Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Hey! it works! My "new" website: clickthrough

Nifty Internet Stuff

So being an Internet "Have-Not," I envy the ease and finesse of the Internet "Have." Which is why I'm trying to add new features at this page, but seem to be failing miserably. Anywho, tried to register a new domain name for this: www.flashingbluelights.org and have it automatically forward (and step 2: mask) to my nice little Blogger address. So far, no pie.

We'll see what happens in a day or so.

Try it!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Vehicle (and Mental) Disfunction (or rather, Malfunction)

We had our ambulance malfunction today. I mean, the vehicle that shouldn't be malfunctioning was malfunctioning, as opposed to our other vehicle which is in a state of constant, perpetual malfunction. The latter will, sooner or later, end up in the scrap heap. This former will too, but hopefully not for many more years to come.

No, the problem was that we park our ambulance in a nice, convenient location on a usually pedestrian only street which is suited just as much for display purposes as accessibility. Free advertising you see. The other reason we park it there is that being in Manhattan, no one wanted to buy us a building with a garage. Unfortunately, when it gets cold out, our ambulance gets cold too. And while the fine first responders on our corps. can bundle up, our ambulance can't. So cold ambulance + diesel engine = vehicle that does not start.

This is all fine and well until one tries to respond in said ambulance, and instead of sailing away with blinkies and woowoos to the rescue. Said first responders, call the Fire Department for assistance, and hoof it on foot to the scene with trauma and O2 bags slung across our fine, broad shoulders. Luckily campus is not all that big, so we can walk to just about any scene in a few minutes. (Insert comment on how FDNY arrived on scene 15 whole minutes after we did, a sum total of 25 minutes after the call initially went out.)

But I stray...

How, you may ask, does this occur when modern block heaters and shore-powered space heaters, and magic heaters of thine heart, and all the rest are there to there to prevent such occurrence? Answer: I have no clue. All I can say is that hopefully, we'll get the rig checked out top to bottom, and maybe a problem will be caught. Something along the lines of, "oh, there is no engine block heater after all...!" (When this happens, I'll be the one going "Thwack!" followed by our Operations Officer going "Owwww!").

In the meantime, we were able to jump the engine (and the battery was cranking just fine, which is odd) and get her started after the call was completed. For the past day or so, at three hour intervals, I'm also going out and starting the bus and letting it run for 15-20 minutes. So far so good, but I'm just waiting for the moment at the next call when I realize she's not going run this time either.

All I can do, I suppose, is turn up the heat of mine heart, and hopefully, prayerfully, there'll be enough warmth to light a fire of fuel injected diesel and metered amounts of air in a cast iron block to keep the public safe and happy.

P.S. I realize there hasn't been a simple medical related post in a while (or ever?), so the next one will be. I promise, I swear. I's gots me some good idears. I's swears. I's promises.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Driver Training, part Deux

As a solution to the lack of an EVOC course, or even a large parking lot nearby where I can set up pylons, I've been taking willing guinea pigs to the famed Fairway supermarket near 125th St. on the Hudson River here in Manhattan. This is the only place within twenty miles that I know of that has a clear stretch of pavement that will hold more than five cars. In fact, in itself, it's like a pre-built obstacle course just waiting to be used by college aged EMTs learning to drive the rig for the first time.

Of course, a few weekends before the Christmas break, I was having my pro tempore preceptee doing the serpentine in reverse around the thick steel columns that held the West Side Highway fifty feet above our heads when a friendly RMP from the local 26th Precinct pulls up as I'm walking alongside the vehicle, spotting the driver.

"Good Lord, what the Hell are you guys doing now?!?" says over-caffeinated patrolman.

"Driver Training," replies Yours Truly.

"Wow, you guys train a lot."

"Name of the game."

"You know, we were following you guys the other day, you were doing CPR in the back of your bus..." the Officer says.

'Uh-oh' I think, I know where this is going...

"Yeah, but we got a little confused when you guys drove past the hospital. Guess you guys were training, huh?" Officer says with a smirk.

"Yep, had to show the newbies what it felt like to be chest-pounding in the back of a moving vehicle," I respond.

'Great,' methinks, 'At least I know we getting talked about the the Precinct house, but you gotta make do with what you have.'