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Day of Infamy


The following is an excerpt from A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight which is the story of Torpedo Squadron Eight at the Battle of Midway 4 June, 1942. It helps to set the scene for what happened six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor on this day in 1941. I’ll write more about that in a post in 4 June next year.


December 7, 1941

My dear family,
What a day—-the incredulousness of it all still each new announcement of the Pearl Harbor attack the unreality of a fairy tale. How can they have been so mad? Though I suppose we have all known it would come sometime, there was always that inner small voice whispering —- no, we are too big, too rich, too powerful, this war is for some poor fools somewhere else. It will never touch us here. And then this noon that world fell apart.
Today has been feverish, not with the excitement of emotional crowds cheering and bands, playing, but with the quiet conviction and determination of serious men settling down to the business of war. Everywhere little groups of officers listening to the radio, men hurrying in from liberty, quickly changing clothes, and reporting to battle stations. Scarcely and officer seemed to know why we were at war and it seemed to me there is a certain sadness for that reason. If the reports I’ve heard today are true, the Japanese have performed the impossible, have carried out one of the most daring and successful raids in all of history. They knew the setup perfectly —- got there on the one fatal day—-Sunday—-officers and men away for the weekend or recovering from Saturday night. The whole thing was brilliant. People will not realize, I fear, for some time how serious this matter is, the difference of labor and capital is an infectious virus and the public has come to think contemptuously of Japan. And I fear that is a fatal mistake. Today has given evidence of that. This war will be more difficult than any war this country has ever fought.
Tonight I put away all of my civilian clothes. I fear that the moths will find them good fare in the years to come. There is such a finality to wearing a uniform all of the time. It is the one thing I fear—-the loss of my individualism in a world of uniforms. But kings and puppets alike are being moved now by the master—-destiny.
It is growing late and tomorrow will undoubtedly be a busy one. Once more the whole world is afire—-in the period approaching Christmas it seems bitterly ironic to mouth again the timeworn phrases concerning peace on earth—-goodwill to men, with with so many millions hard at work figuring out ways to reduce millions to slavery or death. I find it hard to see the inherent difference between man and the rest of the animal kingdom. Faith lost—-all is lost. Let us hope tonight that people, all people throughout this great country, have the faith to once again sacrifice for the things we hold essential to life and happiness. Let us defend these principles to the last ounce of blood—-but then above all retain reason enough to have “charity for all and malice toward none.” If this world ever goes through this again—-mankind is doomed. This time it has to be a better world.

All my love,

I don’t know that, in all of my reading about the attack on Pearl Harbor, I have ever read a better description of the shock that America felt on that long distant December Sunday. America was violently and instantly shaken out of it’s pre war innocence and lethargy.

There was a threat to not only our nation, but all of the civilized people of the world along with others who had never heard of Japan or even America.

Millions of lives would be lost before the war ended in September of 1945. Millions more, including that of my father, who survived the war, would have the trajectory of their lives unalterably and permanently changed.

America and the rest of the world would never, ever, be the same.

Alas, Ensign Evans would not live to see the end of the war or the better world that he had hoped victory would bring. He, along with most of his fellow officers and sailors in Torpedo Eight would die during the first hours of the Battle of Midway.

The Navy would win a decisive victory at Midway and set the United States and it’s allies on a course that would bring victory, but victory at a great cost in the lives of young men who woke up on December 7 in a nation at peace, but went to bed in a nation about to play it’s part in fighting and winning the greatest war in the history of the planet.

Which is why we should pause today and remember that long ago day when America went to war.

Stupid And Arrogant


Harsh post title, but after reading the following article in the Boston Globe, I think it might be too kind.

Rhode Island EMS crews brought patients to the hospital with misplaced breathing tubes: None of them survived

Go ahead and read the entire article. It’s long but worth reading. If you’re in EMS, you should be shaking your head, or maybe banging it against your desk, when you’re done. I’ll post a few excerpts with my commentary.

Spoiler Alert;

It won’t be a positive commentary.

In the summer of 2018, Dr. Nick Asselin was doing research on cardiac arrests in Rhode Island when he made a horrifying discovery.

Hospital records showed patients had been arriving by ambulance with misplaced breathing tubes, sending air into their stomachs instead of their lungs, essentially suffocating them. At first, he said, there were four cases, then seven. More trickled in.

By the time Asselin presented his findings to a state panel in mid-March, he’d identified 11 patients with so-called esophageal intubations that had gone unrecognized by EMS providers over the previous 2 ½ years. All 11 had died.

11 patients killed by incompetence with arrogance on top. There is, as I was taught many years ago, no disgrace in missing an intubation. We’ve all done it from time to time. The disgrace is in not recognizing it, not using technology that has been available to EMS for close to 25 years, and not following in a clearly spelled out protocol provided by the state EMS regulators.

Here is the pertinent section of the Rhode Island Statewide EMS Protocols, section 7.03, Step # 10.

Confirm proper placement of the ETT utilizing standard methods (presence of
breath sounds, absence of gastric sounds)
and quantitative waveform
capnography (a colorimetric EtCO
2 device may be used for initial confirmation
of placement if waveform capnography is not immediately available).

Straightforward. It’s done thousands of times a day across the nation and in Canada too. It’s done even more in hospital operating rooms. In fact, that’s where first encountered End Tidal Carbon Dioxide monitoring. In a hospital operating room when I was a paramedic student back in 1990.  It was sometime in the early 2000s when ETCO2 spread to EMS, but a few years previously, “colormetric ETCO2” was introduced and used by most EMS systems.

Although apparently not in Rhode Island, at least not consistently.

So, here is where the arrogance starts to pile on top of the stupidity.

Jason M. Rhodes, the state Health Department’s EMS chief, recommended a way to tackle the problem that aligned with national standards: restricting the practice of placing those tubes to paramedics, the most highly trained EMS providers. Rhode Island is the only state in New England, and among a minority nationally, that allows non-paramedics to intubate patients.

But a coalition of Rhode Island’s EMS practitioners, municipal fire chiefs and a city mayor pushed back. They said the “ET tube,” as it’s known, saves lives. Taking it away, as one fire chief put it, “would be a sin.” A lobbyist for the firefighters union lambasted the doctors for not consulting more of its members before proposing such changes, saying, “We’re the experts … not the doctors!”

In the end, the board didn’t restrict the practice to paramedics, instead requiring that all providers — paramedics and EMTs alike — consider less invasive measures before inserting a breathing tube.

The emphasis is mine, not in the original article.

First, the fire chief is wrong. Ironically, there is some study evidence that use of ET Tubes in the field decreases survival. It’s not clear why that is, but placing the ET Tube in the esophagus instead of the trachea and not realizing it clearly does not help.

Then, there is the lobbyist for the firefighters union. Really? YOU know more about medicine than the doctors? I’ve known some very sharp fire service EMS providers, but not one of them has ever stated that he’s an expert and a doctor isn’t.

I’ll grant that many emergency medicine doctors who don’t have a role in EMS systems still don’t know enough about EMS.Still, this clown saying that EMT Cardiacs, a provider level that I thought went out in the 1990s, know more than doctors is ridiculous. Oh, and arrogant.

Consider, but not actually attempt.

Moving on,

Until recently, Rhode Island was the only state in New England where 911 call takers were not trained to provide guidance over the phone on how to perform CPR. That changed this year after The Public’s Radio and ProPublica reported on the deaths of a 6-month-old baby in Warwick and a 45-year-old woman in Cumberland after 911 call takers failed to give CPR instructions to the family or other bystanders.

Rhode Island now has a new 911 center director, and by late winter, all 911 call takers are expected to be trained in emergency medical dispatch, which includes providing CPR guidance over the phone.

So, not just EMS, but apparently EMS dispatch is years, no decades, behind the national standard for 9-1-1 call takers.

By the way, and I ask this question of students a lot, who decides medical “standard of care?”

That’s sort of at trick question and the answers I get are some variation of “doctors”, “medical committees” or something else that sounds like an organized process.

Here’s the answer I got from a paramedic/lawyer friend with extensive experience in EMS litigation.


Standard of Care comes from litigation when a medical case, including EMS, goes really bad and someone sues someone.

Who wants to be “that guy” whose actions caused a new “standard of care?”

Not me.

There’s a description of how this epidemic of misplaced ET Tubes was discovered. I won’t quote it here, but again read the entire article, especially if you’re in EMS.

You can, and should, read about fire chiefs, fire union officials, and politicians doing the damnedest to impede progress in improving medical care in Rhode Island.

As we used to joke about the fire department in Sorta Big City “150 years of tradition, unimpeded by progress.” If you think I’m kidding, you didn’t witness the battle to get all fire fighter to wear their SCBA packs when they went into a burning building.

But I digress.

There is a lot of “rice bowl protecting” going on among the opponents to improving care and patient outcomes. It seems like the fire lobby is worried about private ambulance services trying to horn in on their sinecures.

A couple of more quotes to set up my closing comments,

At 6:03 a.m., Kerry Duarte’s 911 call was patched through to the dispatcher at the Pawtucket Fire Department. Within eight minutes, an EMS crew had arrived at the Goff Avenue apartment and began CPR, according to hospital records provided by the family to The Public’s Radio and ProPublica. Paula Duarte had no pulse and her heart rhythm was asystolic, or flatline.

The EMS crew continued CPR for 11 minutes before one of the crew members — a licensed EMT-Cardiac — performed what he later described in his run report as a “successful intubation.” The placement of the tube was “confirmed 3 times … by 3 different personnel,” according to a copy of the report attached to the hospital record.


he doctor removed Duarte’s endotracheal tube and reintubated her. Then she was given more CPR and more medication. At 7:02 a.m., she was pronounced dead.

It’s impossible to know whether Duarte could have survived if she’d been properly intubated. Duarte had been unconscious for about 30 minutes before the ambulance arrived, the EMS report said.


But unlike the 11 other patients who arrived at hospital emergency rooms with misplaced breathing tubes, Duarte’s case was reported to the state Health Department, triggering a formal investigation.

A month after Duarte died, the state Health Department issued a stern warning to state emergency medical service providers. The notice referenced the 11 other cases, saying they represented an “unacceptable high rate” for such errors. It reiterated that providers should try other means before inserting a breathing tube.


The department’s investigation into Duarte’s case found that the EMT-Cardiac who intubated her, Wesley J. Meyer, “never attempted” to use a device to monitor the patient’s exhaled carbon dioxide levels, according to a consent order he signed in September. The state’s protocols require that the device be used.

Meyer wouldn’t answer questions about the case, telling a reporter who came to his door, “I don’t want to talk about this.”

While the state said that Meyer engaged in “unprofessional conduct,” it noted that those breaches were “tempered” by the fact that Meyer had already taken steps to “retrain himself on the relevant subject matter,” and that his past performance in EMS is “unblemished.”

Meyer’s EMT license was placed on two years’ probation; his 30-day license suspension was “stayed,” meaning he can continue to practice uninterrupted, according to a state Health Department spokeswoman.

To recap, an EMT-Cardiac places an ET Tube in the esophagus of a young lady in cardiac arrest. He fails to follow the protocol regarding tube confirmation. Then, either through laziness, stupidity, or some other motive, he writes an inaccurate report.

The state agency responsible for oversight lets him slide because he did some self remediation. He gets not even a slap on the wrist. No suspension of his EMT certification, not required remediation under supervision of a neutral party, nothing. Nothing at all. Unless you count two years of unsupervised “double secret probation” and a 30 day suspension of his certification, which was “stayed.”

In my daily work doing Quality Improvement reviews for fire based EMS systems not in Rhode Island, I emphasize education and fight against any sort of punitive action for medical mistakes. Which is how I was educated and trained for over 30 years. Medical mistakes happen, that’s just inevitable. What’s important is that you acknowledge those mistakes, learn from them, and make sure that you don’t make them again.

Denying that you screwed up, having your fire chief, mayor, or some other pinhead puff out his chest and claim the doctors are trying to stop providers from “saving lives”, is none of the above. It’s protecting yourself with complete disregard for the well being of patents.

I have to wonder if this article will lead any of the survivors of those 11 victims to contact lawyers?

Discovery, as the saying goes, would be interesting.




Yet, They’ve Made A Business Out of It


Uber to test recording audio of trips in effort to improve security


Uber is testing out a new audio-recording feature in Mexico and Brazil as part of the ride-hailing app’s efforts to improve safety.

The feature was first unveiled at an event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, earlier this month, and will allow drivers and riders to record audio of their trip “before or during the trip in some regions,” according to an Uber blog post in Portuguese.

Notice that this is being tested in countries that don’t have the anti wiretapping laws that we have in the US. That is, they have no Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure. I’ll not bore you with the entire history of that, but suffice it to say that since the 1930s, recording people’s conversations without consent or a warrant is illegal in most cases. At least in America.

On to the main point of this brief blog post.

Earlier this year, a South Carolina college student was killed after getting into a vehicle she mistook for her Uber ride. This prompted the company to push out an alert for riders to check the license plate, make and model of the vehicle — as well as the name and picture of the driver — to confirm it’s the correct person picking them up.

Uber has an unsatisfactory history of vetting it’s drivers. In fact, it pretty much has no history of vetting it’s drivers. Now, I’m not a pretty young, female college student and I don’t use ride services very often. Which doesn’t mean that the unwary can’t become victims of other crimes. Which is why I’m wary when I’m using a ride service. Unless circumstance prevents it, I’m also armed. Yes, I know that violate Uber’s terms of service, but who gives a … dang? That aside, I don’t bury my head in my phone when I’m riding and I do have Waze open to make sure we’re going to the location I specified.

All of that being said here is on thing that you should keep in mind if you are using this type of service.

Uber’s business model is based on ignoring advice that your mother gave you when you were young.

“Don’t get in a car with a stranger.”

Your mother knew what she was talking about.

Gun Safety Fail


Anyone who owns a gun should know and follow the “Four Rules of Firearms Safety.”

  1. All guns are always loaded. Which means that all guns that handle are to be considered loaded at all times. Check, double check, check again.

2. Never point a gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are are ready to shoot. That is shoot only once you have acquired your target. Until then, keep your finger off the trigger and out side of the trigger guard.

4. Be sure of your target and what’s behind it. Bullets have no brakes and no conscience. They will hit whatever they are aimed at and destroy it without remorse. Remorse is for the human that caused the bullet to go on it’s way without being sure that there wasn’t something behind the target.

Which is why this was tragic, unnecessary and just plain stupid. And inexcusable.

KZN prosecutor dies in ‘freak accident’ when gun goes off in court


A prominent senior state advocate died after a gun, displayed in court as an exhibit, was accidentally discharged in the Ixopo regional court on Monday.

KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Elaine Zungu confirmed that advocate Addelaid Ann Ferreira Watt died on Monday.

It is understood the gun fell and a shot went off, hitting the advocate in what has been described as “freak accident”.

Guns that can fire when dropped are pretty rare, at least in the US. But, there are a lot of old guns and old guns in other countries where it’s a distinct risk. Even here it can happen if someone is handling an older gun and isn’t familiar with it design or vintage.

You know when it CAN’T happen? It can’t happen if the gun isn’t loaded. Which should have been the first thing done when the gun was taken into custody as evidence.

“It is alleged the weapon was brought to court to be entered as evidence in a house robbery case when it accidentally discharged in court. Unfortunately we cannot divulge further information as the investigations are at a sensitive stage,” he said.

Accidentally? No, negligently. Negligent handling of a firearm caused this death, not an accident.

How many people handled this firearm since it was taken into custody? How many people, people who should have known better, failed in their duty to make sure that a gun that was going to be submitted into evidence in a court room full of people was not loaded?

By Tuesday morning, numerous messages of condolence had been posted on Watt’s Facebook page.

“I am totally shocked, words can’t express how devastated I am,” one friend wrote.

Another said the prosecutor’s death was “unnecessary”.

Unnecessary is the least of it. Grossly negligent is also an inadequate description. Wanton misconduct is much closer to the truth, but still inadequate.

There is absolutely no reason and no excuse for this death.

It’s incomprehensible.


Veteran’s Day


Today we should all be thanking military veterans for their service. Whether in war or peace or whether or not they saw combat, doesn’t matter.

They stepped up, even if they were drafted, and served their country.

That deserves our thanks for what they did and what they sacrificed.

In Commonwealth nations it’s Remembrance Day.

In many other nations around the world there are similar observances on this or other day.

Civilized nations remember those who helped keep them independent and civilized.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly recommend “They Shall Not Grow Old.” A group of people, including some technical geniuses, cleaned up, digitized, and colorized herky jerky black and white footage from World War 1.They also hired forensic lip readers to figure out what was being said and then hired actors to voice the vides. The result is stunning and stunningly graphic documentary that portrays the horror of trench warfare in France during the First World War.

Here is the trailer for the movie. Again, if you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to find it on home video and watch it.

Keep in mind that many of the people seen in this movie didn’t survive the end of the war. Which tells us the real cost of war.

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps


10 November 1775 in Philadelphia, two battalions of “Continental Marines” were formed to fight on land and sea. Which means that the USMC predates the founding of the United States by about half a year.

Other than an ill advised dissolution from 1783-89, they have been defending America from it’s enemies ever since.

As the power and prestige of the United States grew, so did the mission of the USMC. That included developing counter insurgency strategies and tactics during the time between World War 1 and World War 2. Much of that information is still used to this day.

Other nations have patterned their marine forces on that of the USMC.

A consistent record of protecting America through good time and bad is something or which to be proud.

The Mask Slips


Democrats have been saying for quite some time now that “No one is going to take your guns.”

Those are the same Democrats who assured us that if we liked our doctor, we could keep our doctor. Or that if we liked our insurance plan, we’d be able to stay on it.

All three were lies, but we only found out about the last two after the Affordable Care Act was passed and people who liked their doctor and had perfectly good health insurance lost both and paid a lot more for what they did get.

During the debate of Thursday last, one candidate told the truth. I’m not sure if he meant to or got caught up in the moments, but he uttered what many gun owners have long suspected.

Robert Francis O’Rourked, who goes by the Hispanic sounding “Beto” to fool people said the following,

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR15s and AK47s.”

You can find video of that on the Internet if you are so interested. I’m not because I’ve seen it a few times already.

Oh, he’s selling T shirts too, presumably to fund his so far failing campaign.

There are gun owners that don’t own either an AR or AK pattern rifle. They own other guns, but not those models. Some of them own other semi automatic rifles of various designs. Some own a shotgun and a rifle for hunting or target shooting. Others are “handgun guys” and use their guns mainly for competition.

Still others have a variety of guns and even own a hand gun for personal defense.

Many of those none AR owners are no doubt thinking, “I agree, those are dumb guns that no one can use for anything but wasting a lot of ammunition blasting away at targets. It’s no big deal because if we let them take the ARs and AKs, they’ll be satisfied and leave the rest of us alone.”

Those people are wrong. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “This is not the end, nor is it the beginning of the end. It is only the end of the beginning.”

At no time, at no place, in history has prohibition worked. Prohibition of alcohol in the United States didn’t stop the production, sale, ,and possession of alcohol. It served only to turn otherwise law abiding citizens into criminals. It also served to fund a few relatively small organized crime gangs into well funded, well organized, international crime syndicates.

What will happen in the U.S. if people like Robert Francis O’Rourke succeed is that they will fail to stop the crimes that they assure us will cease to occur if only they can take AR and AK pattern rifles away.

What will be next? My guess is other semi automatic rifles, especially those with detachable magazines. There are a lot of them, including war relics, reproductions of war relics, and semi automatic rifles that use different mechanicals  to work.

After that, semi automatic pistols. All of them, not the purposely misnamed “high capacity magazine” guns.

Then the hunting and target bolt action rifles that have telescopic sights. They will be, hell already are, being renamed “Sniper style rifles.” Soon, the “style” will be dropped from the name and they will be “Sniper Rifles.” Which no one will need because they are “designed only to kill people.”

None of which will stop crime. The implement is not the weapon, the mind of the murderer is the weapon.



Eighteen Years After


As I have on September 11 every year since I started the blog, I publish a post about the attacks that put to rest any thoughts that we were immune from Islamoterrorist attacks here in the United States.

Many people had forgotten the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. Others thought it was nothing more than an attack by a fringe element. Attacks on US assets around the world didn’t wake people up, either.

Now there was no ignoring the threat to our country and our way of life. For at least a while, anyway.

Here is a link to the timeline of the all of the attacks on that day. It seems like a long time ago, because it was a long time ago.The war ignited that day is still going on all these years later.

President G.W. Bush gave the Taliban, who ran Afghanistan, and ultimatum. Give up the Al Qaeda terrorists who perpetrated the attack or face military action. They refused and on October 7, 2001 “Operation Enduring Freedom” started. The Taliban were quickly ousted from power (not defeated) and many of the Al Qaeda fighters were killed or captured.

Still the primary objective, capturing Osama bin Laden was not met for years afterward. The Taliban still control large swathes of the country side outside of the major cities and attack the major cities frequently.

As most people know, bin Laden fled into neighboring Pakistan where he hid until in May of 2011. The Pakistani government, or at least important people in that government, knew where he was and kept that information from the United States. Some allies.

There is a large Taliban presence along the frontier with Afghanistan and they move back and forth across the putative borders with impunity. Part of that is the rugged terrain, part of it is sympathetic officials in Pakistan, and part of it is corrupt and lazy officials in Afghanistan.

Part of it too is how the United States has chosen to wage war. Since the end of World War 2, the United States has decided not to wage total war of the type waged in World War 2.

Throughout recorded history, the only way to win a war is to destroy the enemies ability to  and crush it’s willingness to wage war. From Korea on the US has engaged in a doctrine of limited war.

Add to that the attempts of the US to engage in “nation building” in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Iraq has been a bit more successful, but billions have been wasted in Afghanistan trying to build a nation while the other side is still actively fighting. Think of it as trying to change a tire while the car is still driving.

Which, somewhat depressingly, brings us to 2019. We’re still waging a limited war, and at best holding our ground. It’s more likely that the Taliban and their allies are winning, at least incrementally.

As I mentioned earlier, outside of the major cities there is no “Afghan government.” The Taliban control much of the territory and war lords control much of what’s left. Afghanistan is a convenient name on a map, not a country.

Oh, and Al Qaeda is still out there, but it now goes by the name ISIS. A premature troop withdrawal from Iraq mixed with the ongoing civil war in Syria gave the remnants of Al Qaeda a place and time to reorganize and if anything become more vicious.

Minds much greater than mine have tried and failed to figure out what to do. So, don’t expect an answer to me.

One one hand, we can’t win in the conventional term. On the other, a withdrawal will be a huge victory for an enemy that hopes to impose it’s will on the entire world. Not just the Taliban, but Islamofascism in general. On the third hand, the police and military of Afghanistan have proven wholly insufficient and mostly disinterested in standing up for their own country.

President Trump was trying to negotiate a peace deal of some sort, but the Taliban proved it’s untrustworthy nature by staging a terrorist bombing the very weekend that their leaders were supposed to be here in the US to negotiate with what passes for a central government in Afghanistan and the United States.

The President cancelled the scheduled meeting an notified the world of what he’d done. Frankly, I think he showed more restraint than I could have. I’d have ordered the Taliban representatives taken to Guantanamo left there to rot. Such is diplomacy.

Speaking of Guantanamo, eighteen years of ineffectual war, diplomacy, and “nation building.” The date for the trial of five men accused of planning the attack is scheduled for January 11. Of 2021. Yes, almost 20 years after the attack, the trial MIGHT actually begin down there in Cuba.

In setting the January 11 2021, start, Mr Cohen noted that the trial at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, “will face a host of administrative and logistics challenges”.

Which might mean that there never will be a trial.

So, here we are eighteen years after the attacks, with an enemy still undefeated, and the alleged “master minds” still not brought to justice in any form.

I also have to wonder which media outlets will provide coverage on tomorrow’s anniversary? The American public seems to have little interest in the events of eighteen years ago. The people who responded still remember and many of them continue to die each year from illnesses contracted while they were on the scene.

The politicians only seem to be interested in the attacks and the sequelae both medically and emotionally when they can use it to pound on their political adversaries.

Most of the stories center on police and fire responders, but there were thousands of other people who responded and stayed for varying lengths of time and have suffered as well.

All those who have died or become ill in the years following the attacks are also victims of the enemy.

It all seems so futile in so many ways.

You can’t wage a war “humanely” if you expect to win it. Which has been the problem since September 11, 2001. Large numbers of Americans in public and private life refuse to consider that this prolonged war is anything buy humane.

As I said, I don’t have the answers. In fact, I don’t even know all of the questions.

So, I’ll just think about the horrific events of that day as I watched the 21st Century version of the attack on Pearl Harbor unfold on TV.

And think of the dead.



Prostate Cancer Awareness Month


September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer among men, after Sking Cancer. It’s the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men, after Lung Cancer.

It’s deadly. It can be treated successfully, but early discovery is the key. If you’re a man and over about 40, you need to be tested.

The PSA test requires a blood draw, but a rectal exam is still the best way to discover it. Yes, a rectal exam is, if you’ll excuse the pun, a pain in the ass. That said, a bit of momentary discomfort is nothing compared to a late diagnosis.

If the PSA or rectal exam are positive, the next step is a confirmatory biopsy. Again, not a pleasant experience, or so I’ve been told, but it’s better than the alternative.

There are about 175,000 cases diagnosed each year and over 31,000 of the patients will eventually die from the disease.

You can go to the Kilted To Kick Cancer page on Facebook to learn more. I don’t know of the coterie of bloggers are going to have a contest this year, but I’m sure you can find somewhere to donate.

Don’t become a statistic, get  screened.

Donate so that we can someday have a prostate cancer free world.

That is all.



I’m Not Sure This Is A Good Idea


Before all the dog lovers send hate emails, let me just say that I love pets. I don’t currently own a dog, but have owned several in the past.

That’s not the issue with this,

Bill that would allow emergency treatment for police dogs filed after 7NEWS investigation

I’ll leave aside the self congratulatory headline, after all that’s what second rate media does.

BOSTON (WHDH) – Action on Beacon Hill after a 7News exclusive investigation: It’s shocking but true: All the brave law enforcement officers in Massachusetts do not get equal opportunity for medical treatment when they’re injured in the line of duty. Hank Phillippi Ryan Investigates.

I know that this might be shocking, but dogs aren’t people. I know a lot of people who treat their dogs as people, but they aren’t people.

After our investigation, Representative Crocker filed Nero’s Bill. “It’s absolutely time for this to change in Massachusetts,” Crocker said.

The bill would allow injured working police K-9s to be treated and transported by EMT’s. It even requires emergency responders to get special canine training.

Here are some of the problems I see with this proposed law.

Who pays for the “special canine training” that EMS will be required to get?

Certainly not the TV station, nor the police, nor the state. Which will mean that ambulalnce services will have to pay to train their staff in skills that most won’t ever need.

Who pays for the equipment? Dogs aren’t people, so some specialized equipment will be need to go with the “special canine training.” Among that equipment will likely be some sort of restraint system so that the injured dog isn’t tossed around in the back of the ambulance.

What happens to an ambulance that transports a canine? On a guess, it will have to be cleaned thoroughly if not decontaminated. Yes, we clean ambulances after ever call, but I c can’t help but wonder if the state will require a different level of  cleaning for this.

Who pays for the medical care and transport? For that matter, where is EMS supposed to transport only to human medical facilities. 9-1-1 responses are required to go to Emergency Departments.

That includes where do the ambulances go during off hours? Is the system supposed to transport a significant distance outside it’s normal response area to go to a 24 hour animal emergency department?

What about liability? Both for bad outcomes for the dog and the likely traffic crashes that ambulances will be involved in.

There is some interesting language in the bill, which can be found here.

I also wonder about “mission creep.” Will this lead to treating of police horses? Seriously, some larger departments have mounted units and those horses do get injured. In fact, if my aging memory serves me colleagues of mine were called upon to treat an injured horse some years back.

Finally, somehow I think this will lead to calls to treat non police canines. After all, if a police canine needs an ambulance and emergency treatment, what about Fido after he is hit by a car?

I know some people read this will think I’m kidding about the last two, but these things have a way of getting out of hand.



All About Me

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.

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Some Gave All


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