I’m as free as a bird now…

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It’s not all heroic rescues, trauma codes, waving to kids and CPR, it’s so much more. It’s really all about people, and trying to do what is right, or at the very least, what you hope is right. . . Nothing on the floor but dirt, roaches and him. The carpet was stained beyond repair; […]

Firehouse Cooking, hot and a lot!

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By Michael Morse One of the greatest things in the day of a firefighter is mealtime. We love to eat and put a heck of a lot of thought into what ends up on our plates. It‘s a long-standing tradition — firefighters gathered around the table in the day room, breaking bread and making fun of […]

Carrying them with us

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A little of me dies every time I hear of a firefighter line of duty death. It actually hurts. The people who do not make it home are not strangers to me, even though we have never met. I know them. Firefighters are not all that different. There is a commonality that binds a crew […]

Firefighter/Medic

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  By Michael Morse If I told this story once, I have told it a million times. When I had no hope, nowhere to turn and no answers, I called 911. My father was in the final stages of brain cancer, my mother was at the end of her rope caring for him, and I […]

Tragedy

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The man that was forced to shoot the kid who was shooting other students may be a hero, but I know other heroes who had to shoot a kid, and the experience is anything but heroic when replayed over and over and over, when sleep is elusive, alcohol abundant and PTSD creeping in from every […]

Dying really isn’t all that bad…

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I work on an ambulance where lives are lost every day. Some die peacefully, some from purposeful acts of violence and some from simple bad luck. Here are a few things I’ve learned by being present at the end. 1. The shock felt when confronted with the finality of sudden death is overwhelming, but not […]

Food shopping while on duty?

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We love to eat. We love to cook. We love to visit the stores, familiarize ourselves with the district, interact with the people we are paid to protect and contribute to the local economy. It’s one of the many great parts of the greatest job in the world. Generations of firefighters have shared the experience […]

On the Shelf

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By Michael Morse There’s a shelf in my garage next to the 2-cycle oil container and the extension cords where all that is left of my career sits. It ain’t much, just an old helmet, five helmet shields, and the books I wrote when I was in the fight. Those were great times, but all […]

You need not be a chief to begin active shooter/mass casualty training

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  by Michael Morse If your department doesn’t have a standard operating procedure for an active shooter/mass-casualty incident (MCI) that includes joint training with law enforcement, it’s time to push for one. Try not to assume that somebody knows what to do. Probably somebody does, but what if we all think somebody else is that […]

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 […]

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