Category Archives: Safety

the Crossover Episode 18 – Where’s your car dude?

The boys are back in what can only be described as their Christmas Show.  They discuss how to stay safe when out shopping, what a cassette tape and a pencil will never show our children and why the Elf on the Shelf might just make up for it.


Motorcop from joins me for another 45 minutes of the internet’s only Police/EMS/Fire podcast!


The show is now barely legal.  That alone should get you to click play!


You Make the Call – Hanging around

The title is a bad pun, but has a dual meaning, trust me.

You have been dispatched in your first response vehicle to a boat yard for a reported hanging. The location is about a 10 minute drive from your posting spot and no other rescuers are responding with you.

About half way there dispatch advises the reporting party states the victim is in a boat out on the lake and will take rescuers to it when they arrive. The local Sheriffs used to have a boat but budget cuts have it on a trailer in a parking lot.

Arriving at the scene, or at least the closest your rig can get, a man identifies himself as the boat yard manager and motions you to a well kept vessel dockside with 2 other men staffing it. It is larger than a house boat and has plenty of room for all your gear, even the gurney!

Local PD radios you and states they are 10 minutes out with a field investigator and camera and request you do not board the boat until they arrive.

The man on the boat is adamant that you hurry and come with him immediately. It is a 10-12 minute ride to the boat anchored around a corner.


What do you do?

You make the call.

Real Firefighter Olympics

From our friends at Gasda Software, creators of the BlackBerry Shift Calendar, a link to what real firefighter olympics look like.  Last ones I went to had darts and bowling.  Thanks D!


Family Disaster Plan – Time to revisit it

In the wake of the Bryan Stow assault, I am reminded to update and review my family disaster plan.

We have an elaborate plan, but it all started with creating living wills in case something were to happen to one of us, just like it happened to Bryan.

This tab used to be up in the page list and perhaps it is time to bring it back:


Disaster Plan


Talk to your family today about what happens when the unthinkable happens.

In addition, thank you to everyone who came by Santa Clara county AMR yesterday for Bryan's fundraiser, word is we gathered over $100,000 for Bryan and his family.  Thank you.


Ambulance Safety – A discussion with Greg Friese

At last year's EMS Expo I was invited to interview a number of folks for  Among them was Greg Friese, noted blogger and educator, but did you know he has a background in passenger vehicle safety?  Have a look.


Oh, and wear your gorram seat belt.


Thank you.



the Crossover – Episode 11 – Captain Daddy

In this episode, we introduce a special guest that had a major influence in MC's life…CaptainDaddy! Happy picks his brain about getting out of the job "whole". We also chat about retirement systems, budgets and whether drivers of emergency vehicles should be referred to as such.

Episode 11

Epiosde 10 of the Crossover – Quit being stupid!

Happy and Motor are at it again, finally, and this time calling out some stupid things done by stupid people while representing EMS, fire and police. From the ambulance company who lost $1 million to the 27 year old DUI while driving a fire truck and a special comment from Motorcop about a narcotics officer in Happy’s area caught stealing and selling narcotics. Quit being stupid!


The Crossover – Episode 9

Sure, we taped the show two weeks ago. It took MC two weeks to limp his way through editing. But Huzzah! He finally got the job done. In this episode, HM and I talk about freeway lane closures, who’s in charge, and what happens when PD and Fire disagree.

We also take a couple more listener questions…remember, you can call with your question(s) at 313-451-HMMC. Want to know who figured out what 451 means? Listen to the show!


Beyond the Lights & Sirens turns 1

A year ago we were gathered in the ballroom at the Hotel Frank in San Francisco waiting for Thaddeus Setla to press the play button.

The time finally came to show the audience what we had filmed the previous November in the engines and ambulances of an American EMS system while UK Paramedic Mark Glencorse followed along.  A hush fell over the crowd of EMTs, Paramedics, friend, industry leaders and family when Thaddeus raised his hands and said, “Our online audience is watching it right now, can we dim the lights please?”

Chronicles of EMS – The Reality Series (Season 1 Episode 1) from Thaddeus Setla on Vimeo.

25 minutes later, after a few good laughs and plenty of smiles the show finished and I found Mark in the crowd.  We were near tears seeing what Setla had done to capture the emotion we had experienced months before.  It was like reliving all we had learned in our trans-Atlantic exchange.

The evening was a great success and the following morning found us in Setla’s studio filming the first 3 episodes of A Seat at the Table.

1 year later we’ve released 23 episodes and have plenty more planned as well as in post production.

The reality series got a new name, thanks to our audience and network TV executives are curious to see what else we have in mind.

If they only knew.

In recent weeks you’ve seen A LOT of activity at the Chronicles site because we are gaining partners and growing rapidly.  No longer is “Chronicles” (#CoEMS on the twitter) simply about Justin Mark and Ted in San Francisco.  Chronicles of EMS is now only part of the content planned for he new First Responders Network TV.  We’ve partnered with fire centered production houses to create new original training and entertaining content similar to the EMS side.

And we’re not stopping there.

If Tak Response taught us anything, it’s that cross training outside your discipline is exciting, new and long over due.  For that reason law enforcement will also be included in FRN.TV, focusing on how we can all learn from each other before the incident instead of during it.

We never landed in prime time on Discovery Health traveling the world exploring EMS systems, but we have time to do better.

Keep an eye on the Chronicles of EMS site for details about our new partnership with the SFPA and Brady and how EMTs all over the country will soon be familiar with what we’re doing.

In addition, Seat at the Table has expanded into new territory, sitting down with the International Association of EMS Chiefs as well as sign language expert Louise Sattler to discuss communicating with unique patients.

We’re charging forward in every direction, working on both reality shows, training series, CE content (coming soon) and a host of scripted dramas, comedies and features that will bring EMS into the home of Americans in a way they have never seen before: Accurate and entertaining.

Thanks for all your support over the last 365 days, and I hope we can count on it in the future.


RIC – You Spin me (Right Round)

One of our Division Chiefs has seen more fire than a line cook at Outback Steakhouse and loves to ask odd questions in the heat of a situation.  Some think he’s just picking on people while others see it as a way to really think about the situation we’re in.

On other occasions this Chief likes to play with the RIC or Rapid Intervention Company.  This is the 4th due engine at a working fire and is tasked with standing by to rescue firefighters should the need arise.  Many Departments staff this position differently, but most will tell you they don’t like standing in the street while everyone else gets to work.

The RIC is responsible to size up the building, soften the exterior by removing hazards before they are an issue and knowing what operations are going on in and around the fire building.

It seems like a no brainer, but as the RIC team gets itchy to freelance, the Chief will turn to them and make them turn around to face him in the street at the command post.

From here he asks a very simple question:

“Describe the fire building.”

Each of the 4 members often have a slightly different interpretation of the building, from number of floors, to color, to where ladders are placed.

Ever since I saw him do it, I’ve always paid closer attention to the building as the RIC team.  And that was his intention.