Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Boxing Day Carol

Not EMS related, but seasonal.

Once upon a time, long ago, there was a man named Jesus. Jesus got into a fight with another man named Santa. A great battle ensued. Santa won the battle, which ended with Jesus being squirted out of a virgin vagina as a baby. The details of this phenomenon are complicated, so don’t ask.

When Jesus grew up, he challenged Santa to a rematch. Every year since then, the ongoing rivalry has resulted in a Death Match Ultimate Cage Fight. Wagers were staked on either Jesus or Santa. Wagers can take the form of cash or prizes. Today these wagers are called Christmas Gifts, since we now live in a more enlightened society. We’re not sure who has the advantage; Jesus lives in our hearts but Santa watches us all year. Somehow this surveillance has a bearing on the outcome of the fight, perhaps by gauging support for which contestant is our favorite.

In the uncertainty of the fight’s outcome and the inherent dangers of such a bout between two powerful pugilists each year, Christmas trees were invented. These brightly decorated trees are placed near windows and doors as a hedge to protect us in case one of the Death Match fighters gets knocked out of the arena into our houses.

Santa needs milk and cookies to refresh himself between rounds. These are placed near the stockings that are hung by the chimney with care. The stockings are used as makeshift boxing gloves in case Santa’s and Jesus’ wear out. Since the Christmas trees, garlands and wreaths block other entry points to houses, Santa must use the chimney to enter. Jesus has easier access; he can just return home to our hearts and exit through any of our body orifices into our houses. Jesus eats the Christmas dinner leftovers to refresh himself. Christmas dinners are deliberately made to have an excess of food specifically for this purpose.

Since more people seem to favor Santa over Jesus, experts are predicting him as this year’s winner. Results of the fight are posted on December 26th. And this, friends, is the reason December 26th is called Boxing Day. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Professionalism 101

"Give me a drama delay."
"My patient needs to fix her hair and makeup."
"I'm 10-97."
"Yes, ma'am, yes ma'am, thank you ma'am, I'm here for you ma'am. You just let me know ma'am."
"CCCrrkkkkzz[garble]...NOPD here code three!"

Lately I've noticed a trend on the radio. In all my seventeen years of working for EMS in New Orleans, never have have I heard the amount of unnecessary chatter over the radio as is prevalent today. Oftentimes this chatter passes the bounds of steam-valve stress relief and strays into the realm of actual rudeness. In extreme circumstances, it can even create a hazard to our safety.

What do I mean? More often than not, we hear crews "walking" on each other on the radio in an effort to get their transmissions across. It is understandable that this may occasionally happen, particularly during hectic times. But I have noticed this happening far more frequently than in years past. The only factor I can attribute this to is simple discourtesy. Many times a shift, I will hear dispatch in the middle of a conversation with a crew, perhaps giving out details of a call or relaying other information, or maybe a crew asking for clarification of a location when in mid-transmission a different crew will barge in on the conversation with "put me Code 77 at Ochsner" or something to that effect. Cutting in on someone else's conversation is simply rude, particularly when it is centered on subject matter that can wait for a more appropriate time.

I am not saying that your Code 77 or your 10-10 or your on-scene delay isn't important. However there is no reason that any of these radio transmissions cannot wait for a few seconds until the current on-air discourse is finished. There are certain things that are vital to get out in a timely manner. Dispatching calls is one of them. A crew in danger is another. Requesting more units is another example. These radio transmissions must have first priority. But a large majority of our radio transmissions are simply routine status updates that should wait until whoever is on the radio finishes speaking.

"Professionalism" is an amalgam of many aspects of conduct. It is important that we treat our patients with respect and courtesy. We would never speak rudely to a physician that we were giving a report to. The mayor, the governor, the president - all deserve no less than the utmost respect when in conversation with them, regardless of our personal opinions of them. This is simply what is expected when dealing professionally with others. Should it be different when dealing with our co-workers? Courtesy, allowing others to finish their conversation, is one extremely important aspect of professionalism. Not barging in on a conversation already in progress is doubtless one of the things your mother taught you when you were a child. Though it may have been many years since Mother taught you this principle, it is no less in force today.

It is human nature that we feel that what we have to say is the most important thing at the moment. It takes practice and conscious effort to temper this impulse. Next time you need to key up your radio, take a split second to listen and determine if there is a conversation already underway. If there is, wait a few seconds if you're just giving a routine status update. No one will die if you go 10-10 a few seconds late. Lives do not hang in the balance regarding your "drama delay." If you are in a critical situation, please break in on the radio, by all means. Look at the radio conversation at the top of this post. Which do you think is the most important transmission? Which transmission is yours? Please, just be polite!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Big Cern

Giving the Francene Hair Diaries a run for their money!

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Paramedics!

Congratulations to our new Paramedics: Beverly Cannon, Ashley Fain, Katrina McCrary, John Kesler and India Cross! One word of advice: RUN!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Effort Saving Idea

Here we see one of our paramedics saving himself ALL the trouble of
walking those exhausting ten feet to the card swiper at the pumps.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Preview of the "Francene Hair Diaries"

Below are a few of the images to be included in the Francene Hair Diaries. Much more work needs to be done on this project, and I am asking you, the reader to contribute as part of an OpenArt presentation. Please email me photos you take of our beloved co-worker Francene and her inimitable hairdos. My address is linked in the box on the right marked "Want to be a member of this blog?" As we all know, she has one of the most versatile mops in all of EMS and presents styles that range from the demure to the bizarre. We need your pics. God put cameras on our cell phones for a reason people, and this is it. We need photos honoring Francene - the good, the bad and the frightening.
Because we love her and she's such a great sport!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I ALMOST Gave Him Money

My homeless guy had the best cardboard sign I've seen in a while. Ya
can't call him stupid!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What's the Deal?

Why is it that of all the shifts, B watch (odd days) is consistently
late getting themselves 10-8 on time? Not just once in a while, but
nearly every shift!

I can maybe understand being a little late on the first day of your
rotation, but when almost every truck has "paperwork" issues, stock
issues or just plain not answering the radio, then that makes a
problem for the entire division.

We've made it a matter of pride over the years to "watch each other's
back." For the most part, we keep that up. But B watch, I'm
disappointed; you're dropping the ball.

If you are one of the few on this watch that gets 10-8 on time, I applaud you. Keep setting a good example. But take that one step further and start motivating your shiftmates to do the same. It's rough enough without problems like this; each one has to do his part to keep everyone's morale up and continue NOEMS' reputation as the best in the country. We are counting on you, don't keep disappointing us.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Poll!

In view of our new best friend Gustav, here's a question for everyone:

What is your favorite flavor of MRE?
Leave your responses in the "comments" section beneath this post. Peace!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Didn't Think This Could Happen

Two streetcars ran into each other! Apparently there's one place on
earth where the tracks cross. These two happened to try to occupy that
one place at the same time.

Streetcar collision

One was turning into the barn on Canal; the other one ran into it!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jeb Tate, RN

Yet another one of our EMT's has taken the plunge into the purgatory
that is the field of nursing! Gratz to Jeb Tate, RN. He passed his
Louisiana state boards today! And I was remiss in posting Samantha
Graham's passage into the paradise of poop also. So a belated Gratz to
her too!
We can haz a raise now, missah?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Slavery in EMS

Poor Katrina, already precepting for free, washes the truck while white oppressors look on. Slavery is alive & well!

By the way, Katrina is an excellent student!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Creative AMA Writing 101

Ever get bored calling in those same old AMA's? Same dull formula every time? Ever actually start snoring during a medical control report? I know I have; that's why I've created a handy list of alternate vocabulary to use when calling in AMA's.

After the billionth time of saying "blah, blah, blah... the patient really doesn't want to go, we've encouraged her to seek medical attention but she still adamantly refuses... blah, blah, blah," it gets a little bland doesn't it?

Well, next time you need to call in an AMA, why not vary your radio report a little with some different, obscure vocabulary? After all, variety is the spice of life at EMS! Mix and match words from the lists for a fun twist on your reports!

"Blah, blah, blah... the patient


refuses transport with EMS. We



that he/she go to the hospital, but they still decline. Calling for an AMA... blah, blah, blah."

Now isn't that more interesting? You get to enjoy your AMA more and you have the added fun bonus of sending the new little residents scrambling for their dictionaries! Everybody's happy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thanks for letting an old dog join the blog....hope to hear from some of ya'll soon.

I've also added this great photo I took of Brian B. Christmas time around 1996

Brett (B. J.) Schneider

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Brian Bordelon

One of our former paramedics, Brian James Bordelon, died August 11th of cancer. Many of us at EMS remember Brian well. He was an outstanding paramedic, one from "the old days." He took no shit from anyone, and was perfectly happy to dish it out too. We are proud to have known him and serve the city with him.

We remember all the good times we had with him - going for a beer, enjoying his beloved Jazz Fest together, trying to imagine what it was like living with Placide Jumonville and Thomas Jordan. He entertained us all with his stories and writings. He gave us countless hours of amusement as he terrorized new EMT's (those EMT's might not remember him so fondly!).

We will certainly miss Brian. Fond memories or not, he is not one to be forgotten!

Here's his obituary.

Me & Brian @ JazzFest!
Brian (on left) & me at Jazz Fest.
Farewell, Brian!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Tactical Condoms, Anyone?

Tactical: –adjective
1.of or pertaining to tactics, esp. military or naval tactics.
2.characterized by skillful tactics or adroit maneuvering or procedure: tactical movements.
3.of or pertaining to a maneuver or plan of action designed as an expedient toward gaining a desired end or temporary advantage.
4.expedient; calculated.
5.prudent; politic.

Just the other day I was at Code 3 buying some new uniforms. I couldn't help but notice the dazzling array of items for sale labeled as "tactical." There were tactical uniforms, tactical boots, tactical flashlights, even tactical socks! Out of curiosity, I went to Gall's online catalogue and typed in "tactical" on its search bar. It came up with no fewer than 316 items, all with the appellation "tactical" in their description. Among them are tactical shirts, a tactical goggle pouch (free with purchase of tactical goggles!), tactical shorts, tactical key chains, tactical underwear and tactical water bottles. I believe that this proves my theory that if you insert the word "tactical" into the description of any item regardless of its nature, emergency responders will buy it.

I researched the definition of "tactical" as noted above. It is difficult to determine under which of the 5 definitions "tactical socks" would be categorized. I can certainly see how something like a nuclear warhead would be classified as "tactical." It would be difficult to foresee a use for nuclear weapons other than for tactics of some sort. (Cheney: "Hey, Dubya, we got any of those non-tactical nukes layin' around?" Bush: "Sure do. Wanna maybe lob a couple at, say New Guinea? They're not tactical or anything, they're just for fun.") Yet the tactical nature of key chains or underwear eludes me. I have a hard time imagining that before-action mission briefing: "Okay, guys this mission is top secret black ops. Make sure you have your tactical socks with you as they'll play a huge part in this invasion attempt. Also high priority is your tactical goggle pouch and tactical water bottle; lives may depend on them. The enemy may have tactical shirts on so be prepared for that contingency - you all know what to do with an enemy with tactical shirts..."
And so on.

Well, I must go to my kitchen to make a tactical sandwich for my shift tonight in my tactical ambulance with my tactical clipboard and tactical pen. I'll try not to forget my tactical stethoscope and tactical radio pouch. Lives may depend on them.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Times-Pic Pic's

Times-Picayune photos with revised captions.

At an archaeological dig behind St. Louis Cathedral, researchers unearth a 17th century crack pipe in nearly pristine condition. "Clearly, this is a very important find," said archaeologists. "We're beginning to see the importance of crack in the economic and sociological development of New Orleans early days."

Swiss students on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar, experiencing the culture of New Orleans. Moments later EMS pronounced this young man dead from head trauma after colliding with a pole. His fellow Swiss students described the scene: "All we heard was a big 'TING' and he was dead. We dragged him to La Madelaine, thinking some croissants would revive him. But no. He is dead."

Neighbors, rallying against racism, dig up the lawn of a family in Metairie where "KKK" was burned into the grass last month. When asked about why they had waited a month before doing something about repairing the damage, the homeowner replied "We still ain't done nothing about it. We just waited till whitey came along and dug it up. We need our reparations. He can plant me some new azaleas while he's at it, too."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Another kid shot - "keeping the New Orleans brand out there!"
Now just imagine this scene photographed in front of endless puke-yellow brick walls. We can see the difference our new pastel projects have made!

Monday, June 23, 2008

One of our own - again

I just heard that a former NO EMS employee was shot in Metairie. Some of you may remember Louis Valentine, who worked here for a while in the 1990's and later worked at EJ and Acadian ( I believe). I just heard today that he is in University after being shot by his ex-wife. I have no idea on his condition; perhaps some of us could find out. In any event, our thoughts and prayers go out to him. Get well soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our motto

New Orleans EMS
...So that others may live.

Disclaimer - it says that others MAY live. Not necessarily you. But you may. If you catch me on a good day. And I got enough sleep. And if I'm not too aggravated from my last patient. And if I'm not too lazy so that I let my green EMT-basic partner tech the call. And if I've had my coffee. And we have the supplies we need. And you haven't neglected and/or abused yourself for so many years that no amount of treatment will fix you. And if you don't annoy me too much. Then maybe, just maybe, others (you) MAY live.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Shift Change

OK, I can kinda understand why they started this policy "no units at Calliope till your relief is 10-8." And for the most part, units are doing a good job of coming up a little early in order to get the previous shift off on time. Special gratz to Mr. Frank Petta in that department!

Everyone please keep up the good work! Those of you who who are minutemen, please try harder! I will too. Even though I don't recognize half the staff most days with all the FNG's, y'all are the best bunch of people I've ever worked with.

Dispatchers, you need to get on the streets! Before you rearrange every truck in the city because a call came out, give just a minute or so to see how it will play out. It may not be necessary to move me from the the beautiful and enchanting Elysian Fields and Miro. Just a reminder.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sad Day

Today we found out that Kathy Adams passed away, wife of Lynn Adams here at New Orleans Ems. Sadly this happened on Mothers Day which makes it even harder to accept for her family I’m sure. We all need to place Lynn and his children in our prayers. The service’s will be held in Picayune Mississippi on Wednesday and Thursday, all arrangements will be posted as it come available.
This is written with a sadden heart.

Monday, March 03, 2008

America's Most Wanted, Heros that is!!!


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mardi Gras 2008

Evening to all,
As we settled down after another Mardi Gras we need to look back and reflect. This year was different in many ways. A lot of first time employees, new Bike and Gator team even our own Command Trailer. The earliest Mardi gras in twenty five years, and one of the shortest on record.
With that we can as a community hold our heads up high because with this fine city still just shy of 50% population from post Katrina. We collectively cause the need for more EMS items than ever before, not recent years not ten but freaking ever. Let us not forget the rain even cancelled a days worth of parades during this time as well! Which left a few of us with the sudden realization that as a whole us New Orleanians are unable to consistently sustain a normal functioning ability to live with out the need for someone else to tell us what is wrong with us!!! Being drunk, my hand hurts, something fell on my foot, and juice got in my eyes etc etc is no reason to call or activate an emergency response!! But low and behold it happens more often than anyone with the brains God gave a rock would dream of!!! Just because you travel and spend your cash here, doesn’t mean that you can come and decide for the first time in your life to binge drink and survive!! More tourists visit our cots than anyone else during this time simply because they drink themselves to stupidity!! Sure our people maintain their share of ignorance (which we take pride in) and can justify shooting at least one person at each parade. For what, a damn 5 cent plastic crap bead!! I know what you’re thinking, you don’t just tell them, Hey stop being as dumb as a stump!! There isn’t any reason to send you an Ambulance for that Bullshit!!! Well we wonder why our selves!! So the sirens continue to roll!!!!!
Let us now look and talk about the Women and Men that provide this excellent profession medical coverage to all the citizen and tourist alike. For twelve days straight many of us worked twelve to seventeen hour days. Causing us to be away from our families and kids. From our ability to revel in the festive natural of this moronic event, so you may be safe. It starts with the ladies in our communication, yes okay guys a couple of you are up there too!!. These ladies daily not only deal with the call of service from people who most of them couldn’t walk if they had to think about the process of one foot in front of the other with out falling down! Then they have to control and coordinate the placement and disperse to call’s about 85 tired, angry burnt out medics. My hat goes off to them!! GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then the medic’s that roll on all these call’s for service. With minimal rest no food half the time and a never ending string of calls, they continue to show up each day. Some how being able to hold back the urge to simply beat the living crap out of the stupid drunks. Not ripping a new ass into the ones that want a ride because they have a cold, their back is sore or nine months ago got knocked up and simply didn’t have enough time to arrange a ride to the hospital. Let’s not forget not going off on the nurses that tend to give us crap! But each day dressed to the nines, fully prepared to serve for the day. Still professional and compassionate for those those truly need it. Once again proving why we here are the best of the best and if you question that, you just ask one of us. Twenty plus years of this Mardi Gras stuff and proud as hell to know each one of the men and women that are New Orleans EMS medics.
The administration that stood side by side with us each day. This it self proves why they are where they are in the service and why we are who we are.
Lastly the guys in rescue and supply. With out the unknown amount of hours and time supply puts in to obtain and keep the needed stock so that the job can be done would blow your mind. Rescue, keeping it all together and in order to help, lessen the amount of chaos during the season. At the same time looking so damn good!!!!!