Saturday, May 9, 2009

The people I spend my weekends with

I had this idea that I would blog about the people that I work with on the long weekend shift. The words just won't come, I have to struggle for them and when that happens its not enjoyable reading or writing. The purpose of this blog is was to be relaxing for me and maybe to poke a little fun at the Public Safety community. Lets try the weekend family that I live and work with for 72 hours at a time.

There are 4 of us at the amboolance/taxi service at any one time, 2 medics, 2 EMTs. We do literally live together for 72 hours every other weekend. We literally do live to together for 168 hours every 2 weeks, in fact.

There are 2-3 nurses at a time in the ER, 1 or 2 receptionist, a couple of lab techs, an x-ray person and a doctor.These are extended family.

The nurses are kinda wimpy because they only work 12 hour shifts. Nurses are some of the toughest, smartest,kindest,most professional people there are. There is no way I could or would even attempt their job. They have to be gentle and earn the trust of babies , yet be tough enough to wrestle with drunks and dopers. I have seen them cry over patients and cuss patients. I've watched them comfort grieving family members and patiently deal with those suffering emotional problems.

I have never figured out the hours the lab techs work. I am not sure they have a schedule, I think they communicate telepathically and have the ability to travel through time , space and walls. They just show up. They play with all sorts of neat machines that no one else knows about, then they come out with lots of numbers to confuse every one. However they do it, it works,they find hidden problems and save lives. They are kinda like the outlaws in being given their directions in "blazing Saddles";"go and do the voodoo you do so well".

The receptionist only has to have one quality and that is a never ending supply of patience. They must deal with people who they know are not telling the truth, those who are telling the truth but wish they weren't and those who are just plain rude and arrogant. Yet they some how do it. Without harming anyone. I think they work normal human hours of 8 hour shifts.

The x-ray people work some weird shift that is determined by the phase of the moon and growth rings of trees from some Transylvania. They manage to get pictures of fractures and bad things that normal people can't see. They thus save lives. How they manage to get the drunk, who has wrapped his car around a tree and wants to fight, to get in the right position for these pictures is beyond me. they do it while smiling at the patient of course they might be mentally cussing him but they to are professionals.

The doctors why would any one who could have a practice in the daytime ever want to work 24 hour ER shifts? These folks have to be extremely sharp and have a really vast medical knowledge and skill sets. Probably the most important skill is that to interpret ramblese and drunkese, These are the language so many people answer the docs' question in. An example would be something like this; Doc "where do you hurt?" patient " right now?" Dr "yes, right now" patient "well it is hard to say" Dr."why is it hard to say?" patient "well it is really not me leg but it feels like it is' "It is kinda like my cousin Earls pain that he had that time, you know what I mean /"

I am sure that it hurts doctors to lose patients even if they only meet them in the last moments of life. However they don't have time or permission from society to grieve. I don't see how they keep going.

Another part of the family is the police. I have no idea the hours these folks work. I just know they are always there. I don't know how many work at any one time. If I were to guess I'd say 4 in Nashville and 1 each in Mineral Springs and Dierks. There is maybe 3 deputies on at a time and most of the time there is trooper lurking some where. I know from real world experience I can't do their job. I don't have the self discipline to keep my mouth shut when some bottom feeder threatens my family. I don't have the smarts to think two steps ahead of the person who is making up lies as he goes.

They have helped with unruly patients,forced open doors to access patients, they have dispersed hostile crowds. In other words they have pulled us out of the fire time and time again. Thanks so much.

Another part of the family that is kinda like the prodigal son is the volunteer firefighter/first responder. We don't see them that often but when we call they come. At 3:00 AM you would expect most people to be in bed, but I think some of these people sleep in the fire truck. You call a fire department for help and you get it. If it is lift help for a large patient up 3 flights of stairs or a person trapped in a smashed vehicle they will come and do their job. and they do it well.

I have seen them cussed and griped at but I know first responders save lives. People deride them about being volunteers but they are professionals who don't get paid. They are maybe the most elite of us all they do their job for the community asking only equipment to work with and a little respect.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

WAOB Weather Radio info

I've promised several people that I would put together information about weather radios.So here that information is.
You should own a weather radio because you pay for the broadcast. The National Ocean and Atmospheric administration (NOAA) is the parent organization for the National Weather service (NWS). NOAA operates weather radio stations all over the U.S. These stations provide warnings of severe weather ,and many other emergencies.
The stations broadcast in the VHF hi-band.This means you need a special receiver to hear them ,your normal household AM/FM radio won't work. However scanners will receive them . There are 7 frequencies for the stations beginning at 162.400 MHZ and ending at 162.550, there are 3 other frequencies used internationally.
With out going into a lot of technical stuff I don't understand each station tries to cover a 50 mile radius around its transmitter sight. The signal from these stations is what is called a line of sight frequency ,this means that in theory you have to be able to see the tower to hear the signal. Of course you can hear them without actually seeing the tower, but if you draw a straight line from the top of the tower to your radio and the curvature of the earth intrudes on the line,or a mountain is between you and the tower you are not going to hear it well. There are various cures for this and none are really expensive.
I am going to list several web sight that have good information and then give my personal preferences.



http://www.srh.noaa.gov/shv/nwrcrs.htm This is an essential site it gives info for the ArkLaTex.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrrcvr.htm This sight gives you all the info on weather radios much better than I can.

http://www.oregonscientificstore.com/ This is a builder of weather radios. I have never used one of their radios but they have some interesting features.

http://www.ccrane.com/product-categories.aspx This is THE place for top of the line am/fm radios.They are a very reputable dealer if they sell it, it is good.

http://www.radioshack.com/home/index.jsp?cid= Radio shack is not quite the retailer they once were but check out the web page.Search weather radio. They sell others beside the Radio Shack brand.

http://www.weatherradiostore.com/ what can I say their name says it all.


What I prefer in a weather radio:
1- must have S.A.M.E.
2-Selectable alerts You get to choose what type of Alert sets the radio off.
3-Selectable alarms You get to choose how the radio wakes you up
4-battery backup
5- external antennae jack or plug
6-jack or plug to set off an external alarm or signal.
7-External speaker is nice but not absolutely essential.

I have had extremely good service out of the radio shack brand and I like the auto shutoff feature.

More weather info the NOAA warnings and watches for Howard county are repeated on the 444.350 mhz N5BAB ham radio repeater.

During severe weather you can listen live to the Howard county fire radio system on154.400.

Skywarn can sometimes be heard on the following frequencies 147.045 and/or 147.55.

If you have questions leave them in the comment section and I will try to find an answer.