Post about our site and win a prize! – Seems Legit

I was going to let this one go and chalk it up to a bad decision.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a popular clothing and gear manufacturer to review one of their products.  Not uncommon.  I frequently get requests to review gear, host a guest post about an online EMT class etc etc.

They’re all form letters likely sent to any email address that relates to a blog.


I’ve been asked to review helmets, boots, socks, you name it.  If the company sends me an honest email and meets my requirements, I review the product, write my honest review and post it.


99 times out of 100 the solicitation is bogus and often includes terminology reserved for Nigerian Princes.

“Please to review our new item!” etc etc.


When a company I respected reached out asking for a product review, I was curious to hear what they had in mind.

What they had in mind was no where close to what I expected. [my edits]

“Hi, [ no name…sure giveaway]


[a person you’ve never heard of] had initially emailed you [no they didn’t but it seems like you missed it, right?] to to [poorly proofread, I mean who wrote this? Me?] let you know that we [we who?] have teamed up with [a company you respected] for a giveaway! [company] is the leading provider for law enforcement and tactical gear  and wanted to see if you would be interested in blogging about an experience that you have had using a [company] product. If you have not used [company], that’s okay too! You could also write about a product that you are interested in using. We are doing a [companyBag and yes, the lack of a space between the company prize and the word Givaway is a … giveaway—->]Giveaway with lots of great stuff for the best blog writers!


If you are interested please a post [again with the proofreading!] about your experience/write about a product that you’re dying to try~!


To Qualify the Requirements are:

1. 300-500 words

2. This must be 100% unique and original content

3. 1 link to the main webpage ([company website])

4. 1 link to the product that you have used or would like to try out ([hint hint, here’s a product we likely want to push])


When you have posted this article, please email  me and provide me with the URL so that you can be entered in the contest.


This giveaway will start Wednesday July, 11th and the winning blogger will be selected on August 31, 2012. We will enter in the URLs and randomly choose a winner. The winner will be contacted via e-mail no later than September 14, 2012. When you are contacted I will ask for all your info as to where to mail the [company prize, which is never explained] prize giveaway!


We wish you the best of luck!! And we hope that you decide to be a part of this amazing giveaway!


Good luck,

[another person you’ve never heard of]”

An email address not affiliated with the company reached out in Nigerian Prince fashion to ask me to review a product and write a blog post about it.

But wait!  There’s more!

If I meet the qualifications listed below I could be entered in a contest with other bloggers to win a prize?  All I had to do was review a product I had never touched, write a 300-500 word review and post a few link backs within my post to be entered to win?


I made a snarky comment on facebook soon after and dismissed it as a fly by night internet PR firm’s idea of drumming up site traffic.


Then I got an email today reminding me to get my post up soon to be considered for the contest:

“This is just a reminder about the [manufacturer deleted] giveaway contest. Time is passing by quickly! We know that sometimes there is so much to do that you don’t have time to write a lengthy post. So for those of you interested but don’t have the time, we have a different option that you can do to enter into the giveaway! Please email me for further details. For those that want to take a stab at it yourself, below are the requirements!

Thank you for you time and I wish you all luck!”


No I didn’t email them to get a likely canned “guest post” nor will I.  Heck, part of me wants to send this in as my entry to their “contest.”


Some companies understand the blogger, some go the less expensive route and hire a company or a 10th grade intern to dream up ways to drum up traffic.

Sorry, guys.  If you were aware of this you lost big points in my book.  If you didn’t know about it, you lost even more.  Either way this is a letter in your file and I hope one of your folks sees this and thinks, “Oh crap, was that us?”


I will refrain from mentioning the manufacturer, but if you follow me, you already know.


IE users, Y U no tell me the blog looked like shit?

Yes, I swore.  In the title.

I accidentally clicked on IE on the home computer and didn’t notice until the blog loaded.  Slowly…and wrong.

I have no idea how long you’ve been looking at a sub standard version of what I have created for you and for that I apologize.  But really, not one email about how shitty it looked?  I can only assume that since 40% of you are visiting using Internet Explorer, you’ve wondered why the sidebar was at the bottom, why there was a bunch of stuff 8000 pixels to the right and yet no one thinks to drop me a line?

Or did you think I was just a coding idiot and decided to give me the internet version of the pat on the head and a “Oh bless his heart?”

So here we go: is best viewed using anything other than Internet Explorer.

Try Chrome or Firefox (international visitors, find your appropriate versions), both accept all formats of programming language and will greatly enhance your interwebs experience.  My writing is better in Firefox, the porn is classier and all the political humor is on your side.

It’s not perfect in IE, never really will be, so for your own sake, grab a new browser and do us all a favor.

And those of you reading the mobile version: disregard.

Gephyrophobiacs Beware

Today is the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge.

She was first dreamed of by railroad tycoon  Charles Crocker in 1872 for the simple reason of shortening the trip from the north bay areas to the bustling gold boomtown of San Francisco. In 1916 the idea was revisited by James H. Wilkins, a structural engineer and newspaper editor for the San Francisco Call Bulletin paper, which caught the attention of the City Engineer Michael O’Shaughnessy who pitched the idea of a bridge to span the Golden Gate in 1919.

The San Francisco Bay meets the Pacific Ocean at the Golden Gate, a 3 mile long, 1 mile wide span with tides ranging 8 feet and an average 5 knots.  The technology to span such a waterway was new and would take an enormous investment.  O’Shaughnessy’s plan? Charge a toll and the bridge will pay for itself.

Senior Engineer Charles Ellis took the reins shortly after the project was resurrected after the Wall Street crash of 1929. In 1930 local voters approved a bond to build the $25 million bridge ($323 million adjusted to today’s dollars) but there were no banks that would sell the bond.  Newly formed Bank of America stepped in and just 4 years later the bridge was complete and under budget by over $1 million.

[yframe url=’’]

1937 rate for Golden Gate Bridge tolls, and general rules of the bridge district


That crossing today is $6 and subsidizes a network of buses and ferries that help divert the ever increasing motor traffic off the bridge.

She’s been in a number of films and continues to attract tourists who enjoy walking across for a fabulous view of the City.  She has also seen countless confused souls take their last step of life.

She serves as an icon to the world, show her towers to anyone anywhere and they can tell you where she lives.  75 years young and still standing strong.  Every year she gets a fresh coat of International Orange Paint and watches the ships go in and out.  The color was the original sealant used prior to the coat of silver, but the locals lobbied to keep her orange.  The navy, always concerned for safety, agreed to the orange instead of their original request of black with yellow stripes to aid ships in navigating the towers.  Thank God.

Here’s to another 75 years!

Happy Birthday Golden Gate Bridge.

Attention all units in the field

I need 3 minutes of your time for a worthy cause.


Today about 300 of you will visit this little blog. I need each and every one of you to complete the following steps and we can have an enormous impact on the future of EMS.  This being EMS Week, I figured you’d be up to it.


Support Setla Films by voting for them to be awarded a $250,000 grant from Chase and Living Social.

1. Go to and on the bottom right side of the site you click on “Log In & Support“. You can use your facebook credentials to make it easy.

2. type “First Responders Network” as the business

3. click on “California” as the city

4. click on “Benicia” as the City

5. click on VOTE


Easy Peasy, you’re almost done.

Now all you need to do is come back here, click on the share buttons to the right and share the link to this post on facebook, twitter and all the other sites you can until the 3 minutes you promised are up.  Fair enough?

The networks don’t think EMS is ready to get back into prime time.  You want to let them win or prove we can’t be kept down? We WILL get a positive EMS message into the homes of every American if we take advantage of these kinds of opportunities!

All Setla Films needs is 250 votes to get nominated.  I say we give him more than he needs to show these folks his mission has a grassroots following!


Who’s with me?

Rants may be Welcome, but Beware

A new site has popped up overnight (seems they’re coming fast these days) that is catering to a certain niche in our community:

The complainers.

Well, not really complainers, but those who need to vent.

I consider myself an expert on blog therapy and see this new site going one of two ways.

It will either be a tremendous hit or a disastrous flop, taking down the site owners, administrators and contributors.

It seems like a perfect idea.  Send in your EMS rant, they clean it up and post it anonymously.  Seems perfect.  Get it off your chest and move on.  They have all comments disabled, and with good reason, the troll factor would be incredible.

But, if a certain agency tries hard enough because they see something hitting a little too close to home, the entire house of rant could fall bringing every single poster into the light.

Be warned my friends, if you use this site you could walking into a delayed disaster.  But on the other hand, if you’re careful enough and can find some relief from getting your negative feelings out in a controlled environment (not at work or with a patient) who am I to stop you.

I’ll be visiting the site regularly, for the same reason I visit Fail blog, to watch the silly words and grab a smile.


Hey Motorcop, do you LEOs have anything like this?

Seems like the right time to say this too: I am not the owner or operator of that site.

Please Albert, not in mixed company

Sometimes we spend a few days with like minded folks and forget that we speak differently when around them.  We speak candidly about our jobs, our frustrations and our opinions of others not like us.


When waiting with a large crowd for the train at the airport it is not advisable to have a raucous conversation about people who commit suicide by jumping off of buildings.  You compared highest falls, genders, dispersal of remains, even splatter patterns.  The disgusted looks you were getting from those around you went unnoticed by you but I’m sure they took note of your ambulance companies which were prominently displayed on your shirts.  I tried to get your attention to distract you, but when you made the Humpty Dumpty joke, I decided to pretend I was offended too.  It wasn’t hard at all.


Overheard on vacation – the Barber

A cop walks into a barber shop looking for a haircut.  As they discuss the news of the day and the weather, the topic turns to his line of work.

“What do you do?” the barber asks.

“I’m a cop.”

“I admire what you men do, I’d like to give you this haircut for free.” the barber says and the cop reluctantly agrees.


The next morning the barber can’t get into his shop because there is a large box of donuts and a card from the cop.


As he walks in another man takes a seat for a haircut.  As they discuss the news of the day the topic once again turns to his line of work.

“I’m a paramedic.” the man replies.

“I admire the work you do and I’d like to give you a free haircut as a thank you.” the barber says and the Paramedic agrees after the barber refuses his money a third time.

The next morning the barber can’t get inot his shop because there is a box of bandages and pamphlets about staying healthy.

Soon after another man walk in and takes a seat.

As the topic turns once again to his work the man replies, “I’m a fireman.”

“I admire the work you do, I’d like to give you a free haircut.”  And just like the others he reluctantly agrees.

The next morning the barber can’t get into his shop because there is a line of fireman around the block.



Told to me by a retired fireman who served not 30 miles from me growing up.  Met him on a cruise ship in Canada.  Go figure.

Man Up NFL – Ditch the helmets


I’m talking American Football.  The game where almost 50 men complete against one another 11 at a time with plenty of breaks in the action to catch their breath.  They are strong, large men, many of them obese and wear enormous pads and helmets to protect them not from the other men, but from the other men’s pads and helmets.  Why do I care? Well, I always have, but watching a college game yesterday made me want to comment on it.

Chris Owusu, a wide receiver for the Stanford college team was removed from the field Saturday after being struck in the helmet by…another helmet.  This was his fourth concussion and reports have him being taken off the field unconscious.

This phenomenon is nothing new in the world of American Football and has been studied for decades.  A simple google search returns studies that talk about ensuring the players hit each other less, or not head to head.  Good luck.


The entire motivating factor in American Football is to hit the other guy hard, yet there is no stat for hits.  So if the culture of the sport is encouraging dangerous play, shouldn’t we protect the players?  Surely stronger pads and helmets will protect them right?  Sadly no, it just adds a harder hit from the other guy.  It’s a lot like arguing that car accidents will be safer if we all had bigger heavier cars.  Foolish, yet that is what the NFL, NCAA and youth programs are doing.  They add more pads and stronger helmets, all the while seeing more injuries and more serious injuries to boot.


I’m not a huge fan of American Football and have a number of ways to make it more interesting to watch, but none of them is “HIT HIM HARDER!”

My first order of business is to remove the helmets in use now and replace them with nothing.  Yes, nothing.  It’ll take a little while for the game to adapt but far less people will be getting concussions if they have to go skull to skull against the other guy.  It might actually require them to learn how to tackle, not just hit.  Look at rugby and Australian Rules Football, both requiring more strategy, fitness and contact to tackle a person as opposed to simply hitting him so hard he passes out.  Imagine an NFL lineman who can run farther than 40 yards…

But American Football fans don’t want to watch men who can play an entire game.  They live for the hard hit across the middle, knocking the player who caught the ball on his face in some form of ancient battle.

Removing the helmets, the radio transmitters and making the players actually play the whole game with limited substitutions (imagine that!) will greatly increase the pace of the game as well as the entertainment factor for those of us interested in a competition, not a battle.  Not to mention, less career ending injuries.


Lose the helmets NFL, what do you think you are? Hockey?  As far as I can see the only hazard on the field is the other team and the only reason is because they’re heavily fortified as well.

I got stopped…

…and I deserved it. Man I hate it when Motorcop is right.


I was driving through the City when my phone rang and it was work.  Sometimes I forget to take the radio out of my jacket pocket, sometimes it’s the keys…etc etc, so I answered it.

Then they put me on hold for a minute, and that’s when me and the Motor passing the other direction made eye contact.

I hung up, he swung around and I pulled over and waited.

I knew it was wrong, time to drink the tea.


CityMC – “Do you know why I turned around?”

HM – “I was on the phone.  Shouldn’t have been.  No excuse.”

CityMC – “License please. I’m going to cite you, this isn’t safe.”

He wandered back to the motor and began to scratch out the cite and my phone is ringing again.  No way in Hell am I answering it now.

He returns to the car where I’m patiently waiting, hands on the wheel.

CityMC – “Your license and your insurance have different addresses, which is correct?”


HM – “My insurance, Sir.”

CityMC – “You need to get to the DMV immediately and get that remedied.”

HM – “Yes, Sir.”

He went back to the bike and was on the radio…no what is he doing? He’s on the phone.  I make eye contact in the rearview mirror of him laughing and smiling on the phone and he turns away from me.

A few moments later he approaches the window and offers me the complete cite and asks me to sign.

I signed, no argument, no stupid excuse, no denying the obvious.

Then he gave me back my license and told me it was my lucky morning, he had just gotten good news.  This would only be a warning.  I should take what I would have paid in the cite and go buy a new hands free set, or 2, and use them.

And I will.


It just goes to show that if you are honest and respectful, and if he gets a lucky phone call, maybe you’ll just get a warning.

Now if only medics could have the same kind of power in transport decisions…

Public Service Announcement – Misconceptions

Inspired in part by Motorcop and his hatred for the confusion between jail and prison I too would like to clear a few things up for the general public.  Nearly everything you have ever seen on TV about fire, police and EMS is false, yet you assume it to be accurate.  Especially all the medical dramas…I get that you watched season 3 of Grey’s last night and know what abdominal pain could be, but listen, it was probably the 4 packages of TGIFridays jalapeno poppers, not an AAA, so sit down before you hurt yourself and actually need an ambulance.

Misconception #1: You call for an ambulance.

When your kid cuts his finger, when your cough won’t go away or when your neighbor seems to be walking funny and the Today Show says it could be a stroke, you do not call an ambulance.


You call for help.


The help that arrives is what you want, don’t look at me funny when you report your kid’s laceration won’t stop bleeding and I arrive 4 minutes later in a big red truck.  Don’t get testy when I tell you the ambulance is coming but that he doesn’t need it.  I’m the expert, I’m going to talk for a few minutes and you’re going to do what I say.

OK, not really, the law makes YOU in charge of this emergency, what was I thinking?

In your extensive medical wisdom you’ve decided junior’s finger needs the ER, despite my assurances to the contrary and your ambulance has arrived.  We aren’t doing anything for him because, aside from the self adhesive bandage I have already applied, there is nothing more we, or the ER, can do.  “But because we go in with you, we’ll get seen quicker, right?”

Misconception #2: Arriving by ambulance will get you seen quicker.

No, no no my friend.  When you arrive by car and go inside and wait in line, then the person behind the desk asks you to fill out all the info and they let you see a nurse real quick, then sit and wait, that is called triage.

Triage is a word that means to sort.  We take the sickest people first.  Well, the ER does, I have to take every Tom Dick and Harry who asks, completely ruining what could be a proper working system, but that’s another blog entirely.  Well…not really, but we’re off track now.  See what you’ve done?

When we bring you in by ambulance, no lights and sirens, stopping for every red light, we’re traveling no faster than you could be.  Then we arrive to a little nurse’s station where they collect your info and the SAME NURSE checks you out real quick.  Now guess what happens.  If you’re not sick enough to be seen right away, we take you off the cot and walk you to the chairs in the waiting room.  Then we make sure we have your billing address correct and say good day.

Misconception #3: The ER fills and refills prescriptions.

Cough been keeping you awake all night?  Too bad you never got that prescription filled.  You see, when a Doctor examines and diagnoses you, they may write a prescription for medication.  This little form lists your medication, dose and instructions and is the Doctor’s way of healing you, but you have to go just a might further on your own.  Goto the local Walmart and go back to that cool little office in the back and hand them the piece of paper the Doctor gave you.  You’re going to have to wait a few minutes, so go wander the tackle isle and wait for your name to be called.

Take the medicine home, read the instructions and follow them.  Oddly, your health will improve.  I know, weird.

Calling 911 at 4 in the morning and handing me the prescription will not help.  I do not dispense medications,  I administer them when indicated.  The ER does not have a pharmacy that dispenses medicines, just one that facilitates administration.  The ER will look at the prescription form and point you in the direction of the nearest 24 hour pharmacy.  I tried that, but you wouldn’t listen to reason and do the right thing, you demanded transport.  When you get home in 45 minutes, don’t call back.

Misconception #4: Your Doctor will be at the hospital.

Hate to break it to you Erma, but Dr Johnson is NOT at St Farthest today, it’s Sunday and he’s an endocrinologist.  He works for the same corporation as your hospital, cubbied into a group for billing purposes and is allowed access to your insurance corporation’s network of specialists and tests, but he is not there.  He will not be there, nor will I call him to let him know you’re going in again.  He will be notified should your condition warrant review by someone of his specialty.

Only once in my career have I seen a primary care race to the ER to meet a patient and she had more money than God, which gets you that kind of attention.  But still only gets her me in a City ambulance.  Figure that one out.


There it is, a quick list of some of the most common misconceptions in modern Emergency Medical Service.  If you ever wonder why it’s taking so long for an ambulance, chances are we’re taking care of someone who wants it, but doesn’t need it.