Firehouse Transfer Update #2:

I heard back from my chief. He sent me a nice email today saying he was sorry to lose a member, he'd arrange all the paperwork and contact the chief of my Hometown Station to give him a heads up. Yay! This current chief is a recent fill in. Our standing chief resigned a few months ago and our current one has been a chief of our station in the past. He also requested and exit interview. I suppose I'll be kind but honest.

I'm quite relieved.

On other fronts: we had a HUGE moving sale last Saturday. We sold about 1/2 of our belongings and made a good chunk of change. In fact, i think the money we made paid for our new washer and dryer for the other house! HA! now I'm boxing up what's left, wandering around empty dusty rooms and wishing I was out of here already.

We settle on the 9th, move to my parent's house and start renovations on our "new" house. My final exams are on the 8th!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!



Firehouse Transfer Update:

Well, I have gone to the firehouse looking for my chief(s) to talk to them about moving to my Homestation but neither one is ever there. Well, no problem. I have their email. I crafted a rather professional letter and emailed it to my chief and to the assistant chief who I see the most often.

That was 5 days ago.

I figure if: 1. you have a volunteer fire department that is in need of volunteers, 2. receive an email from a member who wants to leave and 3. you're always complaining about insufficient staffing, you'd at least REPLY to the F***ing email!!!


The assistant chief has since sent out an email or two to the email list we use to communicate with all the volunteers so, I'm pretty sure he's read mine. I'm being ignored! This kind of treatment is exactly why I want to leave.

The last time I went to the firehouse, nobody said hello. People there just look at me. I swear they have no social skills! Hotrod was there. I asked her if she had seen either of the chiefs and right away she asks me, "Why? you gonna switch?" HA! She was there at the hospital when I was talking to the assistant chief of my homestation so, I figure she's wise to what's going on.

So what do I do now? I want to go over to my home station but I don't want to burn any bridges. The chiefs at both have a good relationship with each other. If I just "jump ship" I might be pissing some people off. On the other hand, I don't have the time to chase these assholes down and choke permission out of them. I'm about ready to chop someone in the throat!

Any ideas?




Thanks to SeaDoc for the Gmail referral. I now have a gmail account and that shall be my primary account for this blog. It's a bit more private for me and I can save every email from my blog. The Email link over to the right has been changed to reflect my new address.


More news on the station shift front: I saw my neighbor that volunteers at my hometown station tonight and chatted a bit. I asked him what his impression of my hometown station was. "It's a country club."

Tomorrow night, I'm going to go talk to my chief. Oh boy. I hope there's no drama.



Father's day weekend...

Was fantastic. Sailing, good weather, good food, beer and we capped it all with a visit to the USS Constitution. My uncle is a rigger on the oldest US Navy Ship afloat and he gave us a personal tour while it was closed to the public.

I actually stood on the original keel, laid over 200 years ago! Awesome!

Here's a picture of my father, my middle brother and me in my brother's Buccaneer:




Maddog blog blackout

Don't expect to hear from me much before Tuesday.

In about an hour, my brothers and I will be kidnapping my father and taking him sailing for the weekend. I expect to drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of good food, tell a lot of stories, play a lot of cribbage and generally be happy in my family.

Oh, yeah, and do a LOT of sailing.....




"....a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet."

Niles has been officially renamed to "Peaches." Really. In our lab yesterday, our professor, Dr. F, called to me and he. She said, "Maddog and, er..um...Peaches. Come here."

What can I say? It stuck. I've made it my personal mission to ensure the name sticks throughout the rest of Niles's college experience and, if I can, into his career.

The cool thing is: he gets the joke and takes the nickname well. Except for the times I call him "Peaches" when he's trying to "chat up" some girly-girl. Hee heee! That's about the time I wax nostalgic about our time together in prison. To Peaches' credit, he picks right up on the joke and plays along. He reminisces longingly about our encounters in the shower and how I paid more cartons of cigarettes for him than any other inmate. I'm telling you, this guy knows funny! This can only make him look better in the eyes of the girls he tries so hard to impress.

Today, after I advised him on how to talk to women, he asked me if he could call me "Yoda." I am honored beyond words.



Decisions, Decisions.......

While I was at the hospital on my earlier call, the assistant chief who was there was talking with me about their number of calls and coverage problems. I seem to think that my unit runs a lot of calls in their area because they either don't have enough people to staff their ambulance or they go out "driver only" and need us to come along to provide the transport care.

The assistant chief was telling me that the single biggest thing they need are ambulance officers (obviously). As I had just come from my station where, even after a year, I'm still treated like an outsider and a weirdo for not wanting to ride the fire trucks, I listened with a different ear. I'm sort of a homebody when it comes to my town. The community I live in is great and we have a great town. It is a planned community built during the depression as a government experiment and then later sold to the citizens after they formed a cooperative to keep their housing. In fact, the house I'm going to be moving into is one of the originals built in 1937.

I was thinking that it's odd that I'm volunteering in the next town over when my home station needs people bad. I could walk to the fire station if I volunteered at home. hmm....

I was thinking about this some more when I got back to my firehouse. I was thinking about this a LOT when the senior officer at the firehouse tasked me with sweeping and vacuuming while 15 other people watched TV or played video games. Right in front of them too. I said nothing, I cleaned the floor. All the while, I'm thinking......

I get home. I have dinner with Herself (poached Tilapia, rice pilaf and cucumber salad, in case you're interested). I discuss my thoughts with Herself. She tells me I need to mosey on over to my home firestation and have a talk with that assistant chief. I do that.

The station is clean. Really clean. Everyone's friendly. They play ping-pong. The place doesn't smell like cigarettes. The assistant chief tells me that they always have a senior officer on duty, they really need EMS coverage and, since the new chief came in a couple months ago, they've been super supportive to their EMS only people.

It seems that previously the fire fighting members would bump the EMS only people off the ambulance whenever they wanted to boost their call numbers or just felt like going. This happens to me sometimes at my current station and, let me tell ya, it's quite annoying to have a 20 y/o punk tell you that you have to "ride in the back or fuck off because I'm senior." Assistant chief has put an end to that at his station because he lost a member for that very reason. We have a chat for a while and I get to thinking. I ask him how many EMS calls they ran last year and the answer comes back as about 50 more than my firehouse did.

Here's what I'm thinking. If I go to this new station and they treat my like crap, how worse off am I from the station I'm at now? I get treated like crap and I have to drive there, and I don't get on as many calls as I'd like. At the firestation in my hometown, I could be treated like crap, run the same amount of calls and work in the town I love. The other thing is, I don't think they'll treat me like crap at my home station. I've seen a much older crowd there and they seem to be a more friendly sort. The assistant chief also talked a bit about how the whole command there is very supportive of their EMS program and their EMS-only personnel are much loved by the fire crews as they take the "annoying" ambulance calls. When we were talking about it over dinner, Herself said that my current firehouse seems like a frathouse and she's always liked how trim and orderly the home firestation looks.

Looks like I need to go talk to my chief in the next day or so about a transfer. I hope this doesn't make any drama. I have neither the time or patience for drama.


With a sigh and a thump, my dog has fallen asleep and slid off the step. She's now standing at the bottom of the stairs looking frowsy and confused.

I love dogs.


¡Me duele en mí corazón!

The call was an injury at a restaurant the next jurisdiction over. I had been hearing the call on the radio for a bit before dispatch sent my unit. We were already out. Hotrod wanted to go out and pickup the 16 year old daughter of a friend of her to ride along for the night.

Approaching the restaurant, we see a man waving us around back. My immediate thought is that some manager doesn't want an ambulance in front of his restaurant. Bad for business, you know.

At the back door to the kitchen we see the patient. She's a kitchen worker in a chair looking a little woozy. A coworker advises me she passed out while working. I ask her a question and he translates into Spanish. I switch right over to Spanish myself. The coworker keeps translating even though I and the patient are conversing in Spanish. Whatever...

Seems she has a headache and chest pain that's radiating to her left arm. She's alert and oriented X3 and I ask her if she can walk to our ambulance. She can and does. Up into the box and onto the stretcher. Good, good. Hotrod hops in and starts taking BP while I get O2 on the patient, check her pulse and Oxygen saturation and ask her a bunch of questions. I love working with Hotrod! That and the patients are the only things I like about my firehouse. (more on that later)

31 y/o female had a cardiac event about 18 months before and the doctors in Mexico told her it was arrhythmia and a secondary blockage. They put her on some medications (she doesn't remember what) for her blood pressure and scheduled more tests. She took off to the US before they completed them. At that moment I figured she was receiving better care in the back of our ambulance that she did in the boonies of Chihuahua, Mexico.

All her vitals are normal, 110/80, Pulse: 64, O2 at 98% (before I started oxygen), color good, skin cool and dry, normal respiratory effort and both lungs sound clear but I hear NO abdominal sounds. Not a gurgle. Hmm...... Last oral intake? A cup of coffee (with cream) more than 6 hours ago. Hmmm..... Pain is 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 but lessening with the application of 25 Lpm of O2 via NRB.

All the hospitals are on Yellow, that means they have no available beds but they can take priority one patients (they have available cardiac monitors). Good enough for me! We get her a room and, again, the nurses are stunned at the information dump I give them. Ah, well. They also want me to stay since they don't have anyone on the floor who speaks Spanish. Good luck!

While we're there, we meet up with the assistant volunteer chief and another FF from the fire station in my town. They tease me about speaking a foreign language when I speak Spanish and again when I give my patient's history to the triage nurse in correct medical terms. Ha! I got the feeling that the assistant chief, who was ribbing me about speaking a "foreign language" when I was giving patient info, knew what I was talking about.

I'm thinking more and more about my home station and about my experiences at my current firehouse. hmm.....


My dog is lying on the stairs looking down at me. Every once in a while, she'll sigh and make contented noises. Her boy is home. All is well.



"The Genius" has passed.....

Ray Charles is responsible for some of the most musical and groovin' moments of my life. Whether at a party, in my car or while I was mopping my kitchen floor, The Genius never failed to move me.

CNN has an article here. See you on the other side, Mr. Charles.



Well, I didn't like the "blog by email" feature at all. Either Hotmail's server is slow or Blogger takes forever to post it. I'm a Mac user and I do all my blogging on a lovely piece of shareware called MacJournal and it has a feature to publish directly to blogger. It also keeps all my entries for me and can be password protected. Pretty nice. This way I can blog even if I don't have internet access and I can post it when I do.

Other news: Not much besided working my but off in A&P I. Niles and I have picked up a 3rd cohort. I'll call her Natasha. Her family's from Russia but she's totally Americanized. Niles is a good looking guy and Natasha is, well, WOW! There's definitely some chemistry going on. During breaks in class, the 3 of us go out to the quad and throw some frisbee. Good times.

Yesterday, in lab, Niles went to work with another cutie in class. He's pretty shy and his self-esteem isn't too hot. He doesn't see that Natasha's kinda into him. Natasha was NOT happy about that. Hee hee. Young love!

Niles is in the paramedic program with me. He works as a dispatcher for a private company and the other day, as he was going on shift, one of his ambulances was involved in a wreck. It seems the driver is diabetic and passed out at the wheel. Hmmm....you'd think, being a paramedic and all, that he'd be aware of his blood sugar.....

Not much else going on. Sorry to be so boring but I'm trying my best to write more. Jason has complained about my lack of entries in the past. I'm trying! I'm trying!



Movin' on.

First of all, I'm testing Blogger's "post by email feature." If it
doesn't work, I'll have to cut and paste the dang thing to make it

Secondly, Herself and I are moving on. We're both touched by the
outpouring of care from all our friends and family. We're still going
to move, we're still going to adopt a child (hopefully two!) just not
as soon as we thought. I was really touched when I was telling Herself
that we might still have a couple kids. She said, "I don't want a
couple, I want twins!"

This coming from the woman who fought tooth and nail against the very
concept of more than one child. Hee!

Thanks to you all who have sent wishes via comments or via email.
Hopefully we'll have more happy news to share soon. As far as the
birthmother: I've heard she's physically well but emotionally a wreck.
Herself and I are planning on sending her a letter through the agency
to share with her how grateful we are that she had chosen us and that
our thoughts are with her and what she's gone through.

On a better note, I have started my Anatomy and Physiology classes and
they are quite demanding. The upside is my lab partner is a really good
friend of mine who's been in all my science classes since I've started
at this school. We'll call him Niles. He's got a great attitude and we
get along so well that I often forget he's only 19. We drive each other
to study and "stay on target." Today we decided we were competing for
the best grade and we've got to come up with an idea for the prize.
Niles wants the loser to have to do something terribly embarrassing and
I think the winner should be treated to dinner. What we've come up
with is the loser has to wear a dress while taking the winner out to
dinner. Now, Niles would probably look pretty good in something long
and slinky but I don't have the hips for anything besides a muu muu.

What do you guys think? Give me some ideas!



Sad news....

I mentioned in a previous post that I was adopting twins that were due in August. I was informed today that they died last Thursday. Torn placenta apparently led to stillbirths for both.

I found out just before I left to pick up my wife from the airport. I had to keep the news to myself until we got home. There was no way I'd tell her in the middle of the baggage claim. It was killing me. In the airport, I saw a pair of twin girls with blonde pageboy haircuts steaming a window with their breath and making pictures. Herself kept talking about how all her friends are so excited for us. She had picked up children's book art to frame for the nursery.


Tears later, we're better. I love her even more(I'm always amazed that it's possible!). Family has just left the house the phone has finally stopped ringing. I've tucked Herself into bed and slunk off to my study to prepare for my muscle systems test tomorrow.

I'll be fine but something's going to get broken in the next day or so and I hope nobody pisses me off too much.



...the knee bone's connected to the leg bone.....

I've started Anatomy and Physiology I and will be taking A&P II over the 2nd summer session. It's an extremely intense 14 week course compressed into 6 weeks for the summer session. WOOF!

I expect I'll blog more often but with smaller entries such as this one. On my next break in studying I'll write about the weekend blues festival and doing my homework in a cafe while the guitarist is makes everyone cry.



EPS on a Friday afternoon.

Emergency Psychiatric Services. The address is directly in front of the house I grew up in. I work in the next jurisdiction over and we're called in as backup. Police on scene. I hear the Ambulance from the station who's area it is respond with "driver only."

"Driver only" means they send an ambulance with only a driver. This allows them to get credit for being on the call. They do this because they don't have enough staffing but they still want to respond. Does this sound like horseshit to you? It sure does to me and that's why I don't volunteer in my hometown.

On scene I see one of the regular drunks from town being manhandled by the police. The police are having a bit of trouble. She's got a series of pins with an external fixative device in her right wrist. It seems that the last time she stopped taking her anti-psychotics and started drinking up a storm, she fell and shattered her wrist. On request of the officers restraining her, the first thing we do is put a mask on her. She's spitting and purposefully "Coughing" on the officers. Charming!

She's handcuffed and strapped into my stretcher and off we go. I'm in the back with the officer Pretty easy call except for the smells and the constant demands from the patient. "You HAVE to let me go!" "I can't BE here!"

At the hospital, she's greeted like the regular she is. We transfer her to a bed, strap her down and take off.

Yippee! I dash home and get ready for the weekend blues festival in my town.