I thought if those people can suck it up, why can’t I? Should have been comparing myself with people who are not immersed in the worst. Normal people don’t deal with […]

39 chances

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Thirty nine times the sheriffs were called to the kids home. Thirty nine opportunities to get him help, put him away, take his guns away and keep them away. How many times was I called to the home of an “emotional male” and failed to take him away, get him help or do much of […]

Wounds run deep

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“What did he stab you with?” “What does that matter?” “It matters a lot.” “He stabbed me, just stop the bleeding.” “Did you see the knife?” “What is this! I told you it don’t matter.” “Actually, it does matter. In a minute, tops, your left lung is going to collapse, your chest cavity is filling […]

All for one?

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With nowhere else to turn, I turned to Local 799, The Providence Firefighters union. My wife had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a year ago, just as I started the 42nd Acadamy of The Providence  Fire Department. One door opened, and it looked like another had shut, but looks are deceiving. With a lot of […]

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