Foreword for City Life

by on February 21, 2017

in Products

Michael Morse has long been one of my favorite EMS authors. It was a true honor when he asked me to write the foreword to his book “City Life.”

Reprinted here with Morse’s permission:

What kind of paramedic do I want to be?

How do I want to treat patients?

How do I want my patients and their families to remember me?

How can I avoid the burnout, cynicism and hatred I see in other medics?

I found Michael Morse’s blog, Rescuing Providence, and first book, “Rescuing Providence,” soon after I became a paramedic. With each shift on the ambulance I was increasingly asking myself those questions.

I was working on-call and had a different partner on almost every shift. I had some great partners and some not so great partners. And we always had patients, many living on the very margins of society that either through their struggle with mental illness, addiction, incarceration or chronic illness brought out the best or the worst in us. An unnecessary sternal rub on a drunk, an arm drop test on a seizing patient and high-speed driving and sharp turns felt more like patient assault than treatment.

Back at the station too many conversations tumbled downward to hate-filled, racial rants about the citizens of our response area. Looking back I suppose I could (and probably should have) taken a stand and confronted those medics. Instead of joining the conversation or limply standing by I retreated into EMS books and blogs.

Authors and EMS providers Michael Morse, Peter Canning, Kelly Grayson, Thom Dick and Michael Perry taught me more than I had learned in medic school or from my preceptors. They were a much-needed counterbalance to what I was experiencing on duty.

I learned that it is OK to always give the patient the benefit of the doubt, that the best treatment might be a warm blanket and that if I didn’t stand up for a patient no one would. I also learned that the choices we make to be a part of EMS have consequences for our loved ones. Did I really need the overtime shift, side job teaching, or second job at a different service?

Morse also showed me an outlet for the stress I was experiencing on the street. I needed an outlet that was safe for me, my wife and my young children. Like Morse I turned to writing, as well as exercise, to let go of the stress and not redirect it at my patients. As you read “City Life” – a collection of patient encounters – don’t mourn for Morse, look down at what he did or didn’t do for his patients, or even judge the patients.

Instead reflect on your own practice as a caregiver. What kind of paramedic, parent, spouse or friend do you want to be?

Greg Friese, MS, NRP
EMS1, editor-in-chief



Fire Truck Zamboni

by on February 20, 2017

in Operations

The Appleton ice arena Zamboni is skinned to look like a fire truck (or engine) and sponsored by Pierce Manufacturing. These are photos I took after my son’s team won two games against Appleton.

2017-02-19 14.50.01

2017-02-19 14.50.24

My web search for an “Ambulance Zamboni” or a “Zamboni Ambulance” only returned this result. A Zamboni with a Patriot Ambulance skin.

Patriot Ambulance Zamboni 004 Photo from Lund Collision

My search for “Police Car Zamboni” and “Police Zamboni” came up empty.

Let me know if there are other “Zambulances” I need to add to my collection.



Fire Dept. Coffee – a Firefighter and Veteran Owned Business

February 19, 2017

I met Luke Schneider, firefighter, paramedic and veteran, at the Wisconsin EMS Association conference last month. Luke is also a co-owner of Fire Dept. Coffee. He was kind enough to give me a one pound bag of beans, roasted by his company in Rockford, Illinois. This morning I am enjoying my first cup of Fire Dept. […]

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EMS Today 2017 Preshow

February 18, 2017

Next week I am attending EMS Today 2017 in Salt Lake City. The annual education and trade show is hosted by JEMS. Here is what I am looking forward to: Applauding the accomplishments of EMS1o innovation award winners. Learning about the latest innovations in community paramedicine during the pre-conference. Writing articles about other conference sessions for […]

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5 Reasons You Won’t Get a Job as an EMT

February 15, 2017

Here are five things that will make it really hard to become certified and ever employed as an EMT or paramedic. 1. Felony conviction for abuse Any felony conviction is bad. But a felony conviction for child, sexual or elder abuse makes it especially unlikely you will ever be employed as an EMT. 2. Drug […]

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Email Tips to Manage the Tidal Wave

February 13, 2017

A colleague told me on Saturday  he had already received 700 messages by mid-afternoon. I don’t have that same volume of inbound messages, but this is how I do my best to manage the tidal wave. 1. Unsubscribe from low value and no value messages At least once a day I unsubscribe from a news […]

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Mail Bag: King Cake for Mardi Gras

February 10, 2017

FedEx brought me a cake yesterday from Gambino’s bakery. Big thanks for a NOLA friend for sending. It’s as good as it looks. Tweet

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Cop vs. Paramedic – Get the full story before passing judgement

February 8, 2017

A confrontation between a police officer and paramedic outside an Ohio bar, captured on bystander video, went viral last week. It started a heated debate about who — if anyone — was at fault, and whether the short glimpse of action was enough to make a judgement about the paramedic or the officer’s actions being […]

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Electronic Patient Care Reports Must Get Better

January 31, 2017

EMTs and paramedics’ responses to an NAEMT survey on ePCR software points to opportunities to improve usability and training. The survey report, 2017 National Survey on EMS ePCR Usability, describes the factors impacting perception of ePCR usability, the importance of training and the need to train EMS providers toward proficiency. The 18-question survey adapted questions from […]

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The Code Green Campaign – #SavingPublicSafety

January 29, 2017

You are not alone. If you need help The Code Green help and resources page has links and numbers for immediate mental health assistance. Tweet

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