Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rules Of Real World EMS

I found an old newspaper clipping a few weeks ago when I was digging thru the attic looking for something.  It was a clipping I had saved from the September 2001 edition of Fire News.  Then I remember why I had saved it.  Despite the tragedy of 9/11/01 when we lost 343 of our brother firefighters when the Twin Towers collapsed, Fire News printed an amusing list (trying, I think to give us something to snicker at and forget, for just a second what had happened).  This list was entitled RULES OF REAL WORLD EMS and as a tribute of sorts I'm going to write it down for all of you to peruse.


1. Air goes in and out, blood goes round and round: any variation on these themes is a bad thing.

2. Sick people don't bitch.

3. The more equipment you see on an EMT's belt, the newer they are.

4. When dealing with patients, supervisors, or citizens, if it felt good saying it, it was the wrong thing to say.

5. All bleeding stops....eventually.

6. If the child is quiet, be scared.

7. EMS is extended periods of intense boredom interrupted by occasional moments of sheer terror.

8. If the patient LOOKS sick, then the patient IS sick.

9. If the patient is sitting up and talking to you, then the patient is not in V-Fib, no matter what the monitor says.

10. It is generally bad to use the words "holy shit" on scene, in reference to the patient's condition.

11. When responding to a call, always remember that you ambulance was built by the lowest bidder.

12. Never get into the front of the ambulance with someone who is braver than you are.

13. The number of drugs a patient has on board is directly proportional to the number of knuckles tattooed.

14. If you respond to an MVA (motor vehicle accident) after midnight and you don't see a drunk, keep looking-you've missed a patient.

15. A tourniquet around the neck solves all problems.

16. All fevers eventually fall to room temperature.

17. Asystole is a very stable rhythm.

18. A patient's weight is in direct proportion to their altitude in the building.

19. When a call comes in two minutes before shift change, you will always pass your relief one block from the station, and he/she/it will be laughing and waving at you.

20. Universal Precautions- Is it wet? Is it yours? If it is, and it isn't then leave it alone.

21. Death is a stabilization of the patient's condition.

22.Being in Emergency Services means you get to celebrate your holidays with all your friends while on duty.

23. There are two kinds of EMS calls, "Oh shit!" and "Bullshit".

24. The more reflective striping there is on your jumpsuit, the easier it is for the only drunk driver going by the MVA to find you.

25. We are all slaves to the god "Motorola".

26. The stereo must always be louder than the siren.

27. Your patients will get new symptoms after your radio report and pulling up to the ER.

28. Don't get excited about blood unless it's your own.

29. No matter how many times and ways you ask the patient questions, the story will always change once they get into the ER, making you look like an ass.

30. People don't call an ambulance because they didn something right.

31. If they talk, they walk.

32. Working  EMS means knowing how to ask in seven different languages "Where are your shoes?:

Oh yeah, and if you haven't yet, check out FDNY's Line Of Duty Death Memorial Website.....I know a couple of the guys who died.....R.I.P Tommy, Pete and George....your legacy still lives on!

Signing Off 19:41

Sunday, February 21, 2010


*This poem is the first I have written in months. I got the inspiration one nite after looking at myself in the mirror in the staff room at the hospital. I was dead tired and had run yet another call that nite. I looked very old in the harsh light of that bathroom mirror and I vowed never to let myself forget how far I'd come in 11 years.*


I swiveled in my seat peering behind me
Five eager faces stared back, a sea of orange helmet shields.
At the scene of the call they stand, wide eyed and gawking
Can't blame them really....they are newbies in the fire service
Don't have experience....not like I do.
I guess eleven years in will do that to just turn off your emotions and deal with the problems.
The problems that arise in the middle of the night, during a blizzard.
Up and out of bed......again.

Sometimes you just laugh at them....the patients.....after you bring them in....
to the hospital where I know all the ER Docs and Nurses by their first names
And the new kid asks me where to get a clean sheet for the stretcher.

I look in the mirror in the staff room and don't like what I see.
Cold eyes, dark circles under them and a grimly set mouth....I'm tired...
I run my hand over my face trying to wipe away the years of experience
Can't's etched on my soul....
Eleven years of shit, blood, pain, suffering....
Eleven years of helping, hoping, praying, laughing and joking....

They are my brothers and sisters, the ones who serve with me.
Some much older who have more time in then I've been alive,
Some veterans like me who have seen lots but have more life left,
And some orange shielded newbies who ain't seen shit yet.

c.2010 Moonghozt

Signing Off 16:17

Friday, February 5, 2010

CSNY's Ohio and The Kent State Massacre

Well I seem to be on a roll now and I promised Angus that I would continue with my songs connected with history series.

So here is Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's song OHIO and how it relates to The Kent State Massacre on May 4th 1970

For those of you who don't know what the hell I'm talking about the links will follow.....I promise!

*The photo to the left was taken by John Filo.  The young woman is Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the body of Jeffery Miller (who was killed in the massacre)*

According to my favorite source (, the following is a quick summary of what happened:

"The Kent State shootings, also known as the May 4 massacre or Kent-State massacre, occurred at Kent State University in the city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis."

"Some of the students who were shot had been protesting against the American invasion of Cambodia, which President Richard Nixon announced in a television address on April 30. Other students who were shot had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance."

"There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of four million students, and the event further divided the country, at an already socially contentious time, about the role of the United States in the Vietnam War."

Neil Young wrote OHIO in reaction to the incident, he saw photos in Life Magazine.  CSNY recorded it shortly after the massacre and released it that June.

I wasn't alive in 1970 but I did learn about this event in a class I took in college about the history of protests in the US. After further investigation I connected this with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's (CSNY) song OHIO. I actually knew the song first...around junior high school I guess....but then it was just a really kick ass song!

Interestingly enough one of the young men killed in the massacre (Jeffery Miller) had attended Plainview-Old Bethpage High School (which is about 1/2 hour from where I live).

Here's the link for the Wikipedia article:

Here is a link to the web page of one of the survivors of the massacre Alan Canfora:

Here's a link to CSNY's song OHIO article on Wikipedia:

The Wikipedia article lists about 20 artists and their songs which were inspired by the massacre...the first being CSNY's OHIO.

That being said here are two videos, the first is a tribute video that was made using pictures from the incident over CSNY singing OHIO:

The second video is a live version of CSNY singing OHIO in 1974:

Hopefully this will inspire people to be more in tune with what's going on around them and let them realize that music is used for more than enjoyment.

Rest In Peace:

Jeffrey Glenn Miller; age 20
Allison B. Krause; age 19
William Knox Schroeder; age 19
Sandra Lee Scheuer; age 20

Signing Off 21:21

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My blog on Stephen Biko

Stephen Biko

Peter Gabriel's song BIKO came up on my Pandora Radio ( a few minutes ago and I felt the urge to blog about it. I posted the links on my facebook but am always interested in saving the important stuff in my blog too....again, random stuff that usually has nothing to do with anything.

For those of you who will read this and wonder what the hell I am talking about the links to info will follow..I promise!

The first time I heard BIKO was in 1994...I was a 14 year old and very curious about everything. I had purchased the Woodstock '94 CD's and listened to them through until I got to this song. I was was so sad...I remember that the name sounded familiar to me so I did what every kid would have done before the age of the internet being in every house...I went to the library!

After several hours of research I was completely appalled by what I had learned.
How ridiculous of grownups! How could they DO that!? Now mind you I was a pretty easy going and shy kid who was very non confrontational....I didn't really understand violence and how people could hate based on skin color, race, creed, beliefs, ect.

Well I still don't really understand why people do stuff like that (and I'm almost 30) but I think you kind of get immune to it if you see it enough (it's all over the news and the net all the time, right?!)

It's amazing the stuff that stands out in your mind from your life...of all the things for a 14 year old to be interested in....I was always reading and looking to learn more stuff about everything. That's why I have a random knowledge base about lots of different topics...always reading!

Getting back to Steven Biko....

The following come straight from wikipedia:

"Stephen Bantu Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977) was a noted anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody, he has been called a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement. While living, his writings and activism attempted to empower black people, and he was famous for his slogan "black is beautiful", which he described as meaning: "man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being". Despite friction between the African National Congress and Biko throughout the 1970s, the ANC has included Biko in the pantheon of struggle heroes, going as far as using his image for campaign posters in South Africa's first non-racial elections in 1994."

If that has peaked your interest in this topic, the rest of the page is at this link:

Peter Gabriel's song:

Sadly the police officers who murdered Biko were never brought to justice but his life and death impacted a lot of people and affected lots of change in South Africa and the world over.

Rest In Peace Stephen Biko

Signing Off 20:36

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What has to say about me.....

Well I was bored today....what a surprise!

I was on facebook just before and I noticed a few of my friends had searched their names on and posted the results in their statuses (if that is even a word)

So I figured WHY THE HELL NOT!

"Meredith" as defined by

Meredith is another name for a cool, mellow girl. She can go with the flow, but if things get extreme, she can deal with it. She's funny when she wants to be, and can adapt to a variety of personalities. This brand of girl is usually found in the south, but you could find her anywhere. Oh yeah, and she's lactose intolerant.

Kind of funny considering the source.....and for those of you wondering....I'm NOT lactose intolerant!

According to a plaque that I have that explains my name origins"

Meredith is a Celtic/Welsh name which was originally used as a male name but now is primarily a female name. It means "Guardian of the Sea"

I like my Grandma Barbara picked it parents wanted to name me Kimberly and my Grandma told them that she couldn't imagine a 90 year old woman in a nursing home being called Kim! So hence I am Meredith!

I can't imagine a 90 year old woman in a nursing home being called Meri...but she DID have a bit of a point..... :) She only lived to be 73 and everyone called her least she didn't end up in a nursing home!

Love ya and miss ya Gram....I know you are keeping an eye on me from the next world :) Oh...and thanks for the kick ass name!

Signing Off 21:33