I’ve had to put my EMT skills to use quite a bit lately. Over the last couple months I’ve run into situations where my help was needed. A few times a the gym and a couple times just random occurrences.

It’s a good thing since I currently can’t afford to miss a day of work to ride on the ambulance. I used to try and ride at least once a month. Right now money is tight so I gotsta work. It’s funny how you just slip into that mode, so to speak. One guy sees me all the time at the gym and we’ve exchanged ‘hellos’ a couple times. He had a near-syncope (fainting) and needed to be evaluated.

My little brother thinks I’m Marcus Welby MD now. Every time he has an issue or needs to see a doctor he calls me to confirm everything. I’ve told him several times my training is limited but it still seems to make him feel better. Sadly, he was diagnosed with kidney stones recently. He was in so much pain he was blowing up my phone every day complaining. I’m like, ‘what do you want me to do? You drink soda like crazy, you eat horribly. It is no wonder you got kidney stones.‘ He is supposed to go back this week to get treated. Hopefully, they’ll get everything. I can only imagine the pain. OY!

Testing 1 2 3

I had my oral interview this morning for the EMT gig. I did not do as well as I wanted but I did ok. I expected something completely different and had to radically adjust my thinking once there. Not the end of the world as it is the overall score I’m concerned with however, I could have done better. The physical agility test is this afternoon. I am not worried about it at all as I do the skills required on a very regular basis.

So now I’m home, licking my wounds and having lunch. More later.


I made up for sucking ass on the oral interview. I fucking aced the PAT1! Not only that but I was the oldest guy in my group and I had the fastest time. hehehe. The other 3 guys were all in their 20’s. Two were very young and the other was late 20’s. All of us were in pretty good shape. I am so proud of myself! The test consisted of several components. You had to pick up and carry two 35lb bags (70lbs total) and run up 6 flights of stairs (7 floors). At the top, you dropped the bags and dragged a prone dummy 30 feet from one line to the next. After you get the all clear, you grab your two bags and head back down the stairs to the bottom. At the end, you run over and pull a loaded gurney from an ambulance, secure the legs, and then put it back in again. No biggie right? Here’s the catch. You have to do it all under 4 minutes. I had a full minute and 30 seconds to spare from beginning to end!

Admittedly, the hardest part is dragging 70lbs up six flights of stairs. I was chugging along pretty well until that last fraking stairwell between 6-7. My poor quads were screaming for release and more than a little rubbery. I had forgotten to change and wear my tennies and I’m sorta glad now. On the way down, my boots provided a lot of traction as my poor legs were barely under control. I kept saying “feets” don’t fail me now!
Continue reading Testing 1 2 3

I Got It!

I got my notice from the Fire Dept. about my test. I passed! Yeeehawwww! LOL

Next comes my PAT (physical agility test) and the oral interview. Both are scheduled for the 25th of this month. Those are the last two hurdles before I get my final placement on “the list”. The list determines where I rank in order of seniority. What does that mean? Well, if I rank 10 on the list, then I get slot 10 going down the list from 1. There are 32 slots available. If I rank 33, I end up in line for the next group of hires.1

More good news, I found out I have the option to do a waive. If I get called up in the first group, I have the option to waive off. This bumps me to the top of the list for the next group of hires. The only down side is the first group gets instant seniority above me but I’m ok with that. The EMT position pays half what I’m making now. I’ve crunched the numbers and I just can’t take that much of a hit right now. However, if I get on the list, I can work toward putting some moolah away for next time. Even better news, I found out they are definitely planning on an in-house program to promote EMT’s to Medics. That was my game plan from the start and you can imagine my relief at knowing it is a definite.

People keep asking me why I’m jumping for a job that pays half my salary. Well, I’m not planning on staying an EMT. I fully plan to become a paramedic. It is more inline with I want to do, it pays more than my current position and the retirement is hugely better. If I get on in the next 2 years, I would be able to retire, if I wanted too, anytime between 55-60 instead of waiting till I’m 65.2

I plan on using the land my dad left me as nice retirement bonus too. By the time I do retire, it will fetch a hefty price. One might say, yours truly is smart and handsome. . . naaaaaah.

1 I’m hoping this is where I end up actually.
2 That is if Bush doesn’t completely bankrupt the damn country.

Stick a Fork In Me…

…I’m Done!

I finally took my test today! I showed up again today and it was busy as hell this time. Apparently, they took 500 applications not 400. But no pressure, right? The test was hard but I did about how I expected. Best case scenario, I got a B plus. Worst case, I got a C+ Either way, I’m happy. A big thank you to everyone for all the encouragement and good thoughts. It really helped. One of my classmates from my EMT class was there and sat next to me. Having someone I knew around made me less nervous. I was having a hard time focusing though. Sooo many fine ass men. Dayum! I can’t remember if I mentioned it but a huge chunk of the applicants are attempting to use this job as a way to get into the fire dept. as a firefighter. SF Fire has a very long waiting list for firefighters. Because of the classification differences and civil service rules, they could feasibly bypass the original list if they got in as an EMT and transferred to an open spot later. Sneaky huh?

The test had some stuff I’d never seen before. It is designed to test your working knowledge as well as your reasoning skills in unforeseen circumstances. The latter being the true test of your triage and treatment skills. I was a little intimidated at first however, I realized I have a good a chance as anyone else there.

Now that it’s over, I’m sooo relieved. My week has been a chaotic mess of studying and running around making sure I had all my ducks in a row. I get to relax and enjoy the rest of my vacation days.

Thank you again to everyone. I’m off to dinner w/the roomie.

Two More Seconds of Fame

If you live anywhere in the area you’ve heard about the breaking story of the day. Some guy goes bonkers and decides to start running over pedestrians all over the city. All told he hit over 15 people w/14 of those being transports. Of course, today was my ride-along so guess who’s crew was first onscene? Not to mention, we were code 3 half way across the city to get there. And, we had just finished dropping off a resuscitation patient.

Again, I’m not gloating over others misfortune just my good fortune to gain such valuable on the job experience. Skipping ahead the guy was finally caught and hauled off to jail. But that’s not even the best part. I got caught on film on the news! I found out via my ex. He called to tell me I was on the news. The clips are from news sites that don’t like to share their feeds so they are in asx formats. I had to be very sneaky to find’em. If you have windows media player installed it should open and play automatically.

I found two clips of the same scene edited differently. I’m about half way thru each clip. You see me once briefly in the background behind a gourney. Then again a few seconds later, you see a closer shot of me walking into the hospital. As usual, I think I look gay as hell but you decide. hehehe.

Clip 1 and Clip 2


Wow! So many of you rushed to my defense. I’m honored and greatly appreciate the support. I wasn’t really offended by the few negative comments. I just gathered from the varied responses maybe I needed to clarify a bit. I’m by no means discouraged from blogging. Puh-lease! You can’t get rid of me that easy. hehehe.

I will add the one negative email was followed up w/another rather sarcastic one that I had an obligation to explain myself the first time. Well, that might be true but if you read more often Mr. ANON you might not have jumped to the wrong conclusion so hastily. And, I might add, making such quick judgements from one post on a blog of person you’ve never met doesn’t really show much for your intelligence. It sorta gives the impression of just the opposite. But, hey what do I know right?

Anyway, moving on. I got a call from one of my classmates from EMT class this morning. He is working for one of the privates. We talked about different cases, happenings, etc. When he told me how much he makes, my jaw hit the floor. A fraction of what I’m making now. Absolutely no way in hell I could quit my current gig to work as a private EMT full time. They get paid squat. Thankfully, he is doing other stuff to help pay the bills. What does this mean for me? Just that I have to stay on my current course.

It was so much fun talking shop w/someone at my level of experience. He works mostly BLS (basic life support) calls so he doesn’t see much heavy stuff. But as emergencies are never predictible, he’s had some good calls. He was amazed to hear about my last call. Overall, I’m still very much the novice but I learn quick. It’s not so much the actual work I’m doing while riding along but the exposure and understanding it imparts. Sadly, the city has put hiring for EMT positions on hold so I’m having to switch gears a bit. I’ll keep doing ride alongs until I get enough hours to go back to school. The current goal is to start classes in the spring semester.

Life or Death

Ok, so after a flurry of emails/comments regarding my last post, I feel the need to clarify.

No, I am not happy people die or get sick. Nor do I take joy in it. Howver, people die every day. In my line of work, I’m bound to see it and often. If you thought that I was rejoicing in someone else’s loss for even a moment, I suggest you read here more often. I do however, take joy in learning a new job skill. Especially one that I enjoy. My enthusiasm is borne from a desire to help those around me. Duh!

One particular email compared me to Satan which I find HIGH-larious. First of all, if the mythical hell really did exist, I’m sure the gays would move in, fix it up, make it hip and then all the straights would want it again. As if.

For the rest of you, yes he lived. I rarely know the outcome of my patients however, I happened to know one of the interns so she emailed me. It was a clot, as suspected, and it was successfully removed. The patient has already moved to standard care bed and will be out of the hospital soon.

Remember the tweaker chick I told you about? Apparently, she got one fix too many. She ran out in front of a muni bus. Witnesses in the area said she was yelling that gaint bees where chasing her. She is no longer w/us. Still think meth is fun?

C3 & C3

Code 3 and Code 3 (again)

OMG! I had a fantastic ride along today on the ambulance. Even better than this one. The day started off pretty slow. About midway thru it, we get a standard call w/a complaint of chest pain. We go 97 (onscene) to discover a 49yom w/a classic case of MI (heart attack). He responds well to treatment enroute to the hospital and we arrive, make the transfer w/no difficulty. As we turn to leave, the guy literally goes into full arrest on the ER bed. It was awesome! We got to help the ER crew work him up not once, twice, three times. OMG! What a learning experience. It is very very VERY rare for first responders to witness someone go into full arrest. Not to mention right in the hospital. We ususally see before and after scenarios.

But it gets even better. The hospital didn’t have a cath lab so we had to transfer him to another hospital. We stood around for about 20 minutes while the ER staff pumped him full of drugs and plugged all the extra machines in. With all the extra apparatus we had to have one of the ER nurses ride w/us to the 2nd hospital. At the 2nd hospital, I got to watch them prep the patient for surgery. The docs were cool and commented on what a great job we’d done.

It blew all my other calls away. So now, I’m back at the call center for my regular shift. Kind of anti-climatic but that’s the way it goes I guess.

How was your day?

Double Trouble

I worked a double yesterday. And let me just tell you, I was a tired nelly come the end of my day. Oy! Sixteen hours, 8 on the ambulance and 8 in the call center. It didn’t help that I only got 5 hours sleep the previous night. But I made it thru ok. Today, I’m back to my normal chipper self.

I had the oddest dream last night. I was racing on my motorcyle. NO, that isn’t the odd part. The odd part was I was naked. It seemed pefectly normal in the dream though. Odder still, I was racing and yet working on the engine at the same time. Somehow, I was able to be on the bike one sceond and then next to it working on it all at the same time. It gets better. I kept bumping my willy on the tailpipe somehow. I can’t really describe it as it doesn’t make sense now. I just remember thinking “why doesn’t it burn?” Weird huh?

I can’t help but think it was somehow related to my last patient yesterday. I’m on the ambulance and we arrive onscene at a gas station. Chica had locked herself in the bathroom, stripped all her clothes off and was tweaking out of her gourd. She kept seeing blood everywhere it wasn’t. She’d just had her fix and was freakin’ the fuck out. We finally get her dressed in the back of the ambulance. But once she discovered we didn’t have any meds for her, she promptly hopped out of the back and trodded off.

What kind of weird dream have you had lately?