October 2004



No calls since the last one at the hotel, a week ago. It’s been way slow for the last several months. I did miss a serious accident on Friday, though, as I was on my way to MM38 (woo, hoo!).

FF1 class this evening. First Aid. The class was the taught by the lead instructor.

I’m fortunate that I am taking the course in the town where I am… I am the only long-haired male in class out of a class of twenty-five or so males and one female. EMS and rescue courses are like that; no male has long hair, ever, except me. It usually takes me a while to get my instructors past my freak exterior, but the lead instructor and the administrative lead, the chief at that station, have both seen me at scenes and know that I’m serious.

I found the first aid stuff dullish, although the lead instructor has an interesting, very energetic way of presenting things. He stalks between the rows, speaking to individual people and including everyone in his manic performance. His descriptions of red and white blood cells and platelets were vivid enactments involving wrapping himself around various student’s drink bottles and notebooks, distributing them around the room as oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules and clotting agents. He was pretty entertaining, and I know that he will be very interesting teaching the fire curriculum.

Some of the slides were the usual pictures of horrific injuries. BB-to-the-eye was a good one; and I just this evening had a discussion of “no BB guns in this house” with me taking the “sixteen and responsible” side. There was also nail-through-the-finger, digits-burned-off, avulsed-and-lacerated hand, ring-desleeve (warned since Navy boot camp about the horrific dangers of the wedding band, I’ve finally seen a picture), foot-electric-exit-wound, and several flavors of bit-by-snake. Sure, there were other pictures; these were the highlights.

The text book and workbooks form an 8 x 10 stack about six inches high. In two weeks time, we are supposed to start bringing our turnout gear.

News on the EMT-I front… My state has a bizarre EMS setup that recognizes the National Registry for Basics and Paramedics but not for Intermediates. In fact, there’s a whole new state set of protocols for Intermediates, the ’03 ‘I’ curriculum, that is not quite as advanced as the latest National Registry stuff but has certain contorted differences. So, now ALSI is looking into what that would entail for their training of my ‘I’ section in March, and how I would get Vermont certification afterwards. Another option I’m considering is to get state reciprocity with a state that Vermont recognizes, so, take ‘I’ at ALSI, get National Registry and New Hampshire certification, and use that to get Vermont certification. To do that, though, I would have to get the sponsorship of an EMS squad in New Hampshire and probably have to do the clinicals at a hospital in NH. I have a loose affiliation with an ambulance squad, but no contacts at the hospital over there. It would just be easier if I didn’t have to deal with New Hampshire.

They printed my letter!


Of course, they printed everyone else’s, too. Second from bottom.

From the web site…

Inept — or careful liars? This old conservative wouldn’t pop a gasket at this photo on the local paper. As far as I’m concerned, the human body is just fine; we’ve all got one. Far from hiding my kids from the picture, I would draw their attention to it and use it as the basis for discussion of peaceful protest.

I’m not sure that the various comparisons to pornography are apt; I would say that those publications are covered because of the poses, not due to the mere presence of a nekkid body. There’s certainly no prurient intent to this photo.

I was disappointed by your explanation of an inadvertent photo switch that no one caught; certainly it would be hard to make such an obvious mistake. I can’t help but think that your editorial staff is more careful than that.
James Payne
Perkinsville, Vermont

Actually, they changed my subject; as sent, it was ‘Prudes!’. But I guess that’s the perogative of the editor.

Roe Effect: A theory that the Row V. Wade decision has had the effect of making the United States more conservative through selective breeding. The theory is based on the notion that most people get their basic political leanings from their parents. More liberal women or couples have elected not to have children, leading to a supposed increase in the number of young conservatives at the college or younger age through parental self-selection.

This is a theory suggested by James Taranto, the columnist who produces ‘Best of the Web Today’:


Taranto cites a poll conducted for “Rock the Vote”…


New voters registered for the first time since 2000 slightly prefer Bush, apparently, with Taranto’s unstated but apparent argument that a majority of these new voters represent young adults first registering to vote… Which they do, but barely:

‘New voters in the 2004 Presidential Election are not as young as one might think. Thirty
percent are ages 17 to 25; 10% are 26 to 30, and 17% are 31 to 40. Surprisingly, 18% are
41 to 54, 12% are 55 to 64, and 12% are over 65.’

So, forty percent of the respondents could be affected by the Roe Effect. Inconveniently, the questions and demographic responses are not provided for independent review or other exploration. The results narrative is pretty interesting, though.

The Oregonian, from a separate Taranto piece…

“To be a Republican actually is reactionary and kind of revolutionary,” says [Luke] Sheahan, 20. “People of my age tend to rebel against the status quo, and the status quo on campuses is liberal. It’s almost innate rebellion against, y’know, the establishment.”

Oh, my spleen.

I got up around 7:30 for a call at a hotel in the next town over for a woman who had fallen, unknown injuries. I got over there as fast as I could, although the place was on the opposite end of town. I arrived inside to find that another member of my service had arrived first and was providing care. The patient was on a stair landing and had fallen six or seven steps. They had some lacerations on the lower left leg and appeared to have broken their humerus; upper arm.

My partner was handling the patient exam so I started to take notes. We were collecting vitals and basic information when the ambulance arrived.

It took some time to get the patient splinted, collared, and boarded on the landing. The patient had landed in the corner with their feet up on the stairs; we had to work the patient out of the corner and lengthwise across the landing to apply the backboard. The pain from the broken arm complicated the moves.

Not too much to it.

I started a class today: Firefighter 1. This course is a prerequisite for employment by paid fire services and is considered very important in volunteer services. My service requires members to have FF1 certification before allowing them to do any inside work.

The course is being given at the local big-town paid service. The course will be three hours every Thursday evening plus one Saturday a month until ‘at least’ April. I can’t remember the last time I’ve made such a strict time commitment for such a long duration.

The course actually started last Thursday. I found out about it this Tuesday.

It should be pretty interesting… Somewhat anticlimactically, this evening’s training was on CPR. Next week will be First Aid. I could probably challenge the sections, but I think I should probably participate for class bonding reasons.

On a related front, I’ve scheduled time off next March for an EMT-Intermediate course being offered in Conway, NH, at an agency affiliated with SOLO.

Now I have to get the course approved by the state EMS office (probably not hard, since the course prepares candidates for the National Registry exam), get permission and written references from my primary EMS service director (easy), my service training officer (easy), my EMS district medical director (the hard part), and a doctor in the local hospital emergency room where I will have to perform clinicals (also hard, but conveniently the same person).

These people are supposed to have observed my BLS (basic life support) skills. Due to the nature of my practice as a first responder (and not typically part of a transport unit), none of those people have seen my skills in practice, although the service director and training officer know me pretty well, have seen me at scenes, and have spoken to other area EMTs who have seen me working. I know the medical director through my administrative work on behalf of my primary service, so that should work in my favor.

After the two-week course, I have to do clinicals; time at the local emergency room until I have done (among other things) twenty IV starts and twenty patient assessments. Then I can take the practical test and sit for the Registry exam.

I’m still not thrilled about practicing IV starts on my lab partner. I’m even less thrilled about them practicing on me. I guess I’ll get through it, though.

My first meme, ganked, as they say, from .

I’m pretty confident about these, except the first one, which I think there’s a very (very) slight chance might have. I *know* doesn’t have it. She traded me her copy for something, then FIC stole it.

Name a CD you own that no-one else on your friends list does:

Cabaret Voltaire – Code

Name a book you own that no-one else on your friends list does:

Prehospital Trauma Life Support – NAEMT

Name a movie you own on DVD/VHS/whatever that no-one else on your friends list does:

John Deere 420 Engine Rebuild

Name a place that you have visited that no-one else on your friends list has:

Science Glacier, Chugach Range, Alaska

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.
We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand
that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity
forget that ye were our countrymen.  - Samuel Adams
If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have
peace.  - Thomas Paine

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