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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Random Thoughts

Hey guys. I have been talking to a lot of you all recently and thought I would jot down some random thoughts that have been the topics of discussion.

  • No matter what kind of tone is given, it is an emergency for someone. Even though a "nose bleed" may not seem like an emergency to us at face value, if it made someone call 911 it is an emergency until we arrive on scene to access the situation and mediate. I was discussing with someone today how some of us take several extra bites of food at dinner, finish a conversation, or just casually walk to the truck. Why be so slow to get to the truck just to race through traffic. These are fundamentals.
  • Furthermore, maybe EMS Prevention isn't such a bad idea (first brought to my attention by Chief Manuel).
  • No matter who the person is, you HAVE TO respect the Rank.
  • Most would agree on the biggest problem in our FD, but what is our greatest accomplishment - That is easy: putting up with the biggest problem.
  • Don't lose sight of the good by all the bad. It is real easy to dwell on the bad stuff that goes on, sit back and think of all the good things which have occurred.
  • Somebody was telling me about the new ambulance planned to be put in Station 8. My thought is this: Isn't a medic truck needed elsewhere prior and what engine company will be taken out of service this time to put a medic truck into service.
  • If there is fire, it is a working fire right. So what if you don't need any more trucks, tell dispatch that units on scene can handle.
Most of all, enjoy your job. We are public servants. We are put on a pedestal when things go good, and drug through the mud when things go bad. We are usually only recognized in times of need. We got into this job to help people and we are given that opportunity several times each shift. All we can do is pat ourselves on the back for a job well done and hold our heads high.


Doogie Howser said...

If the tones go out for a hurt toe or a nose bleed then Im not gonna rush. Remember, its not my emergency. Ive been on way too many B.S. EMS calls to run to the truck at full speed to help a 20 yr old female on government assistance who "has back pain".
You are right, we got into this business to help people...not to enable them.

Anonymous said...

No where is it wrote and SOP that says you have to run light/siren to these call. But remember people call for us when they have run out of resourses. For each person this may be different. You or I may have the insurance or pocket change to go to urgent care after hours but when a Pt. tells you after asking "why have you not been taking you B/P medication" he has to pick between eating or refill of medication what do you say. We have a stable job with very low risk of loosing it usless WE mess it up for ourselves. rethink your view about that last bite of food.

Anonymous said...

Well yea, I kind of have to agree here. If it is legitimately stupid why rush? In fact, why not just go without lights and sirens. Please don't risk my safety for bull*&^%. Now on the other hand if it is legit, I hope that you didn't fart around getting out of the station. I wonder if there can be an extra fee for stupidity? Oh wait, half of ya'lls patients don't pay anyway. SIGH...

FireFleitz said...

So by saying that "If it is legitimately stupid why rush?" You mean to tell me that you can diagnose simply by a sentence on a printout of what a dispatcher inferred from the caller? Sounds to me like you should be a doctor with A LOT of insurance.

How many calls have you run where the information relayed to you by the dispatcher wasn't exactly what you found when you got there.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree Rhett. When the tones hit, get your ass on the truck and get out the door. You dont have to like it, its your job. Nothing pisses me off more than people sitting on their ass after the tones hit waiting to hear what unit it is, (ex. E2 L2 M2 B2) and then taking their sweet ass time getting over to, and on the truck. He said nothing about running balls out as fast as you can on every call. At least get on the truck and get in route in a timely fashion. At my station, the goal is before the end of second dispatch. Its our job...cant belive there is even discussion on this? CS

Anonymous said...

Rhett, that first bullit hit the nerve of every medic in the city. I submit that any intelligent, experienced medic is running the call from the first info he gets.Before he gets in the truck, hes thinking about what he'll run into and what he will need.Hes starting to treat that patient while walking down those steps. Can we discern if the call is real or B.S. from just the dispatch info? Not 100% of the time, no. You will always have the seizure that turns out to be a code. We account for that, I promise. I do guarantee you, however, that medic has already weighed the potential seriousness of the call based on age, complaint and sometimes the name of the patient because he just transported them LAST DAY for the same complaint. Speaking for myself at least, I know when I have to be there yesterday and when I dont. Anything in between, I err on the side of caution and hustle.
I humbly ask some of you who are saying "get your ass on the truck MEDIC and stop whining!" to ask yourself when the last time you rode a medic truck. for 24 hours...a cycle? Maybe even a couple cycles in a row? When was the last time you walked away from a good meal for about 1-2 hours? When was the last time you ran 15 calls in shift ?(yes I ride 7 but check my resume over the last 3.5 years please.) Do you remember what its like to have your stomach eating your liver and get those ding dings just as you pick up your fork? Sucks to get to eat lunch at 3pm then dinner around 2030. Youll probably be back to your food in a decent time, especially if that medic releases you in timely fashion. We wont see our dinner again for an hour most times, at a minimum.Those last bites might be all well get before getting another run backing into the station. That next run might be that sick child we need all our wits for. While youre finishing your meal, were trying to deal with family and a critical patient on an empty stomach. At the risk of sounding like a medic...please, afford me those last few bites. They might be all I get for a couple of hours. I'll chew quickly and do my damn job! ----Murphy

FireFleitz said...

First off, I never said medic. Secondly, I never said medic truck. I did say: No matter what kind of tone is given.

Furthermore, I stand by what I said. An emergency is an emergency is an emergency. We do not have prioritized dispatch and will not have fore a long time to come.

The fact of the matter is that while we are educated as to what is and what isn't an emergency, many aren't. I don't care if they live in NW, NE, SW, or SE, what they perceive to be an emergency may not be to us. However, they called 911. Do not get complacent. 911 is for emergencies. That is why we run red lights an sirens. It is an emergency. Get on the truck quick and go.

As for calling me out about riding the medic truck, you obviously do not know where I have worked or what I have done.

Most notably in response to your comment, I rode at station 9 for 2.5 years. There were 4 firefighters - 2 ALS and 2 EMT's. The ALS responders rode the equivalent of a day and a half a cycle as did the EMT's. If one of the EMT's were off, then the other rode the whole cycle. Oh yeah, and I took almost every BLS call in the back of the ambulance. I am not scared. That was also before we had M4 in place which meant more calls.

Don't think I have forgotten for a minute. I love my job. Just because you are riding the medic truck now doesn't mean that others didn't ride it before you.

And by the way, this is nothing personal towards you but more so a message to all the others who are thinking along the same lines.

I have missed meals, ate cold food, lost my appetite, worked on an empty stomach, and all that other shit you think that I haven't done and still have the t-shirt. I might have been moody at times, but I love every bit of it.

I don't get paid to eat, sleap, talk on the phone, horse play, or any of that other stuff we fit in during our shifts. I get paid to run calls, train, and know my job.


Anonymous said...

what is NE,NW,SE,SW? Does that have something to do w/ the weather?

Anonymous said...

someone needs to find another job. Maaybe at the bar when they were supposely sick.

Anonymous said...

Im not going to turn this into an arguement.I was expressing my point of view. It wasn't personal and im sorry if you took it that way. Tell me what im riding and ill do the rest.Thats all i'm sayin. I don't need to be reminded to get on my truck. Im done.

Anonymous said...

I'll DRink to that

FireFleitz said...


I don't take it personally, I respect your opinion but I do not agree with it.

My response was indeed brought on by your comment and others before you, however it was responding to those who share the same sentiments.

Just as I put stuff on the site that not everyone agrees with I let them have their say. I may not agree, just as they don't with me. But we are learning from each other.

Anonymous said...

We all know that medics are second-class citizens in the fire service as a whole. Its not just in Roanoke. Roanoke in particular does hold a grudge against medics and hate running medical calls.

The second you take the oath to be a firefighter you swear to save lives and protect property. I say protect property second because that is how it is listed on our mission statement, which is held for all to see as the Gold standard for our actions. We (our organization) have sworn to serve the public by fighting fires and running EMS calls.

It is each of our jobs to run these calls and act accordingly. This means YOU. EMTs and Medics alike are required by their job classifications and descriptions to render EMS services and care for individuals in need. I have heard more than one officer say that "it isn't my fireefighters job to ride in the back of the ambulance" BS I only know of maybe 2 actual firefighters left in the department, everyone else is a Firefighter/EMT or more.

Another statement is "I think the citizens deserve the best care from the highest trained person". Again this is BS because a sprained ankle is going to be treated the same by a medic as it would by an EMT. The EMT may even do it better since the Medic is worn out and fed up with taking every freaking call.

These continuous arguements are futile and will always be here as long as WE let them. Officers you should make each member of your company ride the box regardless of senority or if you are best friends on your day off or whatever. "But he really hates riding that thing and it will be better if he just doesn't ride it"
If someone doesn't want to ride the freaking truck then show them the Freaking door. Each and every damn one of us knew we would have to take a bite out of the medic truck shit sandwich. So get a glass of KoolAid and choke it down cause the medics and the ambulances are here to stay.

Anonymous said...

What if a medic marks their truck out of service to do some sherlock holmes invesigating. Sort of a man hunt on a busy weekend night?? Is that serving the public according to the department's standards??
Murphy has a valid point, as do you Rhett....but everybody, I mean EVERYBODY gets complacent at times: its just human nature.

SW, SE, NW, and NE are all abbreviations for States in our country. Im not sure which states they are but Im pretty sure NE stands for New England (a state in or near Florida?). These abbreviations are also used for when the power goes out and they help us be able to tell what time it is.

Like it or not, the first guy was right. WE do indeed enable many of our citizens out there.

FireFleitz said...

We do not enable them, the system does. We don't make the rules, we work by them.

We all know that if Roanoke City were to

1. Educate the citizens about when to call 911 and/or what to tell them when they do.

2. Prioritize dispatch to send the ambulance non emergency to the BLS calls.

Then the City is going to cut in on the money it makes off of the 911 transports.

It isn't our fault, it is the decision makers.

Anonymous said...

Man you medics can get so defensive sometimes. No body said anything about the medic trucks or medics. The post/topic at hand was just to get on the damn truck and go when the tones hit?? No particular unit was specified. Chill out....and quit crying, its you job. Leave if you dont like it..and thats directed to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are jealous that some of us get to investigate fires. Maybe you just weren't smart enough to pass the tests. And investigating fires is a part of our committment to the public to find and stop the causes of fires and/or the people starting them. Prevention and suppression working together. It's a happier world, don't be a hater.

Anonymous said...

Yes Rhett is right we need to get on the truck when the tones hit EMS or Fire. Like Rhett said that is what we are paid for. But the guy who said medics are shit on js right. Firefighters are treated one way and medics another. It has been said many times by EMT's it's not my job the medics get paid to do EMS I am a firefighter. I don't get it. Yes the medics are there for ALS and no I don't think the EMTs should do all the BLS. But the officers should help everyone understand that our job is Fire and EMS. By the way I think NE,NW,SE,SW are for the four parts of the city. I don't know about you but I get on the truck no matter if it is an Eng, Ladder, or Medic and do my job. And part of my job is helping my brothers and sisters. If that is taking a bls call or pulling hose. And P.S. Murphy is not the only one to go out on his sick day at least he did have a doctors note and was not on the front of the sports page.

Anonymous said...

Hey talk about something else. I know Rank is overated. Yes if you are on a fire or EMS call do what the guys with the bars says. And for the most part I agree with you that you should do as the officer says. But as far as "YOU HAVE TO RESPECT THE RANK" I don't know about that. Lets look at some of the officers that have been promoted. No names that would not be nice but there have been people given bars for kissing ass. And the guys that were past up would make 10 times the officer. If you got your rank by being good at your job And you are a fair officer than you already have my respect. But if you got it because you know how to cup the chief's nuts just right then guess what. You are going to have to earn my respect by showing me you can be a good officer.

Anonymous said...

the man doesn't deserve rank the position does. you're right most of the newer Lts and some of the higher positions have been buddy buddy promotions and resulted in drunken orgies and stupid comments or command choices on scene. However, respect has nothing to do with the medic conversation. Rank has nothing to do with the level of care provided. If a Captain paramedic tells a EMT to take a bls call while both of them are riding the medic unit, is this different than if a FF/Medic tells the EMT to ride with the patient? WHY? They are both equally qualified to suggest or tell the emt to ride and both know whether or not the patient is going into the crapper. Mull that over.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

A very wise man once said "Do you live in America? Do you Get a paycheck every two weeks? Does someone hold a gun to your head to make you do your JOB?" The answer to these questions are evident. If you can remember this posting was nothing more than Rhett's Random Thought. You guys are great under pressure, but you (and you know who you are) need to learn to communicate without getting your ass on your shoulders. Hell, when I was there if you couldn't handle the fretting then you were marked as a target for the whole dept. Thanks Rhett for this blog, and thanks to each of you who serve. Your all underpaid and understaffed but in the long run think about what you do for a living. It's the greatest job on the planet. I just had to go and make alot of money so I can take care of family and most of you all one day. Later

Anonymous said...

You know you are 100% correct, they all do a good job, no a GREAT job……you will always find things you don’t like and you will see and hear things you do not care for…..but bottom line…’re not here for the money……you here because you want to help others. Sure you will here some say it’s not my emergency and guess this is another bull s$%# call, or act as if you don’t care, but you all do care and when it is a true emergency……well….you all give 101% and never stop to think this may hurt you… do your job……you save lives and you put the fire out….so who cares if it is a FIRE call, EMS… will all do a GREAT JOB…..but if there is anyone out there that truly hates their job, don’t stick around, because you will be the one to get hurt on a call or get someone else……..I hope all of you deep down really love your job…..Once again, thanks for being there when I was hurt……God bless each and everyone one of you.