Showing posts from August, 2006


I did something really vacationesque with my day off, I went north, and when northerners go north, it can only mean one thing: Maine. Many New Hampshireites, Masstonians and Connecticut-people choose to have summer homes in Maine. It seems these places can be placed on a spectrum. On one end there is a beautiful, huge home with every amenity you could hope for and a classy grocery store close by. It overlooks private beach where you can watch the dog and the kids splash around in the surf while enjoying your break from the office. I’m sure there’s a light house in there somewhere too.
On the other end of the spectrum is a simple cabin with basically no amenities, in the middle of nowhere on a virtually private island. The nearest road as well as the nearest grocery store is more than 30 minutes away. Space is rented to park your boat on the mainland as there’s no other access but the sea. You enjoy the smell of fresh cut wood as you lounge in an Adirondack chair counting di…

A different kind of job**

He's upset, and they can tell. He has good reason to be. The ambulance is there to take his dying wife to a hospice home. She won't be coming back, nothing will ever be the same.

The paramedic expected a frantic family and when they met she could tell that they were only calm on the surface. The call quickly became a bit of a complicated situation as the patient was on the second floor and any movement caused her agony. The husband immediately questioned the quality of a two woman crew and their ability to get his wife out of the house successfully.
Undiscouraged by this common misnomer, the crew weighed the options of different ways to get the patient out of the house. The stair chair was not even a choice, carrying the stretcher in was a bad idea, and it turned out that the movement required to use a scoop stretcher was too much for the patient to handle. Finally, they settled on a long backboard to minimize movement. A bolus of morphine was administered before anything was…

So, what's the address?

The most curious call of the weekend came out as a ‘warm response’ which is for whatever reason what we call a ‘hot’ response for our interfacility trucks. What does it mean anyway? You either use both lights and sirens (hot) or use neither lights or sirens (cold), with no in-between.
Anyway, the call was dispatched through our operations center, and they’re not exactly adept at dispatching emergency calls.
“Warm response to 683 main street, that’s 683 main street just west of the city line, they say it’s about four houses away from the city line but it’s 683 main street. the house has white siding on top and brick on the bottom, they’re going to leave the garage light on for you, it’s just outside the city boundary, but its 683 main street, warm response, uh, for diabetic problems.” I can’t make this crap up! He was dispatching this call for minutes, while we have to stand there incredulously waiting for him to shut up long enough to say “we get it already, show us en route!” W…

A 24

Unfortunately, you don’t get a 3 day weekend for free around here. My traded shift landed me with a 24 hour shift yesterday. But, it turned out to be not so bad. The first half of the day was on a transfer truck. We had a long distance call that made me an hour late for my night shift. Too bad it didn’t count as overtime.

911 wise, we had a very good night. I got to miss a call for a lady who fell down and needed to be picked up. So, my first call was for a girl who was “unresponsive.” She did a very good job ignoring painful stimuli, failed the ‘you won’t drop your arm on your own face’ test, but when we asked her to stand up, she did, so I’ll admit I was a bit baffled.
We learned she had a history of eating disorders and the rest of her history was sketchy at best so we gave her the good ol’ coma cocktail. Well, her blood sugar was good so she didn’t need the D-50 and I don’t think she needed Narcan either, but last time we had an ‘unresponsive’ the nurse on the med rad…

Playing in the surf

A new batch of photos for you today, mostly of, well, the new boat of course! The fun we had trying to kill ourselves on the ocean, and some other fun stuff!

Kayak Spots

New Hampshire

The Truck

3 day weekend! Ewing’s here! Pisgah’s here!

On Monday we went to the beach. We spent 4 hours hopping over waves and surfing (sometimes successfully, sometimes not so successfully). I learned that it’s great fun when the nose of the kayak is being forced underwater by the power of the wave, forcing you to accept your fate of being rolled up into the wave. But the new boat did well, and when I timed it right, the surfing was all it was cracked up to be and more! Although, it’s a lot harder than it looks. I killed my arms and abs trying to keep the boat straight as the waves pushed us forward surprisingly fast. Needless to say there was salt and sand everywhere, and we had to spend lots of time hosing everything down, and I still think I’ll find sand somewhere we didn’t think of in a few weeks.

Tuesday we took the Pisgah and a borrowed 16 footer out on a huge lake in Manchester. The boat proved fast, straight, smooth, and generally fantastic.

Commodore Ellie

14 feet long, 23.5 inches wide, 55 lbs, 9000+ cubic inches of storage, pro flex backband, adjustable foot braces, deck bungees, bow and stern hatches, recessed anodized aluminum deck hardware, all standard features on the new, royal blue rotomolded polyethylene kayak.
Yes, an unexpected and yet welcome acquisition, to what you could now call, the fleet.

Research was carried out covertly and an ingenious plan was hatched and set in motion just a few short days ago. First, it seemed worth the $150 shipping just to see how a 14 foot long 50lb box would be delivered. Then, through a series of unforeseen events, a friend from home (where ironically the boat was readily available) found out he was able to come visit.
“Hmm, you’re coming up here?”
“And you’re driving?”
“And you have that kayak rack you bought a while back?”
“And you love to go shop around at that nice outdoor store?”
“I’m hatching an ingenious plan…” (drums fingertips together, and laughs maniac…


Not much entertaining has happened recently, but some exciting things are in the works. So, some random thoughts to tie us over:

1. In this state, kopapa has become like an accessory, like, my Chihuahua. I have to carry it everywhere I go, because you never know when you’ll stumble upon some water begging to be paddled. I should get a Louis Vuitton bag for it or something, to make the carrying easier. “Ooh, lovely bag.” “Yes, it’s for my little kopapa!” (insert collective ‘aw!’ here) Granted, an 8’6” purse would be a little cumbersome and generally frowned upon in most department stores, but what if the mall had a large fountain?

2. Does it bother you that there are instructions on toothpaste tubes? Are there actually people who are going along, ready to brush their teeth, only to discover that all the toothpaste was at the bottom of the tube? What to do!?
“For best results, squeeze tube from the bottom and flatten as you go up.”
Wow, thank goodness for instructions.
Are there…

Solving Problems

The other night I went out with my roommate and some of her friends from around here. One asked me if I had I saved many lives yet. No, but I have solved a lot of problems.

Last week we spent 40 minutes on scene trying to be good humanitarians and enjoy the social work aspect of this job. A lady had back pain, got a prescription for said pain, took a few, prescription is subsequently stolen by supposed junkie. Lady’s back pain is now worse, calls 911, we show up.
Well, I started with calling the pharmacy because she couldn’t remember the name of the drug. Yep, it's a controlled substance. Then, we call the police department and walk her through making a report. We were on hold awhile. In the meantime, my partner gets her a coke and she has a cigarette. Finally, I call her doctor, who wants her transported anyway as this is not the first time this has happened. So, we end up transporting after all.
When we got to hospital, I waste even more time having to justify my long on s…

The first step

The house is very neat and well kept. Not a speck of dust or dirt exists. Family photos are lovingly arranged on the mantle, and the days paper is folded neatly at the kitchen table. She herself, is a spry, healthy seventy something grandmother. A widow who lives alone in her large house.

For weeks now, a man has been stalking her. He has broken into her house, stolen her things, destroyed tranquility that existed in search of valuables. She has been forced to change the locks on the doors, hide her jewelry and purse, and call the police to her quiet neighborhood many times.

It all started when she hired him as a painter. He never finished the job and ever since has been lurking around the house. He has disguised himself as various things; a painter, maintenance person, landscaper. If only she had known this before. An altercation with the stalker has even left her with a black eye. A man willing to do the unfathomable act of assaulting an elderly woman. She's put three…

New Layout! sort of

I was struck by a sudden need to change the look of the blog. I spent many hours deciphering css code on the template and doing a lot of guess and check work. I think it’s come out alright. A little more bucolic feel than the other layout, and a lot less generic.

This weekend was typical and atypical. Saturday was pretty routine, but we did get to use the always fun lights and sirens to go to a trouble breathing call. Sunday was bliss. 2 calls in 12 hours. The first was a 911 call to my one stop light town which was like a work reunion. Three other employees were there to greet us (who are also on the volunteer department here).
Our second call was another trouble breathing. We’ve really been getting a rash of those come to think of it. I’d say at least half of our calls in the last week or so have come out as trouble breathing, shortness of breath, asthma attack, oxygen deprived, not breathing enough, CO2 retention, cardiac arrest (which counts), and if we were British; di…

A work in progress

I'm toying around with the look of the ole blog, so hang on while I pretend I actually know what I'm doing.

For your viewing pleasure

Some new pics for you. A few of my new favorite kayaking place, and some photographic evidence of ocean front property in New Hampshire. The dragonfly is some experimentation with the manual zoom, which I’m pretty excited about.

Kayak Spots

Other stuff

The solution to and cause of all our problems...

The other night I met my first regular.
me: “How much have you had to drink today?”
regular: “A lot!”

Later we had a call come out as an ‘asthma attack.’ When we arrived the pt. was lying on the street writhing around like a fish out of water with her friend all up in her business trying to calm her down. We quickly popped her into the ambulance and I set about getting her to chill long enough to listen to her breath sounds. This proved impossible, so I decided to giver her a neb anyway, if she thinks she’s having an attack, whether she is or not, it’ll help her chillax. That lasted about 2 minutes before she threw it off, and continued to writhe around and breath heavily and loudly. "Hmm," thought I. A quick consult with the friend, revealed she only had three drinks and nothing else. Everything else appearing normal, we set off toward the hospital. Gradually, she calmed down replacing the dramatic breathing with shouting expletives at nothing in particular. &q…

Requirements for Human Powered Water Travel

Lily pads dance on the surface of the wind blown water. A pair of loons dive for fish, and a heron flies over without a sound. The sun breaks through the clouds forming odd shapes on the trees and water. The silence is complete but for the wind blowing through the trees and the rhythmic splash of the paddle. A lone kayaker is able to find zen, completely in love with the world.
To think, I almost didn’t go today because I forgot my paddle at home.

Birthday Surprises

I’ve never had to go to school or work on my birthday before. Hurrah for summer birthdays! But, today at work was very enjoyable; 3 calls 0 transports.
First call was for leg laceration. Ooh, goody, trauma! When we arrived we were informed that the pt. had cut herself shaving and had bled through a towel. Ooh, goody, uncontrolled bleeding! We pulled back the makeshift dressing, to reveal…um, where is the cut, exactly? That pinpoint lac was making all this blood? Then the pt. demonstrated her predicament by standing up, which made blood literally gush from this miniscule wound. Well, that’s interesting. Quick history didn’t reveal anything significant, except varicose veins. There you go. I knew shaving was hazardous to my health. The patient decided to have her husband drive her to the ER. Very wise woman.
Later we had one that came out as a cardiac arrest. Adrenaline, check. I stopped for two seconds to take a deep breath and chillax. I got my wits about me as we fou…

Pre Birthday Birthday surprises!

Today was just lovely! As it is technically my weekend, I got to sleep in, hang out, surf the net and what-not. In the afternoon, (don’t ask me why I waited until it was a zillion degrees here) I found a new lake to kayak on. It took a about 30 minutes of driving around to find the public boat launch, but it was well worth the frustration. Oh, and by the way, Onway Lake is actually not accessible off of Onway Lake road, as any sane person may think (so, logic doesn’t always win.) Anyway, beautiful, giant lake. Fascinating geology, (pictures pending) lots of places to explore, and I even got to see some loons. I learned that watching people learn to water ski is pretty entertaining, and once they get the hang of it, riding the wakes from their speed boats is also pretty entertaining.

When I got home, Andy and Louisa made dinner, and then surprised me with cake and ice cream! And presents! So, I am now currently enjoying a new scented candle, and tomorrow at work I get to show…