Category Archives: A Tip of the Helmet

Way to go Walgreens


A tip of the helmet to the folks over at Walgreen’s corner Drug Stores. I’m not usually one to applaud corporate actions, but some folks just do the right thing sometimes.
While driving around on errands yesterday I passed a Walgreen’s with one of those giant red signs out front.
Usually the sign shows me I can get 2 gallons of milk for $3.95 or that Vioxx is on special. But imagine my surprise when I glanced over and saw, “AMBER ALERT!” followed by vehicle, child and suspect information.
After returning home I learned that this has been Walgreen’s policy for most stores since the late 1990s.
Recently, in September of 2008, they added severe weather notifications to their policy of helping to find abducted children.

For the rest of my errands, as the banks reminded me of their high yield savings accounts, I wondered why every screen in the abduction area wasn’t automatically used to help find missing children. A huge undertaking, I’m sure, but if it can save 1 life, it’s worth it in my mind.

So a tip of the helmet to Walgreen’s and their Amber Alert sign policy.

That is all.

Thank You Gasda Software

A much over due tip of the helmet to the folks over at Gasda Software, makers of the BlackBerry Firefighter Shift Calendar thing. I’ve mentioned them before, simply because of their neat product and the “crackberry” addicts I know are needing something like that.
Imagine my surprise when the guy from Gasda emails me and tells me how I can fix a problem I’ve been having here on the blog. Seems these programmer folks are savvy at finding the glitches.
For a few weeks I’ve been tinkering with my “101 Things the Fire Department Wishes You Knew” widget and it wasn’t working despite both my valiant tries to make it so. I can either learn synchronized cardioversion or Javascript and one of them pays much better right now.

I made the suggested changes and sure enough, it’s working like a charm. Crazy, huh?

So a Tip of the Helmet to Gasda Software(Which means excellent in Gaelic according to wiktionary) for helping a blogger get along. As a thank you I added a link to their product on the main page a few days back and hope for a decent kick back, although I’ll likely just get kicked.

Working the holidays?

A tip of the helmet to the brothers and sisters away from their families over the holiday. Even though most firehouses will open their doors, bring in more chairs and get through the awkward tradition of not staring at the Captain’s wife, you’re still away from home.
Everyone the Happy Medic meets smiles when they hear the schedule we work. “Wow, only every 3rd day?! That’s awesome!” Until birthdays, anniversaries and holidays come along.
We really are a family and even though many folks outside the service joke that we must all know each other, we almost do. A quick story about family:

Not long ago two firefighters in the area were killed in a residential house fire. Firefighters came from all over the world to participate in the memorial ceremonies. So many in fact that the local hotels and motels were swamped. A group of Canadian Firefighters made it to town thinking they would just grab a room when they arrived. Late at night after the service and memorial, they sought refuge at a local firehouse. They were welcomed, offered coffee and a place to rest the night. The next morning the visitors woke early, shopped and cooked breakfast for the house, then left their home phone numbers and open offers to stay with their families should anyone there ever need a place to stay. And all of it seemed as natural as breathing.

And a very special thank you to those who go out of their way to work on the holiday so others may enjoy it with their family. If someone offered to pick up a trade on a holiday for you, do the right thing and offer back. At the very least sneak some cash towards the meal on behalf of the person doing you the favor.

So stay safe, my extended family, and Happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful for your health and your family, may the trauma gods keep you quiet.

The Happy Medic

As seen on FireGeezer.com

The very first Tip of the Helmet to the folks over at Fire Geezer for a quick line about us on October 28th. If you haven’t been over there yet, they’ve got great items related to EMS and Fire from all over the world as well as hilarious news reports. I like to read about the fire engines repurposed as beer dispensers, but that’s just me.

This is part of a new feature here where we’ll break up the monotony of dispatches with notes from around the internets. Stuff we like will be given a “Tip of the Helmet” while things that get us mad will get a “Letter in the file.”

So welcome, fellow Firegeezer readers, and hope you enjoy the stories!

…for a 9E1…


Ah the old/new days of the coded dispatch system. A 9E1 is a severe diabetic emergency and as usual with these folks, the address is familiar. A special tip of the helmet to my old medic “Beemer” on this one, this tale never gets old.

THE EMERGENCY
A man with uncontrolled insulin dependent diabetes has been found by his family unconscious, again. Rescuers recognize the address as the call is sent over the radio and the conversation starts about who has to convince him to get seen at the hospital this time.

THE ACTION
A proper assessment clears the way for the medication of choice and our friend is soon returning to “normal” when he sits bolt upright and surveys the room slowly. He is not panicked, he is not worried or scared, but is almost inquisitive in his eyeballing of the people around him. It is not uncommon for a person in this situation to be slightly disoriented or even confused, but he seems completely awake. He then looks from Beemer (the medic) to me and I ask him, “How do you feel?” He looks at me, almost leaning in to look into my eyes and speaks the single most memorable line of my career, “Who are you people and how do you know my language?”
“You’re fine” Beemer says and we spend the next 30 minutes convincing him to take his medication. To this day I always think of him when I’m in this situation.