Tuesday, September 22

Chronicles of EMS T-Shirts! For Charity!

We're getting close to the end of September and Motorcop (Team Soul Crusher) is mobilizing his army of readers so now I must bleg as well.

PLEASE donate to Kilted to Kick Cancer through Team Happy Medic!  Go to this link and click the amount you can donate (If you want an amount you don't see you can change the multiples before checkout) and after clicking contribute you will select Team Happy Medic.


To encourage you I have offered rare patches and sent some as far as England!  But we need more support!

I am making the following offer:

IMG_20150922_151443741[1]This is a Chronicles of EMS T-Shirt.  The original T-Shirt from EMS Today, Baltimore 2010.  This was the only place they were available.

Until now.

Sponsor ZOLL Medical made a few more of these than we thought and recently sent them back to EMS Jedi Master Filmmaker Thaddeus Setla.

Since he is moving to Michigan he has given me the rest of them.

I have sizes Medium through XL, each individually wrapped and ready to ship.

How about $10?


Donate $10 to KTKC through Team Happy Medic and I'll ship out a brand new CoEMS T-shirt.  Just enter the size in the notes section on the right of the checkout screen.

Don't let MC and the cops beat us!


Donate to KTKC and Team Happy Medic!


What is Chronicles of EMS you ask?





Homeless Showering in Firehouses? Why Not!

I'll tell you why not and it isn't as simple as "That's a stupid idea."

This story hit my feed awhile back and I ignored it, mainly because I was convinced it was satire.


On his blog, self described community activist, and clearly tax payer, Michael Petrelis learned that the San Francisco Fire Department was budgeting to repair bathroom and shower facilities at most of the firehouses around the City.  He then goes on to make the following suggestion:

"I am proposing that the city consider making those taxpayer-funded facilities available to the homeless on a limited basis, for use to urinate and defecate and also regain or maintain good hygiene."

I see where you're going with this...but no.

Mr Petrelis was also striving very hard to demand that Fire houses open the ground floor restroom to anyone who asks during business hours.  Unfortunately for him, this was policy prior to his efforts.  What he seems to be missing is that not all those restrooms are serviceable, usable or safe for the public...hence the need for all the repairs.

While I have been witness to more than a few "sidewalk steamers" in broad daylight, the bulk of the public urination and defecation happens outside of the hours Mr Petrelis suggests.  Add to this the fact that the firehouse will likely be vacant and the idea falls apart.  More on why the station is vacant in a moment.

According to their website, the SFFD has some firehouses that were built in the 1930s and 1940s and have been repaired, re-repaired and updated slowly but are still in disrepair.  Mr Petrelis would like to add a few homeless folks dropping by to shower to the mix.

So let's dissect why his plan will not only not work but is a recipe for disaster and avoids the true problem.

Firstly, the homeless population is not spread out equally over the San Francisco area.  Anyone who visits can see the bulk of the almost 10,000 Urban Outdoorsmen are in the downtown corridor, specifically South of Market, along 6th Street and in the Tenderloin neighborhood.  For grins and giggles, let's use Mr Petrelis's estimate of 6,500 homeless in SF.  In those three neighborhoods I just mentioned there are 3 Firehouses.


Two of them are among the busiest in the country and overlap calls for service on a regular basis.  If we line up all 6,500 homeless and let them take a 5 minute shower, we are in a drought after all, and taking into account 5 minutes to strip down and redress after the shower (We'll make them hurry) That is 65,000 minutes of showering.

A day.

That equates to 45 days worth of showering, non stop.  15 if we can somehow organize them to walk to another fire house.

Now, before I go any farther, I am pro shower for the homeless.  They are human beings and deserve respect and the chance to get out of the situation they are in.  A shower is not what they need long term, but let's stay on topic here.

Mr Petrelis would like to open the facilities during "reasonable hours" likely the same business hours the restrooms are already available.  This limits access even more, meaning that the 45 days around the clock to shower everyone just became 90 days.

Should we make people wait 90 days to take a shower at a firehouse?

Now on to the part of the equation that is often overlooked: Station security. When 2 of the busiest fire houses in the country go on over 30 calls for service in a day (A good deal of them dealing with this same population), the station is often vacant and locked closed.  This restricts access even further than 90 days and now we are likely pushing 120-200 days to get everyone showered.


Just because tax payer dollars fund something does not mean that it is free for public consumption.  If I walked up to a Police Officer and asked to use his car, or even gun, by claiming that it is tax payer funded I would be laughed at and ignored.

Mr Petrelis, I admire your efforts to help these people, but opening firehouse showers isn't the solution these folks need.  Having been ankle deep in human waste more times than I would like to ever recall helping people in that situation, the decades of mental strife, substance abuse and neglect (Not to mention easily half of the population we're discussing are not natives to their location instead bused in or come looking for a wealth of free services) many don't want to change.  It is an embarrassing reality.  For every person wishing to escape the streets I'll find 3 more that want nothing to do with shelter or aid.  It is a sad state that is almost too late to impact but some local programs have a chance.

Showers are a great idea, but hopefully Mr Petrelis now sees that only if he personally drives people to far flung firehouses can we realistically get all the homeless showered inside a week.

But now when do the firefighters shower?


As with all articles here these views are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the opinions or policy of my employer(s), mother in law nor ice dancing partner.



Sunday, September 13

Patch Collectors Rejoice! Another Kilted to Kick Cancer Patch Challenge!

I received a number of emails from you reader folk letting me in on a secret regarding my Chronicles of EMS Patch offer.  I'll let Bill N. from Kentucky give you the low down:

Mr Happy,

While we support your cause, you're asking quite a bit for what looks like a half finished proof patch. Rare, maybe but you are asking too, too much man.  That's a $25 patch easy.  Will you take $25?


Well Bill, I just might have to take you up on that, but not just yet.  I've decided to raid my patch collection for KTKC and offer the following deal first:

ktkc happy patchesIf you donate to Kilted to Kick Cancer, from now until the end of the month in the above amounts I will send you the noted patch (While supplies last).  For $10 it is the limited edition (200 run, about 20 remaining) EMS 2.0 patch.  For $20 it is the limited (100 run, about 10 remaining) final Chronicles of EMS patch.

Visit this link:


And click on $10, then contribute.  On the next page you can select to increase your EMS 2.0 patch donation of $10 to 2, totaling $20 for the Chronicles of EMS patch.  From there you will be required to select a team, choose Team Happy Medic and note in the area on the right if you want 2 EMS 2.0 patches or 1 Chronicles of EMS patch.

These are from my private stash and I will keep only 1 of each.  When supplies get low I will post it here.

When these patches are gone, Bill, we can revisit your offer of $25 for the proof Chronicle patch.


Please donate to KTKC and help me at least beat Motorcop in fundraising!


Get Kilted! Get Checked!


Crossover Podcast -20 - Sorting Out Your Priorities

With fam­ily life, work, exchange stu­dents, gui­tar lessons, soc­cer prac­tice and Irish dance class, your heroes Motor­cop and the Happy Medic couldn’t find time to record this week.  And you can imag­ine the chaos when we add in the children’s activities!

With a break between chores while MC was at work, since HM couldn’t find time in the evening to get to MC, he fired up the mic and recorded a solo show.

The topic?

Time man­age­ment of course.  With our ever busier lives we as pub­lic safety pro­fes­sion­als have to take the time to iden­tify our pri­or­i­ties (Yes, you should only have 1 but we’ll dis­cuss that in another show), set real­is­tic expec­ta­tions and bud­get our time like we bud­get our money.

HM and MC usu­ally find time for 2 or 3 or, if there is enough beer, 4 shows but this last week was so crazy this is the best we can offer and we think you’ll enjoy it.

Oh, and did we men­tion the char­ity we founded and are run­ning all month-long?  No?  More on that soon.

Enjoy Episode 20!  next episode we’re old enough to drink…again.




Thursday, September 10

Kilted to Kick Cancer Patch Giveaway!

ktkcshield400whiteTo help raise money for Kilted to Kick Cancer I am offering 2 RARE patches.

These were made to adorn the uniform shirts of myself and Mark Glencorse as we traveled the world learning about EMS on the reality show Beyond the Lights and Sirens (Previously the Chronicles of EMS).

A different patch was later made but these 2 samples stayed in my drawer as mementos of the show that never was.

And now I'm offering them as a prize for a donation to a worthy cause.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month and me and a few friends in 41 states are raising money for research and awareness and this morning I was behind Motorcop in the fundraising competition.

Boo, I know.

So I've decided to donate these patches, both of them, to the cause.

Any of you patch collectors out there are going to want to get one of these, there are only 2 in the known universe.

The first person to donate $100 to Kilted to Kick Cancer and select Team Happy Medic at THIS LINK will win the first patch.  The second the second.  The third person to donate gets my sincere thanks and a special runner up prize.


Here is the patch we're talking about.  Standard 3" design with the full moon rising over San Francisco's skyline as the US and UK flags wave above.

So who will step up and donate?

Your donation is tax deductible AND you get a 2 of a kind patch AND your donation could help cure cancer.


Give Early and give often!


Tuesday, September 8

2 Completely Missed Milestones

In the preparation for Kilted to Kick Cancer and our Highland Games kick off weekend I completely missed 2 pretty big milestones.

First, on August 31st this little therapy experiment of mine has reached 7 years of age.  I remember when Firegeezer, my first "Follower," noted my 1 year anniversary as a great achievement.  I may not post as much as I did then but luckily the reason is because a lot of my frustrations are being addressed.  It turns out that if you get involved and try to make things better they can sometimes get better.

Second, this August marked my 20th year in the fire service.

I mentioned in February at a presentation that I had 20 years in the fire service and was kind of fudging the numbers based on my volunteer experience.  I can't say I feel old, but hitting this milestone reminds me that we are all responsible to pass along what we know, be it at the dinner table, on the drill ground or the fire ground.  Or even across the table at a review.


Thank you for being a part of this experiment, even you Chinese and Russian hackers spiking my traffic.


-Your Happy Medic


Tuesday, September 1

Team Happy Medic - Kilted to Kick Cancer

ktkcshield400whiteHere we go again my friends, another September to kick off our pants  to raise awareness, and some research money, for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.


The annual fund raising contest is now in full swing and I need your help.

Visit THIS LINK to make a donation and after clicking "Contribute" choose Team Happy Medic from the dropdown.

If nothing else at least let me beat Motorcop!  If I have to listen to him brag all year about cops raising more money than firemen I might barf.