Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cool new tool


As of midnight tonight, wehave some cool new tools to enhance prehospital patient care. We can spray drugs up people's noses to stop seizures and certain types of drug overdose; we have a new advanced airway to breathe for people. We have a new drug that keeps people from barfing (yay!!!!! wish I had that before my niece destroyed the back of the Subaru) Best of all though--the EZ-IO!
Sometimes when people are really, really sick and or/dehydrated and/or hypothermic (your basic helicopter patients) their veins have a tendency to hide. We have a ew tricks to coax them out, but sometimes people really, really need an IV and you can't find one.
Now, we have the EZ-IO. There's a flat spot just below your knee towards the inside, covered by very little flesh. We can drill a hole right into your marrow and this hard metal needle gets lodged in your leg. We have to sort of loosen up the marrow by forcing saline in. Then, we can give any of our medications or just a bunch of fluid, right through the IO (intra-osseous) needle. It really doesn't hurt to have your leg drilled into. Forcing fluid into your bone, though, now THAT hurts. So, we can shoot a bunch of lidocaine right into your bone to numb it up from the inside a little.
Being a paramedic is fun!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The project update


Driveway's done...Except for the curb on the cut edge. After the septic system's in I'll dig down an dpour the curb. It'll give some strength to the edge, and keep the groundsquirrels from digging under the old concrete.
All the concrete chunks that had to go, I'm using for fill. The neighbors next door asked if I'd build them a parking spot off my driveway so they could park at the living level of the house instead of going up a bunch of stairs. (They're almost 80). It took lots of headscratching to figure out the angles. The grading is done, next week I can pour the surface. Then a retaining wall, then the two or three steps down. Mr. Frankie (the neighbor) will have the steel railing installed. There are 2" pipe sections set in the edgees the pipes can slide into.
If the septic system goes in without a problem, the real building can start

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Costa Ricardo


One of the 'perks' of being in AirOps is, we are role players for a leadership training class. We get it all set up in a deep canyon---the students really have no idea what they're in for. It makes for a late night but it's pretty fun watching them deal with us and try to organize some kind of search. Last night a bunch of them were from New York ladder companies---just like 'rescue me'. I don't think some of these guys had ever seen a tree or been alone in an overgrown canyon before. One guy turned white when he saw a big spider. I'd probably be equally uncomfortable running through the Bronx at night, I suppose. That's Bobby dressed as a Sandanista. We were both caught in a landslide.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

High risk job; told you so

There are many hazards in our workplace. First off, these copters fall out of the sky at an alarming rate. Rotor strikes can happen. In dry weather, you can take a pretty good shock from the hook. Out of control spins, swinging into cactus, the dreaded poison oak, cold injuries, dehydration... Now, on top of all that, our station has a Chupacabra. Mike was trying to get a picture of him, so I was trying to get a picture of Mike. It's a little blurry but there it is. Not sure where he came from. Maybe another municipal department turned him loose in here.
I checked my life insurance policy. I'm not covered in the event of a copter mishap, but there is no such exclusion for goat suckers. If tomorrow morning they discover the three of us as dry husks lying in our beds, will someone please forward this to Aetna for me?
.........And now this. Captain Stephenson showed up for work today. We gave him the morning briefing, followed by "One more thing. We have a Chupacabra in the station" "Chupacabra my ass! You guys will do anything to get out of...AAAHHHHH!!!!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Decisions, decisions...


"We're at the stage that we'd like you to submit your salary needs and other contractual considerations"

Cons--- Leaving my dream job that fits me perfectly. Of course there are good days and bad, but you can't beat the variety and constant challenge.
Uprooting my family. AnnaMarie has never had a sense of 'home' before. Kids are in a school with friends they like and on a good track. I love where we live.
Office job? With flourescent lights, ties, meetings? I WOULD get fat.
I really like the people I work with now and feel I can contribute.
Helicopters are cool.
I'd miss the Frequent travel, usually for extended camping trips.
I wouldn't be able to find a decent pollo asado burrito.

Pros--- Regular work hours.
Completely new set of challenges.
Could probably work more years doing this (wait---that's a 'Con'). Current position causes some wear and tear
Liquidating our SoCal properties, we could buy something awesome there. For cash.

Not that I'm seriously considering this. I don't even know what the competition's like, and if they just needed a certain number of applicants when they first approached. I'd still blog about things that happened at work. "Today, I attended a fabulous powerpoint presentation!!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How we picked the victim


"OK, we have one more thing to do. We're going to demonstrate a hoist rescue, but we need a victim. Who volunteers?" (Every hand goes up) "First one to the top of that hill. Go" (Strong work Capt Stephenson)



This week has all been about playing catch up after investing a week teaching the S-271 course. It's an introduction to helicopter operations for people on the fire department interested in participating. The last day of class is the field exercise.
After being divided into three Helitack crews, they all had tasks to complete. They set up a good helibase using things from the fuel truck. They set up a landing zone. We did some training stations, then started the drill.
No matter how clear you try to make it, when you're marshalling in the copter DON'T LOOK DOWN. If the machine decides to land too close to you you have seconds to get out of the way, and if you have to wave off the landing, you're going to need to see things. You try to tell them it'll get a little dusty, but do they listen?
Anyway, this marshall looked down. That's 5 demerits.
All in all it was a good course and we got lots of positive feedback. They all got to go for a short flight, and we even hoisted one guy....