Sunday, September 30, 2007

Can you believe this shit?

Read this story.

Lets sum up the story.
Man sneaks into country illegally.
Man works illegally for 11 years, living in Florida, using the social infrastructure for 11 years, all the while earning over $100,000.
Man fails to file or pay taxes for 11 years.
Man saves money- $59,000 over 11 years.
Man tries to illegally smuggle the money out of the US.
He gets caught, and the money is confiscated. Between the immigration violations, smuggling, and tax fraud, he will get none of his money back.
He has the nerve to say. "They are treating me like a criminal when all I am is a working man."

Uh, you ARE a criminal. The Government offers him a deal:

Robert Gershman, one of Zapeta's attorneys, said federal prosecutors later offered his client a deal: He could take $10,000 of the original cash seized, plus $9,000 in donations as long as he didn't talk publicly and left the country immediately.


He turned it down, saying he wanted ALL of the money. I got news for ya dude- I was born here, and I don't get to keep all of my money. Welcome to America- now go home.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Half Assed Medic

WARNING: Medical terminology to follow, but I will try and keep it to a minimum.

I was the first medic on scene to a 54 year old male, whose chief complaint was that he nearly passed out while he was lifting a heavy object from the back of his minivan. He had a History of insulin dependent diabetes, a heart bypass, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. His vitals were as follows: HR 72, RR 20, BP 136/72. He takes lopressor, insulin, lipitor, and aspirin. His 12 lead showed nothing acute, except LVH. I was in the middle of finishing my assessment when the transport unit arrived.

The medic on that truck told the patient that the near syncope was probably due to stimulation of the vagus nerve that lifting the box caused. I pointed out to the patient that while the other medic was probably correct, due to his extensive history, it would probably be best to take him in, just to be sure. You see, diabetics frequently do not have the classic symptoms of a heart attack, and often the first sign that a diabetic has of a serious heart attack is fainting, nausea, or shortness of breath, and not chest pain. The patient agreed with me, and decided to go to the hospital.

Apparently, that angered the other medic, who had been hoping to talk the patient out of going to the hospital. After he dropped the patient off at the hospital, he decided to come talk to me about "taking over his patient." I pointed out to him that he is a new medic (less than a year on the street) and that patient refusals are not there for his personal comfort- paramedic inconvenience is not a reason to avoid transport.

If there is any piece of advice I can give you new medics out there, it is this:

If you are ever undecided as to the proper course of action, whichever option it is that causes you the most work is usually the correct one. Don't ever forget that we are the patient's advocate, and all of our decisions need to be in the best interests of the patient, not ourselves.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The happiest place on Earth

The Wonderful World of Pedophiles disarmed victims Disney has seen another employee of theirs arrested for possession of child pornography. This has been a growing trend.

Matthew Wendland was arrested in February of this year.
Tony Guerra was arrested August 31.
Darren Roberts was arrested September 21.
All of them were suspended without pay, pending the outcome of charges. Disney is worried about due process, which is all well and good. We wouldn't want to accuse someone of breaking the law, only to find that they didn't, right?

Then explain why a married couple who has an unloaded firearm in their car in the employee parking lot (completely legal in the state of Florida) both get terminated without question. To compound the error, Disney then lobbies the state legislature to strengthen laws allowing employers to search employee cars for weapons, stating that employers need the ability to search cars, so they can stop child pornography.

I think we all know that the real target here is law abiding gun owners- not child pornographers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Musings on self defense

video

I ask one question: What do you do if this guy attacks you by pulling you out of your car at the next stoplight?

If you are against gun ownership, what is going to happen when you try to call the cops? Will this guy let you? Or will you have to hope a good Samaritan in a nearby car will call for you? Then, I ask what happens during the 10 to 30 minutes it takes the police to arrive?

To those who are FOR gun ownership, do you carry a weapon with you at all times, or do you refer to the previous paragraph? Does your local government recognize your right to self defense, or must you attempt to retreat? Does this meet the threshold for deadly force? Are you willing and ready to take a life to defend your own?

Think about that. I know I am, and I will, if I must.

Snort



From Dilbert.com

Monday, September 24, 2007

Healthcare plans again

I got my nap, so here we go. We take the trip to Gubmint health care again. Reading this article, I noticed it made a few good points.

Imagine if your car insurance covered oil changes and gasoline. You wouldn't care how much gas you used, and you wouldn't care what it cost. Mechanics would sell you $100 oil changes. Prices would skyrocket.


That is exactly what has happened here with health care. It is even more pronounced on those who have no copay. I see it all of the time with people carrying those little gold Medicaid cards. They don't care what it costs, so they go to the emergency room for everything, to the point where ambulances must wait in line to drop off patients, because ER beds are full. 30 to 45 minute waits are not uncommon, and I have seen more than a few patients die on an ambulance stretcher while waiting. In fact, the chief deterrent to this is that long wait for service, not the cost.

Things will only get worse, and more expensive, if we establish any sort of government sponsored health plan. This will mean that expenses will spiral out of control. When that happens, the government will have to find a way to pay for it. There are only a few options:

1 Increase revenue (iin other words, raise taxes)
2 Control costs (through rationing or price controls)
3 More deficit spending

Any of those three would be a disaster for our health system AND the economy. More on that in future posts...

Sorry

I was on duty for 48 hours, and then I had to teach an EMT class today, so there will be no postings today.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

More problems for St George, MO PD

In this post, I discussed the problem of bad cops. There are more problems coming to light in the St George Police Department, the department that employed the Sergeant that was caught on tape in this incident threatening to frame a motorist because he didn't show enough deference. It seems as if the motorist has good cause to film the local cops.

On a local website, a site that describes itself as a site "for the use of law enforcement officers employed by the St. Louis Police Department and their supporters in the St. Louis Metropolitan area," a self described police officer had this to say:

I hope this little POS punk bastard tries his little video stunt with me when I pull him over alone- and I WILL pull him over - because I will see "his gun" and place a hunk of hot lead right where it belongs.

Of course, the videotape from Kuehnlein's police cruiser is currently missing. St. George Police Chief Scott Uhrig is also being investigated by city officials who say he may have failed to inform them that the State of Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission concluded that, "Uhrig's unwelcome sexual advances to a teenager, while on duty and under the guise of enforcing the laws, indicate an especially egregious mental state, show that he cannot enforce the law, and are cause for discipline."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Public Schools

From the Heartless Libertarian comes a story about the Public Indoctrination Education System, and a Themed High School called the "Social Justice Academy." A little research shows this to be an actual school.

That is right- now we are indoctrinating our students in political agendas, and we aren't even hiding it any more. Click here and scroll down to "Social Justice Academy," and you will find this:

Social Justice Academy (SJA), also one of Boston's small schools, prepares students to be social activists who can identify problems and have the skills and confidence to solve them. Their approach to education is based on creating a more just and equitable world. To achieve that goal, the rigorous curriculum was designed to require students to engage in debates, research, analysis, reading, and writing that address issues including Race, Class, Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Identity. Not only must all seniors complete a community service project which demonstrates their mastery of skills in research, writing, data analysis, critical thinking and public speaking, but they must all apply to and be accepted to a college in order to graduate, whether they plan to attend or not.

Why are my tax dollars going to pay for this obviously political crap?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The debate rages on

The LawDog is talking about the film that is the subject of my previous post. The center of the argument seems to be that the University, being owned by the State, must allow students to exercise free speech wherever and whenever they choose, or face the wrath of the Constitution.

So, let me get this straight. You think that the students of a government run school should be allowed to disrupt lectures and classes, and that the teachers and administrators do not have the power to control or direct the students at any time, if said student is being disruptive?

So, if a student, say, stands up in the middle of class and begins a long diatribe that is disruptive to the learning process, the professor has no right to tell the student to sit down and be quiet? If the student refuses, the professor cannot ask the student to leave? If the student refuses to leave, the campus police cannot arrest him? If he resists arrest, the police must do what? Leave?

What if the person making the speech isn't a student? Does the person give up these rights to speech just because he isn't a student? If so, can a person go to the local kindergarten class and give an impromptu sex education class?

Or could it be that you are mistaken? Like it or not, the school has a responsibility to its students, the students are paying for an education, and they have a right to receive what they are paying for without loud mouthed trouble makers interfering.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First Amendment

This video is all over the net. I am sure you have seen it by now. There are many comments that the kid was treated badly, or somehow the cops were wrong. Most of this criticism centers around one of two points:

1 That the kid was having his First Amendment rights violated. : This is incorrect. If anything, this kid was violating the rights of the others who wanted to speak by monopolizing the session. He was not asking questions, he was making a speech. If he wants to make speeches, he is allowed to do so, just not on someone else's dime or during someone else's meeting. I am sure the school will let him reserve a space and make speeches. Remember that the right to free speech is not a guarantee that people will listen, nor does it confer the right to disrupt the peace.

2 That the kid did not need to be tazed. This guy was given the lawful order to leave. He refused. The cops then tried to escort him out. He wiggled free. They tried to escort more forcibly. He resisted. They tazed him. I thought that was an appropriate escalation of force.

Too many people in this country think that the cops are not allowed to "boss them around," or that free speech means being able to disrupt or annoy others. They also think that the cops are not allowed to touch them unless they have a weapon.

The police are there to do a job, its called keeping the peace. If you breach that peace, they are going to order you to leave. If you refuse, you are going to be arrested. Resist, and you will be forced to go.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An agenda?

This article attempts to use statistics in a misleading manner to support a preconcieved notion that “assault weapons” are killing our police officers. A look at the truth shows this to be a lie. To date, there have been 127 police officers killed in the line of duty, according to the “Officer Down Memorial.”

Of those 127 officers, 58 (46%) were killed in vehicle accidents, 2 fell due to a bomb, 3 drowned, 5 through medical causes, one was killed by a tornado, one by a toxic exposure, one from a yellow jacket sting, and one when a pine tree fell on his car after the tree was struck by lightning.

Of the 55 (43%) officers killed by gunfire, 9 (7%) were killed by rifles, 33 (26%) by handguns or shotguns, and in 13 (9%) of the shootings, the type of weapon was not identified in the report, only being listed as “gun, unknown.”

Two of those killed by rifles were mistakenly shot by other police officers, three were shot by “hunting rifles,” one by an M1 Garand (which was not listed as an assault weapon by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban), and the others were listed as simply “Rifle.” Not one mention of an “Assault weapon” as a single cause of death.

Three officers were shot with their own or another officer’s weapon that had been taken from the officer by the suspect. The only cop killed by an assault weapon was the one last weekend. That is right, as tragic as it is, this was the only case of a cop being killed with an "assault weapon" this year.

In short, more cops were killed by (take your pick) cars, bombs, water, tornados, lightning, pine trees, other cops, or yellow jackets, than were killed by “Assault Weapons.” But then, none of those causes fit the press’ leftist, antigun agenda, do they?

A hat tip to Kim, for alerting me to this article.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Smoke and mirrors?

Several years ago, I ran across this article, and I have always taken offense by the assertions there. In it, he makes some claims that I would like to refute:

1 He claims we have cushy jobs, inpart because of our "easy" 24 on and 48 off schedule. If you add those hours up, you will find out that those hours equal a 56 hour workweek, and we don't get overtime at 40 hours like most jobs. We work every day of the year, including holidays. Unlike most jobs, we don't get weekends, Christmas, New Years, Easter, or any other holiday off.

He also claims that most firefighters run less than 5 calls per day. He is dead wrong, unless he is including rural, volunteer departments in that calculations. I have run as many as 26 calls in a shift before. Sure, there are slow days, but don't we all have slow days at work? In my last two work days, I ran 3 structure fires (a total of 10 hours), one car fire, one fatal auto accident (we were there for 6 hours- assisting with the investigation), two heart attacks, one dead child (who collapsed playing basketball), one child with meningitis, 2 women experiencing a cardiac event, one diabetic emergency, one man in CHF, and 4 more medical emergencies. Plus, vehicle and equipment maintenance, and a minimum of 3 hours of training per day. Busy enough for you? Sure, we run fewer than 4 fires a day, but fires are less than 20% of our call load. EMS is getting us more and more calls every year.

2 He claims that firefighting isn't dangerous, because the number of deaths has fallen. I can tell you this- I have had to attend the funerals of 8 firefighters that I know, killed in the line of duty. 2 in a fire, 2 struck by cars, 3 heart attacks, and one by cancer (caused by an on the job exposure). Nearly every firefighter that I know with more than 10 years on the job has been injured in the line of duty. It will happen if you work long enough. The only reason the number of deaths has fallen, is because we have worked hard to make it happen, and we are finally getting the safer building codes we have asked for. We still deal with hepatitis, HIV, and other communicable diseases every day.

3 He claims Firefighters are adrenaline junkies. I will give him that one. So what? All that means is that we like our jobs. Does that take anything away from what we do?

4 Then he goes on to complain that we have large funerals when firefighters are killed in the line of duty. "It's just the firefighters doing their thing," he complains. Can you believe that anyone would be so callous? I have never read or heard about a firefighter funeral that will shut a city down for a few days, it is more like a few hours. Big turnouts, pageantry and long processions are a tradition in the fire service. The funeral ceremony is not a propaganda scheme, it is a close knit community saying goodbye to one of their own.

He then continues his tirade by complaining that we as a profession are a selfish interest group.

A search of this author's work finds him slamming realtors as well. He appears to have a hard on for firefighters. Maybe one slept with his wife, or could it be that left wing journalists hate men in male-type jobs. Not metrosexual enough for them. Everything they write is tied into the Agenda.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Have you ever seen this video? These guys really screwed up. This was a dangerous and amateurish effort on the part of these firefighters. There are numerous problems that I saw there. Lets review the worst of them.

1 The incident commander apparently failed to recognize that the building was lost. He still had crews operating inside the building during most of the film. Why expose crews to this potential collapse hazard to try and save a building that is already a goner?

2 The building had already self ventilated through the roof, and these guys are still breaking windows. Why?

3 The exposure building on side D (the right) was burning for quite awhile before anyone did anything about it. Have these guys ever heard of exposure control?

4 The ladder that was lying against the building, being exposed to direct flame, was later used as a roof access on the second building. Then the firefighters (and I use the term loosely) compound it by being on the roof without a roof ladder.

The list goes on. In the comments section for the incident, firefighters accuse critics of being "monday morning quarterbacks" and say that if we weren't there, we cannot criticize. Ridiculous. We kill 100 firefighters a year, and it is time we stop. Lets stop making excuses, and fix this.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bad Cops

I saw this on Tam's website yesterday. There is a discussion going on over there about bad cops.

Then today, from the Orlando Sentinel, comes this story. This cop was caught planning to rob a man he thought was a drug dealer. It turns out the intended victim was an undercover officer. The bad cop was a school resource officer. You know, trusted not only as a cop, but trusted to watch over our kids.

Whenever I see someone caught committing a felony, I have to wonder what they have done in the past that they HAVEN'T been caught doing. After all, I most felons don't start as felons. Besides, odds are the criminal doesn't get caught the first time.

Working in the fire department, I know quite a few police officers professionally. On a personal level, the street I live on is almost all cops and firemen. Heck, I went to school with a fair number of my brothers in blue.

Even with "professional courtesy" I have been shaken down twice in the last 10 years by bad cops. I have seen cops do it to others. I can only guess at how often it happens to those without a badge.

There are a lot of good cops out there. There is a minority that is bad. I cannot prove it, but I think that the number of bad cops runs at least 10%. Now that is certainly a minority, but it is enough to give citizens a bad taste for the law. All of us in public safety need to remember that the next time we want voters to approve more tax money for our departments.

To the good guys: Don't let the dirtbags give you a black eye. Turn them in.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The 343

On this very day 6 years ago, 343 firefighters died. I have wondered how many of them entered those buildings, knowing that they would not exit. They went in anyway, in the hope that they could save some lives.

I have an envelope in my locker, as many firefighters do. Contained in that envelope is a series of letters, written to various friends and family. There are messages in there for each person. Instructions, goodbyes, all of the things we would like our family to hear or to know, should the unthinkable happen. Those letters were VERY difficult to write. When my locker gets cleaned out and the contents given to my family, those letters keep my family from feeling guilty or ashamed if they forgot to say how they felt.

I was at work myself that morning, going about my daily routine. If the time comes that I am forced to make that decision, I hope that I have the courage to make the right decision, and no matter how things turn out, that my decision is the right one.

Right for me, for my family, and for the people I have sworn to protect.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Respiratory madness

I have been working for 30 straight hours. I am on the second half of a 48 hour shift. Today, my EMT partner also happens to be one of my paramedic students. Since the class just had their midterms, I tell him that he can run the calls today, and I will only step in if he needs help.

Our first call of the morning goes rather smoothly, it is a woman complaining of vertigo. She has a history of it, and it is a pretty easy call. Our second call of the day did not go quite the same way.

It came in as a non-emergency call for a man who has not eaten in three days. When we arrive, I let my partner enter first. I hear him talking to the patient as I get the stretcher ready. As soon as I finish that task, I enter the room. The patient is cyanotic, he is tripoding, and he has one word dyspnea. He is covered in sweat. I have seen this look before, and a patient that has it never does well. My partner is busy asking about his eating habits and is oblivious to the state his patient is in.

I tell him we need to be moving to the truck. When we get there, the patient has no lung sounds at the bases, and almost no lung sounds at the apexes. He is begging us to sit him up. His SaO2 is 88%. He has COPD is normally on home oxygen, but he says he took it off so he could smoke a cigarette.

He is struggling to breathe, and I cannot believe that he will be conscious for long. I call for backup as we hook him up to the CPAP machine. My partner secures an IV, and as the backup arrives, I tell one of them to get in front and drive us to the closest hospital. The patient balks. He says that he doesn't want to go THERE, he wants to go to another one almost 10 minutes further. I tell him that I am not going to bypass a perfectly good hospital with a patient who is about to die. He tries to argue, but not being able to breathe cuts him off from too much protesting.

When we get to the hospital 3 minutes later, he is barely responsive. I am trying to keep his airway open, as he breathes 40 times a minute. At least his SaO2 is now 99%. I tell the nurse what is going on, and she tries to tell me that because I put a COPD patient on CPAP I knocked out his respiratory drive. I gave her a stupid look. Right about the time I was warming up to my answer,the charge nurse (who was a street medic himself) saved me from the disciplinary action that was soon to follow my remarks by taking over for nurse clueless.

CPAP is indicated in the treatment of pulmonary edema, especially in the presence of COPD or CHF. In the short amount of time that EMS has contact with COPD patients, oxygen is not going to knock out the respiratory drive of the patient. This was indicated by his respiratory rate of 40.

and the next time my partner sees "the look" he won't get tunnel vision, and he will know what is coming. That is how we learn, folks.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More on the Searches

It appears as if I am not alone in my disdain for searches by stores.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Best Buy searches

I went to Best Buy and bought a new HDTV. I got a 50" Plasma, a table to put it on, and a surround sound system for it. I was replacing my 6 year old rear projection HDTV. The new set looks great, but that is not the point.

The Best Buy in south Orlando is set up so that when you leave the registers, you approach the exit from a direction that is completely different from people who are exiting the store that haven't bought anything. That is, if you are leaving the store from that direction, you had to have passed through the check out.

After leaving the check out, there is a guy that stands there and always wants to look at your receipt. Now, this isn't just Best Buy. Most stores around here now do this, and it annoys me. It is like the store is saying "We think you are a criminal."

So, about a year ago, I stopped doing it. When they ask for my receipt, I ignore them and just keep walking. I do not steal, and my stuff is in a bag that has your store's name on it. You have no reason to search me, so I am not going to allow it. If they don't like it, I don't care. I am not breaking the law, you have no reasonable suspicion that I am, and you are not going to search me. The simple fact that I am leaving your store with merchandise does not mean that I stole it. After all, the whole point of you even having a store, is having people leave it with merchandise. I bet hundreds of people leave that store every day with merchandise.

The guard at the store, and the woman next to him, yelled at my back as I left the store. The guy telling me to stop, and the woman calling me a rude jerk. Funny thing is, no one considers it rude to accuse you of stealing and demand that you be searched.

What is wrong with this country that we think this behavior is acceptable and necessary?

Empty nest

On Friday, my son announced that he was ready to leave the nest. He moved out on Sunday. I am torn about this for a number of reasons.

I am glad that he is now ready to face the world. He finished his AS, he has a good job as a Firefighter/EMT, and he makes decent money for a 20 year old (he turns 20 in November) He started Paramedic school last month, and I am flattered that he is following in my footsteps. It makes me proud that he is doing so well. I know he can't stay forever, and he must live his own life.

I am going to miss him terribly. We do so much together. We go places, we hang out, we play video games. My life and my home are going to be a little emptier without him around.

I hope he remembers to visit his old man. Next step is being a grandfather. Man, I am getting old.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Doc in the Box

Wal Mart. You can do everything there. The Wal Mart in our response area sells the normal Wal Mart stuff, plus groceries, and automotive repair services. Inside, there is a pharmacy, an eyeglass store, two restaurants, a bank, a photo studio and a Walk in Medical Clinic.

How poorly do you have to do in medical school to be the Wal Mart doctor? We responded to this "Doctor's" office three times yesterday. One of these visits was telling.

A man here was on vacation, and sitting near the pool eating is vegetarian submarine sandwich. Less than thirty minutes later, he developed shortness of breath, a tickle in his throat, and a rash known as urticaria. He complained that he "felt bad." What does the family do? Call 911? Rush him to the hospital? No... They took him to Wal Mart, in the process driving past two fire stations and a hospital.

When he arrived, the Doctor gave him 50mg Benedryl, 1mg Epinephrine, and 125mg of solumedrol. When all of this failed to work, she called 911. When our heroes arrived, we noted that she had given everything except tagamet, so we talked about starting a tagamet infusion (300mg over 10 minutes). The Doctor told us that she would rather we did not, because the patient had been seen a month ago by his doctor back home for chest pain, and that he would need cardiac monitoring before we gave any drugs.

Uhhh- she doesn't even have a cardiac monitor (we do) and she gave him epinephrine, which was the correct thing to do. However, epi has far more cardiac effect than tagamet does. Yes, there are rare instances of arrhythmias and hypotension with tagamet, but then again epi is to be used with caution in patients with a history of hear disease due to the increased myocardial oxygen demand that epi is sure to cause. The fact that the patient was orthostatically hypotensive was more of a concern to me than an anginal episode of unknown origin a month ago.

We got him in the truck, did a 12 lead, IV, oxygen, tagamet, and went down the road. He had no known allergies, so eating a sandwich will be an adventure for him in the future. Heck, it may not have even been the sandwich. We DO have a lot of biting insects here.