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2018 Is Upon Us


A belated Happy New Year to everyone. The holidays ran over me like a train. This was the busiest holiday season I’ve had in several years. We had holiday engagements every weekend in December, right into the New Year.

Right after that I drove to Gettysburg,  PA for the memorial for my long time friend and mentor Lou Jordan. If you knew Lou, you knew what an influence on EMS he was for 40 years. If you didn’t know Lou and are in EMS, you owe him a debt even though you probably don’t realize it. One of the first EMTs in the country, firefighter for Baltimore City, one of the original EMT instructors, an EMS state training director, medic for the FBI HRT, book publisher, and friend of 1,000s of people in EMS.

I like to say that Lou knew everyone in EMS and everyone important in EMS knew Lou. Along with a lot of people who weren’t important in EMS, but knew and loved him for the person he was.

About 200 people made their way to the small town of Union Bridge, MD for the service. People came from all over the country and at least one came from Great Britain to pay their respects. Lou was a one of a kind and I miss him terribly.

Now of course, I have to get back into my “work” routine. I call it “work” because I get paid to do it, but it’s not difficult. There are no long shifts, working in snow storms and freezing cold, carrying heavy (and not heavy) sick people down stairs, up stairs, or through a couple of feet of snow. It’s really teaching and working with a younger generation of EMTs and paramedics. A big part of my job is bringing my experience and education in EMS to people who were not fortunate enough to have the excellent opportunities that I had over my career. As much as we groused about our training at Sort of Big City EMS, we had opportunities that most EMTs and paramedics don’t.

For the most part, once the providers get to know me and I get to know them, we have great conversations and we all learn something.

Oh, and I get paid for it.

To be a good provider, one must always be willing to learn. Unlearning the “facts” that turned out to be wrong is sometimes the hardest part of EMS education. As a physician I know once said, “Half of everything I learned in medical school is wrong. The difficult part is figuring out which half.”

The year has started out on a positive note. The economy is roaring along, the stock market is setting new records on an almost daily basis. North Korea is suddenly interested in “talking” with South Korea. Employment is up, companies are bringing money (and thus jobs) back into the country, and in general things are improving. ISIS is a shadow of itself. A dangerous shadow, but it seems to be curtailed. On a related note, Saudi Arabia seems to be coming into the 20th Century. Not a bad listaccomplishments for a man who never ran for office before deciding to become President. Sure, some of his Tweets are cringe worthy, but those are just diversion devices for the not to bright. And don’t kid yourself into thinking that he had nothing to do with any of this.

For those of you who are “into” guns, in most places this is a good time to buy things. Gun prices are low because there are a lot of them out there, the same with ammunition. It’s not cheap, but it’s available and there are some good deals if you look around. Supply has caught up with demand. I have some acquisitions and dispositions planned for this year. I’ll be posting some pictures of recent purchases here and there.

Speaking of guns, don’t hold your breath waiting for national reciprocity to be enacted into law and signed by the President. It has been passed by the the House of Representatives, but I full expect it to die in the Senate. Even though it would personally benefit me, I’m not a big fan of the concept. Letting the federal government stick its nose into the licensing tent may be tempting, but as we know in an election cycle or two we could decidedly anti gun people in charge and things could go sideways quickly.

2017 will not go down as my favorite year ever. My daughter had a rough year in some regards and that makes me unhappy. One of her cats died quite suddenly, her long term relationship with a guy we thought was nice died not so suddenly, but quite painfully. The state she lives in is taking an incredibly long time to approve the paperwork for her to take her final licensing exam. On the other hand, she has been promoted at work twice this year, although with minimal increases in pay. I think it will all work out, but no matter how old they are, one does worry about his kids.

In addition, a long time co worker died one month after he retired. He had health issues, but had been improving. Another person I miss even though I didn’t see him often. A friend’s wife died, also suddenly. There was too much of that last year and a reminder that there will be more to come over the coming years.

Enough rambling for now. More posts will come as I have time. I’ve been thinking of the future of EMS, but to be truthful, I don’t know where EMS is going. A lot of what is or isn’t happening in EMS is related to funding. Which is uncertain, to say the least.

2018 will be interesting.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.