Tell me about your FTO program

Exactly what the title says. I want to know about your service’s Field Training Officer Program. Does your service have one?

I think all services should. And I believe a quality FTO Program can make a good service great.

So, tell me about yours, and tell me a little bit about your service, too.

How many ambulances does your service put on the road every day? (I’m mostly interested in ALS 911 ambulances)

How many FTOs does your service have? What are the qualifications to become an FTO?

How long is the orientation for a new employee? How long do they ride with an FTO?

Are you the director/coordinator/head honcho/HMFIC of your service’s program? Could you put that person in touch with me?

Do you work at one of the “super-duper” services we always hear about, and that other places want to be like (Sunstar, MedStar, KCM1, Wake County, Boston, etc…) ?

I’m interested in hearing what you have to say. Let it fly.

Leave a comment here, or drop me an email by clicking this different looking text, or click on this text and hit me up on the Facebook.

Or, if neither one of those buttons work, cuz I don’t really know what I’m doing, hit that “Contact me” link thing on this page.

Thanks, everyone.

Done

I’ve run my last EMS call.

For a while, at least. A good, long while. I can’t say when, if ever, I will put on a uniform shirt again. I’m not sure that I will ever call in service again, or ever step into an ambulance again.

I just can’t take it any more. I’m done.

I’m tired of the continued incompetence of my coworkers and colleagues.

I’m tired of having to follow protocols that are written for the lowest common denominator.

I’m tired of stupid policies written by people who have never worked on an ambulance, and policies enforced selectively and for no good reason.

I’m tired of being criticized by management with less experience, and a lower level of certification than myself.

I’m tired of my fellow paramedics harming patients and not facing repercussions, simply because “they show up on time.”

I’m tired of shaking my head every time I hear a new story about a new screw up.

Pronouncing people dead without touching them. Defibrillating (repeatedly) a patient in a paced rhythm who is conscious. Giving adenosine to a patient having a STEMI because the paramedic thought atrial fibrillation in the 130s was causing the problem. Giving solu-medrol to patients with pneumonia, and albuterol to patients in CHF. Giving mag sulfate to a dialysis patient having a mild asthma attack. Refusing to honor a valid, presented DNR in the presence of a family because “I think I can save him.”

I’m just so damned tired.

I love my job, I love my patients (mostly), and I love my partner. But I can’t do this any more.

I realize that these problems may be specific to my service, but I really don’t think they are. Can you honestly say that your ambulance service has none of these problems? Your service doesn’t have incompetent management or incompetent field crews?

If your service is really different from mine, are you hiring?

Right now, I’m taking at least a six-week break. I wonder if I’ll miss it.

Genius

Some lady attempted suicide.

The MDT notes say she left her car running all night in her garage, and was found on the floor of the garage by a neighbor. It’s 6 o’clock in the morning, and she’s been there all night, and the car was still running when the neighbor found her.

The neighbor only found her because he thought the red light glow coming from her garage was strange. Apparently she left her headlights on. Neighbor broke into her house, opened all the doors and windows, turned the car off, and somehow dragged the lady outside into her driveway before calling us.

Somehow, she’s still breathing.

Brave man. Now he’s over in the bushes throwing up breakfast.

No, it wasn’t an accident. The note she left in her car removes all doubt of that.

Shaq and our supervisor are getting some stuff done while I gather information before we leave.

One of the fireman comes out of the garage and walks over to the ambulance. “Hey, do you know which hospital you’re going to go to?”

“Yeah, we’re gonna go to Saint Catholic’s. They have that hyperbaric chamber there they can put her in.”

“Cool. Good deal. Make sure you tell them the readings we got from our meter is six hunnert and fitty parts per million.”

This guy is speaking some language I don’t understand. But whatever. “Sure thing, dude. Six-fifty parts per million. Got it.”

He looks over my shoulder at my supervisor and nods “How is she doing? She gonna be alright?”

“I don’t know, man. She looks pretty sick. But her O2 sat is at one hundred percent, so at least that’s good.”

Fireman and I make eye contact and neither one of us have anything to say.

And Supervisor McDipshit wasn’t trying to crack a joke, either.

 

I looked it up later. At 400ppm, a normal adult will have headaches within 1-2 hours, and it is life-threatening after 3 hours. 800ppm is nausea, vomiting, and convulsions within 45 minutes, unconscious within 2 hours, then death. And this lady’s garage was over 600ppm, and she spent the better part of 9 hours in there.

Nobody could figure out how she survived. But she did.

The O2 sat of 100% is probably what saved her.

Church jerk

We’re running a church call. I don’t know what it is, but there’s two things working against me:

  1. I don’t like running calls around a lot of people, and there are always a lot of people at church calls
  2. I didn’t take my Celexa this morning, which normally helps me run calls around lots of people

We have a paramedic student today, and Shaq is almost done with his paramedic program, so they’re running the call and getting all the info. I’m standing back a little ways, watching.

Nothing is wrong with this lady but maybe a case of the tachylawdy.

I’m just waiting to put this status dramaticus on the stretcher so we can head out to the truck when some guy saunters up next to me. I don’t say anything, or make any indication that I know he is there.

You know, because I’m intently watching the assessment being performed on the acutely ill patient lying supine in this sanctuary.

He clears his throat.

I ignore it.

He clears his throat again.

You know,” he says in a low voice to me, “men shouldn’t have ponytails. It just isn’t right.”

Then just as quickly as he arrived, this judgmental, pompous asshat turns and leaves.

This is why I don’t like people.

History major

We are taking care of some incredibly old lady from the local nursing home. Like, really old.

She fell out of bed and has some skin tears.

Remarkably for being her age, she is sharp as a tack.

We load her up, and I am sitting behind her in my confessional while Shaq hooks her up to the monitor.

“Ma’am, can you tell me how old you are?” I ask her.

“I was born one week before the Titanic sank” is her reply.

Like I know when the hell that was. I’m a grumpy, hungry paramedic, not some history major.

Shaq catches me looking at him with a confused look on my face.

“Oh. April eighth, nineteen-twelve.”

“What?”

“That’s her birthday.”

“How the hell did you figure that out?”

“The Titanic sank on April fifteenth.”

“Where did you just pull that fact nugget from?!”

“I started watching Downton Abbey yesterday. It was in there during the first episode.”

 

Someone should write a blog this guy.