Wednesday, December 17

Bag Baggage

I am not a fan of all the crap we have to carry around.

We carry the worst case scenario into every single call mainly because the manner in which we are assigned calls for service, by first come first served.  Add to that the impossibly broken categorization of calls into little boxes that has never, ever, EVER, been accurate or efficient.

Because of all that I have to carry my cardiac monitor/defibrillator, Oxygen, clipboard and ALS bag on every. single. call.


Because you never know what is waiting for you.  The 62 year old male with a headache you were dispatched on?  That's a 34 year old woman in active labor.

The unconscious man in Apartment 4H is actually the 5pm dialysis transfer wanting to get in early.


Since my attempts to change the way we dispatch failed in the design phases, perhaps there is a short term solution to all the gear we carry.  Here at my current assignment I oversee between 2 and 5 ALS first response units depending on staffing.  It seems each crew has their own way of stocking the bags.  We do a lot of hiking with or bags since our call may be to Gate 67 but the patient is now closer to gate 82.

This means all our stuff needs to be carefully stocked and easy to carry long distances.

The roller bag version was suggested, but the size and need to carry it up sometimes very steep jetway stairs made that solution unfeasible.  I know everyone seems to run a different bag in a different set up, but that's only because we all have different priorities and specialties when on scene.

For example, all my assessment gear is in the top compartment of my bag along with my oral glucose.  That's my "This part gets opened on all calls" part.  Then inside is my IV bag, meds and intubation kit on the bottom.

I'm not looking to wake the sleeping dinosaur of EMS opinion on bags and bag set ups, just wondering if I'm the only one frustrated that we carry everything everywhere.

On the engine I don't take a ladder inside every fire, I can go back out and get it, but for EMS, we carry cardiac arrest meds to stubbed toes.

0.5% of my call volume gets in my way the other 99.5% of the time.

"But if it saves one life...?"

But what if it negatively impacts another?

Am I over reacting, whining, or should we try something new?

Saturday, December 13

Police Fail?

I recently completed a patient care report that came about as a result of...let's just say our boys in blue were involved.  I have to complete a number of codes specific to the situation including the nature of injury, factors affecting care etc.

I never noticed that the code for Factors Affecting Care with Law Enforcement is...


wait for it





I giggled just a little bit.

Thursday, December 11

The little plane that wouldn't go to Chicago

A children's tale.


Once upon a time there was a little plane named 757.

757 was told by the pilots that she was supposed to go to Chicago, but 757 did not want to go to Chicago.

She tried to shut down boarding by fidgeting with the gate controls, but passengers continued to board.  Soon after they were all in and she was steered towards the runway she reached out with her magic and made one of the passengers ill.

The Paramedics were there when she pulled back into the gate, pleased that she had stopped the dreaded trip to Chicago.

But what is this?  The passenger is swiftly removed and her crew is given permission to pull back out and into flow for takeoff?!

757 tried and tried everything she could imagine but a few minutes later found herself on the runway given clearance to take off.  If she didn't do something quickly, she'd be forced to fly to Chicago.

She didn't want to harm the passengers, but something had to be done!

That's when little 757 got the perfect idea!

"Flight 554 you are clear for takeoff runway 99 Right, have a good trip."

"Copy, thanks, 554."

"Uh, 554 this is Southwest 221 directly behind you, you have an APU fire, you'll want to pull off the runway. Tower can you send someone out here, 554 is on fire."

Little 757 had held her breath so long and suddenly blew it out so forcefully that the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) on the rear of the plane erupted in flames.

Perfect!  The fire would mean being towed back to the maintenance facility and certainly no trip to Chicago!  Little 757 had...wait a minute, what's that tickling?

Rescue 10 had arrived swiftly and put the fire out.  So swiftly it seems that the pilot is now comfortable returning to the gate under her own power and having the mechanics evaluate any damage.

And there almost ends the tale of little 757 and her almost trip to Chicago.