Friday, September 29

Witty Banter with the Unaware - Volume 3324

One of the things I love...LOVE...about being a Paramedic is the ability to spot Trouble from across the room.  That's a capital T in Trouble, saved for those who need me to put a spring in my step and toss by bag and monitor strategically as I approach a person in need of immediate intervention.

That was last week.  haven't seen an IVR with pulses that slow in years...but that's another story.

This story is almost a call up from the past, back in the days of Medic 38, running 20+ calls in a shift.

3 calls are already running when a crew calls in that a person has collapsed not far away and are requesting an additional response.  Out the door I go knowing the local ambulance company will be flexed or delayed considering how many of their rigs are already on the property.

Usually it is the chronically inebriated who participate in my witty banter, not so this time.

Sitting in a chair, brand new T shirt for an out of town walk a thon, brand new simple black pants and brand new simple plastic flip flops.  This is the Shelter starter pack.  When folks goto some shelters, they get the dignity of a shower and some clean clothes.  For some it is enough to get through a rough patch, while for others it is simply a revolving door, similar to the ones very close by.

She sees me approach from behind the Policemen and her body language changes immediately.  Because I entered from behind the seating area I saw someone maintaining posture, moving hands and arms in concert with head movements and adjusting eyeglasses.  In short - everything is close to just fine.

As I approach she is suddenly slouching to one side, breathing at over 30 a minute and shaking her hands in the way only seen in TV shows and right there right then.

Our back and forth was swift because we have both had ample chance to practice.  Her chief complaint is severe, but vague, knowing what I can and can not assess.

My questions seem distracting and catching her off guard a few times, making eye contact, her frustration breaking the tachnypnea, just as I hoped.

When offered options suddenly a family was waiting for her, but she can't keep straight witch family members it is.  Mom, a son, a sick son (yes a different one) then a sister.

In the end she finally caved and admitted she felt fine but simply had no place to stay, to eat or the get help.  My feelings of victory were met equally with my compassion to help.  We don't always push a medication to help someone recover, sometimes we have to grease the wheels of the system to make sure someone who wants a chance to break the cycle can do so.

She ended up going to the hospital, simply because there was no other way to ensure she arrived at step one of her healing process, but she gave me a run for my money alright.

Thursday, September 28

the Crossover Ep 125 - Who Gives Two Sh*ts

Episode 124 is dedicated to SFFD Battalion Chief Terry Smerdel who died in the line of duty September 10th assigned to Battalion 1.

Episode 124 is dark in his memory.

On to #125...

In this episode, the boys are quick back to work, as Terry would have liked, talking about a comment on HM’s FB page. A rigid c-collar was placed on a suspect and HM wondered why. In jumps an LEO account who asked “who gives two shits about this guy?!”

What do a cop and fireman think of that comment?

What could it mean for the relationships of rescuers and officers at a scene where lives were put at risk?


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Thursday, September 21

Why Giving Two Shits About a Patient is Not a Bad Thing

Those of you following me on FB probably already saw this comment and you can go there to find it, I want to summarize some thoughts here.

You may be wondering why on Earth the title of this post even has to be a thing.  A recent incident near my home led to law enforcement taking a man into custody following a motor vehicle collision.  A local media outlet was on scene and snapped a few pics.  One of them showed a man being assisted out of the back of a Police SUV, apparently with handcuffs on, and also wearing a cervical collar.

Being the keyboard commando I am I commented about the uselessness of the collar being applied, then the spinal movement of the patient seen in the photo.  My comment was about the application of the collar possibly not being part of the local SMR protocols and how I questioned the application.

In pops another keyboard commando, this time from the LEO side who said the following:

" Who gives 2 shits about this guy? He's a violent resister who put everyone at risk by running from the cops. He didn't care about our safety. Besides, he's walking fine. Pick another c collar "victim" as an example."

I responded that I give two shits about this guy.  Not only as a Paramedic but as a human being.  Did he hurt someone?  Are they being tended to appropriately?  The comment above is a perfect example of why some people can't tell the difference from "good cops" and "bad cops."  I'm not passing any judgement on the officers at the scene, just my fellow keyboard commando.

You're better than this.  At least I'd like to think you are.  Regardless of how someone gets injured, we need to help them.

He resisted?  I don't give two shits.

He put other people at risk? I don't give two shits.

You think we should let him suffer?  Now I give many shits.

He is uninjured?  I'll be the judge of that.


Your attitude wreaks of burnout and I hope it was just blowing off steam.  If this is how you truly, really, honestly feel you may not be far from making a career ending mistake.  I've seen it before, we all have.

Whether it's a comment taken out of context, an utterance in front of the wrong audience or negligence, it could happen very easily.


I too am sick and tired of people doing bad things to bad people and seeming to get away with it.  Perhaps that is where you should focus your anger and energies instead of getting upset that I'm curious as to how he is being treated.


Quick story:

Long ago I was called to the scene of an assault, 2 victims, PD on scene.  First patient was being tended to by the first in unit and they were already intubating her and getting ready to head to the landing zone on the nearby roadway.  Significant head trauma from a baseball bat.

My patient had bruising to his face and abrasions to his neck and chest from Police restraining him.  He was intoxicated and kept shouting some of the worst profanity I have heard in my life towards the young woman on the ground.  What sticks in my mind is how he kept describing the sounds of the bat on her head and how she "finally shut up."

Did I leave him there?  Did I ignore him?

No.  I did my fucking job and treated his wounds, assessing him for masking injuries, then driving him an hour to the hospital, thinking over and over how I hope he rots in prison, then in hell, then in hell again...all the while doing what I can to treat his wounds.

She died, he lived.  As far as I know he's still rotting.

Caring for the injured is not a choice we in EMS get to make.  I can't imagine withholding treatment based on someone's actions, especially someone accused of actions like so many cases we roll on day in and day out.


I will not mention the author of the comment on FB in case they take my original advice and delete the comment but just remember...what we say in public forums is only the tip of the iceberg of our true beliefs, feelings and ideas.


Thursday, September 7

the Crossover Episode 122 - Annual Kilted Show!

In this episode, MC and HM discuss their favorite charity: Their own!

September is here and that means one thing: no pants!

MC and HM are back to tell you why Kilted to Kick Cancer is the only charity you need to know about for the next 30 days.

Learn about how it started, why it seems quieter this year and how you can get a kilt and a t shirt for less than $100.

Visit Kilted to Kick Cancer to join!

Find your favorite Kilted Gear at the Kilted Army! We’ve got shirts, hoodies and other swag for you to pick up and get out there!

Get Kilted! Get Checked!




Wednesday, September 6

Things keep getting worse for Cop who likes arresting Nurses

The initial story broke while Motorcop and I were at the Highland Games and facts were sketchy, but the body camera footage and subsequent facts told us most of what we already knew:

Detective Jeff Payne is a jerk.

Long story short, Detective Payne wanted blood from an unconscious person not under arrest or in custody.  In the ED, in full view of the staff, and with body camera rolling, he argued with charge nurse Alex Wubbles about whether or not he was going to "get my blood or not."

This happened a lot in rural New Mexico.  State Police would demand we draw blood, we would tell them to go pack sand.  If they wanted blood they need to get it from the hospital and with a warrant.

There are a boat load of comments being fired back and forth between medics and cops about this story, from "Why doesn't she just do it and be done" to "Why didn't he arrest her sooner?"

The specifics of the situation, at first report, were that the patient was conscious and not a suspect in the collision under investigation.  That's easy, he doesn't give consent, no blood draw.

Then we found out he was unconscious and the term "implied consent" started getting thrown around.  We in EMS used implied consent to treat the unconscious assuming that, if they were conscious, they'd want help.  We can't assume the patient would consent to the search of his body, which is what Utah considers a blood draw according to various sources, so that's out.

Detective Payne, we then learn, is also a phlebotomist.  OK, so he went to a few weeks of night school to draw blood.  Still can't take it without consent or placing him under arrest.

THEN we find out he's a PRN Paramedic?!  So, he's on both sides of the fence and still goes the extra mile to not only demand something he can try to obtain with a little Police work, but decides to physically restrain and arrest the charge nurse reminding him of his limitations?  And not just that, but he tries to go the bully route first and threaten to "bring all the transients here" to Wubbles' ED.  Smooth move, dick.  Who says that?  Honestly?  You're the kind of medic that would slam 2mg of Narcan at the doors of the ED and laugh when the patient vomits all over the staff I'd wager.

The charge nurse was holding the agreement that stated what you had to do.  She was on the phone with Hospital Admin reminding you of the policy and you chose the "macho" way to handle it.  Exert force and ask questions later.  Well, now he has lost his PRN Medic job and, thanks to the internet, his name will forever be associated with this event.

How hard would it be to work within the rules to get what you think you need?  Not hard at all.  It just takes not being a jerk.  Wubbles did the right thing being an advocate for her patients despite how easy it would be to let Payne in to violate that trust.

I hope the greater LEO community stops spinning the "He talked to his Lieutenant who ordered she be arrested" and pushes this guy out.  If this is what he does to a medical professional who pisses him off in public, on tape, imagine what he's doing when the cameras aren't rolling.

Payne isn't welcome in EMS after this toddler style melt down either as far as I'm concerned.  Forget a letter in your file, you're out.