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Ambulance: Graveyard

Written by RSS Poster Streetwatch: Notes of a Paramedic

I came to work the other day and saw a chilling site in the parking lot. Ambulance 911 — the ambulance that was assigned to me for many years when I worked the 5:30-17:30 shift, the ambulance that had been my EMS home — sat battered and wrecked in a line with other battered and wrecked ambulance and fly cars in our lot that at times seems like an emergency vehicle repair/burial yard. It sent a chill through me. (Fortunately, I found out the crew involved in the rollover accident was okay.)

EMS work is not safe. I know coworkers who wear bulletproof vests; others are meticulous in their infection control habits, always gloving and gowning up and washing their hands thoroughly. But if you really want to protect yourself in EMS, you should be wearing a crash helmet and a St. Christopher cross around your neck.

Here is a post I wrote back in 2006, describing an incident where I almost died. In the years since, I have had other close calls, but still nothing significant as far as ambulance safety or dispatch...

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Police: PLUS CA CHANGE ...................

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


We now have the 8th Lord Chancellor/ Justice Secretary since 2010. It doesn`t need advanced mathematics to appreciate that at that rate it is impossible for anyone however gifted to truly appreciate all the nuances of the job and to set the direction of travel without the combined resources of those who keep the wheels turning ie the department`s civil servants.  But the great British public really doesn`t care about "justice" until perhaps the summons appears in their letter box.  Al they know is the few brief lines in their local paper or what they read or hear on social media:- Twitter Law. With in depth reporting of criminal matters becoming more sparse week by week, headline criminality excepted, it is cases like this which form the concept of "justice" in the public mind.  Compared to many that report seems comprehensive but it leaves the impression of "soft" justice: perhaps that is justified.  There is nothing reported by the presiding magistrate which seems to justify the leniency dished out to...

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Ambulance: Pediatric Poisoning

Written by RSS Poster Streetwatch: Notes of a Paramedic

You’re called to an urgent care center on a priority one.  The nurse is holding the front door of the center open for you and directs you back to a treatment room, where a PA and another nurse are providing ventilations to a two year-year-old.  The story they tell you is the the child fell off the couch and was not acting right.  His mother drove him to the urgent care center where they found the child somnolent and hypoxic.  The PA is questioning a head injury.  The child has no pertinent medical history and there was no seizure activity described at any time.  The child’s pupils are smallish, but equal under the bright light of the exam room.  The mother sits quietly in a chair in the room.  She can’t be more than twenty herself and seems detached from the emotion in the room.

You quickly reexamine the child and see no bruising.  While your partner straps a pedi-mate to the stretcher to secure the child, you take over bagging and find good compliance. The pulse oximeter probe you attach to the...

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Police: A PAT ON THE BACK

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


For the first time since my retirement I attended a magistrates court not long ago. In the past I have described,  as an insider, some of the shortcomings of my own court and the system in general.  Indeed much frustration has been ventilated here but the 10.00 a.m. start of that recent session demonstrated to me at least a facet of English justice of which I felt justly proud to have been a very very small part. Whether that experience was typical is another matter. 

In the witness box: a Spanish interpreter sworn in; at hand a young woman recently arrived from South America was to make a statutory declaration. She had recently received a notice from a firm of bailiffs demanding around £600 in fine plus costs for non payment of a fine for a motoring offence. Her declaration stated that for various reasons she had received no earlier notification that any offence had been committed, no demand for payment and queried the offence details themselves.

The procedure was carefully explained and translated for her and she left the...

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Ambulance: Safe Supply

Written by RSS Poster Streetwatch: Notes of a Paramedic

In the last two days, there were two big news stories about famous people dying of suspected opioid overdoses.  One involved the death of one of my favorite actors, Michael K. Williams, who played Omar in “The Wire.”  The other was a triple fatal where the victims were believed to have used cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Actor Michael K. Williams, Who Played Omar on ‘The Wire,’ Has Died At Age 54

Comedian Fuquan Johnson among 3 dead after suspected drug overdose in Venice

The New York Times recently ran an article “The Cocaine Was Laced With Fentanyl. Now Six Are Dead From Overdoses,” which attributed a recent string of deaths to dealers deliberately lacing cocaine with fentanyl. 

 I believe they got it wrong.  From all the people I have talked to and most of what I have read, these cocaine deaths are more likely caused by cross contamination than deliberate lacing.  Many dealers, at least here in Connecticut, sell both fentanyl and cocaine.  If they fail to properly clean their...

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Police: ETHNIC PAKISTANI MURDER RATES BELOW THE HORIZON

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

 


A decade ago most people would have been hard put to offer a meaning to the term "woke".  They had gotten used to the term "politically correct" but there was another expression which had yet to appear amongst the deluge of print in broadsheets and others; "cancel culture".  The term "racist" had become common parlance decades ago.  Until perhaps thirty years ago it was used in its basic form as an adjective  to describe being prejudiced against or antagonistic towards a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalised.  As a noun it identified being a racist as a person who is prejudiced against or antagonistic towards people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalised. How times have moved on. Whilst the "N" word is virtually forbidden and rightly erased in almost any context there are still epithets in common parlance used to...

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Ambulance: Paramedics Indicted

Written by RSS Poster Streetwatch: Notes of a Paramedic

I have been a street paramedic since 1995.  Up until 2008 I often worked 70 hours a week.  That’s when I got a part-time job as an EMS Coordinator at a local hospital.  In that position, I do quality assurance on the paramedic services that we oversee.  I stayed full time as a medic, working Sunday through Tuesday 12 hour shifts, and then sat at the desk Wednesday to Friday.  Two years ago, they bumped up my hours at the hospital, and for a while I worked 20 hours on the ambulance, but now I am down to Fridays in the city fly car, responding to 911 calls all day.

I like doing both jobs.  Working in the street keeps me honest.  On Monday I read another paramedic’s run form and wonder what he was thinking.  On Friday, I find myself in the same situation and better understand what that medic was thinking.  I am always reminded, it is never straight forward.

When I heard of the case of Elijah McClain (the young man who was by many accounts was assailed by police officers simply for acting strangely,...

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Ambulance: Overdose Awareness Day 2021

Written by RSS Poster Streetwatch: Notes of a Paramedic

800,000 Americans dead since 2000. No end in sight.

People are dying because they use alone and their drug supply is contaminated. In the age of fentanyl, every bag or counterfeit pill bought on the street could contain a lethal dose.

Stopping fentanyl at the border isn’t going to work.

The War on Drugs (Interdiction and Prohibition) has been a failure. Community naloxone only goes so far. To significantly decrease the deaths, we need safe injection sites, decriminalization and creation of a legal safe drug supply.



Police: STAR CHAMBER 2021 STYLE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


A simple question; can justice in its myriad forms be secret?  The answer must be a resounding "no". Whether in the confines of a small room in a magistrates court where  the Single Justice Procedure is in operation,  in the hinterlands of China or at 81 – 82 Queens Building, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand London, WC2A 2LL, the home of the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office,  the answer is the same; no, no and no. It is not fanciful nor an exaggeration to refer to the last named as a Star Chamber; a system with an ominous history.......... an English court which sat at the royal Palace of Westminster, from the late 15th century to the mid-17th century, and was composed of Privy Counsellors and common-law judges, to supplement the judicial activities of the common-law and equity courts in civil and criminal matters. Being under the suzerainty of the sovereign its processes are a historical treasure trove.  Indeed they were formalised as follows:-

The proceedings, recorded in English, gathered together the details...

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Ambulance: Conditions of Employment

Written by RSS Poster Streetwatch: Notes of a Paramedic

Many years ago, a paramedic I know who worked for another company got into a spat with a nurse at a dialysis center.  I don’t know the details of the spat.  It sounded like nothing more than two people in a bad mood snapping at each other.  Nothing that occurred resulted in a suspension or discipline for the medic or the nurse.  The paramedic, however, based upon the nurse’s complaint to her supervisor, was barred from the dialysis center by the center.  The center told the ambulance company he cannot enter our premises. To my knowledge he had no hearing, no chance to present a case.  He was simply banned by a private business from entering their facility.  What did this lead to?  His apparently apologetic bosses had to fired him from his job.  Not for poor performance or for anything he did or said that day. he was fired simply because as a condition of his job, he would at some point in the future, be required to enter that center either on a transfer or an emergency call, and his banishment...

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