the Handover turns 1

The Handover, blog carnival roundup brain child of my UK alter ego Medic999 turns a year old this month.

Buckman at asked for submissions around the theme of an EMS Portrait and the submissions did not disappoint.

Hard to believe it was a year ago Mark emailed me about this idea and I had no idea what he was talking about.  Now it’s a great way to find new blogs and share posts about a theme.

Be sure to read up on next month’s topic and host while there and drop a post in.

Chronicles of EMS Caption Contest

All right all you twitter folk, I heard your call for the contest and I’m stepping up.

We’re having ourselves a little caption contest.

Mr Setla, my producer, and ninja trainer, over at the Chronicles of EMS posted some teaser photos of a brand new series in the works called Chronicles of EMS: A Seat at the Table.  This new web series is an exciting project we’re working on to open up the dialogue in our profession in a way that’s never been done before.

As a result, we’ve been testing and experimenting with topics, light and film and this photo is a screen shot of one of those tests.frumpydumples

So you’re wondering what I’m saying?  Let’s hear it.  Caption this photo.


  • You can comment as many times as you like and offer as many entries as you like.
  • All entries must be here at the Happy Medic blog in the comments of this post.
  • I am the judge and will choose the one that makes me the happiest.
  • Entries must be made before 10 PM pacific time February 11th
  • The winning caption will be announced immediately after the premiere of the Chronicles of EMS pilot episode which airs at 5 PM Pacific on February 12th.
  • The winner will receive a Chronicles of EMS T-shirt to be supplied by me.
  • You MUST be present at the premiere or in the chat room during the premiere to claim your prize.
  • This contest is void where prohibited by law or llama, whichever comes first.
  • Foul language will not get you eliminated, but may be difficult to explain to your mother when the shirt arrives in the mail.
  • There is no cost to enter, but if you must, donate to the CoEMS cause.
  • The winner will also be invited to be a special guest on the new Chronicles of EMS:A Seat at the Table series in Northern California.  I’ll invite you, you just have to get here.

Small fire, small water. Big fire…

Well, did you finish the statement?

Did you finish it the same way most do? “Big fire big water”?

Is that really the right answer?

I think it is the wrong answer.

Pumping high volumes of water into the 7th floor office complex isn’t going to help us if we haven’t trained with the tools used to knock that fire down. Yes having larger amounts of water on the fire floor will help us, but we must remember the layout of our commercial sites. They are commonly open with organized furnishings, and heavy on false walls and highly flammable file cabinets, records etc.

Training needs to include coordinating multiple lines, finding the seat of the fire, and knocking it down. Sounds simple and straight forward, but when all you hear is, big fire, big water, then train residential and not commercial, things can get tricky.  But even in a multi-residential situation, we need to get our water to the fire, otherwise it will ricochet off the ceiling, fall to the floor and run into the street.  All that big water right down the drain and the fire is still burning.

I prefer to say “Big fire, SMART water.”

Get in there with the large line but use it appropriately. Get your fog nozzle off and gain the distance from a smooth bore nozzle. That will give you a chance to get closer to the seat of the fire, find it and effect a knockdown to facilitate a search.  Defensive fires are no different.  Shooting a line from the street and aiming for the ridge line will direct all that water up and over the fire, not into it.  If you don’t have fire to hit, why are you training a line there?  Use that water to your advantage.  Collapse an issue?  Then get the lines up and out of the collapse zone with aerial pipes and platforms but don’t just “surround and drown.”  Aim for areas of heavy fire.  You won’t be “pushing it” somewhere else, it’s already going there, knock down the bulk of it’s heat and support and it will slow it’s advance.

When it is commercial and you’re trying your best to get as many large lines as you can into the office building, what are we doing?  Each of those lines needs 2 persons on the nozzle, an officer and then a member at each corner feeding line.  That exceeds even the best staffing models I’ve seen.  Take that first line and make a difference with it.  Keep it dry until you absolutely need water, then your layout person and other companies can help you stretch as you go.  Charge that 2 1/2″ line with 2 people at the door and all it will be good for is holding the front door open.You’ll need help getting it where it needs to be, but once there and trained on the seat of the fire, conditions will improve and smaller lines can chase the fire back as you advance, knocking down a lot of fire.  All because of SMART application of water.

Think I’m wrong?  Know I’m wrong?  Show me.

These are my observations and do not reflect the standards and practices of my employer.  Nor is the Department in the image used being singled out, nor were they the inspiration for this post, just a nice shot of an outside defensive line and an officer who appears to REALLY love that tree.

Mutual Aid Updates

Attention all units in the field.

The Mutual Aid Bards are being updated with a couple of new blogs on the EMS radar.

Ambulance Amateur is a volunteer care giver in the UK who so far is quite opinionated by the clients he meets.  I’m adding them as a window into another version of what i saw with UKMedic999 on the Project.

Another new find is the Orange Taxi who I found wandering looking for other folks reactions to the discussion over at CK’s place about EMS pay.  He’s been in the business a bit and has something to say about it. I’ll be listening.

I wish our new blog family good luck with their endeavors.  have a read and if you like them, follow them.