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Thursday, May 24, 2012

When Did That Happen?

Engine 51, Engine 54, Medic 97, motor vehicle versus bicycle.....

The address is a fast road. This could be messy.

As I arrive in the engine, I see a pickup truck in the middle of the road and a small gaggle of bicyclists around one of their own who is sitting on the shoulder behind the guardrail. No blood smeared on the pavement. Whew.

He has no obvious visual injuries, but is clearly in some pain. Turns out he was not paying attention and rode at high speed downhill into a curve and the path of the truck. The truck screeched to a halt, and the rider decided that it would be better to sail over the guardrail rather than leave his bodily impression on the truck's grille.

He surfed the guardrail long enough to take a post top to the ribs. He's an slightly older guy, salt and pepper hair, in good shape, tells me he's a doctor. He seems to be an agreeable sort and I tell him that, like us firemen, docs and nurses are our best or worst patients. He laughs, winces, and says he'll go with whatever I want to do.

This is a no-brainer full c-spine job. Another friend tells me he's a doctor, too. Of what I never found out, but they were good guys. I asked the doc friend to take c-spine and went on with the full physical assessment without finding anything else of note. His helmet had a good scuff in it, though, another skull saved. E54 arrived and one of their guys wrote down all the info and we packaged him up without delay.

I wished him good luck as we loaded him into M97 and he thanked us for the help.

Other than the poor judgement on the downhill piloting of his bike, he is clearly taking care of himself and looks like he could keep up with most of the younger guys. The paperwork is mine and we all clear the scene.


Filling out the report that E54's backwards rider gave me, I see the DOB.

He was two years younger than me.

Damn. I'm getting kind of old. When did that happen??


Hope to see you on Facebook.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Or like not.

Either way, this blog has succumbed to the Facebook monster and has been assimilated.

It isn't clear to me yet if this will be useful or not, but we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Keep Your Hat On

A little shout-out to those arriving from Radio Reference: The post you're looking for is from December 2009, and can be found here.


I was out in my staff pickup doing some mundane power company errands when my FD was dispatched into the local small town to assist them with a reported traffic accident.  It was fairly close by, but not in my fire jurisdiction, and I was not dressed for the part in any case.

I lug along the fire radio and power company radio in the car with me most places, as you never know what you're going to find or get asked to go do.  Can't actually wear all that crap though.  Gee whiz, if I tried to carry everything.... my Minitor, Mayberry's Minitor, my fire radio, my power company radio, my cell phone.... I'd walk in circles and develop a limp worthy of disability.  But I digress.....

But, since I had the fire radio in the truck, I turned it on anyway just to be nosy.  The small town FD arrived and was unable to locate.  Boring.  I turned the radio back off.  Attention fully back on my power company business....

Several minutes ticked by.

"Dispatch to 570."  That's Bruce.


"Bruce, sent a call to your screen on the Valley Road, request from fire dispatch."

Hmmmm, could it be?  The Valley Road comes out into town and changes its street name, but some of the locals call it the Valley Road through town to the county line.  The original traffic accident call I heard was on the town portion of the "Valley Road".  I called my dispatcher on the phone.

This is Grumpy, I'm near Valley.  What's Bruce got?

Got a reported car versus pole at 4567 Valley Road.

Clicked together like new Lego blocks.  I had turned off the fire radio a tad early.  The original UTL had evolved into finding the correct location, in my "home" fire district..

Where's Bruce coming from?  A long way off, as it turned out, perhaps 30 minutes.

I'm about two minutes away, I'll head over and see what we've got.

I arrived to find a long backup of cars, some of them trying to turn around.  Finally getting to the good part, there's our Engine 55 and the small town Engine.  There's a couple of spans of wire on the ground, and a broken pole.

Keep your hat on.

It's so easy to stumble into trying to do both jobs, but that is just begging for confusion.  The white staff hardhat came out, the turnouts stayed in the truck.

I found the IC, E55's captain.  Sweet! he laughed, our dual subject matter expert!

He asked me if I'd carry the fire radio so he could reach me easier as we worked the scene, and I agreed to do it to keep track of their actions, but avoided actually talking on it.  I nearly tripped up and used it a couple of times, but stayed clean.

This scenario happens once in a while, much more often since I got my new gig.  It's old news for me, but this one seemed like a typical keep just one hat on kind of day, and it worked perfectly.  I guess my message to you guys, if ever you find yourself in a place where you potentially have more than one role, is that things go so much better when you stick to one function and don't have two bosses with widely varied goals and needs.  Nonetheless, it is always fun meeting my guys from one agency when working the other.

Stay safe out there.