Podcast 002: Reverberating for Decades

In This Episode: If there’s any profession the public deals with on a regular basis that’s bound by rules and protocols it’s medicine. In life or death situations, scrutiny is high, and professionals — particularly in the United States — know that everything they do might be reviewed by lawyers looking to justify a lawsuit. But some do the human thing anyway, guided by their Uncommon Sense. This episode has several inspiring examples.

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Medical Mystery

One of My Most Memorable Medical Mysteries as a medic was a call from a man for his 50ish-year-old wife. On arrival I asked, What’s going on? “She’s just not herself,” he said. Has she been ill? “She had been talking to her doctor who thought she either had a kidney stone, or a bladder infection. She has an office appointment tomorrow.”

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“What Happened”?

In the Emergency Medical Services Biz, we don’t always find out the answer to the obvious question afterward: “What happened?” — how did it turn out? We just have to be content with doing our best in the situation at hand, turning the patient over to the hospital, and (usually silently) wishing them luck.

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Everyday Heroism

The Feel-Good Story of the Week comes out of Colorado. It starts, however, in tragedy: a family — a man, woman, and four kids — rolled their car over in Brighton, which is northeast of Denver, along Interstate 76. The father of the family was killed. I know, this doesn’t sound too feel-good, but stay with me.

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Overlooked Heroes

I Was Hoping to Write a different Honorary Unsubscribe this week, but couldn’t because I couldn’t get information. Debbie Crawford, a 25-year veteran paramedic in Denver, died this weekend. The scuttlebutt is that her PTSD got so severe, she committed suicide — she could no longer handle the stress of the job. If that is indeed what happened, and I don’t know for sure because none of the media outlets in Denver has covered her death at all, that’s truly a tragedy.

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Mark Miller: We’ve Got It From Here

Our EMS agency has three full-time “Advanced Life Support” medics to run on calls with the ambulance crews, which are usually staffed by “regular” EMTs. That gives us a primary, a secondary (calls often come after long waits of nothing, and then we get two …or three), and room for the third to have a day off now and then. On Friday, Kit and I ran a call that ended up taking three hours — and we weren’t even involved in the transport part! I can’t say what took so long, but sometimes it happens that way.

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OK Buddy, Where’s the Fire?

As I was wrapping up writing last night at about 10:00 p.m., my pager went off. It was for the local fire department, for a report of a structure fire …a little over a mile from my house. Kit was already in bed (she had a very early appointment for this morning), but I popped upstairs to look out the window. Once I got the shade open, she heard me utter “Holy %#:7!” — I could see flames licking 40′ into the sky.

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The First Paramedics

The first most people in the world heard of paramedics was “Johnny and Roy” (Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe) — the lead medics in the Emergency! TV series (NBC, 1972-1977) based on the real life exploits of the Los Angeles County Fire Dept., which was one of the early pioneers in modern Emergency Medical Services.

But they weren’t the first.

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The Very, VERY Beginning

My buddy “Jawn” from my NASA days is one of those natural social networkers. I don’t mean on Facebook, I mean in real life, and throughout his whole life. Several of his friends are on a mailing list together; I know them all in Real Life myself, and they’re all great guys. One, Hy, sent out a joke to the group today about men and power tools.

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Bonfire of the Gravities

I don’t tell many stories about the ambulance calls I run on as a volunteer medic here in rural Ouray County, Colorado, but this one is worth telling.

At 12:51 a.m. this past Saturday morning, my pager went off for an injured 16-year-old female, just a few miles from my house. It was in an odd location for a middle-of-the-night rescue, and as my wife and I got dressed, I was a bit confused.

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