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Ambulance: Help is Always Right

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

The Hartford Courant this week noticed what most everyone else around here has– panhandlers are on nearly every corner of big intersections these days. Many carry the standard signs drawn on ripped cardboard “Homeless and Hungry.” Some wear masks, others don’t. Some make eye contact, others look down at their feet. They almost universally say “God Bless,” when you roll down your window and give them a dollar. I suspect that is more panhandler etiquette than religious belief.

How many of them have lost their jobs, and their homes due to COVID and the economic downturn? And how many of them are substance users? What are they doing with the money? Buying bread to feed their families or buying liquor or drugs and/or alcohol to fight off withdrawal sickness?

The article reports that several towns are asking people not to give panhandlers money for fear it will encourage them and increase the problem. Instead, they advocate donating money to local homeless shelters and other charities that service the homeless population.


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Ambulance: Mass Incarceration

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

When I started as a paramedic over twenty-five years ago, I had a number of set views.  Here are two.

  1. People who use heroin have character flaws and are criminals. They deserved their fate. 
  2. People who go to jail or have been in jail went because they had character flaws and were criminals. They deserved their fate.

In time, I learned that addiction was not a character flaw, but a chronic relapsing brain disease and that many people became addicted through no fault of their own, but because of system that allowed pharmaceutical companies to prey on people leading to mass prescription of addictive pain pills not in the interest of patient care, but profit.  Users were sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, friends and neighbors, people who should be treated with love and compassion.

Working in the north end of Hartford, I have encountered people with substance use disorder and many people who either been in jail or are no doubt headed there. 

I am sixty-two years old now, and while I am not ready to embrace murders and...

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Police: Questions, Questions

Written by RSS Poster policecommander

These are unprecedented times.

No peacetime Government in the last hundred years has faced a greater set of challenges than those now facing the Government of Boris Johnson.

That being said, I do have some questions about the response to Coronavirus in this country.

I have never been a supporter of those who offer commentary and criticism from the sidelines – from the comfort of their armchairs – without ever having faced up to a real challenge in real life. So I’m not about to become one of them.

But I do have some questions. They look something like this:

Why do we in Britain have one of the highest excess death rates in the Western world?

Why do we have one of the bleakest economic outlooks in the Western world?

Why did we delay the first lockdown?

Why did we fail to protect care homes?

Why did we fail to get adequate PPE to frontline workers?

Why was there one rule for Dominic Cummings and one rule for everyone else?

Why has he still not been held to account?

Why has Government...

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Ambulance: Unrecognizable

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I was bruised and battered…I was unrecognizable to myself.”

The Streets of Philadelphia

Bruce Springsteen

On November 3, 2020, let’s make America a country we can recognize again.

Vote!

 

 



Ambulance: Connecticut Fatal Overdoses Up 17% in 2020

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

Data just released from the state Department of Public Health shows overdose deaths through July are up 17% over the same time period last year.  2019 which ended with 1200 fatalities represented the previous high for overdose deaths.  Deaths were up in each of the first seven months over 2019 numbers.

Drug Overdoses Monthly Report, January 2019-August 2020

If the trend continues over 1400 people will die of overdoses in Connecticut in 2020.

In other numbers Fentanyl was involved in 84% of the deaths.  Carfentanil was present in only 2 of the deaths,

The largest increase in deaths was in nonhispanic blacks with the death rate in this group increasing by 42%.



Ambulance: A Bad Place

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I have a bad feeling about the direction COVID is heading in Connecticut.  Each day the number of cases and the infection rate seem to be rising, but the Governor keeps saying a rise is expected, worth watching but not a real concern yet.  He went ahead with the restaurant’s expanded capacity, but as the numbers grow — not just what I read in the paper, but what I am seeing on the street and at the hospital, it is clear the COVID is BACK.

Daily coronavirus updates: Connecticut reports highest positivity rate since June; hospitalizations also increase

At the hospital, I send notifications to EMS services every time they bring in a COVID patient so they can monitor their employees’ exposures and make certain they are wearing the proper gear.  After doing only one case in the entire month of August and only three in September, I have done 10 in the last three days.  No sooner did I a send an email to one service than two more cases popped up on the board.

The cases are in the community, in nursing homes again, as well as elderly housing,...

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Police: ENFORCED CHANGE FOR JUDICIAL SYSTEM

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


There is no doubt that many of the great British public can`t believe that magistrates are unpaid volunteers. From their point of view who would want to spend considerable time and obligations for no reward. From Carlisle in the north to Penzance in the west and all points east and south  local print media have recently been pleased to accept paid advertising from the Ministry of Justice in its appeal for applicants to the magistracy. Whether in their desperation to recruit or through sheer incompetence appointments committees charged with recruitment of JPs seem still unable to weed out those for whom sitting on the bench is more a social kudos than one of the most responsible positions a volunteer can undertake.  By far the most common reason for magistrates to be sacked is failing to sit for the minimum number of times for which they have effectively agreed; 13 days annually plus a few days training.  In my opinion such a limited attendance even for a winger is not enough to produce a well trained and...

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Ambulance: Race-Based Medicine

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

Most of my EMS career, I have worked in areas that are predominately black.  If I wanted to get a head start on my run forms, I could check heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes for medical history and be right a large portion of the time.  I have always thought that black people were biologically predisposed to these terrible diseases.  However, I have learned that I was wrong.  Black people are at a higher risk for these diseases not based on genes, but based on social factors.  Poverty, poor nutrition, lack of access to health care, employment and opportunity discrimination all contribute to a black person’s risk for getting the diseases, in the same way they would contribute to a white person’s chances of getting the diseases if they faced similar obstacles.

Check out this talk by Dorothy Roberts, University of Pennsylvania civil rights sociologist, and law professor.

If we made make progress against these diseases, we need to address and fix the social factors.

 



Ambulance: Opioid Podcast

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

I was interviewed recently for a podcast talking about Connecticut’s SWORD opioid overdose reporting program.  Check it out here:

 



Ambulance: Colonel Tye, Mum Bett and Each of Us

Written by RSS Poster Medic Scribe

In my Anti-Black racism course I an taking at UCONN, I learned about two famous Americans who I had never heard of before.  Colonel Tye and Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mum Bett.  They both lived during the American Revolutionary War.

Colonel Tye was a New Jersey slave known as Titus.  He was owned by a Quaker, who refused to follow other Quakers in educating their slaves and releasing them on their 21th birthdays. Tye  joined the British side in return for his freedom and gold guineas.  He led many daring guerrilla raids against the Americans, until he died of lockjaw from a musket ball wound to his wrist.  He was such a successful and feared leader that many American patriots claimed that the war against the British would have been won years earlier had the Americans only enlisted Colonel Tye on their side.

When I was reading about him, I had to pause a moment and think, wait, he’s killing Americans.  But then I thought, well, if I were enslaved by people who claimed to be fighting for their rights,...

This ambulance blog continues, Read More...




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Emergency Shorts:
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