Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Telemarketers and Baby Duckies

A ground level fall today at a care facility was the direct result of a telemarketer. Mr. Johnson got up from his wheelchair to answer his apartment phone at 3 pm today when a telemarketer called to sell ShamWows (or some such nonsense). Hanging up in disgust, then trying to sit back down, Mr. Johnson missed his wheelchair, fell back, and struck his head against the window sill. I advised the patient he should sue.

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A two vehicle, non-injury, non-blocking, everyone out exchaning insurance information MVA was the direct result of a momma duck and her long line of little baby ducks. The driver of the Toyota Tacoma slammed on the brakes when "all these baby ducks popped out onto the road from nowhere," causing the little Honda Civic behind him to rear end the truck. No one was hurt and by all reports, all the little duckies made it across the road.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

With Little Fanfare

At the beginning of the month, I posted about how I'd be moving to a 12-hour day car. However, my little ambulance company is feeling the pinch of the economic downturn and we've had to cut a whole shift, as well as cut dispatchers and wheelie drivers. Because of seniority and our new shift bid process, my move to the 12-hour car was preempted by another employee, so I'll remain on 24s for the foreseeable future. As much as I was starting to look forward to the 12-hour days (sleeping in my own bed, no more midnight transfers, seven shifts per paycheck), I'm trying to find the bright side to remaining on 24s. I really like my current partner, I've started rotating through all the stations again, and everyday is a Friday (more time for golf).

Little of interest has happened in this last month, and I admit, I do feel neglectful of my blog. So I thought I'd post something juicy. Last year, I started the EMS Cyclist Program at my fire department and while it was a rocky start, I've had continued and increased interest this summer. My volunteers EM
S providers are more willing to step up and the program has received a lot of positive support from local business owners and event organizers. The EMS Cyclist Program was also one of the reasons why I was awarded Firefighter of the Year for my department.

Based on this EMS Cyclist Program, my fire chief deemed it appropriate to submit my name to the Oregon Volunteer Firefighter Association for consideration of Volunteer Firefighter of the Year. Today, my wife and I just returned from Medford where last night I received my award plaque for 2009 Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.
I didn't get a chance to say thank you at the awards dinner last night, so I thought I put down a few of my thoughts here. I know that I've been recognized frequently in these last few years, and while my wife and family say it's because I work hard and deserve it, I can't help but feel so completely humbled and underserving of the praise. I feel this recognition needs to be shared with my fellow volunteers and my coworkers. I wouldn't be as lucky or successful today without them. The EMS Cyclist Program wouldn't be successful without the outstanding performance of the team members. Nothing that I do for the fire department (or my job on the ambulance) is an individual effort and I want to ensure that the efforts that I put forth benefit my organizations, not just me. So thank you to all of my fellow volunteers, fire, and EMS professionals.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

How To Change It Up

Over the last six weeks I’ve been “reassigned” (i.e. “banished”) to our slowest station on the north side of the river. This has been through no fault of my own—it all has to do with scheduling and who is certified to work where. No big deal really, except that it’s a 70 mile round trip and has cost me a lot in gas to get back and forth. There have been some positives to working the slow station, though. Typically I’ve been sleeping all night. I’ve been able to get my prep work for class done while on shift.

But, the commute is a bitch and I’m blowing through gas money so quick that I feel like I should be just lighting piles of cash on fire. I have to get up earlier than normal to be to work on time. And I run very few calls (meaning I don’t get to practice many skills) and it weights my calls heavier when calculating my transportation (or non-transport) statistics.

So the plan: At the end of the month, I’m moving to a 12-hour day car. After four years working 24-hours shifts and rotating through stations, getting up in the middle of the night for calls, postings, and transfers, I’m trying something new.

My wife and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, so I think about it this way: for almost my entire marriage, I’ve been away from home, not sleeping in my own bed a third of the time. Time for a change I think.