“Medic 9, respond for the unresponsive male. . .”   A BLS ambulance arrives before us and begins doing their thing. He has a pulse but isn't breathing. Oxygen and a BVM will take care of that for the moment. His environment suggests heroin overdose; his pinpoint pupils and track marks scream it. TheContinue reading “Tired”

Rain delay

A mild summer afternoon has turned to a muggy evening. The June storms have arrived, bringing a paradoxical increase in the temperature. We stand in the open garage bay facing south as lightning illuminates the clouds above, each flash forming shadow images on the horizon. The minor league ball game across the street has calledContinue reading “Rain delay”


Birds. I usually don’t notice them. Spring has suddenly returned, though, and I hear them everywhere. Shore birds populate the trees and dunes behind me, the occasional gull swoops past, and a pair of cormorants bob peacefully in the channel. Small waves lap gently at the shore while the river gurgles past the jetties. IContinue reading “Birds”

Heaven or hell?

“Medic 9 respond, 10 High St for the unresponsive patient.” My partner groans. It’s a Known Address; a rooming house. In fire inspector parlance it’s a Single Room Occupancy or SRO. Each ‘apartment’ consists of one room large enough for a bed, a television, and maybe a microwave. Everyone shares a kitchen at one endContinue reading “Heaven or hell?”