Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday

So as the most hectic shopping day of the year, Black Friday, approaches, you hear so many people upset that the stores are going to be open earlier this year, opening on Thanksgiving.  And that the stores should not be open because .....Thanksgiving should be family time......

This make me SO mad!!!! Whenever I hear this, I make sure to speak my mind!

Obviously the people that make that comment aren't thinking of the people like my Husband and many others in EMS that are working, whether volunteer or paid, because people do stupid things and have emergencies.

I keep hearing the phrase " Thanksgiving should be about spending time with your family ".  Yes, I agree BUT in the same note, that shouldn't be the excuse people are using to explain why they don't want to work on Thanksgiving for retail. 

That's been the biggest subject this year, because a lot of the stores are opening on Thanksgiving for their Black Friday sales.  I'm sorry if I don't have a little bit more sympathy for those griping but if you work in retail, a business that looks forward to the Thanksgiving/Christmas season because they know their sales will be up and they can make more money, then you should expect it.  Just like as much as Double D hates working on Thanksgiving this year, he knows that's a con of working EMS. Because EMS doesn't close.

One of the things thrown out there is that the stores don't need to be open, that the companies are just being greedy.  Well, if your business was there to make money, by selling items, and you had a big chance to do it, wouldn't you be right there with them?  Maybe if you were a small company that is super family oriented, you wouldn't but then most of the big companies that we all know and shop at, aren't that family oriented.

You don't hear Police, Fire, EMS throwing a fit because they have to work on the holiday, they know that as part of doing their job, it is possible to work on the holiday.  They have learned it is a possibility, but know they also have a job to do either way.  If they do complain, its usually just to their family or friends and rarely gets any public notice. 

In the city here, there was actually a group that was protesting working on Thanksgiving!  When I saw that, I thought to myself, maybe next year I should start a protest with other EMS families for ALL EMS companies to be closed.  Then when someone would dial 911 they can get a recording that says " We're sorry but in observance of the Holiday, and so all our Police, Fire and EMS employees can spend time with their families, all Emergency services are closed.  Please transport yourself to the hospital, protect your own property, and put out your own fires.  Thank you and have a Great Thanksgiving."

People seem to forget the ones that don't get to spend time with their family at the holidays.  The ones that are out there taking care of their family should the need arise.  Whether it be because of a heart attack, a stroke, a family fight in which punches are thrown, or someone throwing a frozen turkey in a turkey fryer and catching the house on fire (yes, Double D has seen that one too when he was a vol FF). 

So many people forget that EMS, nurses, Doctors, etc have families too and would like to spend time with them on the holidays just as much as everyone else, but as this quote says.....

"Missing their family while taking care of yours" 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

EMS Week 2013 May 19 - 25 - The Star of Life - Part 2

Just as physicians have the caduceus, Emergency Medical Service personnel have the Star of Life.

Originally, many ambulances used a safety orange cross on a square background of reflective white to designate them as emergency units.  But then the American National Red Cross complained that it was too close to their symbol that's when the Star of Life was created.

The Star of Life was designed by Leo R. Schwartz, Chief of the EMS Branch of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Each of the bars of the blue Star of Life represents the six system functions of emergency medical services.

The six branches of the star are symbols of the six main tasks executed by rescuers all through the emergency chain:

1.) Detection: The first rescuers on the scene, usually untrained civilians or those involved in the incident, observe the scene, understand the problem, identify the dangers to themselves and the others, and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety on the scene (environmental, electricity, chemicals, radiation, etc.).

2.) Reporting: The call for professional help is made and dispatch is connected with the victims, providing emergency medical dispatch.

3.) Response: The first rescuers provide first aid and immediate care to the extent of their capabilities.

4.) On scene care: The EMS personnel arrive and provide immediate care to the extent of their capabilities on-scene.

5.) Care in Transit: The EMS personnel proceed to transfer the patient to a hospital via an ambulance or helicopter for specialized care. They provide medical care during the transportation.

6.) Transfer to Definitive care: Appropriate specialized care is provided at the hospital.

The snake emblem is the Rod of Asclepius, widely used as the symbol of medical care worldwide. There are several theories as to its development, and it is named for the Greek mythology figure Asclepius, who was said to have possessed healing power.

References: Wikipedia,

EMS Week 2013 May 19 - 25 - History of EMS part 1

This year's theme is "One Mission, One Team"

Once again, the week has arrived to honor and thank our EMS.  (Even though that should be everyday!)

This year I am going to reflect on the History of EMS

Let's start with the first Ambulance.

The first record of ambulances being used for emergency purposes was the use by Queen Isabella of Spain, in 1487. The Spanish army of the time was treated extremely well and attracted volunteers from across the continent, and part of this was the first military hospitals or 'ambulancias', although injured soldiers were not picked up for treatment until after the cessation of the battle, resulting in many dying on the field

The term ambulance comes from the Latin word 'ambulare', meaning to walk or move about which is a reference to early medical care where patients were moved by lifting or wheeling.

The First Municipal Ambulance which started in Bellevue, NY.

June 30, 1869 The Nations first Municipal ambulance service was inaugurated.

The only warning device was a bell operated by a foot pedal on the floorboard of the ambulance. A single horse pulled the ambulance. A box underneath the driver's seat contained a quart flask of brandy, two tourniquets, a half-dozen bandages, a half-dozen small sponges, some splint material, pieces of old blankets for padding, strips of various lengths with buckles, and a two-ounce vial of persulphate of iron. Far cry from what they have now!!

The service was very popular and grew rapidly, with the year 1870 seeing the ambulances attend 1401 emergency calls, but twenty one years later, this had more than tripled to 4392.

The first motor powered ambulance was brought in to service in the last year of the 19th century, with the Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, taking delivery of the first automobile ambulance, donated by 500 prominent local businessmen, in February 1899 it only reached a speed of 16 mph!

Ambulance circa 1899

During World War One, the Red Cross brought in the first widespread battlefield motor ambulances to replace horse drawn vehicles, which was such a success, the horse drawn variants were quickly phased out.

During World War One, aviation moved from experimentation to a powerful military force, and following the war, with a surplus of aircraft in circulation, new uses were found for the aircraft. This included the conversion of planes throughout the world in to ambulance planes.

During the Korean War, the newly created United States Air Force created a number of air ambulance units for use in forward operating medical units, using helicopters for rapid evacuation of patients.

The H-13 Sioux helicopter, made famous by the film and television versions of M*A*S*H, transported 18,000 wounded soldiers during the conflict.

After a multiple train collision in London, ambulances in Britain were restructured to be a "mobile hospital", rather than just transporting patients, thus leading to modern ambulances.

Well-developed studies demonstrated the need for overhauling ambulance services. These studies placed pressure on governments to improve emergency care in general, including the care provided by ambulance services. Part of the result was the creation of standards in ambulance construction concerning the internal height of the patient care area (to allow for an attendant to continue to care for the patient during transport), and in the equipment (and thus weight) that an ambulance had to carry.

Few, or perhaps none of the then-available ambulances could meet these standards. 

Ambulance design therefore underwent major changes in the 1970s.

High-topped car-based ambulances were developed, but car chassis proved unable to accept the weight and other demands of the new standards

The "Bread Box" Ambulances were used from the late 1960's to late 1970's. Because of their resemblance to the bread delivery trucks of the 50's- the nickname stuck.

Built by Olson Truck Body, these bare bones ambulances featured a single wood cabinet for supplies, and a one level Ferno cot which rarely was removed from the ambulance in favor of the Poles and Pads stretcher. The Ambulance Technician could only sit on the crew bench, but frequently stood in the passenger side wheel well- "holding the pole" like a city transit bus.

The original Federal mechanical sirens were located in the engine compartment under the cab floor and shook the whole ambulance. They were moved to the grill guard in later models.

The early van-based ambulances looked very similar to their civilian counterparts, having been given a limited amount of emergency vehicle equipment such as audible and visual warnings, and the internal fittings for carrying medical equipment, most notably a stretcher.

Modern ambulances are now often custom built, and as well as the specialist medical equipment now built in to the ambulances, industry wide improvements in vehicle design have had an impact, including improvements in audible and visual warning equipment to help protect crews in vulnerable situations (such as at a Road Traffic Collision), and general improvements such as ABS, which are particularly valuable for ambulances, due to the speeds reached and the weight carried. There have also been improvements to help safeguard the health and welfare of ambulance crews, such as the addition of patient tail lifts, ramps and winches, to cut down on the amount of manual handling a crew must perform.

Ambulance design is still evolving, largely due to the growing skills and role of Paramedics and other ambulance crew, which require specialist equipment. Other factors driving improvement include the need to help protect ambulance crews from common accidents, such as traffic collisions and rarer, but potentially catastrophic incidents such as terrorist activities.

As you can see the vehicles our loved ones drive/ride in have come a long way!!!

**info obtained from Wikipedia and

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Day 2 EMS Today Conference

Today (well, Friday) was the 3rd annual cook off for the Conference. Double D and his team didn't win but that's OK because they will always hold the first title of Champions for the 1st cook off 3 years ago. Plus, there is always next year! This year was difficult anyway because the ingredients that had to be included were tofu, green beans, orange marmalade, and french bread which has to be made into 1 dish. It doesn't help that alcohol is not allowed but people use it anyway and get away with it. Rules are placed but not enforced. Oh well, what can you do? Besides, they have fun with it.  They made a Tofu Burger with Green Bean Fries and a Green Bean Corn Salad.  

After the cook off, we walked around the exhibit hall for a little bit.   I grabbed a few cool pens - a bone pen, a syringe pen, and a light up pen!  Double D grabbed up information to take back to his company on various products.

They had a system at one of the booths for a medical alert bracelet that is similar to the ICEDot system I posted last year.  It's basically a code that is put on your typical Medic alert bracelet, necklace, etc that responders can use to get your medical info, and even doses, and get permission from a doctor. While that's great for people with a medical condition, it leaves the rest of us that are healthy out.  Again, I love the ICEDot program because you don't have to have a medical condition to be able to have emergency information accessible, plus the medic alert program costs $45 for the patient.  There is no cost for ICEDot, unless you want the bracelet or crash sensor, etc.

The vests in the picture above are cooling vests for cooling down firefighters.  I wouldn't mind one for myself to cool me down in the summer!! ;)

After walking around the exhibit hall of vendors, we headed to Madame Tussaud's Wax museum.  If you've never been there, you have to go!! The wax celebrities were SO life like!!  I was truly amazed!! I even got my picture taken with Johnny Depp!!! lol

Dwayne Johnson "The Rock"
Leonardo DiCaprio

Johnny Depp
Tom Cruise
All in all, this years conference wasn't as great as last years.  There didn't seem to be as many vendors.  Plus, DC is so busy, and expensive, it makes it hard to get around and be able to stay for cheap.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 1 of the EMS Today conference

Well, we arrived safely in DC.  Our hotel room is pretty nice we stayed at the District Hotel on Rhode Island.  It is pretty close to the convention center and was a good price.  We got checked into the EMS Conference today and got our badges, then headed to Phillips, an all you can eat seafood buffet. and OH MY was it good!!!  I stuffed myself with crab legs because they were so good!!

Tomorrow is the cook off that Double D and his team are competing in....wish them luck!  I'll post more pics from the conference for you all tomorrow, but for now I will leave you with this appetizing picture!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

JEMS Conference 2013 (upcoming)

        The EMSToday JEMS conference is coming up, which means its getting closer to my 1 year anniversary for this blog!! I started this blog a few weeks after last years conference, which was my first JEMS conference.   This year's JEMS conference is being held in Washington D.C. on March 7-9.  We won't be surprising Double D like we did last year (it probably wouldn't work 2 years in a row anyway lol).  Instead, we will be making the trip with him.  It will be an educational field trip for Widget, since we will be taking in some museums during our stay there, and she gets excused from classes for those days(she's cyber schooled).

       Double D and his team are also participating in the JEMS cook off.  They won the first year but came in Second last year.  I helped with the idea for the recipe this year, so I'm sure they will win!! ;)  The cook off happens on Friday of the conference, so if any of you go, you can smell all the yummy food cooking! Spectators can't sample the food, unfortunately, so you just get hungry sitting there LOL.

       During the conference I will try to blog a couple times while I am there.  If you can make it, please try.  The tickets I believe are $25, and you can register using the above link.

       Double D is working on a new logo for me, to put on my blog, and I'll be getting a hoodie, or t-shirt made up with it on it.  I can't wait!! He made a rough draft so far and just has to clean it up and then I can get it transferred into a digital image.  I am hoping to have it done by the time the JEMS conference is here, but that is so close so I'm not sure it will happen.  I still would need to get it copyrighted since it would be Double D's original artwork.

       I am looking forward to it to see what new ideas and equipment will be introduced to make Double D's job a little bit easier.  And help me understand even more about the job that he loves.  If you've never been to an EMS conference, whether it be JEMS, or just a local one, try to go to one with your spouse.  You can learn so much about what they do and the tools they use.  Don't be afraid to ask your spouse questions about something you aren't sure of after visiting an exhibitors booth.  I'm sure they will be happy that you are asking and are interested in what they do.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!!

With a  year ahead of us, I like to reflect on the past year accomplishments, sadness, great events, and whatever comes to mind.  And also see what the new year has in store.  

With reflecting on 2012, some good things that happened:

Surprising Double D in Baltimore at the JEMS conference
Starting this blog (thanks everyone for coming back to read it! :) )
Saw dolphins swimming at Virginia Beach for the first time
Swam in the ocean for the first time
A friend adopted a new baby
Visited some great places, a battlefield, railroads, amusement parks, etc
Bought my first NEW car (not just new to me!)
Saw some Elk up close
Caught and ate fresh bluecrab (yum!)

and some sadness....

We lost a wonderful Grandmother, although she is in a better place, and joined her equally wonderful husband of 70 years, she will be missed.
Multiple parents going into the hospital, with 2 still there.

What 2013 will hold for me/us......

JEMS conference in Washington DC in March
20 year class reunion for me (yikes! that means I'm getting old!!  lol)
Possibly moving away from the city
Our Parents that are still in the hospital, coming home
Start some sort of Web Design class
Take a few day trips

Hopefully all of you will have a GREAT 2013 and have some good things happen.  Some bad things are ok, as its what rounds us but as long as the good things outweigh the bad, its a good year and Life Is Good!!!

HAPPY 2013!!!!!!!!