Set down the Ice Buckets, this is the last video you’ll need to see

Kilted to Kick Cancer decided to wade into the Ice Bucket arena.

 

And shut.it.down.

Visit Kilted to Kick Cancer for more information!

Don’t forget to #DunkYourJunk!

 

Get Kilted! Get Checked!

Frequent Flyers

In my new spot serving as the EMS Supervisor for a busy International Airport I have had to learn a new normal.  For example, we get toned out on medical calls for both the approximately 5k-15k people in the terminal at any given time as well as the almost 140k people that circulate through the airport every 24 hours.

Gone are the days of the homeless man asleep in the bus shelter getting a 911 call for being unconscious (Who doesn’t want to be unconscious at 3am?) and here are the new unconscious calls, called in by a flight crew on final approach.

The thing I’m still getting used to, however, is that there will be an ETA included in our dispatch, often 10-15 minutes, which eliminates the need to rush out the door on every bell.  That indeed takes getting used to.  No point rushing out the door and to the gate in 4 minutes when the flight has yet to even land, let alone taxi to the gate.

We’ll grab our gear and access the jetway from the outside and wait for the flight to arrive, often having little to go on regarding the patient’s condition.  The flight crew often calls in “ill passenger” or “vomiting” but the all too common chief complaint is “lost consciousness, now awake.”

You can agree, that could be gosh darn anything.

The rules at our airport say if you call for us we get on the aircraft before anyone stands up, assess the patient and determine the best course of action.  Most often this is finding someone very embarrassed who isn’t handling the flight as well as they hoped.

We do our best for them and handle the encounter like any other EMS system.

The most interesting part of waiting for a flight is when it is an International flight.  Now not only do we have the local police, ambulance company (and their airfield safety escort) but now a whole alphabet soup of customs agents.  If the patient and family needs to be transported they will get quick access to customs and be dealt with first, right there.  They even carry the stamp on their belts.  Very interesting indeed.

 

More to follow from the Airport soon,

HM

Japanese Technical Rescue Competition – Awesome Video!

Have you seen this amazing video from Japan?

Sure the US has musters with drag racers, but the efficiency and purpose movement of these men is admirable.  Have a look!

The last letters are back

Looking through the traffic for this little blog I came across an old post getting more views than usual so I thought I’d put it back up here on the top for a little while.

 

Originally posted March 30, 2010.

The last letters you’ll ever write

“…

Today’s step is an important one, but in no way, shape or form should it be your first.

Tonight you are going to write a Line of Duty Death instructions sheet to your spouse and loved ones to read and follow only in the event of your death, at work.

This is different than your living will, which you all have now, right?

This is also different than any funeral arrangements you may have made or hope to make.

In the back of the Family Disaster Plan are two important sets of instructions.  The first is the Line of Duty Injury instructions sheet.

This gives my wife a list of phone numbers at Headquarters as well as who to ask for at the firehouse, “the Captain” and “Daywatch” to get someone who can tell her more about what may have happened to me if she is indeed notified that I am injured on the job.

The last time I got hurt no one called her because I was treated and released so quickly.  But if it happens again and she gets a phone call in the middle of the night, she knows to take a deep breath and relax.  I know because that is how the instructions start.

Here is just a snippet to get you thinking about what to write in yours-

“Well, you got the phone call you’ve been dreading.  I understand you are upset.  If I got hurt I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  We’ll worry about all that later, I need you to start thinking three hours ahead.  Each decision you make between now and this time tomorrow will set the pace for the coming week.  Take a deep breath and calm down.

I’ll wait.

Good.

Goto the closet and get one of my work T-Shirts or sweatshirts and wear it when you come to see me.  Be honest if folks ask if you need anything.  Take their help.  They need to help as much as you need it.”

It will get emotional when you prepare them for what they might see when a firefighter is injured in the line of duty.  Be honest.  If you dance around topics now it will only create confusion at the most improper time.  End the letter by reminding them that even though you are hurt, it could be worse.

Now, while an emotional wreck, excuse yourself and be alone for a bit and HAND WRITE the next letter – Line of Duty Death Instructions.

This letter is the one they will keep and read over and over and over after you are gone.  Tell them about why you did what you did or chose this job, profession, occupation, place to volunteer.  Sign it, seal it in an envelope and put it in the back of the Disaster Plan.

On the same day, make plans to open the letter the day after your retirement.  Perhaps someplace tropical.

Do it now or regret it later, your choice.

HM”

 

#EveryDayReview – Republic Wireless

#EveryDayReview

 

From time to time you’ve likely noticed I try to chat you up about a new product that was sent to me for review.  Maybe you took my advice and grabbed some gear for work or ignore the blog when I post a product review.  I hope it’s the former.

Today I’m introducing a new feature, #EveryDayReview.  This will be an exciting product or service I use in my personal life that I just want to share.  I’m not getting the product to test, I’ve already tested it and endorsed it the best way I know how: I bought one/use it/ subscribe!

 

Let’s jump into a common topic: Cellular service.

I recommend Republic Wireless.

Republic Wireless is my mobile phone provider and I could not be happier with their concept, products or service.

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a T-Mobile customer hacking an iphone from ebay to get better use of the data service we were paying through the nose for.

A few years later wandering Costco and about to lose support for my hacked iphone we saw a great deal on Verizon Droid phones.

FREE phone with 2 year contract!

It wasn’t until years later we realized the cost of the phone is rolled into the ridiculous cost of service.

Republic Wireless also takes advantage of a secret your wireless carrier doesn’t want you to know:

They know most of your time is within wireless internet range, yet still charge you upwards of $75 a month for access to 4g internet.  Why?  Half the time I’m at home on wireless I already pay for or at work connected, why pay so much for my phone plan only to spend most of my time on wireless internet?  We did the math.  Only when commuting to and from work was I not on wireless, a total of 40 hours a month give or take.  40 hours / $75 4g plan:

Verizon was effectively charging me $1.87 an hour.  The rest of the time I was on wifi I already paid for.  Are you the same?  Want to drastically reduce your bill without losing service?

Republic Wireless is the answer.

Phone plans start at $5 a month.  Yes, $5 a month gets you calls and data over wireless networks only.

Want a little more?  How about $10 for cellular calls and data over wireless only?

I’m at the $25 plan which gives me unlimited* 3g data and cell calls over the Sprint network.

For $40 you get 4g coverage so you can stream Netflix without a wireless connection.

*Go over 5g in a month twice in 6 months and you might get throttled, but no fees. Go 6 months without going over and you get a pass next time.

How do they do it so cheap?  Your phone prefers to make calls over the wireless instead of the cell network.  Anytime you’re connected to wifi, BOOM, you can make calls.

Republic Wireless MotoXWe got the MotoX and it’s a great handset.  We paid upfront for the phones, but considering the cost savings month to month we were ahead of the game in 5 short months.  Not to mention our grandfathered Verizon unlimited data plans were worth a few hundred bucks on ebay!

The service still has a few glitches switching a call from wireless to the cell network, but I rarely keep talking when leaving the house so only noticed this problem when testing the system early on.

Below is a screenshot from my MotoX.  See the little green arch near the green llama?  That’s the Republic Wireless happy green arch letting me know I’m completely on wifi. The llama is unrelated, I swear.

Republic Wireless PlansAnother neat option: you can change plans twice a billing cycle.  When we were going out of the country and not expecting cell service, we bumped the plans down to the $5 plan and made and received calls off the wifi in the beach house in Belize (when the router worked).

When we hit the states, we simply told the phone to update the plan.  A few minutes later and a restart on the phone and it was done.

No sense paying full price for a service you’re not using full time.

In addition to a killer concept and competitive pricing, Republic Wireless thrives on the community the users have created.  Never before have I had a company engage on social media so swiftly and accurately.

Downside?  3g means less streaming of Pandora though some service areas (it is the Sprint network after all) and that’s about it, really.  They can port most numbers and now even allow porting of Google Voice numbers.

The next time you’re looking at your budget and wondering how to get that cell phone bill down to a reasonable level, take a look at Republic Wireless.  You’ll pay for the phone, but far less than a free phone and inflated monthly fee from the other guys.

 

I use Republic Wireless and love it!

kilted to speak

New news from the Kilted front!

Kilted to Kick Cancer is now an official 501(c)(3) according to the IRS!

 

That’s right, everyone’s favorite kilt wearing fund raisers can now offer you a receipt for Uncle Sam in exchange for your donation to help us spread the word about male specific cancers in September and all other cancers all the time.

I think it’s a fair trade off, don’t you?

Read more at the new post up at KTKC:

Achievement Unlocked: Official Charity Status!

Horseplay or Violence in the Workplace? Lebanon, TN Firefighters suspended for choke hold after fart

Firehouse.com is sharing a report from the Lebanon Democrat paper in Lebanon, TN, about an incident that has led to at least 2 suspensions of firefighters.

Initial reports indicated that one firefighter, also a mixed martial arts enthusiast, choked another firefighter.  I was on board with the suspensions based on that information.  However, as I learned in my short 2.5 years in Risk Management, the first version is never what really happened.

So here’s what did happen:

Shenanigans.

Let me explain.

One firefighter had a habit of breaking wind near people and walking away.  Reports indicate he is older than 12 regardless of this form of entertainment.

One firefighter was sitting at the computer when the wind breaker attacked, sending fumes towards his coworker and scurrying into the other room.  Witnesses later stated the co-worker, smelling the offensive gift, gave chase, caught the squeaker and put him in a choke hold.  Words were exchanged and at least 1 person took cell phone video of the event.

The attacker was released by his attacker and suffered no injury but did lose consciousness briefly.

Shenanigans.

This is no different than what happens in countless firehouses across the Nation.

However, your personnel manager may see it differently.  Acting Personnel Director Lee Ann Crosslin disagreed with the finding of the Department that this event was horseplay.  She classified it as workplace violence.

Take a deep breath everyone.

The firefighter who got choked stated he was not humiliated, he suffers no health effects as a result and that the action against him was not malicious.

None of that matters to the third party after the fact.

Much like how sexual harassment now includes bystanders who are uncomfortable with something 2 others actually participating are comfortable with, what passes as hore play, or bonding, by one group of people appears violent to another.

And that other has considerable political power in this case.

We don’t have the full story, not until the video is released by someone that is, so my comments below are based on the article linked above.

Lighten the Fuck up.

All of you.

Someone farts in your direction?  Fart back.

Think farting in someone’s direction is funny? Grow up.

If someone says nothing happened we don’t need to assume they’re suffering from some kind of battered wife-like syndrome, protecting their attacker.

It’s the firehouse.  If what happened in this story is to truly be interpreted as workplace violence I need to be arrested and locked up for life.

There is a fine line here, let’s not forget.  What can start as fun can turn dangerous when the recipient calls Uncle or safety gear or equipment is involved.

Don’t put potatoes in their boots, short sheet the bed.  Run a bag of fluid in the ceiling tiles to drip on their pillow all night.  Send them to get the hose stretcher or to spend the night stirring the tanks, but be careful because someone outside our community may think you’re being mean and, well, suspend you. Or worse.

Regardless of my feelings on this case, or yours, you need to read, understand and follow your local rules and regulations regarding horseplay, pranks and personal interactions.

I’m not sure what bothers me more: That this all started with a fart or that so many political offices got involved.

 

Everything you need to know about EMS management…

you’ll learn in a bar.

Or at least while at a bar.

It sounds cliche, but let me explain.

Hrs HM and I had a chance to escape for a lunch date today and headed for our favorite local watering hole that hosts Buzztime Trivia.  Over some buffalo style wild wings many a taunt is heard about who will win and our bartender is welcoming, as usual, offering this special and that while fetching the Mrs a water and me a tall IPA that looks new.

As http://tgwb.org/buy-cialis-online/ we exchanged heated discussions about how I was right, just not how the game people thought, the bartender and the manager got into a discussion about the beer coolers.

This discussion has been had between bartender and manager, Paramedic and manager since the dawn of their respective professions.  Yes, bartenders are still considered a profession over paramedics, more on that soon.

They were discussing the location of the beers on display in the 2 large coolers flanking the bar.  Being a beer snob, I never drink bottled beer when the same on draft is available.  Drinking a bottle when the same beer is on draft is like choosing to skype with your girlfriend instead of have a face to face conversation.

It suddenly occurs to me some of you will miss that…let’s move on…

The discussion was about how the beers should be displayed, the order and location compared to the other cooler.  One said they should be mirrored, the other claiming they are to be the same.

My OCD kicked in and despite the Mrs’ frequent requests to stop, I was searching for a pattern to the location of the beers.  Alphabetical by name? No. Light to dark? No. Sorted by type? No. Size of bottle? No.  There was no discernible reason for the beers being in the order they were until I happened to mention a random joke: ” I bet it’s corporate’s idea!”

Yup.

Someone in the home office was deciding what goes where and why.

Sound familiar?

I had the exact same conversation with an EMT from the medic unit just 24 hours prior and asked her to look at 3 spare bags we had, speak to her co-workers and their partners and figure out what works best when providing patient care, then get back to me.

Problem solved.  The EMTs get what they need and the medics get what they need and, as a nifty side effect, the patients get what they need.

Back at the place of wild wings the bartender joked about how the night shift will just change the coolers back to what they were before, all the while the manager was referencing an inventory sheet that clearly stated where the beers should be in each cooler.  The day manager conflicting with night. Perhaps there’s a contract with beer X that says they have to be front and center?  I’d buy that but why not hand that decision over to the folks who have to pull the product day in and day out instead of mandating it from on high without reason other than “That’s how it’s always been?

 

And yes, achieving status as a fully fledged bartender takes up to 10 months…about the time as the average Paramedic cheap generic cialis program.

Happy Feet – the Blauer 6″ Clash Boot Review

Blauer has been making boots longer than I’ve been wearing them and the Clash Waterproof line shows they’re still improving on the concept.

In my career I’ve worn all manner of boot from slip ons (yuck) to steel toed zip ups (Big City fireman boots!) to whatever was cheap at the uniform store.

I’ve reviewed Magnum Boots in the past and enjoyed their fit and specs and the Blauer Clash did not disappoint.

Often I give the boots I review a thorough testing period through random Engine Company duties such as footing ladders in drills, PT, footing gurneys etc but my new gig doesn’t have much of that but it does have one thing most jobs don’t:

Walking.

I do a lot of walking where I am and having a comfortable boot to do it in is essential.  The Clash 6″ is far more flexible out of the box than I expected and it fit my foot well in my regular duty socks.  No extra thick hiking socks needed here to fill gaps.  There is no safety toe which may exclude it from some EMS and Fire duty, but as a supervisor I can get by without it, especially since I have the option at work of wearing a dress shoe instead of my boots.

The Clash has a number of features that set it aside and the first one that caught my attention before putting it on was the goofy looking disc on the front.  I say goofy looking because, well, this boot has no laces, zipper, or other discernible method of applying pressure to snug the boot.  They reminded me of Marty McFly Jr’s shoes from October 2015…wait a minute…that’s next year!

That disc is part of the new BOA system, a steel cable that is tightened by spinning the disc and loosened by pulling the disc forward.  I’ll admit I was skeptical at first but the disc does what they say and I am able to quickly don the boots and tighten as well as release and don turn out boots (in case I need a safety toe…see?)

The BOA system does take some getting used to but as soon as you learn your comfort level, the boots begin to give support to the ankle and above right away.

However, once the boots are on and you begin to walk, and remember I do a lot of walking now, the real clever feature of this boot is revealed.  In the rear of the 6″ Clash boot is a notch about an inch deep, padded, that allows an almost full range of motion with your ankle when walking.  Where my usual boots catch and have to bend, this boot remains supportive laterally and my achilles tendon never feels stressed.

The toe takes polish like a champ but did scuff easily before I got a coat of polish on.

Another feature of the Blauer 6″ Clash Boot I didn’t expect is the almost velcro grip on the sole of the boot.  Your pal Happy is a lover, not a fighter, and I am known to wipe my feet, dirty or not, on door mats.  When I did so in my Blaur 6″ Clash boots they did not move.  The honeycomb pattern somehow grabs the flooring and won’t let me wipe my feet naturally.  Perhaps my old boots are old and worn, but this was a pleasant surprise.

 

In conclusion, the Blaur 6″ Clash Waterproof boot is a safe investment for anyone who needs a reliable boot to do a fair amount of walking.  If your agency requires a steel or safety toe sadly this won’t fit the bill, but those in law enforcement, security and some EMS agencies should certainly find them at your local shop and give them a try.  If you are doing special events or are on your feet most of the day this is the boot you’ve been looking for.

I recommend the Blauer 6″ Clash and give it a 446 out of 654 based on math I won’t bore you with (but the spreadsheet looks amazing!)

 

On a sidenote to boot manufacturers:  Stop putting your logo on the inside of the boot.  It never lasts more than a day and I’ve had that with every boot I’ve ever tried.  It makes me feel dirty when I wear them for 9 hours, then see your logo mostly gone.  That is all.

Still Here. Still Sharing.

30 days away from you guys was tough, but I did OK.  I know there’s a hole in your heart from missing my rambling therapy experiment, but fear not fair reader, I’m back.

For reasons I can’t discuss I left the content of this site unchanged for 30 days, at my own request.

Now I can get back to venting, wishing, dreaming and sharing.

Speaking of sharing, those of you who subscribe to Fire Engineering Magazine should keep an eye out for your August 2014 issue which should contain an article about the way to enforce rules and regulations when it comes to sharing media.

“What the frack is sharing media?” you ask?

Sharing Media refers to the ever growing methods and, more importantly reasons, for sharing traditional (photo, paper, magazine, TV) and electronic (facebook, tweet, instagram, video) media.  Social media seems to focus on the facebook and the twitter and the instagram, which all require a set audience or group of friends.  I use Sharing Media to refer to any and all instances where an idea, sentence, paper, image, concept or anything else is shared with another in any format.  This covers internet sites, phone apps, newspaper and magazine articles, even the cork board at the local coffee shop.  The reason for this new definition is not only to expand the definition of media out of the pixels you see here but remind folks that it is the reason to share, not the method, that we should focus on.

In other words, focus on WHY, not HOW.

Most Fire Departments have rules covering the HOW that already cover the non pixelated methods of being foolish.  Simply expand that already existing net and, -boom-

 

You don’t need a social media policy.  You already have a Sharing Media Policy.  Use it.

More on that topic, why WHY is so important and what you as a line firefighter, emt, manager, company or chief officer can do TODAY to get out of the digital swamp of social media restriction in the upcoming (I’ve been told) issue.

As always I welcome you feedback on that and any other ramblings you find on these pixels, in other articles, forums or sites, in the interwebs or magazines.  I stand behind all my shared media and always consider the WHY before I share.  There’s a lot I want to share but have chosen not to.

Thanks for coming back and keep coming back as lots of product reviews are in the works including the flashlight I wish they sent me 2 of and a pair of boots without laces.  No, they’re not the Nikes from Back to the Future.

Above all be safe!

-HM

A therapy blog with an EMS problem