Wednesday, July 23

Everything you need to know about EMS management...

you'll learn in a bar.

Or at least while at a bar.

It sounds cliche, but let me explain.

Hrs HM and I had a chance to escape for a lunch date today and headed for our favorite local watering hole that hosts Buzztime Trivia.  Over some buffalo style wild wings many a taunt is heard about who will win and our bartender is welcoming, as usual, offering this special and that while fetching the Mrs a water and me a tall IPA that looks new.

As we exchanged heated discussions about how I was right, just not how the game people thought, the bartender and the manager got into a discussion about the beer coolers.

This discussion has been had between bartender and manager, Paramedic and manager since the dawn of their respective professions.  Yes, bartenders are still considered a profession over paramedics, more on that soon.

They were discussing the location of the beers on display in the 2 large coolers flanking the bar.  Being a beer snob, I never drink bottled beer when the same on draft is available.  Drinking a bottle when the same beer is on draft is like choosing to skype with your girlfriend instead of have a face to face conversation.

It suddenly occurs to me some of you will miss that...let's move on...

The discussion was about how the beers should be displayed, the order and location compared to the other cooler.  One said they should be mirrored, the other claiming they are to be the same.

My OCD kicked in and despite the Mrs' frequent requests to stop, I was searching for a pattern to the location of the beers.  Alphabetical by name? No. Light to dark? No. Sorted by type? No. Size of bottle? No.  There was no discernible reason for the beers being in the order they were until I happened to mention a random joke: " I bet it's corporate's idea!"


Someone in the home office was deciding what goes where and why.

Sound familiar?

I had the exact same conversation with an EMT from the medic unit just 24 hours prior and asked her to look at 3 spare bags we had, speak to her co-workers and their partners and figure out what works best when providing patient care, then get back to me.

Problem solved.  The EMTs get what they need and the medics get what they need and, as a nifty side effect, the patients get what they need.

Back at the place of wild wings the bartender joked about how the night shift will just change the coolers back to what they were before, all the while the manager was referencing an inventory sheet that clearly stated where the beers should be in each cooler.  The day manager conflicting with night. Perhaps there's a contract with beer X that says they have to be front and center?  I'd buy that but why not hand that decision over to the folks who have to pull the product day in and day out instead of mandating it from on high without reason other than "That's how it's always been?


And yes, achieving status as a fully fledged bartender takes up to 10 months...about the time as the average Paramedic program.

Happy Feet - the Blauer 6" Clash Boot Review

Blauer has been making boots longer than I've been wearing them and the Clash Waterproof line shows they're still improving on the concept.

In my career I've worn all manner of boot from slip ons (yuck) to steel toed zip ups (Big City fireman boots!) to whatever was cheap at the uniform


I've reviewed Magnum Boots in the past and enjoyed their fit and specs and the Blauer Clash did not disappoint.

Often I give the boots I review a thorough testing period through random Engine Company duties such as footing ladders in drills, PT, footing gurneys etc but my new gig doesn't have much of that but it does have one thing most jobs don't:


I do a lot of walking where I am and having a comfortable boot to do it in is essential.  The Clash 6" is far more flexible out of the box than I expected and it fit my foot well in my regular duty socks.  No extra thick hiking socks needed here to fill gaps.  There is no safety toe which may exclude it from some EMS and Fire duty, but as a supervisor I can get by without it, especially since I have the option at work of wearing a dress shoe instead of my boots.

The Clash has a number of features that set it aside and the first one that caught my attention before putting it on was the goofy looking disc on the front.  I say goofy looking because, well, this boot has no laces, zipper, or other discernible method of applying pressure to snug the boot.  They reminded me of Marty McFly Jr's shoes from October 2015...wait a minute...that's next year!

That disc is part of the new BOA system, a steel cable that is tightened by spinning the disc and loosened by pulling the disc forward.  I'll admit I was skeptical at first but the disc does what they say and I am able to quickly don the boots and tighten as well as release and don turn out boots (in case I need a safety toe...see?)

The BOA system does take some getting used to but as soon as you learn your comfort level, the boots begin to give support to the ankle and above right away.

However, once the boots are on and you begin to walk, and remember I do a lot of walking now, the real clever feature of this boot is revealed.  In the rear of the 6" Clash boot is a notch about an inch deep, padded, that allows an almost full range of motion with your ankle when walking.  Where my usual boots catch and have to bend, this boot remains supportive laterally and my achilles tendon never feels stressed.

The toe takes polish like a champ but did scuff easily before I got a coat of polish on.

Another feature of the Blauer 6" Clash Boot I didn't expect is the almost velcro grip on the sole of the boot.  Your pal Happy is a lover, not a fighter, and I am known to wipe my feet, dirty or not, on door mats.  When I did so in my Blaur 6" Clash boots they did not move.  The honeycomb pattern somehow grabs the flooring and won't let me wipe my feet naturally.  Perhaps my old boots are old and worn, but this was a pleasant surprise.


In conclusion, the Blaur 6" Clash Waterproof boot is a safe investment for anyone who needs a reliable boot to do a fair amount of walking.  If your agency requires a steel or safety toe sadly this won't fit the bill, but those in law enforcement, security and some EMS agencies should certainly find them at your local shop and give them a try.  If you are doing special events or are on your feet most of the day this is the boot you've been looking for.

I recommend the Blauer 6" Clash and give it a 446 out of 654 based on math I won't bore you with (but the spreadsheet looks amazing!)


On a sidenote to boot manufacturers:  Stop putting your logo on the inside of the boot.  It never lasts more than a day and I've had that with every boot I've ever tried.  It makes me feel dirty when I wear them for 9 hours, then see your logo mostly gone.  That is all.

Wednesday, July 16

Still Here. Still Sharing.

30 days away from you guys was tough, but I did OK.  I know there's a hole in your heart from missing my rambling therapy experiment, but fear not fair reader, I'm back.

For reasons I can't discuss I left the content of this site unchanged for 30 days, at my own request.

Now I can get back to venting, wishing, dreaming and sharing.

Speaking of sharing, those of you who subscribe to Fire Engineering Magazine should keep an eye out for your August 2014 issue which should contain an article about the way to enforce rules and regulations when it comes to sharing media.

"What the frack is sharing media?" you ask?

Sharing Media refers to the ever growing methods and, more importantly reasons, for sharing traditional (photo, paper, magazine, TV) and electronic (facebook, tweet, instagram, video) media.  Social media seems to focus on the facebook and the twitter and the instagram, which all require a set audience or group of friends.  I use Sharing Media to refer to any and all instances where an idea, sentence, paper, image, concept or anything else is shared with another in any format.  This covers internet sites, phone apps, newspaper and magazine articles, even the cork board at the local coffee shop.  The reason for this new definition is not only to expand the definition of media out of the pixels you see here but remind folks that it is the reason to share, not the method, that we should focus on.

In other words, focus on WHY, not HOW.

Most Fire Departments have rules covering the HOW that already cover the non pixelated methods of being foolish.  Simply expand that already existing net and, -boom-


You don't need a social media policy.  You already have a Sharing Media Policy.  Use it.

More on that topic, why WHY is so important and what you as a line firefighter, emt, manager, company or chief officer can do TODAY to get out of the digital swamp of social media restriction in the upcoming (I've been told) issue.

As always I welcome you feedback on that and any other ramblings you find on these pixels, in other articles, forums or sites, in the interwebs or magazines.  I stand behind all my shared media and always consider the WHY before I share.  There's a lot I want to share but have chosen not to.

Thanks for coming back and keep coming back as lots of product reviews are in the works including the flashlight I wish they sent me 2 of and a pair of boots without laces.  No, they're not the Nikes from Back to the Future.

Above all be safe!