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Top ten reminders from the chief for Safety, Health and Survival Week

EMS1.com News

June 23, 2010


The Ambulance Driver's Perspective
by Kelly Grayson

Top ten reminders from the chief for Safety, Health and Survival Week

From: Isaac Abraham Fudpucker, Chief
Metropolitan Fire Department

To: All department members

Re: Safety and Health Initiative Training (S.H.I.T.) for 2010 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week, which runs June 20-26

Dear Members,
I'd like to commend you all once again for keeping your S.H.I.T together for yet another year! Once again, your efforts to promote a safety culture here at Metropolitan Fire Department have paid big dividends. I am proud to announce that, in the past 12 months, we have had only one lost time accident, and new recruit Frankel's unfortunate experience with the Cinnamon Dragon really shouldn't count.

On the bright side, I think we all learned something about food allergies, and the value of checking the expiration dates on our Epi-Pens.

I hear through the department grapevine that some of you are dissatisfied with the S.H.I.T. that you've had to take, and I appreciate your patience. Contrary to popular belief, not all of your command staff believes that their S.H.I.T. doesn't stink, and I want your suggestions on how to improve the process.

Accordingly, I've put a suggestion box outside the kitchen at headquarters. I know that many of you can give S.H.I.T. as well as you receive, and I urge you to put your suggestions in the S.H.I.T. Box for my consideration.

However, there are a few departmental issues that have been brought to my attention that need to be addressed:  

Need I point out that using our new thermal cameras for impromptu games of midnight paintball is not only an inappropriate use of departmental resources, but also cheating? And shouldn't you all be sleeping at midnight? 

I know that playing pranks on the probies is a time-honored pastime, but new recruit Watson has been in my office three times this month looking for the water hammer, and last week he missed a fire because of it.

Watson, they're playing a joke on you, son. Don't worry, it's not because they don't like you. I fell for the very same joke 11 times when I was a probie, and now I'm the Chief!  

Firefighters are not to mount an aerial ladder while it is being raised. I know it looks cool, but I don't like explaining to the mayor why my firefighters are on YouTube shouting "I'm the king of the world!" much less admitting that any of my firefighters watched Titanic.

To the jokers who put hydrogen sulfide ampoules in all of C-Shift's SCBA masks, knock it off. The C-Shift guys already have an idea who did it, and they're talking retaliation if it happens again. Yeah, I'm looking at you, A-Shift.

I'd like to commend you all on the cleanliness of the stations, but judging from the scuff patterns on the floor and the bumps and bruises I see on everyone around here, I'm guessing y'all are playing floor buffer bumper cars again. If any of you harbor any doubts about how much damage a runaway floor buffer can do, check out Lieutenant Peterson in the shower sometime. Can you imagine explaining a scar like that to your wife?

Some of you work on your personal vehicles when we're not fighting fires. Some of you surf the Internet. Some of you play pickup basketball. Some of you work out. All of those things are acceptable ways to pass your down time. Renting out Station Four to organize a pole-dancing class for your wives, however, is not.

Cleaning and polishing the apparatus is to be done weekly as always, and I'd like to compliment you all on how sharp our rigs look. However, I'd like to remind you that applying Armor All to the bench seat of the ambulance is not a good idea, and does not earn you any points with the medics who ride on those seats.

The annual Battle of the Badges is coming up next month, and I'm tired of losing to Police Chief O'Malley and his blue canaries. Last year, I thought we'd take them in softball, until Finley messed up his hands in that high angle rescue exercise two days before the game. This year, let's all remember that our gloves belong on our hands, and not in our back pockets, okay?

I swear, if I have to shave my head and wear that stupid "I wanna be a cop when I grow up" shirt again, somebody at this department is going to pay. 

I'd like to remind you all that slipping two nasal airways in your driver's nose as he sleeps is technically assault and battery, no matter how bad he snores. Our insurance plan pays for sleep studies and CPAP machines, people. Drop the man a hint, for goodness sake.  

I'd like to thank all of you who posed for the firefighter pinup calendar to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I'd also like to apologize to Captain Hurst for the embarrassing caption that appeared on his Mr. August photo. I don't know how the proofreaders missed it, but I'm sure everyone understands that should read "Hurst tool," and not "Hurst's tool."

And if you want more S.H.I.T., check out my memos from 2008 and 2009.

 

About the author


Kelly Grayson, NREMT-P, CCEMT-P, is a critical care paramedic in Louisiana. He has spent the past 18 years as a field paramedic, critical care transport paramedic, field supervisor and educator. He is a former president of the Louisiana EMS Instructor Society and board member of the LA Association of Nationally Registered EMTs.

He is a frequent EMS conference speaker and contributor to various EMS training texts, and is the author of the popular blog A Day In the Life of an Ambulance Driver. The paperback version of Kelly's book is available at booksellers nationwide. You can follow him on Twitter (@AmboDriver) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/theambulancedriverfiles), or email him at kelly.grayson@ems1.com.

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