Thursday, June 16

Changes are a-comin'

Hey gang,


This is one of those blogger break notifications we use from time to time to step away from the keyboard and gather our thoughts.

You may have noticed that over the last year or so my thoughts have been fewer and far between here at HMHQ and that was because I was focusing on other outlets.  Speaking, writing an ebook of scenarios and working on another ebook about the 101 Things Your Fire Department Wishes you Knew.

Most of you saw me contributing to for the last 2 years with this article about that or that list about this.

I have decided to focus less on lists and deadlines and more on ranting and continuing to impact this thing we still call EMS.  I miss the days of picking fights with DiverMedic, TOTWTYTR, Kelly and Scott and Chris (Before he went and made CPP so successful) (and after).  I miss late night conversations with Ted and MArk about what huge project was next.  I miss when we were so excited to change things for the better we began to see it happen.  I lost sight of all that.

Time to regain focus.  But first, we cleanse the palette.

These next couple weeks I'll be taking the family to the Great White North for a few weeks to get our heads screwed back on.  Remember last year when I told you about the fallacy of the bucket list?  Places, not things.

So we're going some places.


The feeds will be quiet until July but with any luck I'll have a huge announcement about the future of this little therapy experiment and what could he an amazing opportunity for your ol' pal Happy to spread his wings and try something new.


Keep checking back, I've been known to take 4 day month long breaks in the past.


Stay safe and put your seat belt back on,


Wednesday, June 15

The Sounds of Silence

I have written before about the senses in EMS, the things we see, smell and feel.  I was prepared to write about the worst things we hear when I read an article that stopped me in my tracks.  I had to sit down here in the house and collect my thoughts while fighting back tears and I am on the far end of the world compared to Orlando.


Paramedics, Firefighters and Police hear some of the worst things imaginable.  We hear vitriol spewed from the darkest souls imaginable, often geared towards us or our female relatives.  We hear families torn apart by violence cry to their Gods to bring their loved one back.  We hear the pleading of a husband for us to please help his wife to live again.  “Please.  Please do something!”

It may be cliché but the worst thing I thought I could ever hear was the silence of a dead child.


This morning has me thanking those same Gods that that is the worst thing I have heard because our Brothers and Sisters in Orlando are hearing far, far worse in the aftermath of the murderous rampage by a creature so twisted I will not refer to it by name or by species.


The teams searching the Pulse nightclub for survivors, treating the wounded they found and especially later, cataloguing and sorting the bloody mess that remained had to suffer a sound so simple, so common that you may need to take a moment to imagine it.


A phone ringing.


For years these rescuers will hear the echo of a phone ringing in their nightmares.

You see, as the event unfolded, friends and family frantically called their loved ones to find out if they were OK, hiding maybe in the bathroom or made it out and sought refuge in an alley.

50 bodies in the building.  Likely all with phones.  Likely all of them ringing.

Ringing nonstop as multiple people tried to call.  Ringing nonstop as more and more phones began to call out to their deceased owner and no answer would come.  Ringing nonstop as rescuers sort through the chaos in the hopes that one of the phones could soon be answered by someone who can say to the caller, “I’m OK, they found me!”

Another 53 were wounded in the small club, I don’t know how many were pulled out by other club goers or rescuers, but their phones were likely ringing as well.  Some too injured to answer while those that could answer were likely unable to speak after seeing the tragedy unfold before them.


The ringing.

Songs and tones, sounds and voice clips, each one as original as the person lying in the blood, unable to answer.

That is a sound that chills my spine just to imagine it, but our Brothers and Sisters will never be able to unhear it.  That sound will echo in their minds and their hearts the rest of their lives.


Of all the things we hear, I thought silence was the worst.  I hope it remains that way for me, and for you too.

Tuesday, June 14

I know that feel, Bro

My new article at Uniform Stories talks about the worst things I've felt as a Paramedic.  Mainly it focuses on tactile feeling instead of emotional feeling but of course when things are bad the two intertwine.


In the wake of the Orlando mass murder, many folks are sharing how hard it would be to walk through the night club and hear all the phones ringing.  Powerful indeed.


Then a friend of mine at work posted the following status update:

"Went on a fatal shooting last night.  Nothing new, I was just trying to imagine 50 of them in one room."


Take a minute and digest that.  Put aside all your pro-gun, anti-gun, tolerance and anti-muslim back and forth and just take a moment to think about that.  50 of them.  In one room.

I hope I never have to feel that.

Friday, June 10

TCS - Ep 59 - SHOOT HIM!

crossoverlogo300In this week’s episode, HM and MC jump directly into the topic with little folderol and even less brouhaha.

On May 28, 2016, Flagstaff officers shot and killed an attempted carjacker who was armed at the time of the incident. Whilst that may seem par for the course, that really isn’t the bigger story.

The bigger story was the ferocity with which the guys watched the video and yelled, “Shoot him!” repeatedly.

That’s right. A fire guy with zero police experience and a cop both had similar opinions about when it was legal, legit, and damn near a moral imperative to shoot the carjacker.

Thing is, though, they didn’t. At least not soon enough to satisfy your hosts. Thankfully, officers were uninjured, the bad guy is in the ground and no civilians were harmed. Tune in and hear all about it!