Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fire and EMS Bullet

It’s been AGES since I wrote on here.  And, I’ve actually started another blog, so if you are actually reading this one, comment and I’ll let you know where the new one is.  But, I had thoughts for today, and I really wanted to share them. 

In the most recent Advocate (a local monthly “news” paper), there’s an article about “The Fire and Rescue Bullet”.  It talks about the things working against volunteers: Competition for free time, aging population, increased training requirements, employers not letting employees off to answer calls, greater expectations from citizens, and of course, money.  There are other problems with answering calls as well.  The biggest one for me?  The BS calls.  I’m sorry, but when someone calls 911 morning after morning after morning, for the same complaint, you know what?  I’m going to stay right here and eat my lucky charms, thank you very much.  How about the person who complained that their “Lungs were full of air” and wanted to go to the ER?   Unfortunately, you want to go to the ER?  We cannot refuse to take you.  People also complain about how long it takes an ambulance to get there.  My answer?  First, is your house easy to locate?  Let’s start with a house number, that is CLEARLY visible from the road.  I had a family member berate us for driving up and down past his house.  “But the number is there!”  “Yes sir, and it’s black letters on a flat black mailbox.  We can’t see that in the middle of the night.”  Second, when you choose to have the house that has an AMAZING view and no one around for miles . . .  that also includes an ambulance. 

In this same article, it brings up statistics.  Yes, my squad has missed a LOT of calls.  And the article talks about how there are other departments that have no calls missed.  But, there are lots of details missing, not just hard and fast numbers.  For instance.  Was the call missed because we were already on another call?  WHO was the call for?  Several of our “missed” calls were for another agency that we were second due on.  And, before we could answer that call for that first due agency, they got a truck on the road so we weren’t needed.  Yes, the Fire Department might have 100% of calls answered, but if they only have 15 calls for the month . . . . . whoo hoo!  We usually have 60-90 calls a month.  I’d like to see what happens to those other departments numbers when they start having that kind of volume. 
The reality is, we need daytime help.  We need paid staff to be at our buildings, to answer the calls, while the volunteers are working.  Even now, we struggle in the evenings.  I’m one of the “lucky”? ones, in that I don’t have a spouse, kids, and responsibilities at home, and I’m available to answer more than the average person.  The top 2 call answering associates?  Retired.  #3?  The Captain. 
There are agencies where drama is an issue.  Mine isn’t one of those.  While we’ve had our differences with the Fire Department, the reality is, those people have been there for me when I need them.  I might laugh and joke about big dumb firefighters running into a burning building, but the reality is, there isn’t anyone else I’d want, or trust, to have my back in an emergency.  When push comes to shove, we work to get the job done.  When the call goes off for a person unresponsive, or an injured child, you bet your backside that we will drop anything and everything to get the call answered.  I’m not going to apologize for not doing the same thing for the person with the stubbed toe. 
I’d love to see more people volunteer.  Even if you don’t want to get into the nitty gritty, blood and puke that can accompany a call, there is ALWAYS something to do.  There’s trash to be put out, ambulances to be washed, buildings to be straightened.  And, for the record?  In 10 years, I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve dealt with really really gross/ewwww calls.  It’s not what the television series makes it out to be.  Daddy used to tell me, when you get down on yourself, do something for someone else.  Volunteering with the squad has been the most rewarding opportunity of my life.  I wish more people would sign up for those same rewards. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Wow. This week has . . . rocked me emotionally. I thought my life was going one way, and while I admittedly wasn't headed there quickly, it's where I thought I was going. Suddenly, I find myself at a dead end. And, even writing this is making me feel all weepy again, so, instead, let me tell you about the adventure I had last week.

While driving into work, I saw a small dark spot scurry out from under my feet, and up under my dash. Fortunately, I'm not the kind of girl to COMPLETELY freak out, so instead, I called work and informed them that I would be late. I had to purchase mouse traps! I placed out several different kinds, humane, and quick kill, along with D Con. I'm sorry, but mice do serious damage to cars! I saw the little bugger on my way home, and the next day. He ate nearly a whole box of the D Con! Finally, on Thursday, I saw that he had worked himself into the commercial trap from work, and was sitting there wiggling his nose at me while he was on the glue trap!!! I've never felt so horrible. If he hadn't eaten so much poison, I would have certainly tried to free him. He was actually a cute little guy, when he wasn't running around my feet! Still, it was an adventure. Maybe later this week I'll post about my critter filled year last year.

I'm struggling with how much to share on here. I feel like I want to write, I want to talk about everything that's in my head, but I don't know of the right place to put it. There are some that I really want to hear what I have to say, and others that . . . I don't want to share. I don't want to seem weak, or needy, or overly emotional, or not emotional enough, and . . . I get so tired of editing my thoughts, what I say. These filters are getting harder and harder to maintain. I was told, "You're so drama free." Well, for the most part. But, there are times I wish I could just let loose and say what I have to say. I've been emailing those things to myself and dumping them in a folder, but it's just not the same.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

10 Years and more.

I'm not going to write about 9/11. That almost seems cliche. I am, however, going to talk about where I was 10 years ago. I was getting ready to watch my best friend, marry the man of her dreams (or so she thought). She was supposed to get married on 09/15, which she did. The marriage didn't quite last a year, but that's another story. When the news of the events of 9/11 started filtering in, the first thing I thought of was Msh. I was still too broke, and not quite the gadget girl that I am today, for a cell phone. I tried and tried to get in touch with her, finally reaching her early afternoon. As soon as she answered, and realized it was me, she burst into tears. "I planned for everything to go wrong except this!" How do you plan for something like that? She had been evacuated from her building in D.C. at gunpoint and snarling dog, as the various forces tried to get people to safety.

After lots of deep breaths, scampering around, routing a bridesmaid from one airport to another, and jumping through the various hoops, the wedding did happen. And the thing that I didn't realize then, that I'm just realizing now, is that was the first day that I knew that life goes on. As it does today. It's hard to keep things in perspective, what with getting a bad mystery shop, and people being so unhappy with me, but there are bigger and more important things in life. I'm grateful for a friendship like the one I have with Msh. We have gone from whispering in dorm rooms into the middle of the night to figuring out that if we want to have a conversation without interruption, sometimes the best time is 745 in the morning. Relationships take work, trust, hope, and love, and I'm grateful to have a friend that I can go through all of that with.

PS - I should mention that while the second wedding didn't have quite the "Who's Who" and flair of the first, the second one got her the man who adores her, and the beautiful Savannah. Msh, ya done good. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What to write?

I get stuck on what to write. Or not write. I think of great things while I'm at work (with no blog access), but then have lost it before I come home. I need to do something about this. But, for right now, here's how my week started.

Mom had made new curtains for me. She dropped them in the mail with a couple of other things. The box showed up on Monday, ripped on one side. Inside was a towel and potholder from their Alaska trip, a cute journal idea, and an external hard drive. I was a bit confused, but figured that maybe the curtains weren't done yet, so I called her. "Mom, how am I supposed to access this hard drive? You didn't send me any cords." "What hard drive?" "The one in the box." "We didn't send you a hard drive."

Turns out at some point, the box got ripped open, and someone else's box got ripped open. Whoever discovered it didn't know what went where, so they just put it in the box. Someone got my curtains, and I got their hard drive. Isn't this how the movies start? Random piece of electronic gadget shows up and then big men in black with big guns show up to retrieve it. Uh, big men? I didn't access it. I gave it back to the USPS. And my curtains are MIA. Mom said she's remaking them.

In the words of my co-worker. Bummer, dood.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Public Behavior

Last night, while I was at work at the track, I noticed a couple of the guys looking at something behind me. I turned around, and saw a girl, straddling a guy who was laying in the grass. She was . . . wiggly, and her jeans were down. WAY down. Like, a couple of more inches and we would have REALLY had a show. One of the guys, laughing, took a picture. The girls friend, who was standing beside them, pointed out the picture taker. The girl then came over and said, "You need to delete that. I'm a teenager." Now. First of all, yes. As soon as the guy realized she was a teenager, the photo was deleted. But still. Where the heck were her parents? If I had acted like that . . . ??? She came over again and was indignant. "No one should be taking my picture." If you're going to put on a show, you better believe someone is going to watch. I don't care how old you are. If you act like that, you are going to get the results of that behavior.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Puppy Update

After ducking out of work just a little early, and rushing over the mountain, I was able to pick up my Britney dog. She's groggy, a little confused as to which paw goes where, but is otherwise quite happy to be home. And me? I'm going to sleep so much better now that I just have my same old 6" of bed back. Welcome home, Britney!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Britney Surgery

It's a well known fact that I love my puppy. I've had her since she was 4 weeks old, and she's now 10 years old. She had ACL surgery when she was 5, and has progressively gotten more and more gimpy. Last night I noticed that she was even more "off", and once we got home, I noticed that she had a large jelly-bean size mass in the middle of her paw pads. I called my vet this morning, and they worked her in, not only for the appointment, but also for the surgery they did today.

While right now I am sitting here missing the sound of her ticking toe nails, and her growling over a bone, I am so grateful for a vet that is sensitive to the limits of my finances, respectful of my time (it's a 40 minute drive, so they try to do as much as they can in one visit), and who calls to let me know the results of the surgery even as my dog is just waking up.

I've been advised that one of her kidney levels was slightly elevated, but liver and other levels were normal. The message said that she sailed through surgery, and that the mass didn't seem to go into her toe, and no amputation was needed. The other mass on her stomach had very shallow roots as well. Thank you, Bedford Animal Hospital, for taking care of my baby girl.

And, Britney? Hurry home. My bed is WAY too big for just me!!