Wednesday, January 28


It was cold when they left the house.

In the early morning hours they gathered a bag from the trunk of the car and walked to the end of the icy block.

At the stop sign was a friend idling, waiting.  Waiting to run.

Climbing into the warm car they felt a glimmer of hope for the first time in years.  The drive to the airport was silent, the younger one in the back seat falling asleep almost immediately.

It wasn't until the plane finally left the ground that she took a deep breath, confident in the decision she had made.  4 year old asleep on her lap she allowed herself a drink to calm her nerves on the first flight to Anywhere But Here, USA.

Unfortunately the stress, lack of sleep and drink caught up to her when they arrived and the gate agent was concerned.  Medical assessment finding nothing of concern rescuers turned to the events leading to their arrival without bags or a ride anywhere.

"We are trying to get to Anytown*" she said through teary eyes.

The 4 year old seemed curious about the tiny fire engine outside the window.

"We have a connecting flight but I think we missed it because of..." she pointed to the rescuers, the gate agent, the airport and broke down crying.

The agent confirmed the flight had been missed bit because of circumstances causing their delay and the next flight was being arranged.  That flight was tomorrow morning, a good day away.

After the ambulance ride had been refused and the airline snacks consumed, the gate agent approached with wonderful news.  He had arranged for a hotel room and a shuttle for the woman, her child and their grocery bag of earthly belongings.

As she was assisted to the shuttle stop the reason for their sudden departure crashed awkwardly into the conversation.

"It just wasn't safe for us anymore," she said to the 4 year old boy.

"Not for me, not for him and not for who he'll turn into if we stay," she mentioned casually over her shoulder.

They were on the run from an unsafe home or telling the most believable cover story ever known.  Violence and intimidation had turned fear into action late the night before.  She had a plan, a friend she could trust and took the next opportunity to run.

"Do the local police know about the father?" I asked looking for the shuttle van.

"He left three years ago.  Decided he didn't want a kid after all.  His replacement didn't know what he wanted most days."

We stood in silence for a good 10 minutes.  I wanted to go straight home and hug my family.

After the van pulled away from the curb local law enforcement was notified of their physical description, origin and location for the night just in case the story didn't hold water.

A week later I was informed an officer had followed up at their location and confirmed they had arrived safely with family in Anytown.  Hopefully the little guy only remembers the little fire engine outside the window and not the reasons they had to run.



image credit Shanon Wise via creative commons

Tuesday, January 20

8 Things Every Internet List MUST have! #3 Will Blow Your Mind

Number 1 on the list is the reference to something changing your world, blowing your mind or in some other creative way changing your basic presence on the earth.  It rarely happens, but what if #17 on the list of ways to reuse tin foil really does change my life?

Second on the list is the image of an attractive woman, this one used from Flickr user Vladimir Pustovit and used under creative common license.

Oh, that reminds me of number 3 on the list of things every internet list MUST have!  This introduction you likely skipped over, just like everyone else.  Who reads these intros and, even worse, who has to write them?  All I want to do is scroll down to the 33 times Scarlett Johannsen smiled in a film.

#4 - Surprised we're at 4 already?  You skipped the intro didn't you?

The first listed item is by far the most interesting and will convince you to scroll down to the rest of the list of things you already knew.

#5 - Most lists will maximize advertising by making you click to a new page for every entry or for the "next 4 amazing hacks!"  All they're doing is getting 1/8th of a cent for the ad that pops up before the content.

#6 - Finally show you the image from the click link, completely out of context, proving they just wanted to click bait you.


#7 - This is about the time you lost track of which of these items was supposed to blow your mind.  It was #3.  You're welcome.

#8 - Links to other useless lists of images from your favorite films listing facts you learned about the film while watching it. "Tom Cruise added scenes shirtless for his female fans" isn't included on my list of 21 things I never knew about Top Gun, it's #1 on my "You Don't Say" list.

Did I miss any?

Tuesday, January 13

Best Fire Department Social Media Presence?

I'm looking for someone who is doing it right.

A Department who understands the power of social and sharing media as well as its dangers and pitfalls.

Do you know of such an agency?  Mention them in the comments, I'd love to learn from their example and possibly recognize them at FDIC in April!


So, I'll ask again:

What Fire or EMS agency is doing social media right?

Monday, January 5

Inspiring our Peers

Ambulance Chaser, Driver and friend of the blog Wes Ogilvie has an inspiring post up today I just had to share.

"But if we, those of us who consider ourselves to be 'good' providers, motivated by the right things in emergency medicine, don’t make ourselves available as mentors, resources, or peer support providers, then someone else surely will.   These may be the the Low Information Voters who chant the shopworn phrases of low EMS standards." - Wes Ogilvie

Go read the post HERE.

So many folks in EMS focus on patient care, training or licensing.

So many folks in EMS focus on QI, vehicle design or discipline.

But how many are looking around their immediate area:

The driver's seat.

Chances are the biggest positive impact you can make as a Paramedic is to mentor or inspire another provider, starting with the grunt taking you from patient to patient.  That person we often think of as simply a means to an end was once us.

Think back to the moment you realized you wanted to be a Paramedic.  It wasn't watching Emergency! or Mother, Juggs & Speed, there was someone in the right hand seat that made you want to be better.

I've told you about my inspiration to do better, but instead of thinking back to your own glory day of inspiration, Wes reminds us that we have an obligation to inspire others.

If you don't someone else will and there's a possibility that person believes in EMS Anchor myths of kidnapping, starting large IVs on combative patients, ridiculing the under-served and wants nothing more than to pass along their bad habits.

Perhaps one of the problems in EMS is that we've forgotten to inspire while spending too much time looking backwards?

Not a medic? What about inspiring a young beat cop or firefighter instead of just hoping they run into the right folks in the future?

We are the future we've been waiting for.


Saturday, January 3

Ask A Firefighter

Uniform Stories has got me fielding questions about the fire service!


Do you have a generic fire service question or a more specific question you need answered?

Shoot me a comment here, on the video or via email


The first response is about to be filmed, so get your questions in now!