Monday, March 28

the Crossover Show - Ep 48 - What's in your feed?

crossoverlogo300In this episode, HM and MC rely on the Book of Faces for show ideas.

Goto to see how you can support the show!

The Book of Faces never disappoints. The guys talk hate crimes (There a bill to make cops included in hate crimes), social media policies, Angry Cops, and a fair amount of teasing for next week's show where we interview Mike the Cop and Officer Daniels of Vine-fame.

Also in this go 'round, San Bernardino comes up again...but not how you think.


MC's new website, The Motorcop Mindset will be launching soon. Here's a video teaser:

MC will be presenting at the STORM conference in Vicksburg, MS on May 3rd and 4th.

HM will be presenting at FDIC in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 21st.


Monday, March 21

Washing the Chief's Car

When I was a young Explorer Scout riding along on Engine 31 in my hometown I had the opportunity to learn about the modern Fire Service from some amazing mentors.  It was at this house that I learned about the future of EMS in the service, what death looks like and the very beginnings of what it means to be part of a team.

I was reminded of this recently when rig washing day rolled around.

When I was an Explorer I clearly remember Firefighter Pokey (Yes his real name) grabbing me and telling me to get out back, fast.  Outside the back bay doors was the Chief's Suburban.  He was on his normal daily circuit of the houses in his Battalion.  FF Pokey and I quickly got to washing the car.  When we were finished drying it off he climbed in and parked it facing the other way and we went back inside.

When I asked Pokey why we did that, his answer stuck with me:

"Always wash the Chief's car first.  That shows respect.  Then park it the other way so they notice.  That shows that it was us without telling him."

As a Captain I always wash my own buggy, but on Saturdays we wash all the rigs.  After the morning meeting broke up I went out to the closet, prepped a bucket, grabbed some towels, pulled a hose and pulled the Chief's buggy onto the apron.

Then I washed it.

The Chief came walking out a few minutes later to see my drying off her buggy and she asked why I was washing her buggy and not my own.

"I'll get to mine.  We wash yours first, preferably without you here, old habits die hard I guess," And I told her what 16 year old me learned long, long ago.


While memes pop up about good leaders doing the dirty work, let's not forget that no matter how much they want to chip in and do the little things, they deserve your attention in doing the little things first.

Chiefs can wash dishes, sure, but they'll have to pay careful attention to the sponge when I'm around.  They always seem to get an important phone call when they step up to wash and I'm nearby.

Chiefs can wash Engines, sure, but wouldn't it be nice if they were already clean?


Go the extra mile and wash the Chief's car first.  Then, when the new guy shows up, do what FF Pokey did for me.  Grab them by the arm and show them what to do and why.  You'll be influencing the next generation of the Fire Service.

Friday, March 11

What Should I Do With This Knife? - The Crossover Ep 46

crossoverlogo300This week’s episode finds Motorcop and the Happy Medic discussing a topic from Facebook: Scene safety and communication.  The guys discuss how important it is to communicate with the other disciplines at the scene instead of fighting and arguing.

Should you tell Fire that the car seat was empty?

Should you tell Officers that you were the one who put the car in park and set the brake?

Are we really going to have Vine stars Mike the Cop and Officer Daniels on the show soon?

All these questions and more are answered on the Crossover Show, the Internet’s first, best and only Police, EMS and Fire podcast.



Firefighter Jokes

My new article at Uniform Stories is up.

3 Jokes Firefighters Will Find Funny.


Go have a giggle.

Monday, March 7

Medical/Legal Advice, Google Style

From time to time someone wanders into Happy Medic Headquarters from the google machine.  Most commonly it is because I still rank high when searching Strippers and Cocaine, but every now and then I see a jump in visits and look into what folks are searching for.

Most recently this gem was typed into the search bar at the google:

"can police force you into ambulance if your intoxicated"


We'll skip the grammatical issue and get right to the point.  Yes, Sparky, they can.

So can I for that matter.

If you are in Police custody they can indeed insist that you be evaluated by a physician.  If you are intoxicated, however, you can't often refuse said evaluation.

Intoxication has many, many levels.  To avoid being "forced" into an ambulance you need to convince me that you can receive and understand information regarding your condition, make an informed decision regarding continued assessment and care, then comprehend the refusal document I need you to sign in order for me to go away.

If, based on my assessment, you are unable to do those things, I can't in good faith just leave you where you are.  I must make a decision that you without the alcohol would agree to.

Most often being "forced" into an ambulance when intoxicated is a grey area where the PD wants you gone but doesn't have enough to arrest you.  This is referred to as the "Code 3 PD eval, possible diabetic."

PD will activate EMS in the hopes that you are too far gone to qualify for a refusal and their problem will be solved.

That being said, watch out for the "Goto the hospital or goto jail!" too often shouted by nearby Police.

No, a Police Officer can not threaten you with jail if you don't go to the hospital any more than they can do so if you refuse to go away.  If they have the reason to arrest you, you're getting arrested.  Going to the hospital does not release them from enforcing the law.

However, if you are too intoxicated to make decisions for yourself a hospital can't help you much.  They'll give you a once over, then let you sleep it off in the corner covered in your own vomit.  The Police holding cell is similar but is far, far cheaper in the long run.

So, can police force you into an ambulance?  Not really, unless you're under arrest, then they can force you to do just about anything.  Otherwise maybe just shut up, listen to your options, and answer my questions.


Oh, and maybe a few less drinks next time.

Friday, March 4

the Crossover Show - Episode 45 - Cop Vines and the Cajun John Wayne

crossoverlogo300In this week's episode, HM and MC talk about the recent suspension of Officer R. Hy from the Buffalo Police Department in New York over his Vine Videos. You can seen an example of his Vines (posted as Angry Cops) by following the link above.

The guys also talk about the Cajun John Wayne, Capt. Clay Higgins, who recently left his position with the St. Landry Parish after his videos sparked some political issues for his Powers That Be. You may find this hard to believe, but MC and HM didn't really see eye-to-eye on this one.

And finally, a blast from the past...HM tries to Stump MC!

I'll ask MC 3 questions from the past week, 1 from each discipline, but leave a little tidbit out.  He has to try to finish the story!  For example, Question #2, a Las Cruces Firefighter is getting a lot of attention for having her picture taken in her fire gear while doing what?

Tune in to hear the frivolity and play along at home!


The Squad Room Podcast



Thursday, March 3

You Make the Call ebook Now Available

ymtc cover v1It has taken over a year of starts and stops, adds and edits, to finally offer you this collection of You Make the Call scenarios.

For anyone who has followed this therapy experiment from the beginning you know that we used to fire up a scenario every Friday, discuss it over the weekend, then have a solution Monday morning.

When things got crazy at home it kind of went away and I always wanted to start it back up again.

Well, here we go.

I have edited the entire You Make the Call library from this site and added even more scenarios, variables and twists and turns.  Even if you've read and answered every one over the last 7 years, I've added some more for you to enjoy.


Each scenario spells out your situation and asks you to decide the next actions to take.  Following each scenario I describe what my actions were and then challenge you with 3 additional variables to consider never seen on the website.  These new considerations can take your response in a whole different direction.

From You Make the Call-

"Dispatch has rung you out for a reported sick/altered mental status at a local hotel.  No, not the one all the addicts live in when they cash their checks, the one where all the conferences are held.  Confidence is high that this might actually be a call for a sick person.

Halfway to the scene you hear another rig toned out for the same complaint at the same hotel, different room.  Double checking your screen you are going to a Mr Brown in Room 403, Medic 88 is responding for a Mrs Gutierrez in room 503. Arriving at the scene you are met by the manager who asks you to park around back so as not to frighten the patrons.  Ignoring him you take the elevator up to 403 and find Mr Brown doubled over the toilet, vomiting.

It is then the door to room 405, the room next door, opens and a young woman asks you to take a look at her mother, who is dizzy and vomiting. Something is bothering you about this, but you agree to stop in after checking on Mr Brown.  Mr Brown's wife is also feeling dizzy and complaining of nausea.

From upstairs Medic 88 is asking radio for a full hazmat response and to shelter the hotel immediately, then goes off air. What is your reaction?

You make the call."


This format is perfect for exam preparation or a Company exercise.  Call the crew to the kitchen table or plan a recreation of a scenario on drill night at the fire hall.  Either way, this volume is intended to get the discussions started at the kitchen table again.  From EMS to Haz Mat to management to search and fire suppression there's a little sprinkle of everything in here, just like a day on the Engine, Medic or Truck.


I'm also preparing some other fun content to come out soon, so please consider signing up for email updates from the blog.  The first 50 subscribers will receive this volume for FREE as well as updates and discounts on future content.


Also, attendees to my FDIC presentation "Engine Company First Strike MCI" will receive a free download code in addition to some great MCI preparation content.


I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed compiling it!

[purchase_link id="6350" text="Purchase" style="button" color="blue"]

-Justin Schorr, the Happy Medic