Goodbye, My comrades!

I have resigned from my local, hometown, volunteer firehouse in preparation for my move to the Middle East.

Tonight, I went down there to clean out my locker and turn in my keys. My name was still on the board under "EMS Sergeant."

I was feeling cry-prone when I arrived. That pulled a tear or two out of my eye. You see, had I not resigned, tonight would have been my night for duty. I'd have been running with "Skipper," "FirePlug," "Brooklyn," "Peru," "Fester," "WMD," "Squiggy" and the rest of the crew.

Fortunately, when I got there, they were all out on the call. Nobody was there to see me stand in the empty ambulance bay and sniffle.

I get to clean out my lockers and such before anyone gets here. They arrive, having stopped for dinner on the way back from yet another auto accident and promptly settle down to eating. They're not paying too much attention to me other than an occasional "Hi."

Have I already "passed on?" Have I so quickly fallen from being one of them? I'm not sure. The banter is still there. We still bust each other's chops as if I were still a member but, there's a relaxing of authority. I'm no longer "Sarge."

Then the cake. WMD pops out of the chief's office with it and surprises me.

"We'll miss you, Sarge!" in blue frosting.

And a framed picture. Someone thought it was a good idea a few months ago to get a picture of the whole crew in front of the engine. We're all there, in our gear, trying to look proud, mean, tough or just present. It's in a frame and, because I'm the tallest, I'm in the middle. Despite the "tough look" on the faces of these men and women, it really looks to me like I'm surrounded by my family.

I manage to not cry until I get home. Still have leaky eyes as I write this.

Triple Threat, I will miss you all!!!




I've had my first day on the chase-car. I've being precepted by the lead Field Training Officer (FTO) and the former chief of the organization. No pressure, maddog.

The "chase car" concept is one that works pretty well in a sparsely populated area that doesn't have a big enough tax-base to afford a fully-staffed paramedic-equipped ambulance on every corner. How this rural county works is this: there are several "rescue squads" who provide a slightly higher level of Basic Life Support care. They can do all the things an EMT-B can but are often staffed by people who can start IVs, give fluids and check glucose. This covers at least 50-70 percent of the calls for Advanced LIfe Support (ALS or, me!).

So, you have about 10 rescue squads with a total of 10-15 BLS ambulances covering an area about the size of Manhattan but with the population of, say, one building in downtown (during the business day).

Yes, we have farms.

Yes, we have tractors.

Yes, they roll over. (more on that later)

Now, the ONLY ALS provider around is the one, the only, the maddog!!! I, and my boss, are in an SUV that was built with the oversized engine, tightened suspension and "flashy-light-thingys" that allow us to go really fast and legally break traffic laws. This vehicle is equipped with all the gear, medicines and such that we need to do our ALS job, versus the BLS job that the ambulances do. Oh, did I mention that it goes REALLY FAST??

This is a recipe for FUN!!!!


-Trailer Parks!!!


-Stomach ache? No, Sir, That's your heart dying!

-Jesus Juice!

-Can you breathe through your ears?

Stay tuned!




I've got a new job. In 3 weeks, I move to work as a paramedic in the Middle East!

I'm going to have to figure out how to navigate the differen privacy laws and not violate my company's confidentiality policies but, I promise you: THERE WILL BE STORIES!!