Thursday, March 25, 2010

Classes, EMT, Firefighting etc!

So it has been a really busy couple of weeks these past few weeks. It's only now that it's Spring Break that I have time to write this right now. There has been a lot going between the last time I wrote on here and now. Maybe I should start writing more frequently so that I don't have a lot to write down. Well here it goes.

So the first half of the semester has wound down which means that we had finals and a change into new classes. The semester wound down pretty smoothly with A's in Haz-mat, Wildland Firefighting, Radio Communication, and Emergency Apparatus Maintenance. I am now Haz-mat certified in both the Operations and Awareness Levels so I know enough to help out but not obligate myself into going into the scary dangerous green gases.

We started new classes last week. Fire Strategies and Tactics and Apparatus Driving classes. I'm pretty excited for both of those because we have less class time and more hands on time. Class time is needed mind you but who doesn't love skipping the bookwork and getting dirty.

So Tactics was off to a fast start with our first two quizzes handed out within the first two classes. Nothing exciting as we have to watch movies and read the chapters on it.  But we're off to a good start. Turns out this class will be more of a hands on class and we will hit on everything we did first semester but with the added bonus of learning tactics that affect the overall strategies of the incidents.

Driving class is going well too. This past weekend we did a driving competency course. We had to drive straight through cones and reverse. I managed to hit 8 out of 11 cones on my first run but I was going at 25mph rather than inching along like most folk. But the rest of the test went well. A week from Saturday we will start our driving around town.

The EMT Job

So these past few weeks have been complete chaos. Transfers aside I've had a lot of 911 calls. Usually on the nights I have to spend the night. It's nice because they had beds there and we get to sleep. The only thing is if we get a 911 call in the middle of the night we have to respond. Well conveniently every time I spend the night we seem busy as hell. So here is the break down of the past three calls I've had as they are ones I remember in detail.

Friday March 19th

Friday was a busy night. My first call was a call to Big Sky Community Center for a woman complaining of shortness of breath. It was a pretty straight forward call. We did vitals and helped her onto the cot and drove her to the hospital. About 10:30pm we received a call from the hospital to return the woman back to the retirement center. Turns out she had fluid on the lungs. Well anyway my partner Anna and I decided to hit the hay after getting the 911 rig ready to go. Everything was going along just fine until 2:30am. We got paged out to Boulder for a woman complaining of abdominal pain. Boulder has its own ambulance service but they couldn't muster up a second person to go so we were called out.

We were called by our boss to wait for her to get to the shop before we could leave. When she got there we headed off. I do enjoy driving code 3 to incidents but at 2:30am I prefer sleep. So anyway I drove 100mph the whole time. Scary but the woman was complaining of 7 out of 10 abdominal pain, plus my boss was harassing me about going slow. Well we get there and her pain went from 7 to 9 out of 10. We got her in the ambulance and her husband wanted to come so he rode in the front with me. That is where the night took a turn for the crazy. The patient ended up having kidney stones but decided to stop taking her meds about 2 months ago. She had so many piercings setting off a metal detector would be a common occurrence but she wouldn't let us put an IV in because she was afraid of needles...

My experience up front was just as exciting. The husband was trying to fidget with the lights and buttons and I had to tell him to knock it off. He explained that he just wanted me to not be a distracted driver and he wanted to get to the hospital safely. Then he proceeded to pull out a portable dvd player. After that he started talking to me about nano technology and how DNA from sharks are curing blindness. Then he started explaining to me how the videogame series, Resident Evil was a cover up by the U.S. government for a cure for AIDS gone to far. I had to shake my head at that. Then he put his iPod on and started singing. We got her to the hospital and everything was fine. We filled out paperwork and returned to the shop. We got back into bed around 5:30am so I was able to get another hour of sleep before we had to get up.

Monday March 22nd

Monday night we had two legitimate 911 calls. First was a gentleman with COPD and a broken arm. He fell trying to fix his clock. We got there and helped him with his breathing treatment then rushed him off to the hospital. We got back to the shop around 12:30am we went to sleep about 1:00am or so then we got a call at 2:30am again for a gentleman who was bleeding profusely into his catheter. When we got there it was basically all blood. His blood pressure was 86/55 so yeah he wasn't doing good. It was one of those load and go situations. I again drove because my partner Ryan has all his endorsements so his scope of practice is a little more advanced than mine. We got the gentleman to the hospital after his nurse told us that this had been going on for four days. Awesome right? Well we got called back at 6:30am to return him to the retirement center so he wasn't as bad as we thought. Which is good.

But yeah that is about it for calls. We took a class this week on our monitoring endorsement. Nothing exciting. I can now test blood glucose, use a pulse oximeter, and put on a 3-lead heart monitor. We're going to do the other endorsements all together. IV monitoring, IV placement, medications and a few others. So I'm one step closer to being an aggressive EMT-B. I think that is what they are called.


The volunteer gig hasn't been to exciting, we had training the other night. Wildland this time. We learned about how these firefighters in South Dakota almost died because they didn't watch out for any of the watch out situations you're supposed to. 11 out of 15 watch out situations were violated. Then we practiced with fire shelters. We tried it without wind then we got the ventilation fan and did it with wind. That was fun. I just have one more meeting I need to go to before I am voted in as a full member.

The Wrap-Up

So yeah that is about it. Even on spring break I'm taking classes and am ridiculously busy. But that is okay because I don't mind the work and helping people is an awesome feeling. I know I've been saying this but I will try to update this more. Stay tuned!

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