Author Archives: Michael Morse

Engine Co. EMS; Panic Attack

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By Michael Morse Not uncommonly, an emergency medical services (EMS) engine company dispatched to a cardiac call may instead encounter a person suffering from a panic attack. Panic attacks affect patients of all ages, but they often occur in the young and healthy. It is understandable that the EMS crew relaxes a bit when their […]

The things we say…

Things I’ve actually said out loud (some so often the response is automatic): “Is that thing loaded?,” (dispatched for an emotional male only to find an intoxicated, suicidal male with a gun to his head). “Make it snappy!,” (my new partner needed a little nudge getting to the truck for the fourteenth time in 12 […]

Am I Okay?

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Shots fired into a crowd on Westminster Street in the West End, just past midnight. One person shot, hole in his hand and another in his thigh, near a femoral artery. The wounded leg grows as the seconds tick, blowing up to twice its normal size. “It’s just a leg shot, I’ll be okay, right?” […]

Presumptive Respect

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Rhode Island legislators saw the wisdom in passing the presumptive heart disease disability bill last night, not because they inherently understand exactly why firefighters who develop heart disease while on the job ( mandatory retirement at 60 in Providence) deserve it; rather the efforts of our union representatives lobbied them with facts backed by statistics […]

Firefighters vs. Taxpayers…until we die

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Exhibit A: Contempt for firefighters… Exhibit B: Truth about firefighting… By Michael Morse We love this job and thank the good fortune that was bestowed upon us that we are firefighters. And what‘s not to love? We eat like kings, occasionally get paid to sleep and watch TV, have a home away from home and […]

Another Elephant

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I remember going into the projects; a big white guy from the suburbs surrounded by big black guys from the city. I could sense the simmering resentment from the crowd, and saw contempt on their faces. Hearing the hate in their voices when they shouted “hurry up” was difficult to ignore. I learned how to […]

All the world’s a stage

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And now for something completely different . . . some days you feel like a rock star There is an indescribable rhythm in what we do while attempting to resuscitate a patient, chest compressions, 1,2,3,4, airway in, airway out, breathe, an IV established resembles a bridge to what is next; a shot of epinephrine (adrenaline) […]

Routine, uneventful, extraordinary

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I wrote down a lot of things during my time on the streets, glad I did, some things are worth remembering…   She’s ninety years old, a widow and bleeding uncontrollably from a surgical incision on the right side of her face. She had a “bit of skin cancer” removed earlier in the day. “Are […]

The Foundation Matters Most

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Enjoy the mundane EMS interactions

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  “…Every patient contact has the potential to be one of the memories that you will cherish long after you hang up your neatly pressed uniform for the last time. People are the only reason you are here. Never lose sight of that simple fact. Every time you respond to a call, a person is […]

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