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Texas EMS Conference, the awards ceremony.

The awards ceremony for Texas EMS were held today in Austin at the EMS Conference. Some of the awards that were announced were:

  • EMS Public Information/Injury Prevention – Fayette County EMS, La Grange
  • EMS CitizenJasiah Rubalcava, San Antonio
  • EMS TelecommunicatorPatricia Ancelet, Nederland
  • EMS EducatorRonna Miller, Dallas
  • Designated Trauma FacilityCitizens Medical Center, Victoria
  • EMS AdministratorBryan Taylor, Seminole
  • EMS Medical DirectorHenry Boehm, Brenham
  • EMS First ResponderKemah Fire Department, Kemah
  • EMS ProviderAustin County EMS, Bellville
  • EMS Person of the YearPhillip Rogers, Fort Worth
  • EMS Hall of FameVan Williams, Webster
  • GETAC’s Journey of ExcellenceRonald Steward, San Antonio
  • Hall of Honor (line of duty deaths)Michael Hatley of Houston, December 29, 2011, and Michael Steffen of Salt Flat, March 12, 2012.

It was a packed house and it reached a near boiling point when the colors were raised and tribute was paid to those that have died in the past year who are our brothers and sisters in emergency situations. I am very proud to say that you could hear a pin drop in the entire area as we stood for the ceremony. As is custom a table was left out for those that have been lost, as we never forget them.

The flags that were given to the families is a small consolation for the loss that they have felt but I believe that any of us know the risk and would feel honored to have our peers stand at attention to say goodbye.

I personally thank each and every one of you that go out there and do this job each and every day. We all know the survival rate for anyone is zero at some point, so let’s enjoy each day and do what we must with spirit and vigor. I feel blessed that I was able to see this ceremony and have to say that as the bagpipes were played while the color guard marched out of the location many in attendance were reminded of those that have gone before their time and wept. They were tears of pain but also of some solace. We were all family in that room at that time.

Texas EMS Conference so far

So far I have been having a great time, fellow EMS brothers and sisters from Texas have been seen all throughout the city and it has been a blast. I am not sure I should be writing this since part of “blast” has also been drinking a few beers, I hope like myself all my EMS family is being safe out there. Tomorrow the classes begin and I hope to bring some of the information I receive to you, my audience. I have met many different and inspiring people and am working on at least 3 bios from the exhibit hall. I always leave these EMS conferences filled with hope and pride for what so many of you do for all of us.

I hope you are all safe and enjoying life wherever you are and promise to keep you updated. We are a young field when you take everything into consideration, we have been in existence much less than fire and police departments, but we have made great strides and hope it continues. I am getting ready for bed as I type this and hope to learn much tomorrow.

Good night.

So it begins.

So it begins, my journey towards obtaining my Flight Paramedic Certification has commenced. If I learned one thing after these last three days of hardcore review it is that I have so much to learn.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


I am going to be studying for the next month or so and then will attempt to pass it. We were taught by Clinical Analysis Management and I have to say it was one of the most educational 3 days of my career. Not to say that I haven’t had other great courses in my EMS career, but let me say that even though half of the information was way above my head (not to mention scope of practice) the other half was still so educational I am not kidding when I say it is going to have a significant effect on my future patient care. The class was taught by Anthony Baca, (MBA, MSNc, RN, LP, CCRN, CFRN, FP-C) and Traci Shortt, (MBA, BSN, RN, CCRN (Adult), CFRN).

Now let me say that if I had been notified of the subject matter that we would be covering, in other words if I had been told to review everything I have ever learned about EMS and learn all laboratory analysis and interpretation, I would have been much better suited to take this class. As it was I think conservatively I was able to keep up with about half of the information that they were giving. I was recording the lectures and am going to be reading up on a lot of the information in the ASTNA Patient Transport textbook. Hopefully that and then listening to all the lectures again will be sufficient to pass the exam.

If any of you are able to attend one of their classes or hear them lecture I highly recommend it. If you can read up on some literature and then attend I think it will be a lot more understandable. They know their stuff, that’s for sure.


I am starting to study for my chance at challenging the Certified Flight Paramedic (FP-C)examination. I am lucky that my company is having a training session and is willing to pay for our examination. I have looked at some of the information and think this will be one of the most challenging tests I have ever taken. I hope I am up to the challenge. Any thoughts on what I should study by any of you that have gone through it in the past?

The Art of Self-Reliance

The Art of Self-Reliance

No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.- Demosthenes
I teach occasionally. The first thing I start with when I teach any first aid or CPR courses is explaining how important it is for everyone to be self-reliant. At least to a degree. Now let me explain, I’m not talking about having 6 months worth of food in a bomb proof underground bunker (if I could afford it I might consider it) what I’m talking is about being self-reliant with the basics of survival. I’m talking about everyone knowing basic CPR, yes the no breaths version is perfectly fine. Everyone should know the basics of the Heimlich maneuver. Everyone, and I mean everyone, from Elementary school to adults should know the basics of controlling a bleed. I have been called to assaults where a small laceration to the temple area have made people look like they were shot with a 50 cal just because no one on scene decided to apply pressure. The times that a tourniquet needs to be used on an artery or venous bleed are far less common and so I don’t consider them extreme necessities but they do occur and I don’t understand why people wouldn’t want to have this skill. It’s one of those skills that I would rather have and never need than need one day and not have. What about anaphylactic reactions? Come on people, every day there are more and more people having allergic reactions to a wider and wider range of items. Learning simple symptoms can save someone’s life. Learning the difference between an allergic reaction and an anaphylactic reaction could give a person a fighting chance. I’m not talking about the technical terms either, just know if someone is showing a lot of itching, trouble breathing, hives, swelling or a sudden case of wheezing they are having an anaphylactic reaction. Knowing that over the counter Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can help but is not the definitive treatment if it’s a true anaphylactic reaction is also crucial. Or what about this one, get called out to a residence for possible MI, because the person has left sided paralysis and they’ve already administered aspirin. Knowing the difference between a heart attack and a stroke is pretty extreme. Even so I see many people mistake the two. Know that weakness to one side of the body, facial drooping and slurred speech is a sign of a stroke and remembering that the time of onset of the symptoms is vital to a possible recovery. A heart attack usually presents with pain to the chest radiating somewhere and does not improve with breathing or position of the body. Both have time fighting against them, but each has their own treatment protocols. Aspirin should not be given to a possible stroke patient under any circumstances unless a physician is ordering it for that specific patient. Another common problem is dehydration and heat related emergencies. Just because young kids have tons of energy and are able to run around like if they’re never going to run out of steam doesn’t mean parents should let them. Knowing that dehydration is something easier prevented than dealt with once you are having symptoms is important. Once someone that is dehydrated begins to vomit it is going to get more difficult to get him hydrated. If, however, parents, coaches and trainers can remember to keep everyone hydrated during exercise, sports events or just a hot day out in the park you can avoid any problems. What if the kid doesn’t want to drink water during play? Make it mandatory in order for them to continue to play. The main thing about being self-reliant is also knowing when you are reaching your limit. I have touched a few times on the misuse of the 911 system and in the future will be trying to look at that issue further, for now however, I am going to say that while self-reliance has it’s purpose there is also a limit. Everyone needs to know that there are certain things that we are going to need help with, such as a real injury, an ongoing stroke, an active heart attack, and a thousand other things that should prompt us to call the emergency number. No one should ever wait to see if the left sided paralysis they are feeling is going to wear off. No one should see if that chest pain that is causing them to have shortness of breath and dizziness will be helped by an Rolaid. It’s crazy that sometimes the people that least need an ambulance call for one and the patients that should have called wait until hours if not days later to call? Self-reliance, at least to a moderate degree, should be something all of us strive for. We never know when it might come in handy.

Government waste

Government waste is something we will always have. It is impossible to completely erase, just as vital to making a government function as politicians. I don’t think anyone will disagree that government spending is running crazy. It affects all of us and some of us in the EMS community are being affected more. Budget cuts are shutting down ambulance services, some that have been greedy are causing others to pick up the slack for patients that are being left to fend on their own.

I came upon this article by Andrew Napolitano and found it hit the mark right on the head. I am adding the link bellow but will quote him here:

The same Congress that professes outrage over the GSA and the Secret Service escapades does whatever it can get away with every day. It writes whatever laws it wants; it regulates whatever behavior it chooses; it taxes whatever events it thinks will keep it in power. And it does so with utter disregard to whether its work is permitted by the Constitution.

It isn’t everyday Fox puts up an actual fair and balanced article. I’m not picking on them, I understand each company has to protect their own interests. This one is a must read as we get closer and closer to the next election. We owe it to our future generations to buckle down and set up longer term objectives than just the next election.



Hero: A person who is admired for courage or noble qualities.

It’s not everyday a person gets to test just what they’re made of. Some of us may never know. Some do what they can with what they have and then they are thrust into a situation that tests them.

This is what happened to Mike Moyer, Fire/EMS chief, on February 15. As reported by the helicopter he was a passenger of was flying in a rescue operation with Ken Johnson the pilot and another team member Ray Shriver. They were on a mission looking for an injured snowmobiler.

When the helicopter crashed, injured, Mike Moyer pulled his two partners out of the wreckage and dragged them to a safer area. I wish I could say he dragged them to safety but I can’t since Ray Shriver died due to injuries from the crash.

I have recently heard many people talk about how some don’t pay attention to true heroes and remember them for what they do. I had posted about this story earlier in the week and wanted to take a moment to say, “Thank you for all you’ve done, I don’t know you personally but I know the job. And you did yours on that call. Hope you have a speedy recovery and sorry for the loss of your coworker.”