Sunday, May 30

New Salary List is Out

One of the things I love about Mother's Day here in the US is that story they run every year about "If mom got paid for what she did, she'd make $150,000 a year" because they include cook, maid, teacher, etc.  Yet Father's Day rolls around and no one adds on handy man, gardener, mechanic, roofer etc.

But wait, what if I took an average day in my firehouse and log what I did, then made a similar chart?  Oh dear Gods am I underpaid.

Line Cook - $25,000/year - First thing in the morning is firing up breakfast and it's never just for yourself.

Housekeeper - $21,000/year - Kitchen, dorm, bahrooms, floors and laundry all need to be done by 9 AM.

Bus Driver - $30,000 - Pre-trip inspection, maintain higher standards and drivers' license.  Not to mention the part about taking people where they want to go.  This will cover Taxi Driver.

Event Planner - $43,000 - We need to shop for and feed 9 meaning a menu, cooking the meal, then offering entertainment for after.

Personal Trainer - $54,000 - Keeping the troops motivated to stay in shape takes effort.  Not to mention climbing the 14 floors for the burnt popcorn.

Social Worker - $60,000 - Trying to help people who think they have no other options can be stressful.

Nurse - $69,000 - I am rendering advanced care without direct supervision from a physician, and this is the closest comparable field.

Lifeguard - $25,000 - Surf rescue dispatch.

Nanny - $23,000 - A school tour comes by.

Teacher - $57,000 - Gave a drill on the ALS bag to the companies.

Building Inspector - $33,000 - School exit drills and fire inspections fill out the afternoon.

Sleep therapist - $54,000 - Studying why I am still awake at 2:30 AM is taking longer than it should.

So add it up and it's, well, a lot.  But we're not always doing all those things are we?  We do a bit of this here and a bit of that there, so it all makes sense in the end.

EMT - $40,000

Paramedic - $60,000

Firefighter - $43,000

Firefighter/Paramedic - $59,000 (Someone explain that to me)

*All these figures are from Free Salary Search.com which bases the numbers by your IP address so these are all numbers where I am.  Yours may vary, but they'll likely vary all together.

Saturday, May 29

Test time - Can you help me?

Rogue Medic could tear the science apart on this one, but I can attest it is true:

I learn and recall memories linked to music.

You can play me a song and I can tell you things I was doing, sometimes in odd detail, when that song was playing.

Some folks have dabbled into the science on this but it stands that it works for me.  So with that in mind I have been studying listening to a certain kind of music that gets easily stuck in my head and is easy to hum over and over in my head during the exam.

I was wondering if you might sing along to this and send the good vibes my way.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxBjKa8KcW0&feature=related[/youtube]

My study buddy and I had the mock test earlier this week and both chose the same two scenarios to challenge each other with, a botched refusal form and a complaint about an esophogeal ET placement, let's see how well we guessed.

I'll be recovering later this afternoon and spending tomorrow gathering the call sheet for our next round of A Seat at the Table episodes to be filmed in San Jose, CA in June.  We're bringing in some industry folks this time to talk about equipment, upcoming conferences and the like, so stay tuned for details on that.

And does anyone else know what on earth Mark and Ted have planned for June 4th in relation to Chronicles?  This image seems to leave a lot of questions unanswered.

Friday, May 28

Bits and Pieces

Steve Whitehead's EMT Spot is the host of the latest edition of the Handover Blog Carnival.  This month's theme was a moment when things came together, clicked, worked, made sense.  He was kind enough to include your truly and a memory from the old days when a partner I hated proved to be a great caregiver, then went right back to being her normal larger than life self.  head over and read the other great submissions.

In other news, the first part of the test is tomorrow.  Thanks to all of your support, I won't let you down.  The test might, but I won't ;)

The San Francisco Paramedic Association, in an attempt to improve bystander CPR in the City, is sponsoring free CPR training on the steps of City Hall on June 1st.  I will be there and hope to bring along the Chronicles cameras to capture such a neat idea.  Happy 50th birthday CPR!

Ambo Driver needs our clicky clicky skills in keeping a bad review of a local vendor in the number one spot on google.  Do your part.  I expect each of you to click the link at least 5 times over the next 24 hours.

And over on Facebook Ms Paramedic mentioned calling her work conveyance the "hamberlance."  I prefer to call it the Amber Lamps after we watched this video featured on Tosh.0.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEBS7JIrx-Y[/youtube]

Amber Lamps sounds like Mark Glencorse's Senior Prom Date...no?

Wednesday, May 26

As ready as I'll ever be

I've hit that point of information saturation in preparation for the Captain's exam (Part 1) this Saturday.  There is nothing more my tired cranium is going to accept at this point so now it is just finessing some of the finer points.

My study buddy and I have prepared a mock test tomorrow morning, each of us re-creating a sample test as outlined in the exam preparation materials.  From there I'll know where my weaknesses are in moving information from document A to documents B,C,D and E, which is all this test really is.

The most interesting part will be the 4 ePCR printouts we must review and note errors, omissions or deviations from established protocols.  And the best part? It's open book.  All reference materials will be provided including Department Regulations, Protocols and sample answer sheets/templates.

A false sense of security I assure you.

So, until the test tomorrow is finished I'm putting my feet up and firing up the new game the girls got me, Lego Indiana Jones.

I'll update you Friday before the exam.

Thanks for coming by,

HM

Monday, May 24

MA!

I'm at work this morning, awoken for a code 3 fall that, by the time I hit the bottom of the fire pole after being awakened by bright lights and loud noises, had been "downgraded" to a code 2 fall.

"It was always a code 2 fall" I mumbled to myself, "You just wanted to get it off your screen faster."

"What if it was your mom that fell, wouldn't you want us there quicker?" I could hear the call taker asking in the hypothetical version of me making an issue of dispatch errors.

Well, no, my mom would have walked the two miles to the ER on a broken leg just because she wouldn't want to wake "the boys."

Mom is just that way.

My mom is the dictionary definition of a giver.  While growing up she worked from home as a medical transcriptionist and was always around to help with homework, take us to the beach in the summer and ruin the occasional high school lunch date.  She types like the wind and would often call me into her room at the front of the house and ask me to listen to a word a Doctor had said into the data recorder at the hospital, clearly unaware that people had to listen to it later and type it up.

As I began to play soccer more and more, mom was always there for a ride to practice, encouragement and even sleeping on the couch.  I had a chance to try out for a state wide team and mom and I made the trip.  The hotel only had rooms with one bed and wanting me to be rested for the tryouts, she took the couch.  Thanks, mom.  I made that team.

Reminders to brush my teeth in my care packages from college, always a smile when I built some new contraption of lego, supportive no matter my cause.  That's mom.

A few years back mom and the Angry Captain moved up to a somewhat secluded neighborhood.  So much so that the 4-5 dozen houses had their own volunteer FD.  AC was of course all over it, but guess who else got some gear and got trained?  Yup, mom.  We have a photo of the three of us, each holding our helmets, and it sits on my bookshelf.

Mom is where I got my sense of humor, and from her mother my quest for bad jokes (another tale entirely).

Today is mom's birthday, although she'll be the last to remind you of such.  Happy birthday mom, as per usual I neglected to buy a card as I am mildly retarded.  So instead I'll jump on my soapbox here and, since I know you are my first reader everyday, wish you a wonderful birthday and say thank you again for everything you've done for me.

Hippo, birdie two ewes Ma!

Sunday, May 23

EMS Anthem

FDNY EMS Paramedic Farooq Muhammed, the man behind the Call 911 music video last year has done it again.

This new song, EMS Anthem, was premiered at the FDNY's 9th annual EMT and Paramedic games to rave reviews from Chief of EMS John Perrugia and Emergency!'s Randy Mantooth, who was on hand at the games.

Being the fanboi that I am I immediately went to Farooq's facebook page and became a "fan" (liked it).  No less than 30 minutes later he has sent me a friend request and a personal comment thanking me for supporting him.

Nice guy.  I sent him a link to Chronicles and I'd love to get him a Seat at the Table before long.

So please to enjoy another positive voice for EMS - Farooq Muhammed and EMS Anthem.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi4Imbhr5uc&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Friday, May 21

Liability - Part II

Hidden in the controversy that surrounds "customer service" in Fire and EMS, I reminded you of the two distinct definitions of the word liability and how 99% of people in this line of work misuse it.

Much like patient has two completely different definitions, liability has always been explained to young EMTs as something pertaining to them defending their license or certificate in court for doing something wrong.

But when we transport Bubba Fishbiscuit because he's out of Xanax at 11pm, driving past 2 24 hour pharmacies, we are ignoring the real liability, the next person who might actually need us.

In my rose colored world of a successful EMS 2.0 launch, the Paramedic at the scene directs Bubba to the pharmacy, cancels the ambulance and makes a note to follow up by phone in the morning to make sure Bubba gets his meds refilled on his own without activating 911.  That releases the service from the perceived liability that Bubba *might* get angry, *might* complain, and *might* make noise at the next City Council meeting.

I say let him.

Let's start to hear these folks explain their actions at a City Council, shareholder, union meeting or court room.

Let them describe the inconvenience of having to wait a whole 6 minutes for a lights and sirens response for a prescription refill they have known will be gone since the moment it was filled.

Cry about not having a car, bus fare or a friend to drive them.  Do it.  Then let them describe the treatment given to them by the EMS crews.  Every detail of the extensive advanced life support service rendered since the 911 call was placed.

Not going to happen?  I know.  Your Chiefs and managers are too worried about a perceived wrong doing that is actually a response to a wrong doing.  Following me?

I can go on and on for weeks about persons abusing 911 as their personal taxi service, but today let's discuss the stranded.

I define a stranded patient as one who has been passed over by the "system," both private and public and is now 100% dependent upon EMS to get them to appointments, refills, dialysis, etc.

These folks need a service that exists in only a few communities.  A van.

"No!" the bean counters are screaming, "That's a huge liability!"

He means the part of the definition of liability that pertains to a responsibility or duty.  But he is actually referring to the second, more accurate, definition of liability, a hindrance.

Persons who call 911 and demand a level of service below the standard of care are a hindrance to the efficient running of an emergency service, not a responsibility of emergency workers.

But this is where that other question pops up, isn't it?

Is EMS a public safety agency or a public health agency?

Really depends on your system and how you handle calls for service that have no medical component.

If you will take anyone for any reason, I say you fall into the public health model.

If your service focuses on lights and sirens emergencies, take a seat in the public safety model.

But in every system there are persons creating actual liability by draining highly trained, not to mention expensive, resources to do the job of a clerk, aide or driver.

Putting a van on the street that can be called and arranged for these kinds of folks can not only save money, but lives.

I can hear some of you now, "Vans save lives? Prove it!"

I can't, but I can make the inference that more ambulances available for emergencies means a shorter response time and early intervention is key in survivability in the one case we can trend with certainty: SCA.

Let me give you a situation and let's see what you would do.

You are dispatched to a street corner in your ALS ambulance for a reported asthma attack.  When you arrive, a group of young women, in their twenties, are all texting away on the newest of phones.  As you approach, one of them produces an albuterol inhaler and, without a hint of respiratory trouble, tells you she is out and wants to goto the hospital to get more.

If your answer is "Get in, let's get this over with" you are accepting the perceived liability and putting your community at risk.

If your answer is "Can one of them take you to the pharmacy?" you are leaning in the needed direction, but unless you can arrange something, you're about to start a losing fight and will, in the end, be taking her.

If, in the off chance you are lucky enough, you respond by telling her your service does not give rides to refills, then arrange for her to seek out the proper assistance, I want to know about your system.

As you load the girl into the back of the ambulance and begin your assessment, the next person who may actually need you is now at an increased risk of poorer outcome.

Unless, of course, one of her friends decides she wants a ride too.

Ask your Medical Director the definition of liability and why we assign it to the least of our worries and roll the dice on the rest.

And, again, follow your local protocols.  Which likely means you'll answer "get in."

Thursday, May 20

Back to Business

I've rinsed off my SCUBA gear, hung up the fedora and dried out from my vacation and am getting ready to dive back into the business of the EMS blogosphere.

Happy is back in the banner and back behind the curtain here at HMHQ as well.

There are a lot of topics swirling in the ol' melon now that I am allowed to think about CoEMS and writing again (Mrs HM's orders).

For example, I just spent a week in a place that allows full color full size political ads on ambulances.  They were nice rigs too.  never got a chance to grab a photo as I was always behind the wheel, but I figured since the companies up here spend dough on political endorsements and wheel greasing, why not publicize it and get some needed cash?

EMS week seems to be trodding along in it's usual way, getting very little media coverage, until I heard about giant CPR classes to be held at City Halls around the nation in the coming weeks, more on that this week.

The TAK Response Conference is fast approaching.  Not sure what that is?  Oh I will let you know and hopefully get some of the folks behind it to A Seat at the Table to describe the conference to you in their own words.

Speaking of CoEMS and film, I plan on bumping into Thaddeus Setla and filming an update for you all about where we are with Chronicles and all that jazz.

Speaking of jazz, I am field testing some jazzy new structural firefighting boots for a vendor.  I'll give details as they develop, but I've only had one fire in them so far and they did their job, haven't put them through the paces quite yet.

I am also told I need to type up a disclaimer here somewhere that reminds you I accept no money to endorse a product, provided free of charge or not, I even return most things if they'll take them back, and write only what I feel and believe in.  But aparently folks would like that on a different page all together.  Groan, more typing.

The Captain's test still looms over the next 60 days, there has been some downsizing rumored in the EMS division so we'll see what that does for moral.  Although it narrows my promotional opportunities above Captain from 2 down to 1, so there is that.

So much to talk about and so much time.  hope you enjoyed the scenarios and study breaks we set up, didn't want you to forget about us here.

So keep an eye out, many, many topics to discuss in the coming weeks.

See you at the big one,

HM

Wednesday, May 19

STUDY BREAK - Fish and Bine Ambulance

Not the greatest audio, sorry, but if you work in EMS and have never seen this movie, fire up Netflix and make it happen.

Tuesday, May 18

You Make the Call - Exam Prep - Scenario 4

Scenario 4-

As the EMS supervisor on duty you have been dispatched to a report of CPR in progress to assist units enroute.

When you arrive on scene you are given a verbal report as follows:

"We found Mr um, Jones, or whatever here on the bed, all blue so we pulled him down and started CPR at 30-2, the AED is broken, so no luck there.  Our medic has gone for the tube I dunno, maybe three times now with no luck so we're just bagging right now.  We got a student Medic on the ambulance so he's going for a line, got a 22g.  I think we have it all dialed in here Captain."

Cite specific protocol or policy deviations and your actions both on the scene and after patient care has concluded.

Monday, May 17

STUDY BREAK - Fire at the Fire Station!

This is one of my earliest memories of being fascinated with the fire service.  On Saturday mornings the host would sit in a big chair and turn on a projector on a nearby table and play us episode of Our Gang and the Little Rascals.

Turns out the more I learn about the service, the more accurate this video really is.

There is no audio track available on the interwebs machine, but I can still hear each of their voices.

At the beginning the Chief tells them to "go upstairs and snore like real firemen."

The Chief's car is slick and fast, the hose cart has a donkey and the pump is pulled by goats.

But the Truck gets a full sized horse.  Figures.

I think every firefighter at some point, even recently, imagined themselves pulling lines from a makeshift pumper and saving the day.

So let's go back into the 1930s and see what Our Gang can scrap together.  And by the way, there is an edit in these videos.  The "looker out" at the beginning spots the beautiful Ahrens Fox pulling out of the real firehouse a few blocks away and decides to dispatch the gang to the fire station by writing on the paper "Fire at the Fire Station."

Sunday, May 16

You Make the Call - Exam Prep - Scenario 3

Scenario 3-

A letter has arrived on your desk from the neighboring fire and ems service.  In it their Chief is angry that one of your ambulances was delayed in responding to their jurisdiction and demands they be reprimanded for purposely taking too long to respond.  The Chief has included a letter of complaint from the citizen in question stating that the ambulance crew was rude and "took forever" to respond.

Pulling the dispatch information you see that the unit arrived in 8:40, below your agency's target and was staffed by two personnel whom you trust and are very familiar with.

Please respond to the Chief of the neighboring agency with your plan of action.

Saturday, May 15

STUDY BREAK - Defying Gravity

From the story behind the Witches of Oz.  The wife and I saw this in the City before it hit Broadway and it blew us away.  If you ever get a chance to make it to SF, get tickets.

Friday, May 14

You Make the Call - Exam Prep - Scenario 2

Scenario 2-

You are the Paramedic Supervisor for the day and have been sent to the ambulance yard to supervise the day shift.  When you arrive most of the members are in their proper uniforms but one is wearing a political button above his name tag that reads "Yes on B."  Measure B is a bond to purchase more ambulances and provide additional training to this member and the rest of your staff.  The button is smaller than their badge of office and is of a matching color to their uniform shirt.

No one has mentioned or complained about the button.

What is your responsibility, if any, in this situation?

Thursday, May 13

STUDY BREAK - Bad Romance

On The Rocks sings Bad Romance by Lady Gaga. On the Rocks is the University of Oregon's premiere all male a cappella ensemble. Official Website: www.uoontherocks.com On The Rocks on iTunes: http://bit.ly/9aEfVs Check out more On The Rocks videos, as well as their sister group, Divisi: www.youtube.com/yankeessuck8991

Wednesday, May 12

You Make the Call - Exam Prep - Scenario 1

This is the first in a series of promotional exam scenarios you all sent in to help me prepare for my Captain's exam.  Each and every one helped me and I thank you very, very much for taking the time to write and help me out.

Since I am on vacation as of today, I thought I would share some of the best scenarios that really got me thinking.

There are no right answers to these issues, each system is different.

SCENARIO 1-

You are riding EMS Battalion 34 today and are called to the local hospital well known in the system for making units wait longer than necessary to register patients.

Inside is an irate attending physician screaming that his hospital is not your dropping grounds and demands you start diverting to other receiving facilities.

Write your response to him, citing local and department policies and protocols.

Sunday, May 9

EMS Week happenings CoEMS style

 

Also clogging the bandwith at Chronicles of EMS.com

Not content with one party, Chronicles of EMS Co-Creator and Jedi Master Thaddeus Setla has organized a three city LIVE premiere event to raise awareness for our cause as well as the new film FIRESTORM.

From the website:

"Every minute in the United States, an ambulance gets turned away from an emergency room because hospitals are simply too full. In Los Angeles, where the wait time in some ERs is as long as 48 hours, the entire 911 system is being challenged in ways that are alarming.

FIRESTORM follows Los Angeles Fire Department Station 65, located in South Los Angeles, a neighborhood with a largely uninsured and undereducated population. The LAFD handles all emergency medical services for the city of Los Angeles, and currently 82% of the department's work is medical, rather than fire-related. Eleven hospitals have closed in just five years in LA, and the challenge of delivering more than 500 patients per day to a shrinking number of hospitals is overwhelming to the LAFD. With resources strained, and 911 being used for everything from heart attacks to stomach aches, LAFD paramedics have become virtual 'doctors in a box'."


If you are on the west coast, your event is at the Gordon Biersch Brewery in San Francisco, CA, #2 Harrison Street on the Embarcadero. 6pm

If you are on the east coast, your event is at Fado's Irish Pub 1500 Locust Street, Philadelphia PA. 8pm

Fret not midwest, the Fado in Chicago, IL 100 West Grand Ave. Chicago, IL 7pm is your location.

For more details and how you can participate in your own way, join the Chronicles of EMS community HERE and follow the facebook group for updates and additional cities when added.

If you want a party in your town, stop waiting and get out there and get proactive and make one.

And don't forget that OTHER EMS show you can share during EMS week:


Chronicles of EMS - Reality Series (Teaser) from Thaddeus Setla on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 8

I can't feel my leg

WARNING - Graphic image


Many moons ago, when Mark was still "999" and the Project wasn't even a thought, I relayed a personal story of mine in relation to pre-hospital pain management.

In THIS POST I told you about why I treat burn victims with the maximum safe dosage of pain meds as fast as I can justify it and why I laugh anytime someone able to walk tells me their pain is a 10 out of 10.  Have a read of that old post real quick so that what I'm about to show and tell you makes more sense.

Thanks for coming back.

I can't feel my leg anymore.  A few weeks ago I began noticing a strange sensation whenever I crossed my right foot onto my left thigh while sitting, an odd almost itching sensation but I couldn't narrow it down.  Each day there was less and less sensation until the way it is now.  No hot.  No cold.  No touch.  No breeze. Nothing.  The anterior aspect of my left leg is not numb or tingling but simply without sensation.  Ever sleep on your arm and have to physically move it and how funny it is to see your arm move without feeling it?  I'm there now 24/7.

Curious about the area in question I pulled up some old photos we took soon after initial treatment.  The photos immediately after the blisters began to form turned my stomach a bit, and I was there, so I won't show those, but I wanted to share with you the pictures from my injury to reinforce what these folks are going through.

I was not ... hmmm...I was about to type that I was not permanently scarred by the injury but I guess that is no longer the case.  Currently, the skin appears fine and the outline of the burn is only visible if you know where it should be and squint.  Or just poke the leg with a toothpick and when I flinch, that's not where I got burnt.

Again, this goes back to why you should ALWAYS qualify that pain scale by comparing it to the worst pain THEY have ever felt.  Ask your patients what their worst pain was and use that as your benchmark.  Any person who tells me 10 out of 10 for a twisted ankle or headache without qualifying is treated differently than the person crying, doubled over who tells my 7 out of 10 for an ankle when their 10 was a shattered pelvis.

This is my 10 out of 10:

burnThe other leg was also burned but not as severely.  This photo was taken 2 weeks after the original injury and is in the midst of my physical therapy.

The pink area in the center with all the little white dots (hair follicles) is the area that I can no longer feel.  Whether it be the nerves, the basilar layer of the skin or simply my nervous system blocking the impulses I have no idea.

But I do know that I would have paid money for someone to dose me up when those blisters first formed and I would have killed to get more when they got tight.

Yes I cried.  I cried like my 2 year old 30 minutes after bed time.  I tried to "man up" but I couldn't even stand up the pain was so bad.  Blurry vision, nausea, the whole nine yards.  But had the me from 2 months prior been the Medic responding to me when this happened, I may have given 4-6mg, maybe 8mg of morphine to take the edge off.

But now I would hit me with 10mg, have another 10 ready, and be on the phone to the MD for orders to dose to comfort and respiratory drive.

I wanted to be unconscious, but never got the chance.

Yes, this could indeed fall under TMI, but please remember to follow through with your pain assessments and not just do the "On a scale of 1 to 10..."

Friday, May 7

Rogue feels your pain

Rogue Medic, the interwebs machine's expert on scientific study as it relates to us EMS folken, has published a great article about pain management.  I want you to read it, then take a break and absorb what he has told you.

Then come back here to HMHQ in the coming days when I will expand on some of the themes he mentions.

We in the pre-hospital arena often shy away from dosing folks to the needed point because we've been fed lines from the powers that be that we are incapable of accurately assessing, treating and monitoring patients in need of pain medication.

READ THIS ARTICLE and let it sink in.  This will be on the exam.  Check back often for my comments.

Thursday, May 6

Test Preparation Help Needed!

Hey readers, my study group and I are on the hunt for a reference our Department does not have, yet asks for on the Captain's Exam.  Kind of.

Long story longer is that the first part of the examination (I'm not giving anything away here, this information is available to all candidates online) will require an investigation into an incident. i.e. a complaint.

Does anyone have a lead on a pre-determined flow chart or framework for conducting such an investigation?

We've been going through it pretty straight forward, but if we had something we could memorize and scribble onto the notes as soon as the exam starts we'd do better I think.

Email me at theHappyMedic@gmail.com or by clicking on that little red envelope on the right hand column labeled CONTACT and FOLLOW.

I appreciate anything you may have,

HM

PS - After tomorrow's 2 rescues and I'll be Surf Rescue Qualified and way cooler than Mark Glencorse by leaps and now bounds.  HAHA!

Tuesday, May 4

Tired

I am tired.  plain and simple.  remember that 30 days I told you about a few weeks ago?  I'm midway through them and also mid way through my surf rescue class.

I am beat.

I did finish the qualifying swim with a personal best time, but had forgotten in my celebration that that was the START of the class, not the end.  Darn swim drills.  Darn simulated rescues.

The first day was in the pool and was tough, but warm.

Today was in the bay and started with jumping off of the fireboat into the not surprisingly cold waters of the San Francisco Bay.  Then we swam.  And swam.  And swam.  Sure we had wet suits and fins, but dragging Peterson rescue floats behind you makes you kick funny.  That's all I'm saying.

Then it was drills, simulated rescues, paddle boarding and more rescues.  These guys know how to run a class.

Tomorrow we hit China Beach just outside the Golden Gate Bridge for rough surf entry and egress and, I'm guessing here, more simulated rescues.

Thursday and Friday will be at Ocean Beach, one of the most dynamic and dangerous swim and surf spots on the west coast.  The forcast is for temps in the high 60's or low 70s with a water temp in the low 50s.

And I signed up for this class of my own free will?  Indeed.

Keep in mind that my big vacation is coming up during EMS week, well planned I know, and I will not be online for almost 10 days!  Watch FireEMSblogs.com for many great bloggers and news in our professions.  And check out Mark's new banner.  Snazzy indeed.  You'll know I'm gone when Happy there takes a break and steps down.

But alas, I have kept some good posts to go up in my absence so keep an eye on HMHQ.