Search Term of the week!

"amputee having sex"



...With his service pistol...

One of the cops in my town died.

He did it with his service pistol.

I wasn't his closest friend but we got along pretty well. I have no idea how he got down this road but it sucks.

He did it with his service pistol.

He died by his own hand.

He did it with his service pistol.

He's gone

He did it with his service pistol.

Cops everywhere can understand how disturbing that is.

He did it with his service pistol.

I'm very upset. Herself and I talk about it (one of the 1,000 reasons I love her).

He did it with his service pistol.

There's something particularly disturbing to police when another officer kills herself/himself with their own service weapon. This is the gun is issued to them by and owned by the city/county/state/agency that gave them their police powers. It is the physical representation of the trust placed in them. This is a trust to carry and wield the power of deadly force and to wield it wisely. This is the trust placed in the officer to make the right decisions every time!

He did it with his service pistol.

When he/she turns that weapon on himself/herself, it is a violation of that trust on many levels. The trust to use that force wisely, the trust to know oneself, the trust to call for help when needed.....

He did it with his service pistol.

Any officer of the law can feel this tragedy. Especially as it comes from the end of the symbol of that trust.

He did it with his service pistol.

I may not be a healer, but I'm in the profession of healing.

He did it with his service pistol.

This can't be healed. If only I had known....

He did it with his service pistol.

It hurts me everywhere. It's a sore that hurts no matter what I do. There is no salve for this.

He did it with his service pistol.

He's gone and has left a jagged, painful hole in his absence.

He did it with his service pistol.

Louis, What have you done?



No, what's YOUR number?

Two guys were walking back to their apartment when they got jumped by a gang of kids.

The police called us in to check out one of them. When we arrived, the police were rushing out of the apartment on their way to the next instance of violence.

My patient is a native Spanish speaker with a severely swollen face. Otherwise he's OK. He doesn't want to go to the hospital.

But he likes me!

"What's your number?"

"Well, If you need us, call 911."

"But what's your number?"


"What number do I call if I want you to come to my house?"

"911!" (I'm still thinking my Spanish is not up to par.)

"But what if I want you to come to my house? What's your number?"

"Nuevo-Uno-Uno(911 in Spanish) es el numero para los paramedicos (...is the number for the paramedics)!" Perhaps his face is swollen to the point I can't read the nuances of what he's trying to tell me.

"No, no, no! What's YOUR number?"


Bean puts her hand on my shoulder: "Time to go!" She doesn't speak Spanish but she knows what's going on.

All the way back to the station:

"Maddog's got a Boyfriend!...Maddog's got a Boyfriend!...Maddog's got a Boyfriend!..."

Oh Crap!


How many patients?

I'm doing chest compressions: "ah-one and two and three and four......" and so on and so on.

I look to my right.

There's the husband.

He's wearing the "I can't believe what I'm seeing!" look.

"...and fifteen and sixteen and seventeen......"



And so it goes.



Bulldog? Bean? What? Who? Where are you, anyway?

I got this comment from a reader:

"Whatever happened to Bulldog? (or is she now Bean?)"

Well, that's a good question and it illustrates some confusion I have allowed to occur.

I volunteer at my local firehouse as an EMS officer. I mostly drive the ambulance, train new kids and occasionally provide care. In my writing, I refer to this place at the Firehouse with a capital "F". This is where most of my fun "hometown EMS" stories come from.

Bean is one of the volunteers there and I've known her for over 10 years.

My crappy job, at a private ambulance company, was where I worked with Bulldog. I went to a part-time position when I got hired by a nearby University. Bulldog still works there. I just don't see her as much. :(

So, I hope that doesn't create too much confusion. I volunteer at the Firehouse. I occasionally work at the Crappy Job. I work full time at the University (teaching paramedics!) and have applied for a part time paramedic position with a regional emergency response agency that I'll call "The Boonies" if I get the job (It's kinda way out there).

Good enough?

Perhaps sometime I'll post a "cast of characters" for my dear readers.



Booze, trucks, mobile phones and pockets.

If you remember the call I ran earlier this week.

I just found the patent's cellphone in the pocket of my turnout Jacket.


He was probably too drunk to remember what happened to it. I'm going to try to get his home address and mail it to him.

Oh my!



EMS Today 2007

The EMS Today conference is in Baltimore this year.

I went in 2005 and met up with the macmedic.

I'm thinking of going this year.

Anyone else? I figure a few of you EMS blogger out there might be going. Let me know via comments link or email.





The chiefs & other line officers at my volunteer Firehouse have been bugging me for a while. There is a position of "EMS Sergeant" that has become open recently. Due to my education and possibly the fact that I'm the highest trained and qualified EMS person at the whole station, they've been pestering me to apply.

I really don't have the time. I'm worried that if I commit to doing more for my Firehouse, I won't have the time to do it and I won't come through. I'd rather say "no" than say "yes" and let everyone down. I've been deflecting their requests and encouragements with this very argument.

Then they got sneaky.

Herself and I had stopped by the Firehouse after walking Mr. B in the woods. He was all muddy and needed to be hosed off before we took him home. While we're there, the deputy chief, Sunshine, comes up to us and asks me if I've put in my application for the EMS sergeant position. I begin the usual argument that I really don't have the time to do all this, yada yada yada.

Meanwhile, Herself saunters over to the bulletin board where the position announcement is. She reads over the list of duties and responsibilities and says,

"You can do this. Hell, you do most of this anyway."

Sunshine smiles at me.


Well, it turned out better than I had hoped. Helga had applied for the position too. She's on an opposite duty rotation from me. her strengths lie in the administrative and organizational areas and less so in training, field operations and orienting new members.

Chief decided to split the position in two. Helga is the EMS Administration Sergeant and I'm the EMS Operations Sergeant. I'm in charge of all EMS training, stock and supply on the ambulance itself, quality assurance of field practice and skills and making sure new people get trained and turned over in a timely manner. Stuff I already do.

Ok, then!

--Sgt. maddog



Just Sunday. Not terribly exciting. Cleaned the house. Later, I'll be headed to dinner.

I did roast a delicious leg of lamb. The house smells wonderful.

Not much that's EMS-Blog-worthy. Nor was I particularly inspired to go on about anything.

Well, it is Sunday!



Sirens? Lights?

I'm driving to an accident that's downstream from all the rush hour traffic. This means I have to wade through the congestion on the highway. We usually ride the shoulder if it's big enough. In this case, the shoulders are all too small for my huge ambulance. This is when I get to perform a "Moses."

Just like Moses parted the Red Sea, I drive my ambulance right down the middle of the lane divider. I'm sounding 2 sirens at different frequencies and patterns as well as working a diesel air horn in a way that cannot be ignored.

Just like the Red Sea of legend, the traffic parts in front of me.

Most of the time.

This one instance, an SUV decides to take advantage of the break in traffic that I caused to get over 3 lanes to the exit.

His doing so causes me to stand on the brakes with both feet to keep from making an accordion out of him.

He moves out of my lane. I pull abreast of him and Bean and I look at him.

He's on his phone. He gives me a dirty look.

It's worth mention at this point that the air horns on my ambulance are mounted on the front fenders. This happens to be at almost the exact height of a person's head when they're driving a typical American car or SUV.

I don't know who hit the horn first, me or Bean (we both have a pedal for the diesel air horn).

His window was open.

He almost jumped into his passenger seat. (and he dropped his phone)

Wow! Justice!


Booze, trucks and mobile phones.

This guy is pinned in his work van. The dashboard and engine compartment have folded over him like a clam and pinned his legs. The van says something about Suchandsuch Plumbing. It's 2:30 am on a Saturday morning and I 'm getting a buzz from smelling his breath.

Bean is trying to put a collar on his neck. He's alternating between trying to hit her and give her the finger. His truck is against the side wall of a bridge. Every time he smacks her helmet, she teeters over a 25 -foot drop to another highway.


All the while he's on his mobile phone.

I take the phone from him and talk to the caller.

"Who's this?" the voice asks.

"This is Paramedic [Maddog] from [Somwehere] Fire department. Who are you?"

"Oh, He's my boy. I'm his homey."

"Were you hanging out with him tonight?"



"Oh, we was just chillin' you know?"

"Yeah, I know. Cool. Been drinkin' some?" (I suprise myself at how easily I slip into character)

"Oh, yeah. We wuz fo' sho'! Where he at? I'm'a come pick him up."

"Duuude, if you been' drinkin' as much as him, you bes' stay at home, knowhaimsayin? Else I'll be scoopin' you off the road next. You feel me?"

"Aw Sh**, man. He gwoan be aiiit?"

"We'll do our best. He'll be at [somewheretown] hospital tomorrow, if you need to see him."

"I'll pick him up tonigh!"

"What! nonoNO! You stayin' right THERE, Fool! I'll take care of 'your boy'. You sleep it off before you drive a car, aiit?


"Oh, Aiiiit."


Wow! I think I saved someone's life!




The ambulance at my station is 7 tons of beautiful Freightliner/Mercedes/American Lefrance metal. It's probably one of the biggest "gut buckets" ever to grace the roads of my jurisdiction and every other Friday night, It's mine!

I've gotten qualified as a driver for the ambulance. This is especially relevant in a volunteer station like mine where qualified drivers are scarce. Even more scarce are qualified drivers who would be glad to drive the ambulance vs. ride on the fire engine to a fire call.

This means that, with a few exceptions, when I arrive at the Firehouse, I'm the Ambo Driver. Kind of silly for someone with 3 years of schooling, a degree in prehospital emergency medicine and a certified Paramedic. But, that's how it goes in my silly, backwards jurisdiction.

Let me tell you about driving this thing...

The bell rings and the printer spits out a paper. Off we go.

Climb up into the driver's seat. The bottom of the seat is about chest-height on me when I'm standing on the floor. I'm 6'4", or 2 meters tall, that's some altitude! On my way up to that lofty seat, I turn on the battery, click over the ignition so the 300+ HP engine can warm up before starting and hit the button to open the door to let the ambulance out.

While the door trundles its way up, I turn over the engine. Bean and I put on headsets. These serve to cut out the outrageous amount of noise from the ambulance, sirens and air horns and enable us to hear each other and the radio.

I hit the button to turn on the "lights" or flashing beacons that tell all the idiots in the world that we're on our way to an emergency. Meanwhile, Bean has "marked up" or notified dispatch that we are en-route.

I press the button marked "D" for drive, push in the huge air-brake button and 7 tons of emergency transport vehicle lurches forward against my foot brake.

"HeadSets! SeatBelts!" I yell to Bean and anyone who has happened to hop into the back. Once I confirm that everone is belted and I can talk to them, off we go!

Well, we roll out the door and I pause long enough to close the bay door with the remote. Then it's siren, steering and looking in four directions at once.

When you drive your car, you point the wheel where you want to go. You steer from the front of your vehicle or from what's in front of you.

Simple enough.

When you're driving a vehicle that is 9 feet wide (3 meters), almost 30 feet long (9 meters) and over 7 tons (6500 kilograms), you drive from the rear wheels to the side mirrors to 1/4 of a mile ahead of you. And you do it all very fast!

I've learned to look at my old neighborhood in terms of where my ambulance will fit, when I need to start my turn to get onto that street and what houses are best accessed from the back vs the front. After having driven boats and ships in the Coast Guard, an ambulance of this size is not much different. Except people tend to ignore you more (that's for another post).

So, yeah. There is a LOT of fun in driving 7 tons of aluminum and steel at outrageous speeds while legally violating traffic laws. But that's not the best part.

The best part is pulling up to the local coffee shop. In the fire lane. Behind the mercedes that is illegally parked so someone doesn't have to walk the extra 10 feet.

(Cycle the siren "Bweeeeooowww!") "Hey man! This is a fire lane. You can't park here!" Bean and I hold our hands out to our sides, palms up as if we're saying, "See?"

Mercedes-man gets a dark look on his face and goes back to his $65,000 car like a 5-year-old caught in the act. He parks in a regular space.

Just to prove a point, so do I!

Inside the coffee shop:

"Did you just chase that guy out of the fire lane?"

"Well, I guess I did."


Suddenly, breakfast is free!

Ah! Driving!



Search Terms Redux

I just couldn't resist!

"Who's Pores Smell Like Urine?"

Must be me!!!



Search Terms

Well, I feel special! Here's a few search terms that led viewers to my site:

"sour smelling urine breath"
--Yeah! Same to you, pal!

"happy anniversary cardiology"
--Aw! How sweet! Been together long?

"dangly-bits my hospital"
--Um....I'll keep my dangly-bits in my own hospital, thankyouverymuch!

Hee hee!


Monday &&%%*$*%&

Monday finds me sicker than Sunday. I went home early from work, found a warm spot on the couch and proceeded to feel miserable.

Here's my question for you readers:

How do you handle someone who frequently flouts that they're "senior" to you?

If they truly are, then that's not a problem so much. The real rub is when the person is using the time she/he has spent at the station as the only criterion. You are more qualified, better trained and more experienced in every way. This person only has 2 months more time in this particular jurisdiction and 1.5 years more time in this station.

All the time: "I'm senior to you."

It's about to get worse. We both applied to the same EMS Sargent position. All signs point to it being awarded to me.

This is going to be a fun year.




I'm coming down with a scratchy-throat-always-thirsty kind of cold. Lovely boogers in the morning! YUMMY!

I have performed absolutely zero amounts of EMS or even much EMS-related thinking today.

I got a couple more comments on my earlier post and even an email. I'll be writing a follow up later in the week.

I did, however, make the most wonderful split pea soup in the entire world!

That's it for Sunday.

Good night!




....and that's about as blogworthy as it gets today. I did a lot today but none of it is blogworthy here (baked bread, made a lentil salad, went to a yoga class then a birthday party).

One readerhas commented on my earlier post. If you've got some input, drop it into the comments for that post.

See ya tomorrow!




Question for readers: "Go" Bag?

On my way to work today it was raining and heavily at times. I watched a car spin out about 500 yards ahead of me. I slowed, put on my flashers and moved to the shoulder to avoid getting rammed by the cellphone-talking-blackberry-texting-breakfast-eating-makeup-applying idiots behind me.

As I pulled over, I passed another car in the median that was perpendicular to the travel of traffic. It was straddling the ditch in such a way that it could not have driven there. Add the lack of skid marks and the considerable damage to the roof and windshield, it was clearly a roll-over.

Well, out I go. I see a car about 25 yards further up the road. The driver is in the trunk and I see him put on a turnout coat. Cool. I have help.

In the roll-over car, I find a shook up woman with a bloody hand, sore head and neck who's conscious, alert and oriented to person place and time. (shorthand: CAOX3). The firefighter shows up with a bag that's got basic bandages, a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope. It's enough for us to get started on checking her out. He also has gloves so I don't get blood on me.

Did I mention that it was raining? Did I mention we were in a ditch? Did I mention that I was dressed for a day at my office at the university (professorial cap and all) not for a day on an ambulance? Boy was I grateful for the waterproof dress shoes I got for Xmas!

There wasn't much we could do other than calm her, get a good history and hold her head to protect her cervical spine. In fact, we didn't have much as far as tools. All I had was my stethoscope that lives on my rear-view mirror.

Here's my question:

What should I have in a "go" bag if I get one?

I don't want to have a massive duffel bag that prepares me for the Armageddon. Most places I go EMS support is not more than 10 minutes away. I'm not thinking I need ALS gear. It would have been nice to provide a C-collar and some better bandaging. I love my station wagon but I don't want to give up all my cargo space for a bag.

Here's what I think:
Pocket mask with one way valve and filter
Adjustable C-collar
Trauma dressings
4X4 and 2X2 gauze
Tape 1, 2 and 3 inch width
An OB kit
Oral airways (basic)
Nasal Airways
BP cuff (adult and pediatric)
Stethoscope (in case mine on the mirror is not available)
Sterile water
Oral Glucose

What else?

I can think of a lot of things like hare traction splints, full intubation kit, ACLS Drugs, a lifepak 12 and more but, my VW Jetta is not an ambulance. I'm thinking that can handle most of the ABC's and life threats. While it would be great to have a mini AED, I don't think it's worth the cost.

Those of you who have bags, Sound off! What do you carry in your car? Hit the comments link or email me and I'll post a summary.



Volunteer Meeting

We voted in 4 new members today. I'm pretty happy about that. That means that maybe one of them will still be here and can functionally contribute after a year. That's how the statistics roll.

I was discussing this after the meeting with a few senior members. I said we have to now get another 12 people in to the stations to do ride-alongs because one in three of them will actually apply and one of those four will actually become a long-standing member. I further pointed out that we need to get at least one new, funtioning member a month in order to keep up with the natural attrition due to life changes, retirement, injury, etc.. I, personally, have brought in about 12 ride-alongs in the past 2 years, of which 3 are now members (cleared to ride and run calls) and three more are seriously considering it.

It's all about selling yourself and your firehouse. It doesn't hurt that my firehouse is awesome and filled with a great group of people.

Good times.



January the Second!!!

Um...right. Yeah. Not much going on today as far as EMS. I went to work. I was the only one there. It's kind of creepy being alone in a building on a college campus. There were a few classes down the hall (Today was the first day of the winter session) and a few students came by my office looking for their classroom.

I also got all the deliveries for the entire floor. There are now 6 boxes in my office that are not for me! Whee! The funny part is I won't be in the office tomorrow. Whoever they're for has to get into my locked office and get them. Hee hee.

Tomorrow I go and interview for a regional 911 service. I took their application test a month and a half ago. It consisted of three stations from the national registry test: Dynamic Cardiology, Trauma Assessment and Advanced Airway Managment (Intubation and Combi-tube).

I, of course, Rocked it!

One of the evaluators in the Trauma assessment station said, "Dude, you went right down the list. By the book. I don't think I ever do that myself!"

So, it'll be cool if I get that job. It's a part time gig doing 8, 12 or 24 hour shifts in an area that's a good mix of totally rural (tractor roll over and ATV accidents) and pretty dense urban (gunshots, assault and car accidents.). I flew down there when I was doing my air medicine clincials. I've seen some of the area.

So there you have it! Until tomorrow, "Good night and good luck."



Happy New Year!....Who are you?

Me? Oh, yah. I'm that guy who's supposed to be blogging and posting here. Uh, Right, oops! I've missed some of that.

Ok! New Year = New Start. I'm going to make no less than 365 posts this year. Even if it's to post that I've done nothing today, I'm going to stay current.

I've been out a while because much has been going on. Herself has recently quit her job and is starting her own business. This is a large consumer of both of our times. Ugh. To catch you up to what's been going on I'll refer to a previous post:

A life is saved:

Bulldog and I run a call down to a small hospital in a nearby military base. We're being sent to transport a patient from the emergency room to another hospital to be further evaluated for pneumonia. It's sent out as a Basic Life Support call.

At the ER desk, the nurse is telling me how the patient has a history of pulmonary fibroids, had a fever when he came in and responded well to antibiotics. He's a 57 year old retiree from the Air Force. I have a peek at the patient and he's snoozing (it's midnight) comfortably except he's sweating a lot. I wake him up and ask him how he feels (fine), is he feeling hot (no), does he have any pain anywhere (no).

Ok, back to the nurse as she's pulling out his chart to fill out the transfer paperwork.

Whoah! What's this? A 12-lead EKG! I love to read these things.

"Um, Is this EKG recent?" I ask the nurse.

"Yeah, an hour ago, why?"

"He's having an anterio-septal MI." (This is where the heart is starving for oxygen because the arteries are clogged or clogging. Often referred to as a heart attack. It shows up very distinctly on an EKG.)


This patient went to a cardiac center rather than an unmonitored bed in a community recovery hospital.

An alma-mater speaks:

I've been teaching a 3-credit course at school from which I just graduated. The person who was hired to teach the course became seriously ill two weeks before the semester started. I "stepped into the breach" and took over the class.

In the middle of October I get an email from the department head. "Can you meet with me tomorrow?"

Uh oh! I might be in trouble! I'm thinking I've goofed up or the students have complained or I'm not teaching very well or something. Who knows. So I go meet with him.

I'm in bigger trouble than I thought. Again, the university has a sudden vacancy. Again, I'm asked to "step into the breach." Only this time it's a full time position on the faculty!

"I need a salesman, paramedic, project manager and drill seargent all rolled into one." says Dr. Boss. "Maddog, you're perfect for this job."

Awesome! I don't punch a clock. Dr. Boss cares about results and that's about it. The job is very demanding and there's a LOT to do (that's one reason I've been so freakin' busy) but I'm enjoying myself very much. I'm the clinical coordinator, in charge of setting up all the clinical field experieces for the paramedic students, keeping track of their training goals and seeing to it that they are on target to meet them. The clinical coordinator postion was the weakest part of my whole education. There had been 4 people in the job in 3 years. I now have a chance to fix what's wrong with the job. I'm pretty stoked.

The pay is nice and I'm getting my Master's degree for free!!!!

Maddog succumbs to gravity:

The day after I get my awesome job offer I'm back at my less-than-pleasant job. It's the night shift and I head out of the garage to my ambulance. All of the ligts in the back of the building have burned out and it seems management is not in much of a hurry to fix them.

Pitch Black.

I fall off the loading dock.


This time, Bulldog gets to drive ME to the hospital.

I'm better now but not in much of a hurry to go back there.

So there you have it. I've mostly caught up with you. I'll post again tomorrow!