Posts Tagged ‘ emergency medical technician ’

To stay and grow or change and evolve?

I want to tell you all how much I appreciate each and every one of you. I consider our interactions here a conversation that I hope will continue for many years to come. 

I have not been as active on both Tumblr and my WordPress pages recently. I have been debating with myself. I want to start my podcast and have been researching just how I should go about doing it. It is a lot more involved than I initially knew. I have now come to a very serious question and I need everyone’s input. Please feel free to comment below, email me to or private message me. 

My question is this: Should I continue OurEMSsite or should I rebrand the whole thing and begin fresh?

My goals have not changed:

1. To provide support for EMS providers everywhere.

2. To advocate for EMS providers and EMS as a career. 

3. To educate the public about EMS.

4. To grow EMS from within. To make it better.

Unfortunately I see a limit to where Ouremssite can go. Will the brand be accepted at a state level? On a lobbying board or helping local elected officials when they are pushing for legislation? That is what I don’t know and I think I need to know this before I begin the next stage of my journey. 

Any information, feedback, both good and bad is welcome.


Christmas or New Years celebration

I’m planning on helping to spread the good deeds of EMS personnel during the ending of this year. I’m hoping to help get people involved in gathering gifts and making a video of thanks to EMS personnel. I am new to going out and establishing relationships with local businesses and asking for contributions and help. If anyone has any experience or ideas I would be very grateful. 

Thank you. 

Why I avoided patient outcome information at the beginning of my career.

Very early on in my EMS career I decided that I would deny myself the joy of knowing I made a positive influence in somebody’s life in exchange for not having to face the fact that sometimes no matter what I do people die. It was a very conscious decision and for years I lived by it.

Let me explain:

There was a very bad shift when I had two emergency calls. The first was a small child, about 6, that was run over by an unknown vehicle. We knew it was a vehicle of some sort because he still had the tire marks on his back. Multiple fractures, tension pneumothorax, mass felt to his abdomen. Patient required RSI and in my opinion he was holding on by a thread. My partner was a big, tall and very tough white boy. Believe me, he was about 6 foot 5, 280 solid pounds and I had seen him brave some of our very toughest emergency calls. On the elevator up with the patient and the ER team I think the amount of stress we had gone through got the better of him. I didn’t hear it, but when I turned to him there were tears streaming down his face as he looked at the poor child on our stretcher. He apologized, something I quickly dismissed. I told him it was ok but we still needed to finish the call. No matter what the emotions. We did finish the call and delivered him right to the waiting trauma surgeons who quickly determined there was a liver laceration that would have to take priority.

Shortly after we had another emergency. A 15 year old babysitting his brother while their mother was next door suddenly has an extreme headache. He literally tells his brother to run and get their mom because he feels his brain bleeding. Unresponsive upon our arrival, code 3 transport to the ER with supportive measures being done. He was alive as we delivered him to the ER. No past medical history, all vital signs were normal. CT shortly after showed a massive hemorrhage.

Here’s the crux of the story: A few days later my partner, who had been following the outcome of the two patients, comes into the office and informs me that the 6 year old had survived the surgeries and was progressively improving. The doctors were now being cautiously optimistic and even went so far as to say no neurological deficit had been noted and wasn’t expected.

Can you imagine the elation? We saved the child, we stopped something I felt was inevitable! A complete recovery.

Then my partner told me the 15 year old had died within the hour after we had left the ER. A 15 year old stroke patient. Dead.

It didn’t seem worth it to me, the save was great but I felt the loss extremely.

So for a few years I didn’t go back to get the outcomes of my patients. I did what I could, I followed my protocols, the latest ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, AMLS and any other teachings I could get my hands on. I prided myself on pushing myself for my patients and then as soon as they were completely under the care of the nursing staff at the ER I would forget them.

It took me a long time, but I learned something.

I learned the dead sometimes can still teach us a few things. I learned sometimes being punished, even if it’s by your own self, can be the best mentor. I learned that pain is necessary.

I will continue on why this is important in my next blog.

Thank you for listening.

Combat Medic, true story.



12 lead cheat sheets, gotta love them.

At the Texas EMS Conference  Memorial Hermann hospital had a booth that was handing out little cheat sheets for 12 leads. These are great in my opinion. I do think that you need to have a working knowledge of 12 leads and how to interpret them as well as have a general layout of where infarcts will be seen. The problem is we sometimes go periods without seeing specific types of ECG rhythms. Lack of constant refreshing can lead quickly to mistakes. I have many different pictures on my phone relating to EMS, I don’t always need to look at them but sometimes on down time I will review them. When I first started in EMS I wouldn’t do too much of this, I can honestly say that it has been a big help to me. When taking a class such as AMLS or refreshing for ACLS or PALS I can say this helps me grasp more of the information being presented.

So without further delay, I present to you the 12 lead cheat sheet. I figure that since they were giving them out to promote their hospital for free they won’t mind if I post up a picture and encourage you all to use it. Go Memorial Hermann. Just in case I have to take it down soon though there are plenty of guides online and available through the mail. In fact I will be working on another post of a company that specifically does cheat sheets for all sorts of ECG and 12 lead interpretations including quick measuring guides and transparent windows to judge ST elevation.


On the flip side there is a handy guide for quick heart block interpretations.


Texas EMS Conference, the awards ceremony.

The awards ceremony for Texas EMS were held today in Austin at the EMS Conference. Some of the awards that were announced were:

  • EMS Public Information/Injury Prevention – Fayette County EMS, La Grange
  • EMS CitizenJasiah Rubalcava, San Antonio
  • EMS TelecommunicatorPatricia Ancelet, Nederland
  • EMS EducatorRonna Miller, Dallas
  • Designated Trauma FacilityCitizens Medical Center, Victoria
  • EMS AdministratorBryan Taylor, Seminole
  • EMS Medical DirectorHenry Boehm, Brenham
  • EMS First ResponderKemah Fire Department, Kemah
  • EMS ProviderAustin County EMS, Bellville
  • EMS Person of the YearPhillip Rogers, Fort Worth
  • EMS Hall of FameVan Williams, Webster
  • GETAC’s Journey of ExcellenceRonald Steward, San Antonio
  • Hall of Honor (line of duty deaths)Michael Hatley of Houston, December 29, 2011, and Michael Steffen of Salt Flat, March 12, 2012.

It was a packed house and it reached a near boiling point when the colors were raised and tribute was paid to those that have died in the past year who are our brothers and sisters in emergency situations. I am very proud to say that you could hear a pin drop in the entire area as we stood for the ceremony. As is custom a table was left out for those that have been lost, as we never forget them.


The flags that were given to the families is a small consolation for the loss that they have felt but I believe that any of us know the risk and would feel honored to have our peers stand at attention to say goodbye.


I personally thank each and every one of you that go out there and do this job each and every day. We all know the survival rate for anyone is zero at some point, so let's enjoy each day and do what we must with spirit and vigor. I feel blessed that I was able to see this ceremony and have to say that as the bagpipes were played while the color guard marched out of the location many in attendance were reminded of those that have gone before their time and wept. They were tears of pain but also of some solace. We were all family in that room at that time.

Texas EMS Conference so far

So far I have been having a great time, fellow EMS brothers and sisters from Texas have been seen all throughout the city and it has been a blast. I am not sure I should be writing this since part of “blast” has also been drinking a few beers, I hope like myself all my EMS family is being safe out there. Tomorrow the classes begin and I hope to bring some of the information I receive to you, my audience. I have met many different and inspiring people and am working on at least 3 bios from the exhibit hall. I always leave these EMS conferences filled with hope and pride for what so many of you do for all of us.

I hope you are all safe and enjoying life wherever you are and promise to keep you updated. We are a young field when you take everything into consideration, we have been in existence much less than fire and police departments, but we have made great strides and hope it continues. I am getting ready for bed as I type this and hope to learn much tomorrow.

Good night.