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.

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