Thursday, June 28, 2007

This just makes sense

What would you do if 12,000 athletes aged 50 - 100 were competing in your city? One would hope you'd say "I'd have a few defibrillators handy."

Louisville, KY did just that when the National Senior Games came to town--and they are 2 for 2 with saves. This article from and USA Today tells the story.

A secondary theme of the article is the lack of AEDs--and the lack of legislation requiring AEDs--at public gatherings. Quite frankly, at large events the FD and ambulance just can't get to the patient's side in time to make a difference.

Kudos to Louisville. While I hope they won't need their defibrillators again, the games run until July 7th. Lets all hope their winning streak continues.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

You can lead a horse to water...

Millstone, NJ is having emergency service problems.

Millstone, NJ has a first aid squad. They also have a fire department. According to an article in the Examiner of Allentown, NJ, they don't work together.

It appears that first aid squad members respond from home some of the time. Firefighters sit in the station, able to respond, but can't.

Even more absurdly, it appears that when the Millstone First Aid Squad is on a call, another Monmouth County, NJ mutual aid squad responds to Millstone...while the firefighters still sit in the station.

Here are some killer quotes from the article:

Millstone Committeeman Ramin Dilfanian in reference to the First Aid Squad and Fire Department:
"I can lead the horse to water, but I can't make it drink," he said. "I can get the groups together, but I can't make them cooperate and work together."

and in the "I'm glad its not my heart category.."
First aid squad member Tina Mitchell said the first aid squad currently does not need the help of the firefighters and that the squad's response times are in line with the mutual aid system in Monmouth County.

So, Tina, what you are saying is that it could be faster if the FD responded but since we're in line with the county, the extra minutes a loved one spends in cardiac arrest is OK.

No, wait! The First Aid Squad has now decided the fire department can respond to cardiac arrests and unresponsive people.
At the fire commissioners' monthly board meeting June 11, first aid squad Capt. Bob Trifiro attended to discuss the first-responder issue. Trifiro told the firefighters that they could respond to emergency medical calls involving unconscious victims and to calls during which cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is already in progress.
I'm sorry if that doesn't leave me teary-eyed with the spirit of cooperation. Its not enough.

But what about the breathing difficulty patients, the patients with anaphylaxis, those with chest pain that haven't yet died? At least death finally invokes the First Aid Squad's blessing for the FD to respond.

There is a fable about a dog walking over a bridge with flesh in his mouth. He looks into the water and sees another dog with a bigger piece of flesh. He opens his mouth to grab the other dog's meat and loses his into the water--his greed costs him everything.

If I lived in Millstone, NJ and I had to wait even two extra minutes when EMT trained firefighters were there to respond sooner--or if an out of town squad had to respond in while firefighters were there to respond much sooner I'd be livid. Litigiously livid.

Like the dog with the flesh, some squads turn down help when they need it out of a sense of pride, threat--or greed. This leads to the demise of a squad faster than if they took the help and built the team that best served the citizens.

Plus--it is never wrong to do what is best for the patient.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bryan Bledsoe - part 2

Dr. Bryan Bledsoe's name is one of the most commonly recognized in EMS. A talented (and occasionally controversial) conference speaker, myth-buster and prolific author, Bryan began his medical career in EMS and maintained a strong presence after becoming a physician.

Bryan's paramedic and intermediate books are EMS best sellers. His other works include frequent EMS articles, columns and other texts including pharmacology and critical care paramedic.

The letter, distributed to about 60 individuals via email, is likely to send a significant jolt through the EMS education community. 6 - 8 people hit "reply all" and supported Bryan in his thoughts about NAEMSE. I am sure that many more responded personally. Others may still be in shock.

Since this is my blog, I'd be weaseling out if I didn't voice an opinion. First, the disclaimers:

I ran for president of NAEMSE a few years back. (I lost.) I also ran for the Board of Directors. (I lost.) Nevertheless I don't have any hard feelings over the losses. It wasn't nearly as crushing as losing the 6th grade class president race to Hillary Hart. (sniff) Back to business.

My platform, expressed to anyone who asked including Joann Freel and then-President Linda Abrahamson, was to make the organization more inclusive. My description then (and continues now) is that NAEMSE is an organization that preaches to the choir. As a textbook author I speak frequently with the lone instructor in the fire station who has limited resources. For many non-collegiate EMS instructors joining NAEMSE is a dream (assuming they have heard of it). Attending the symposium is a fantasy. The educator course is a nice project but doesn't substitute for outreach.

On the NAEMSE web site they recently posted the NAEMSE 2007 Organizational Assessment Report and Membership Survey in which everything seems quite rosy. From the emails I have been seeing there are a few people who obviously didn't get the survey. The survey and I are in full agreement in one area:

An opportunity exists to develop new membership pools
outside of traditional academic settings; engage members
who teach in the military, industry, or volunteer EMS
areas. Also, evaluate geographic representation of
members and determine what regions (if any) are
underrepresented in NAEMSE membership.

I should also note that this statement is a bit snooty (at best) by considering academic EMS education "traditional." The academic EMS education model is not the dominant model in the US. It is growing. It is important and necessary. But the "look over the glasses down at the non-academic instructors" attitude is unbecoming and reflects how the organization is out of touch with a huge population of educators.

If you would like to change the name of the organization to "National Association of Collegiate EMS Educators," do so. But if not, there are far more outside of academia than inside.

When I lost the race for president I was told that less than 10% of the membership voted. I wonder how many responses the membership survey is based on?

The bottom line: I was at the meeting at JEMS in 1995 when the hat was passed to start NAEMSE. I am a charter member. I believe EMS education and EMS educators need an organization.

I am pleased that there is a national organization to represent EMS education (although the varied levels of educators and their needs are clearly not recognized or met by NAEMSE). This organization is in a proper position at the helm of the education standards project. We should be writing our own standards.

I am saddened by Bryan's resignation. There were many (including myself) who hoped he would shake things up a bit--and believe that a shake-up needs to happen. Not necessarily because of profound malfeasance, but because we are at a point in the life of an organization (10 - 12 years) where a course correction is necessary.

My membership is in need of renewal this month. I'll renew it for at least one more year. Not out of a profound belief that it is a benefit, but as a creature of habit; perhaps as an optimist hoping there will be change.

When I ran for president I wasn't looking to make waves. I was looking to be a good president. To do outreach. To recognize the varied instructors out there and initiate some organizational and individual mentoring. When I lost, a few people told me "You should get on some committees, maybe run for the board." Meaning I hadn't paid my dues to run for president.

But my reason for running was exactly because I didn't come up through the ranks. I felt I would be good for the organization. Not for massive change, for changes in perspective.

NAEMSE needs a new perspective.

Bledsoe steps down from NAEMSE Post

I received an email from Bryan Bledsoe last night in reference to his resignation from the National Association of EMS Educators Board of Directors. The email, reprinted with the permission of Dr. Bledsoe, is as follows:

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I have resigned my position as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of EMS Educators. I have served less than a year, yet I cannot, in good faith, continue. In the short time I have been on the Board we have effected a few changes. Working with a few other Board members, we have forced the organization to be honest and open about membership numbers. Actual membership numbers are closer to 2,000 or less. This is considerably less than the 4,000 plus often reported. We have had a self-study completed that pointed to some of the problems with the organization and the Board. Whether any of the recommendations of this self-study will be enacted remains to be seen. We have planted the seed of increased organizational transparency and I hope that grows.

I do not see any significant chances for organizational improvement or change for at least five years. I have been a thorn in the side of the Board and the Executive Director. But, based upon recent elections, either my concerns are not shared by the membership as a whole or the “system” is again responsible for stopping change either through obfuscation or simple ineptness. Being on this Board is quite an exercise in tenacity. As an emergency physician, I am impatient and expect results. This trait grates against the culture of NAEMSE.

I have concerns about the organizational finances and the conference. Approximately 60% of the budget goes to fund the office in Pittsburgh. The previous Boards of Directors have entered into a 10-year lease for the office space in Pittsburgh than costs in excess of $5,000 a month. In Pennsylvania, real estate leases also incur other expenses. Approximately 10% of the projected budget for next year will be to fund the Executive Director’s salary and benefits package. I have been repeatedly told by members of the organization that the symposium is not attractive to members, yet the membership survey and feedback provided by the Executive Director would indicate a high level of satisfaction with the seminar and the “Instructor Courses” offered by the organization. I have been told by several corporate representatives that they are displeased with the conference and the organization. Yet, the sponsor and vendor survey provided by the Executive Director would indicate a high level of satisfaction. Regardless, for whatever reason, corporate memberships and sponsorships are down.

I am 52-years-old and have many great things going on in my life. This organization is just one thing that I do not have the personality for. Politics, obviously, are not in my future. If you voted for me last year, thank you. I apologize for letting you down by resigning before my term is up. I am a person of action and integrity and want to live my life in a way that I am comfortable. I obviously made a mistake running for this Board. This organization is a mess—but the membership appears satisfied. Either I was wrong or the “system” has successfully run off another Board member.

I am sorry if I have seemed to take a tone of judgment. I truly wish NAEMSE well. I am just not sure how they will get there.


Bryan E. Bledsoe, DO, FACEP
Midlothian, Texas

(Since this post is long, I'll comment in a subsequent post.)

Backboard Bubbles

During a conversation with my friend, Jon Politis, I learned of a solution to the pain and discomfort caused by spine boards.

It is well acknowledged that immobilization is uncomfortable. Prolonged immobilization causes pain and can make it challenging for hospital personnel to determine if spinal pain is from an injury or from the immobilization.

Two EMS Asst. Chiefs at Colonie EMS, Paul Fink and Ray Hughes III (both of whom I had the pleasure of learning from in my early EMS days), came up with a practical and inexpensive way to reduce this pain--bubble wrap!

This solution is cheap (bought in a large roll it works out to about 10 cents/patient) and effective. I'm guessing if patients were stressed they could calm themselves by popping the bubbles along the edge of the backboard on the way to the hospital.

I wonder why more squads don't do this? I'll bet a manufacturer will come out with a "medical-grade, hypoallergenic, OSHA approved, association-endorsed" product--which will still essentially be 10 cent bubble wrap...and cost $25.00 per disposable piece.

I'll stick with Paul and Ray's bubble wrap. It just makes sense.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Oman Cyclone

When I was teaching at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, I had a number of good experiences. I got to work for Gregg Margolis (now with NREMT), to have colleagues like Melissa Alexander, Keith Monosky, Beth Adams, Mike Ward and Art Hseih and to live and work in a facinating part of the country.

How does this fit in with the cyclone in Oman?

While teaching at GW my main job was to teach 12 nurses from the Middle Eastern country of Oman to become paramedics and instructors. These nurses-turned-paramedics would then go back to Oman and begin an EMS system from scratch.

Imagine not having an EMS system at all. When the Omani government and GW first talked the Sultan wanted a system to deal with trauma on the highways of a growing and thriving country. Hmmmm...sound familiar? If not, a brief history lesson courtesy of the NAEMT.

The Royal Omani Police (ROP), who also provide fire services, said that the ambulances were only needed for trauma. Our reply: "That is what we thought in 1966." Our early highway/trauma focus is why EMS curricula are developed out of the Department of Transportation to this day.

It is the experience of a lifetime for an instructor to help set a foundation for the EMS system of an entire country. The nurses (10 men, 2 women) were wonderful people and dedicated students. They came into Washington DC during the third week of August, 2001. Far from home, they came to the U.S for a year. Unfortunately, after the attacks of 9-11-01 it wasn't a good thing to be from the Middle East and in Washington, DC.

The stories of the weeks following 9-11 are too many to recount on this blog. The students were harassed in the Metro; discriminated against for housing and purchases. I was contacted on numerous occasions by the FBI in reference to the students.

Then, after the October anthrax incidents in the D.C. postal service, they couldn't even send letters home for fear of contaminating loved ones with anthrax.

The students survived, became medics and instructors and returned home to begin the EMS program.

Back to the cyclone. While we didn't see too much on the cyclone in the news here in the US, I received photos from one of my students. He reports all of my old students are well after the cyclone. I'm sure the country of Oman tested all of their emergency services during the cyclone.

If the emergency services personnel during the cyclone had the character and dedication of the students I know, I'm guessing they did well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Will Samantha stay in EMS?

In my post about "roving professionals" I mentioned one of my students, Samantha Massey. I was at my state EMS Education Committee meeting today talking with Samantha's training coordinator. I mentioned the initial blog post.

Our conversation led to whether Samantha would stay in EMS when she completes nursing school. Why would she? She can almost double her pay, work in a variety of special units and get a sign-on bonus to start. Not to mention the ability to grow into supervisory and management positions more easily than in EMS.

One reason to stay is the fact she has been involved as a community EMS member for some time. But how much else is there to keep people rooted in EMS?

We loose a lot of good people in EMS. I am going to track Samantha down and ask her to comment on this.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My ads changed

I posted the piece on cheese heroin today and suddenly the Google ads at the top of my page all turned to ads for drug rehabs, sober living and urine test secrets.

Not the image I was going for.

So, to correct this, an experiment. Here goes:

Hunting, fishing, game warden, trout, bass, moose, elk, lunker, lures, rifles, ATV, camouflage, buck knives, gut, rod, reel, striper, deer, ten-pointer, pike, bass boat, charter, fillet, hunting, fishing, game warden, trout, bass, moose, elk, lunker, lures, rifles, ATV, camouflage, buck knives, gut, rod, reel, striper, deer, ten-pointer, pike, bass boat, charter, fillet, hunting, fishing, game warden, trout, bass, moose, elk, lunker, lures, rifles, ATV, camouflage, buck knives, gut, rod, reel, striper, deer, ten-pointer, pike, bass boat, charter, fillet.

Let's see what happens. If there are fishing and hunting ads on my site, we'll know. And its better than the drug ads.

Because so far I've made a grand total of nothing from the ads anyway.

Are you a "roving professional?"

Chris Cluff, EMT-I from Kennebunk, Maine brought this article to my attention through a comment on this site (Thanks, Chris!).

Per diems keep agencies alive

This article from the Portland Press Herald highlights themes already mentioned in this blog: EMS as a profession (As a profession why do we have to work 60 - 80 hours/week to afford to eat?) and How many hours do you work? (ditto).

I think this article also shows, woven through and between the lines, the spirit, dedication and ethic of the EMS provider. While we need further recognition (and fewer hours/more pay), we are a proud lot.

In the small world category, Samantha Massey (mentioned in the article--and was one of my paramedic students) was kind enough to model for this photo which was used in the August, 2006 issue of EMS Magazine.

You made us proud, Sam. Thanks.

Hold the cheese, please

CNN reports a cheap, highly addictive drug blend which includes heroin and diphenhydramine has killed 21 teenagers in the Dallas, TX area over the past two years.


Given its name because it looks like Parmesan cheese, cheese heroin is sold for $2/dose or $10/gram on the street. The low price point combined with the fact it can be snorted (not injected) creates a lethal one-two punch.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is obtained from OTC nighttime cold medications. It helps with the depressant effect and keeps the price down. The cold medications are probably shoplifted anyway.

This is reminiscent of the birth of crack cocaine. Back when cocaine powder was $80-100/gram, along came crack cocaine in cheap, single-use rocks. The immediate high obtained from smoking (the high from snorting coke takes about 2 minutes) added to the popularity. No freebasing or volatile chemicals required. (See Richard Pryor) Crack was overwhelmingly popular--and addictive. Let's hope we can avoid this with cheese heroin.

Imagine if the person who invented and marketed cheese heroin put those skills to good use. Talent like that might even be able to re-market Paris Hilton when she is released from jail.

Nevermind. No one is that talented.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Glad he's not my boss - part 2

This one goes into the category of "if you think your city administration is bad, you could always work in Ridgeley, WV."

While cruising the Internet for something of interest I hit the jackpot.

I saw an article in the online edition of the Cumberland (MD) Times-News about how the fire department ambulance is in its thirtieth year. Call volume continues to increase but the paper reports the FD is handling it well. The chief was one of the original EMTs. Good for them. This is nice--but not mother of all stories for a blogger.

While looking at the related story links I saw an article that reported the police chief and town clerk of Ridgeley, WV were fired by the mayor--who called in from jail! Hard to believe, but true. The mayor, Mitchell Reeves, was arrested for fraud one month after being arrested for driving without a license.

It could always be worse. You could be in the public safety biz in Ridgeley, West Virginia.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Glad he's not my boss

If you ever thought your job was bad, it could be worse. You could work in East Cleveland, Ohio.

According to an article on, East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer wants firefighters there to assist public works crews in cutting lawns and working in parks.

"We have 54 firefighters, and they have a lot of downtime," Mayor Eric Brewer said Thursday. "Instead of sitting around the station, they'll be assisting us as we beautify the city."

Ken Adams, Deputy Safety Director says "The new duties are similar to other non-fire-related tasks performed by firefighters, such as checking hydrants, conducting fire inspections or visiting schools."

Excuse me, Mr. Adams, but these ARE fire-related duties--and more important than cutting grass. As a matter of fact, according to the East Cleveland web site, the fire department also has a free smoke detector program and a child seat safety program.

In my experience, decisions such as this are made from a lack of knowledge of what firefighters do and are often based on the false stereotype that firefighters sit around the station all day and watch television.

The union believes that the lawn mowing duties may prevent them from hearing their radios and decrease response time. I'm not sure that is a strong enough statement. The lawn mowing duties cause a critical distraction away from (call me crazy, now) fighting and preventing fires!

Looking at response numbers on the East Cleveland unofficial web site, the fire department gets its share of jobs--both fire and EMS. It appears that they are working quite diligently for their money.

I spent some time looking at the web site for Mayor Brewer. He has some high hopes for East Cleveland. Sounds like a shaker and mover may be necessary for the City of East Cleveland. On his web site the Mayor says his "main goal is to take East Cleveland from “poverty to prosperity” during his term in office. Beefing up the city’s service and police departments are vital to his plans, along with eliminating waste and mismanagement, and increasing employee productivity."

Well, although I don't agree with the plan, at least he is one politician who keeps his word.

Mayor Brewer was also quoted on as saying (in reference to mowing):
"Actually, that looks like fun," he said. "I might get out there and cut some grass myself."

I hope he keeps his word there, too. And gets the firefighters off lawn mowers and back where they belong.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Conversation anyone?

This blog has been in existence for about 6 weeks. I have made 24--now 25--posts. Since May 21st (about three weeks) there have been 205 visitors to this site from around the world. These visitors have looked at 379 pages and spent an average of 2:29 minutes on the site. I know this because I put a cool tool called Google Analytics on the site. This can tell me what city people view from, what they look at and how long they stay on the site. And it is free.


The purpose of this site is to talk about EMS. News, opinions, insights, practice, learning and education. The good, the bad and the ugly in the world of EMS.

At this point I ask you, in addition to reading my posts, to please post a comment. I can't believe that no one has had a thought about news I have found or thoughts I have written. I am actually quite good at controversy (stay tuned for more of this)...although some may even agree with things I have written.

The measure of a blog is not only that it is looked at, but that people interact and comment.

Thanks for coming by (again). Now hit that "comment" link...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Paris Hilton...NOT!

Can anyone with a blog NOT comment on the Paris Hilton fiasco? Probably not. Can I think of anything to say that hasn't already been said? Probably not. Does our infatuation with news stories such as this (as well as reality television, Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole...) say much about society today? Probably not.

But while Paris Hilton was brought from her mansion to court and eventually to jail (where you and I would've stayed regardless of our medical conditions...or withdrawal syndrome) the world of emergency services also had its moments...

A Maryland ambulance chief had a civil suit against him dismissed. He made jokes while a female firefighter died from pregnancy complications.

Firefighters fight at the scene of an accident.

Explorer post adviser on trial for taping youth sex acts.

But in the midst of all the scandal and sadness there is hope, such as the story of 18 year old Joyce Miller of Salem, CT. Joyce Miller is 18, just finished firefighter I, wants to become an EMT and is working this summer to pay for her tuition in a fire science program.

With more Joyce Millers and one less Paris Hilton the world would be a better place.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

While I tread on dangerous about the fire - EMS issue?

This thread began with a post about Senator Allard's really bad day, then lurched into some of the political issues and how EMS is lagging behind its public safety counterparts. Might just as well bring up the whole fire/EMS issue: just where does EMS belong?

It seems the city of Pittsburgh is asking the same question as evidenced in this article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

The EMS union actually has it in their contract that they can't merge with fire unless there is a renegotiation of the contract terms (a smart bargaining team when that contract was negotiated). The fire union president wants EMS and blames the EMS union for holding up a merger.

Dropping back to a local example, the Kennebunk, Maine Police have been talking about merging with other local police forces. The issues, whether in the smaller police merger or the large Pittsburgh situation, generally aren't equipment or stations or budgets--people and cultures will make or break the merger. Issues like seniority, working environment and perception of equality within the ranks are the big issues.

There are a few big cities out there that may be wishing they could turn the clock back pre-merger for just these reasons.

The leaders who will institute the mergers also make a significant difference. How the merger is introduced, instituted and fed to the rank and file sets a foundation. Early, equitable decisions on controversial issues combined with a consistent message and expectation are vital.

I have seen spectacular fire medics that could treat my family any day. I've also seen fire medics treat people like shit because they got pulled from an engine company to work the rescue. Likewise there are some medics in third service agencies who are true clinicians and others who are many years past their prime.

To me, the issue isn't a blanket decision whether fire or EMS is better. It is about the agency which considers it its mission to provide high quality, clinically competent, patient-centered care to the people it serves--be it fire or EMS.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if we had two agencies in one municipality whose true mission it was to provide that type of care...but if that were the case mergers wouldn't be an issue after all, would they?

Monday, June 4, 2007

More on politics and EMS

Sleeping on yesterday's post (Senator Allard's press release) brought me to a bigger picture thought this morning: Why does something as important as EMS have near zip (nada, nothing) in the political power and support category?

There are many answers to this, some which are not our fault and some which are clearly our fault.

In the first (and easiest category) we are relatively new compared to the fire service, nursing, medicine, and the cops. As such it would logically take time to become rooted in the power (and money) structure of politics.

In the second, and more difficult, category we don't advocate for ourselves, we have 50 islands rather than a unified front, have many delivery models with different needs/interests, don't value education as much as we should and don't have anyone speaking for us politically--at least efficiently.

The National Association of EMTs has a legislative agenda which includes information for anyone from a leader to an individual on how to have a voice which is nicely done--but it isn't enough.

NAEMT has begun to lobby more aggressively in recent years. A good start. But to become a contender we need more muscle. If a senator wants to be re-elected they would like endorsements from the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). The nursing associations (e.g. ENA) and physician's groups on the health care side of things (e.g. ACEP) have a strong voice. If one of these groups endorses a candidate it has meaning. People seek out these endorsements. We don't have that in EMS.

We also have the "who is better in providing EMS" argument which splits us down the middle. The NAEMT posted a position paper about this. It is written in that politically-correct-I-hope-people-get-the-meaning-of-this-
but-we-can't-say-it-and-offend-anyone language inherent in position papers.

The meaning: Get along. Be professional. Be smart. People won't take us seriously until we do.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Open mouth, insert foot...

Thanks to Paul Maniscalco for calling our attention to the press release from U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) as posted on the web site Colorado Confidential.

The portion of the press release where the senator's aide Steve Wymer got a healthy taste of foot:

"First responders in Colorado have recently provided critical services in the face of blizzards and tornados," added Allard. "Since I don't think first responders have really done anything significant in comparison to their counterparts who have dealt with real natural disasters, I have no idea what else to say here..."

19 minutes later the corrected press release was issued.

Wymer called this a "typo" although it clearly wasn't. It was an attempt at humor and filler. Possibly something typed as a whim at a moment of mental block. Unfortunately it appears to have given a glimpse at what Wymer really feels about the first responders in the press release. Since senators don't write their own releases we don't know what the senator actually thinks.

It looks like Senator Allard isn't running for another term. Good thing. It will limit the damage control and meaningless groveling he would have been forced to do. While I think calling for a resignation from Wymer is a bit vindictive and harsh, I do think that Wymer should spend a few shifts (NOT day shifts) with some of the first responders he has disparaged.

Volunteers to host the ride-along?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Classroom safety

I was working with our facilities maintenance person about getting defibrillators installed at the college. The facilities guy is very nice, extremely dedicated and has an attention to detail (and attention span) that can't even be imagined by the average EMS provider.

After finishing the defibrillator conversation he was telling me how much he had to do this summer. Many of our classrooms can only be locked from the outside with a key (they don't have a lock button on the inside of the handle). In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings all classrooms now will have doors that lock from the inside. We will also have shades on every classroom door with a window.

I am sure we aren't the only school thinking about this. Undoubtedly most are. Maybe this will change some of our marketing:

"Quality education. Ballistic protection."

or signs entering the campus:

"This campus has gone 127 days without a lost-time shooting."

Sad the way things happen. Any other campus prevention strategies or training going on out there?

Pennsylvania EMS needs CPR?

In my daily cruising through EMS news clippings I came across this editorial in the Morning Call newspaper covering Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

It seems that both staffing and funding shortages have ravaged many agencies in Pennsylvania. The Morning Call newspaper seems to think that it is a bit odd the state requires municipalities to provide (and fund) police and fire services--but not EMS.

I agree with the newspaper. On the heels of EMS Week, the timing couldn't be better for this type of support.

I was in Bucks County last year and met some very nice and highly dedicated EMS instructors and providers. I sincerely hope you get the funding and recognition you deserve.