Archive for August2016

Reviving an overdose is the best thing I did today

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More and more, engine companies are first in at opiate overdoses. Considering that many, if not most firefighters haveEMS training, treating these patients has become business as usual. Recognizing an overdose, controlling the scene, assisting ventilations, and administering medications before ALS units arrive is now considered part of a competent fire company’s duty. A concise […]

Language Barrier

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Tommy lie on his back on an Oriental rug in a home in one of the poorest sections of Providence. His mechanical wheelchair sat idle a few feet away. His mother tried to explain what happened, when she stumbled one of the guys from Engine 14 translated for her. “He was getting off the bus […]

Learning about dialysis

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They sit for hours with needles, sleeping, watching TV, reading or staring into space. The machines that keep them going do their thing quietly, attendants and nurses keep an eye on things and all is serene. Until one of the patients loses consciousness, or has chest pain or vomits. Then, transport to the ER is […]

Illegal Heroes

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You want heroes? Illegal immigrants are some of the most heroic people I have ever seen. Giving up everything for a chance of a better life for their families, coming here, working on farms, factories, cutting our grass, raising our children, taking care of our elderly, working like slaves, living like peasants; that is their […]

The Good Stuff

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Some of the most satisfying moments that I experienced while a member of the Providence, RI Fire Department were the times that I spent connecting with kids on calls. Seeing their eyes light up when we arrived on scene, witnessing their fear transform to trust as the call progressed, holding them, carrying them and saving […]

When the scene just isn’t safe

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I’ve been reading more and more about EMT’s firefighters killed in the line of duty while directing traffic, or just being struck and killed while doing their job at accident scenes. I did a lot of things during my twenty-five years as a Providence Firefighter, spent time on icy roofs chopping holes, been inside burning […]

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