Friday, January 28, 2011


Hello dear reader,
The Republic has moved. You can now follow everything on

Not only have I moved, but I have also joined the EMS Blogs Network.
No change really, apart from a different theme, yours truly trying to keep you up to date with some of my thoughts, but being amongst some other great writers out there (here are the other networked blogs:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Making friends is easy

We take over from the night crew, who tell us that one of them had struck lucky with a dimensionally challenged and visually challenging member of the nursing home staff.

A little something like this:

Staff: You might need this (hands over emesis bag
Ambo: Why? We have plenty in the truck! 
Staff: No, I really think you need this. I'm sure it's about the right size condom for you! *winks*

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry fornicating Christmas to you too

In my books, if I invite anybody over to my place, be it for friends for drink or some poor sods who have to work over christmas in order to help you with your oh-so-bad-back pain, please do not criticise their attire, especially since the latter group generally has no say in to their choice of cloth.

Envisage following scene:

(enter big person who has just got up from the toilet, walked through the bathroom door and is standing in front of us):

pain Pain PAIN! I can't walk, I can's sit, I can't even get up when I'm on the toilet. My back hurts. Really bad. Horribly bad. Do something. And what are you wearing? Is that your new uniform? It's horrible!
(enter the aghast, hollow and echoing mind of the flobach)
(enter the face.etc. motor control bit of the flobachbrain)
Right everyone, we need to pull up the sides of those lips, scrunch those eyes a little to get a professional and positive scenario going on here! C'mon muscles, get to it! And tell that voicebox to get some lame joke happening, pronto!
Sounds like everything went smooth? Yes, everything except for the trip to hospital.
I may have aimed for every gutter and pothole until we got there.


(and read this if you already haven't)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The living dead

Reading this which was inspired by this made me write this post.

Enough confusion.

Years ago, when I was doing my mandatory civil service (Germany still has conscription, and instead of going to the army I opted for the cushy way) I was a simple disabled taxi driver: driving taxis for the disabled mind you, not being disabled myself or driving a taxi that was disabled (although some of the vans were on there best way to scrap metal heaven).

Happily cruising through my day the next job was a simple home pick up to take an elderly gentleman to his dialysis appointment. He didn't look happy. In fact, he looked a bit like a bulldog - no facial hair, saggy cheeks, rounded head. Wheelchair bound, he looked at me with hollowed eyes, grumpy, sad.

Of course I walked in with a cheery "How are you going this morning?!", which was met by a nonchalant grunt (told you, bulldog). In the lift down to the ground floor, I tried to make conversation, blah, blah, but it ended abruptly when he answered my question of what is going on.

"I just want to die."

"Hmm" I thought to myself. No response came to mind. No response would ever come to my mind. How do you deal with someone who has no family around, who is stuck to a chair on wheels, who lives a confined life in a crumbling shell (body), but who's senses (mind) are still sharp, if somewhat depressed?

He was the first of a few patients, both then and in my current job that I have come across that have expressed their will to die. Many others I assume would have expressed this wish to me as well, if they had not been in a situation of severe dementia, unable to speak, doubly incontinent and bed ridden.

For the first group, I recently met up with our ambulance chaplain, and brought up just that point, and how I always feel so helpless and speechless. He did acknowledge the difficulty of talking about such an issue, and recommend I should try using a little reverse engineering: Get them to share memories of their 'good old days', when they had friends & family a plenty around them. This should hopefully cheer them up if done properly, plus it may breathe new life in to trying to establish new relationships and overall enjoy life a little.

As for the second group, I reckon a little reverse engineering would be appropriate to: Instead of life saving interventions, some life ending interventions would be the most humane thing society could do for these poor souls.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Registered Incompetence

We got hammered last night, job after job after job.

Great when some nursing home colleagues are happy to assist you with your patient, stating that "she normally isn't like this", and that her medications aren't working, and everything is going downhill, and she needs hospital, patient is really breathing fast and blah blah blah. I would like to share the following conversation snippet between me and the RN:
Me: So, this patient is usually GCS 14, then?
RN: What? Huh? *scuffle* Hospital! Worsening!
Me: Beverly, your resident, does she normally present with GCS 14?
RN: What? Huh? What's GSC?
At this stage my colleague had to leave the room, and I heard heard versus wall banging from outside. I popped our confused, anxious, dazed and hyperventilating patient on our stretcher, wheeled her out in to safety, and magically she calmed down, had nothing majorly wrong with her, and was quite pleasant, if somewhat it said in the nursing notes.

And to think she is in charge of peoples mums and dads out there...horrible.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The December Handover would like your input

Well, since I've gotten in to this Handover thingamajig, we'd better keep it rolling!

Pop by to Just my Blog and submit your chrissie stories!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


My service recently aired a TV advertisement as part of a big recruitment push:

Naturally, it has caused some discussion. First time I watched it, I was left hanging. Wow, it's really short...too short. Was that it? Is that all we do, put blankets around people? What about all the sexy skills we have, sticking things in to people, driving on the wrong side of the road, checking peoples ECGs. That would attract a few more people.
I believe the producers/writers/company wanted to epitomize what being a paramedic essentially is: someone who cares for the sick or injured. And offering someone understanding and a warm blanket after a rollover on a major road s just that. Probably not the approach I would have taken, but it does boil it down to the essentials.

But the clip wasn't intended for me, it was intended for members of the public who are (or should become) interested in joining the profession. Hope it hits the spot, we need more staff!

I won't comment on vehicle placement, how crowded the scene is etc's a promo video and it it supposed to look like an accident, the public wouldn't have a clue about tactics (then again, it would have been nice to incorporate such realism in to the video)

- ~ -

That may have sounded negative, it wasn't entirely. Just not what I had expected. So...let us have a look what other services have done to promote themselves

From Milano, Italy comes AREU, the local ambulance service.

I quite like this one, more action packed. Then again, this may recruit the wrong type of people (maybe the first clip is more likely to appeal to and recruit caring people?). This one is also a little more realistic, with the ambos grabbing all their gear, scuffling up the stairs and checking a response for the patient, and actually medically treating the patient (you can't cure everything with reassurance, you know). And Kudos to the kid who called 118 (ambulance emergency number in Italy), and despite not understanding Italian, you can hear the dispatcher congratulating the kid at the end of the clip with a clear "Bravissimo!". Thumbs up.

Denver EMS:

Denver EMS took a different approach again. A mini series, no visual action, but stories told. What it is like to be a paramedic. What to expect. The guts, the glory, the ups, the downs.
I really like them. And I dig the music, too.

The others clips:
Commercial #2
Commercial #3
Commercial #4
Commercial #5
Commercial #6
Commercial #7

- ~ -

So, there we have it. Three recruitment video from three different continents with three different takes. What is your favourite, what service would you want to work for after viewing these ads?

Please comment in the comment section below!

And a final laugh! Found this whilst browsing for vids...hehe: