Tuesday, August 30

Writer calls for Medics to risk more in shootings, misses the target

Kevin Hazzard (@NakedStrangers), is a writer and former Paramedic from Atlanta who wrote a piece for the Washington Post titled "Paramedics are taught not to risk their lives after mass shootings. They should."


You can imagine the uproar from the three disciplines.  Just reading the comments on the original piece sums up the range of emotions from one reader, "Hell yeah, get in there and save lives" to the other end of the spectrum calling Hazzard all sorts of names and questioning if 9 years in Atlanta makes him an EMS "expert."

First thing first: I wasn't with Hazzard those 9 years so I can't speak to his experiences.  However, based on this article and the recommendations, I would lean on the side of inexperience.

I'll also have to disagree with the title, which is not often written by the writer but instead an editor. "...risk their lives AFTER mass shootings" should read DURING.  After the shooting stops we re-evaluate the situation.

Here's why:

We in EMS and Fire are taught to stay back during violent events because we are not trained to be able to prevent the scene from devolving.  We are not trained to secure, scan for threats and protect a scene, be it shooting, stabbing or explosion.  We are trained to deal with the aftermath.

The article touches on the newest fad in EMS, TEMS, which will soon go the way of MAST pants and cooling.  The idea of giving an EMT a quick class on how to stand near an armed group of officers and issuing them a vest and helmet really only helps pay the mortgage of the guy selling the vests and helmets.

I'm all for PPE for our people.  I'm also for the core element of TEMS which is integration with PD when needed.  What we don't need is adrenaline junkies on almost minimum salary being given a vest and helmet and sent into chaos.  The team needs to be highly trained and fully equipped.

Will immediate intervention make a difference in some cases?  Perhaps.  Hazzard mentions that victims in Boston were treated immediately because EMS was already onsite.  True.  Hazzard also mentions that the Pulse Nightclub shooting held rescuers back and people were taken out in pick up trucks.  Also true.


As an EMS Captain for a large, busy EMS system I can relate to many of the challenges in staffing a TEMS team that can line up and be ready to go in with the second or third wave, the Rescue Task Force.  The training usually involves everyone arriving together at a safe location, donning their gear and going into an office building of some kind.  Neato!  Now imagine the real life call when the first 2 patrol officers report an active shooter and the ambulance beats everyone else in.


Hazzard, based on the article, wants the public to expect that ambulance crew to don their vests and helmets, grab their trauma gear and line up!  After all, isn't it worth my life to save another?



No my life is not on the table to save another.  My skills are here to do the most good for the most people.  Getting shot to save a life while 3 others perish is not heroic, it is right out of Hollywood who has a horrible track record for accuracy of our profession.

Do we take risks?  Absolutely.

If trained and equipped will I enter a hazardous area to perform a rescue?  Absolutely.

If I am surf rescue qualified and see someone in distress in the water without my gear will I risk my life for theirs?  Absolutely not.

On a side note, I would imagine many folks who are pushing for TEMS gear and limited training were also against cops getting Narcan.  "They don't have the training to administer it and do a good enough job!"

Same as we don't yet have the training to TEMS everything.

A successful TEMS program deployed in the community is a great idea, throwing gear on the rig because it's the latest, greatest thing is going to get someone killed.  And chances are that someone was the only one who could have saved the rest of the injured at the scene.


Stick to writing TV for now Hazzard, your concepts will look better from my couch than the Command Post at an active incident when people are down.

Monday, August 22

What's with the French?

A few of you have sent messages about the weird post I put up completely in what Google Translate calls French.  It was an apology to a person I couldn't communicate with.  Emails to me said, "I can't understand what you're trying to say" and " Why not just tell us what you wanted to say in French?"


I wanted to see if, even using the tools we have, if I could convey myself and I kind of could.  Sort of.


Point of the post was to show that even when we think communication is happening, the meaning may not be getting through.


Thanks for reading,


Friday, August 19

the Crossover - Ep 69 - Twelve Ninety

crossoverlogo300In this week's episode, MC and HM discuss Selma, Alabama, and their issues with pay. Two days in a row, officers called in "sick" (what is referred to as the "Blue Flu") to show solidarity and unity with regard to their abysmal pay.

The guys talk about solutions (some of which are likely to be unpopular) and what those officers may want to do to improve their financial well-being.  It won't be easy when they're paid $12.90 an hour.  No, that is not a typo. Twelve Ninety.  Below is the link to the article referenced on PoliceOne.com.

To our friends in Alabama: Keep the faith, fight the good fight, and remember why you took the job to begin with...because it sure as shit wasn't the pay.

And speaking of pay!

Don't forget to check out Patreon.com/TCS to show your support for the show! Believe it or not, this show takes a modicum of effort and planning...two things our heroes do not excel at. So, show them some love at Patreon!

And please hit iTunes and rate our show!


Dataclysm by Christian Rudder

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley


Blue Flu Article on PoliceOne


Thursday, August 18


Votre mère était malade et ne pouvait pas parler.  Vous ne parlez pas ma langue.  J’ai essayé de mon mieux, mais je n’avais aucune idée que les hommes qui ressemblaient à moi ton père ont enlevé il y a une semaine et vous ai jamais revoyiez.  Vous étiez tellement peur que tu m’as fait peur.  Nous avons essayé des signaux à main, téléphone apps, mais même pas une voix familière d’un ami de la famille au téléphone pourrait vous calmer.  Vous criaient comme si votre vie avait été prise auprès de vous et, après avoir plus tard constaté sur la mort de ton père, j’ai compris pourquoi.  Désolé.  Je suis désolé, j’ai dû forcer la main de main de ta mère malade.  Je suis désolé, que je devais avoir un des pompiers maintenez vos bras dans une étreinte vous a crié et coups de pied.  J’ai dit à vous s’il vous plaît soyez calme, nous avons été aidée.

Vos cris s’est évanouie à un cri, le cri d’un gémissement et un gémissement d’une étincelle d’espoir que nous avons contribué à ta mère éveiller en face de vous. « MAMA ! » est tout ce j’ai compris que tous les deux de vous a éclaté en sanglots.  J’ai essayé de vous dire que j’étais Désolé d’utiliser une application idiote sur mon téléphone.  J’ai même essayé il prononcer, mais vous ri au lieu de cela.  Et c’est tout que j’ai eu besoin.


Je vous souhaite tout le meilleur, Capitaine Paramédic Schorr

Sunday, August 7

the Crossover Show - Ep 67 - Traffic Stops and Profiling

crossoverlogo300In this week's episode, HM and MC discuss Hamden, Connecticut's police chief and his request for his officers to conduct traffic stops based on moving violations instead of mechanical violations. You can read the piece for yourself here.

Why, you ask?

Seems the Hamden PD has been stopping a more significant amount of mechanical violations when the driver is off a non-caucasian persuasion.  As if you need to ask, Happy has data and numbers when it comes to this episode.

Tune in for our second FB live experience.

Don't forget to jump on iTunes and rate the show 6 stars (don't worry if you can't see that sixth star...it just means you haven't rated enough podcasts yet) and give the guys your feedback!

Also, you can support the show by visiting Patreon.com/TCS. Show the guys some love! The show is always free...but hosting it ain't. Thanks in advance for your consideration!



Saturday, August 6

Actually, Officer, No.

Officer Unclear on the Concept strikes again.


Dispatched to a diabetic male, unable to walk.  On arrival witnesses state a man seemed tired and has now walked over 100 meters.

When they finally caught up with the tired looking man he was accompanied by a police officer.

"What seems to be the trouble tonight Sir?" Rescuers ask.

"Nothing, why?  Why all the attention?" He asks.

"Maybe this isn't the right patient?" One medic asks themselves out loud, trying to figure out why they are chasing this man.

"Hold on, Pal," says the Officer, "I'm not letting you go anywhere until you sign their refusal."


Officer, that decision does not have you in it.  You can not require it, request it or use it as leverage.  If the person in question is being detained for law enforcement reasons we are more than happy to perform an evaluation.  However, if the person is not being detained, held, or in any other way involved with law enforcement, there is no point where your badge can require a patient refusal document for a person to continue on.

That decision is between us and them and has zero impact on their ability to continue on where they want to go unless you have another reason.

Please feel free to stand nearby and see your concerns melt away, but please don't use your authority on my behalf when I'm not there.



The Medics you called