Farewell Tour

My last shift in The City was average.  We ran a few cancellations, a chest pain at the clinic, a serious trauma, and. . . 04:00, on a small side street.  The police are already on scene as we roll in with an engine, an ambulance, and a paramedic unit.  The call is probably BLS; […]


The other medics have gone out on a call. If cancelled, they will stay out for coffee. I may not see them again until lunch.  The BLS crews are all asleep. Some are recovering from a rough night shift while others rest up for the marathon ahead.  I sit in the empty garage listening to […]

Earth-bound misfit

Into the distance, a ribbon of black stretched to the point of no turning back a flight of fancy on a windswept field standing alone, my senses reel. . . A shift swap has brought me back to the Witch City for the afternoon.  My old shift is now occupied by new medics.  I roll […]

Just ducky

It’s a relatively normal morning. We get our first call before coffee. She’s a regular chest pain patient; an uncontrolled angina. Oxygen, IV, monitor; 12-lead ECG and nitroglycerin. The only hitch is with the aspirin. She doesn’t like the taste and refuses to swallow it. The early morning traffic is light, and we make easy […]

Situational Awareness

For a while now I have been endeavoring to teach Kiddo situational awareness.  This is largely centered around parking lots and traffic, things like “Don’t put yourself between a moving vehicle and a stationary object,” and “don’t walk behind any car which could back up.”  It will eventually extend to the things any young woman […]

Recorded for Quality Assurance

“[Redacted] Ambulance Company, your call is recorded. What’s the nature of the emergency?” “Hey, Favorite Dispatcher, it’s M505. Can I get the dispatch time for our last?” “[chuckles] Geezer Squeezer?” Oh crap. Much of our equipment has nicknames. Some are silly, some are offensive. Most of them would be understood, if not appreciated, by the […]


A sunny Sunday morning. A crowded neighborhood; the closest thing we have to tenements, filled to the brim with people seeking the American dream and finding everything but. Paramedic 9’s diesel screams at the curb, nose to nose with a fire engine in the tiny one way street. They will have to back out. We […]

What were you thinking?

Coming up on today's episode of What Were You Thinking? EMS Edition: A dispatcher confuses the medic crews, A diabetic takes his insulin and goes out for the day without eating, Texting and driving almost kills a man, A coworker loses his temper, And I make a poor first impression. Stay tuned!


There is a memorial plaque in town. I pass it regularly. I remember. I remember a sunny Saturday morning drilling at the firehouse. I remember swearing loudly and running to the engine when the tones dropped. I remember almost overshooting the address, and I remember the horrid moaning sound the engine's radial tires made as […]