A House Divided…

Not a political post, just thinking about firing up the EMS 2.0 machine again here in my home system.  This speech keeps coming to mind.

An excerpt from Senator Lincoln’s Speech to the Illinois Legislature in 1853:

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.

We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.

Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.”


Coast HP7R Rechargeable Flashlight Review

A few months back the kind folks at Coast Portland asked if I’d be willing to test out one of their flashlights at the firehouse.  Sadly I was still in an office and had little to no need for a flashlight.  Hoping buy tadalafil cialis things would change I told them my situation and they asked me to give them a shot as flashlights, not necessarily as firefighting flashlights.


I looked at their website and the HP7R immediately caught my eye.  Compact, LED and capable of being recharged from the wall, not just from a mount in the Captain’s buggy, meant versatility.

This flashlight is heavy duty.  She’ll put out 201 lumens for 7 hours 45 minutes on high and last almost 2 full days at 22 lumens.

For those of you that don’t speak flashlight, that means if you accidentally leave it on it’ll last a long time.  As someone who has eaten through more AAs than I’d care to share this was a big feature for me.

Even bigger was the ability to recharge the flashlight’s 2 Lithium Ion batteries as well as back them up with a standard alkaline battery cartridge that’ll take the AAAs.  Being able to quick change a battery for such a powerful flashlight is awesome.

Even more awesome is that I already have the charger.  The Lithium Ion batteries can be recharged with a micro USB connection, the same one I use to charge my phone and a number of other gadgets around the house.  This means no shortage of cables and cords, both AC and DC, but just in case you are an iPhone house, both adapters are included in the box. (as are the AAA batteries BTW)

And now the bad news:

This is not a good flashlight for being a Paramedic.

First, to cycle through the low and high light output modes, you have to cycle through a strobe feature that would make some emergency scenes downright dangerous.

Secondly, the beam focus is a slide in and out feature, not a twist to focus.  The slide focuses the beam and a slight twist “locks” it into place.  However, the lock is so weak it constantly gives way, especially when deploying it from the belt holster (also included).

However, I didn’t give up on this flashlight.

I took it camping.

IMG_20140903_141527003This is the ultimate camping flashlight.  It is compact and lightweight, fitting on our hiking pack no problem, taking up almost as much space as the multi-tool.  the extra batteries can charge off the 12v system in the van on the way to camp and off the 12v trailer system if we somehow go through all 3 batteries.

The low light setting is perfect for night trips to the bathroom and the high feature makes scanning camp for bears easy.  No, seriously, I can actually say I tested this light looking for bears.  There were none, but that’s beside the point.

And if we ever get lost on a hike that strobe feature will no doubt be seen for 306 meters, just like the box says.


In conclusion, this is a versatile light for non-emergency situations (except for bears and getting lost of course.)  The ability to have extra batteries ready to go, as well as plug the light itself into adapters I already have means I’ll always be able to get light when I truly need it.

At $147.49 it may seem pricy but the features I’ve mentioned mean that added to the ruggedness of the construction I may never need another flashlight or batteries for a flashlight.  Like, ever.


Here are the specs from Coast Portland

  • Long Range Focusing Optic
  • Slide Focus
  • 201 lumen light output
  • 7 hour 45 minute runtime
  • 306 meter (1003 ft) beam distance
  • Battery type: Lithium Ion (2 included) or 4 x AAA (included)
  • Can be charged using AC, DC or USB power sources
  • Aluminum casing; rear switch
  • Impact and water resistant
  • Includes wall mount, speed clip, and heavy-duty sheath
  • Length: 5.58 in. / 14.2 cm
  • Weight: 7.2 oz. / 204 g
  • Diameter: Body – 1.18 in / 3.00 cm; Bezel – 1.47 in / 3.74 cm


Would I make a good Cop? Find out what Motorcop thinks

Get over to Uniform Stories to see if my buddy Motorcop thinks I’d make a decent cop.


Spoiler alert:  You know I’d get lost on day 1.

29,000 deaths vs 6,000. Which should get more attention?

The Ice Bucket challenge raised over $50 Million for ALSA, which is going to be diagnosed in about 5600 people this year.  ALS is responsible for 2 deaths for every 100,000 people.  That’s 2 too many.

Let’s cruise the math.  300 million folks in the US, let’s say half are dudes.  1 in 36 men will be killed by Prostate Cancer so let’s round that number down from 4.1 million to 4 million.  4 Million men currently in the US will be killed by Prostate Cancer in their lifetimes.  29,000 this year alone.

ALS will kill (since it also impacts women we’ll say out of 300 million folks and ALSA states 2 in 100,000 will be killed…carry the 6, divided by pi…) 6000.


29,000 vs 6,000

Prostate Cancer will kill almost 5 times as many human beings as ALS this year.

I’m not anti-ALSA, in fact I’m against most things that kill people (stupidity sometimes gets a pass) but are our priorities in the right place?

I don’t know.

So here’s what we’re going to do:


No one firing up a cigarette or pinching dip can even start to claim they believe in a healthy lifestyle.  There is no sense in literally GUARANTEEING your death by lung cancer (The #1 deadliest and most preventable cancer)


Avoid diet soda like the plague, don’t kid yourself that those 250 calories are making that big a difference in your overall diet.  The sweeteners are linked to a number of health related problems including, wait for it, cancer.  In addition, the caramel coloring added also increases risk of cancers.  I suggest Sierra Mist, natural sugar and no coloring, but in moderation!


Find out who is healthy and who is not and why.  If all your male relatives had prostate cancer, guess what?  If your mother and grandmother have cancer, guess what?


Ask about your risk factors since you talked to all your relatives.  “Doc, all my female relatives have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, should I be worried?”  “Doc, my uncle had his prostate removed at 55, should I be worried?”


Join Kilted to Kick Cancer in spreading the word about the risk of Prostate Cancer, hell all cancer, and don’t just sit back and jump on the first cause that wanders by on Facebook.  If your family is impacted by a certain ailment, get involved locally!  Donate money, time, food, rides anything and everything to help in your own community.


The white coats far away working on a cure need to be put out of work by us PREVENTING and LESSENING THE IMPACT of cancer.

Cancer is a lot easier to cure when no one gets it anymore.


Get Kilted! Get Checked!


Kilted to Kick Cancer 2014 now in full swing!

It’s that time of year my Kilted friends!

Time to kilt up for a great cause!

1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in their Lifetime, 1 in 36 men will be killed by the disease.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and we need to start a conversation with men that they don’t want to have: “How’s your prostate?”

In addition, we challenge our Kilted Army to #DunkYourJunk.  Put the ice buckets down everyone and have a seat.  In the ice.  In your kilt.


We start this conversation by wearing kilts everywhere we go during the Month of September when not on duty.


I am part of the fundraising competition again this year and encourage you to join “Team Happy Medic” when donating to Kilted to Kick Cancer using this LINK.

The fundraising contest has some incredible prizes and near the end of the month bloggers around the internet will start to make crazy dares to win.

100% of the funds go towards the cause of raising awareness about male specific cancers, helping those already diagnosed and, of course research.

Get over to Alt Kilt for amazing deals on custom kilts and accessories, including this exclusive KTKC pouch! 

A portion of the proceeds benefit KTKC!

Help us get the word out about this dangerous disease and

Get Kilted! Get Checked!

Set down the Ice Buckets, this is the last video you’ll need to see

Kilted to Kick Cancer decided to wade into the Ice Bucket arena.


And shut.it.down.

Visit Kilted to Kick Cancer for more information!

Don’t forget to #DunkYourJunk!


Get Kilted! Get Checked!

Frequent Flyers

In my new spot serving as the EMS Supervisor for a busy International Airport I have had to learn a new normal.  For example, we get toned out on medical calls for both the approximately 5k-15k people in the terminal at any given time as well as the almost 140k people that circulate through the airport every 24 hours.

Gone are the days of the homeless man asleep in the bus shelter getting a 911 call for being unconscious (Who doesn’t want to be unconscious at 3am?) and here are the new unconscious calls, called in by a flight crew on final approach.

The thing I’m still getting used to, however, is that there will be an ETA included in our dispatch, often 10-15 minutes, which eliminates the need to rush out the door on every bell.  That indeed takes getting used to.  No point rushing out the door and to the gate in 4 minutes when the flight has yet to even land, let alone taxi to the gate.

We’ll grab our gear and access the jetway from the outside and wait for the flight to arrive, often having little to go on regarding the patient’s condition.  The flight crew often calls in “ill passenger” or “vomiting” but the all too common chief complaint is “lost consciousness, now awake.”

You can agree, that could be gosh darn anything.

The rules at our airport say if you call for us we get on the aircraft before anyone stands up, assess the patient and determine the best course of action.  Most often this is finding someone very embarrassed who isn’t handling the flight as well as they hoped.

We do our best for them and handle the encounter like any other EMS system.

The most interesting part of waiting for a flight is when it is an International flight.  Now not only do we have the local police, ambulance company (and their airfield safety escort) but now a whole alphabet soup of customs agents.  If the patient and family needs to be transported they will get quick access to customs and be dealt with first, right there.  They even carry the stamp on their belts.  Very interesting indeed.


More to follow from the Airport soon,


Japanese Technical Rescue Competition – Awesome Video!

Have you seen this amazing video from Japan?

Sure the US has musters with drag racers, but the efficiency and purpose movement of these men is admirable.  Have a look!

The last letters are back

Looking through the traffic for this little blog I came across an old post getting more views than usual so I thought I’d put it back up here on the top for a little while.


Originally posted March 30, 2010.

The last letters you’ll ever write


Today’s step is an important one, but in no way, shape or form should it be your first.

Tonight you are going to write a Line of Duty Death instructions sheet to your spouse and loved ones to read and follow only in the event of your death, at work.

This is different than your living will, which you all have now, right?

This is http://acmestudio.org/?cat=/order-cialis-online.php also different than any funeral arrangements you may have made or hope to make.

In the back of the Family Disaster Plan are two important sets of instructions.  The first is the Line of Duty Injury instructions sheet.

This gives my wife a list of phone numbers at Headquarters as well as who to ask for at the firehouse, “the Captain” and “Daywatch” to get someone who can tell her more about what may have happened to me if she is indeed notified that I am injured on the job.

The last time I got hurt no one called her because I was treated and released so quickly.  But if it happens again and she gets a phone call in the middle of the night, she knows to take a deep breath and relax.  I know because that is how the instructions start.

Here is just a snippet to get you thinking about what to write in yours-

“Well, you got the phone call you’ve been dreading.  I understand you are upset.  If I got hurt I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  We’ll worry about all that later, I need you to start thinking three hours ahead.  Each decision you make between now and this time tomorrow will set the pace for the coming week.  Take a deep breath and calm down.

I’ll wait.


Goto the closet and get one of my work T-Shirts or sweatshirts and wear it when you come to see me.  Be honest if folks ask if you need anything.  Take their help.  They need to help as much as you need it.”

It will get emotional when you prepare them for what they might see when a firefighter is injured in the line of duty.  Be honest.  If you dance around topics now it will only create confusion at the most improper time.  End the letter by reminding them that even though you are hurt, it could be worse.

Now, while an emotional wreck, excuse yourself and be alone for a bit and HAND WRITE the next letter – Line of Duty Death Instructions.

This letter is the one they will keep and read over and over and over after you are gone.  Tell them about why you did what you did or chose this job, profession, occupation, place to volunteer.  Sign it, seal it in an envelope and put it in the back of the Disaster Plan.

On the same day, make plans to open the letter the day after your retirement.  Perhaps someplace tropical.

Do it now or regret it later, your choice.



#EveryDayReview – Republic Wireless



From time to time you’ve likely noticed I try to chat you up about a new product that was sent to me for review.  Maybe you took my advice and grabbed some gear for work or ignore the blog when I post a product review.  I hope it’s the former.

Today I’m introducing a new feature, #EveryDayReview.  This will be an exciting product or service I use in my personal life that I just want to share.  I’m not getting the product to test, I’ve already tested it and endorsed it the best way I know how: I bought one/use it/ subscribe!


Let’s jump into a common topic: Cellular service.

I recommend Republic Wireless.

Republic Wireless is my mobile phone provider and I could not be happier with their concept, products or service.

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a T-Mobile customer hacking an iphone from ebay to get better use of the data service we were paying through the nose for.

A few years later wandering Costco and about to lose support for my hacked iphone we saw a great deal on Verizon Droid phones.

FREE phone with 2 year contract!

It wasn’t until years later we realized the cost of the phone is rolled into the ridiculous cost of service.

Republic Wireless also takes advantage of a secret your wireless carrier doesn’t want you to know:

They know most of your time is within wireless internet range, yet still charge you upwards of $75 a month for access to 4g internet.  Why?  Half the time I’m at home on wireless I already pay for or at work connected, why pay so much for my phone plan only to spend most of my time on wireless internet?  We did the math.  Only when commuting to and from work was I not on wireless, a total of 40 hours a month give or take.  40 hours / $75 4g plan:

Verizon was effectively charging me $1.87 an hour.  The rest of the time I was on wifi I already paid for.  Are you the same?  Want to drastically reduce your bill without losing service?

Republic Wireless is the answer.

Phone plans start at $5 a month.  Yes, $5 a month gets you calls and data over wireless networks only.

Want a little more?  How about $10 for cellular calls and data over wireless only?

I’m at the $25 plan which gives me unlimited* 3g data and cell calls over the Sprint network.

For $40 you get 4g coverage so you can stream Netflix without a wireless connection.

*Go over 5g in a month twice in 6 months and you might get throttled, but no fees. Go 6 months without going over and you get a pass next time.

How do they do it so cheap?  Your phone prefers to make calls over the wireless instead of the cell network.  Anytime you’re connected to wifi, BOOM, you can make calls.

Republic Wireless MotoXWe got the MotoX and it’s a great handset.  We paid upfront for the phones, but considering the cost savings month to month we were ahead of the game in 5 short months.  Not to mention our grandfathered Verizon unlimited data plans were worth a few hundred bucks on ebay!

The service still has a few glitches switching a call from wireless to the cell network, but I rarely keep talking when leaving the house so only noticed this problem when testing the system early on.

Below is a screenshot from my MotoX.  See the little green arch near the green llama?  That’s the Republic Wireless happy green arch letting me know I’m completely on wifi. The llama is unrelated, I swear.

Republic Wireless PlansAnother neat option: you can change plans twice a billing cycle.  When we were going out of the country and not expecting cell service, we bumped the plans down to the $5 plan and made and received calls off the wifi in the beach house in Belize (when the router worked).

When we hit the states, we simply told the phone to update the plan.  A few minutes later and a restart on the phone and it was done.

No sense paying full price for a service you’re not using full time.

In addition to a killer concept and competitive pricing, Republic Wireless thrives on the community the users have created.  Never before have I had a company engage on social media so swiftly and accurately.

Downside?  3g means less streaming of Pandora though some service areas (it is the Sprint network after all) and that’s about it, really.  They can port most numbers and now even allow porting of Google Voice numbers.

The next time you’re looking at your budget and wondering how to get that cell phone bill down to a reasonable level, take a look at Republic Wireless.  You’ll pay for the phone, but far less than a free phone and inflated monthly fee from the other guys.


I use Republic Wireless and love it!

A therapy blog with an EMS problem