Archive for December, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Posted: December 25, 2010 in Everyone

Merry Christmas Everyone! Especially to those who are on duty today, whether it be Police, Fire, EMS, Dispatch, or Military!

Advertisements

What is Geocaching?

Posted: December 21, 2010 in Everyone, Geocaching
Tags: , ,

I get asked on a fairly regular basis, “What is geocaching?” It is hard to explain, yet easy at the same time. In plain english it is a high-tech treasure hunt. But in reality it is more, and less than that.

In Geocaching you use a small handheld GPS device, or a smart phone. To find an object hidden someplace. Commonly in the woods, but they can be in cities, parks, and even in front of someone’s house(after permission is obtained). I have seen geocaches at malls, shopping centers, and even fire departments. The range from the size of chap stick lid(nano) to a 5-gallon bucket(Extra Large). Tupperware, magnetic key hides, 35mm film cans, and ammo tins are the most common. There is a rating system of 5 stars, for terrain and difficulty. A 5/5 is the hardest ever(there is a 5/5 on the ISS!) Where as 1/1 is the easiest, and where you should start!

So, you create a FREE account on geocaching.com, enter your address and find the latitude and longitude of a cache near you. You put into your GPS device, whether it is a $50 eBay special eTrex, or a $700 DeLorne, it will work. You walk/drive/ski/boat/swim/climb/run/crawl/ride to the cache site, known as Ground Zero. Now you have to actually find the cache. GPS is not dead accurate. Your device should tell you how accurate it is, and that is your search window. You look and look, no luck. Well online there should be a hint available most of the time. Decode it and use it! Hey! You found it! Great job! Now what? Now you sign the log! Inside every cache there is a log. You date it and sign it, and if there is room tell a little story! If you found a cache big enough, there will be swag in it. Take an item, and give an item of equal or greater value. Close up the cache and hide it EXACTLY as you found it! Now go find another one, or head home your choice. But when you get home, remember to get online and log your find, or did not find, on the geocaching.com website. Just go to the page for the cache, and hit add log. It is that easy!

Now, when you go geocaching. Remember to be discrete. Some people, often called muggles, do not know what geocaching is! (Hey, you used to be a muggle!) Often they will wait till you are gone, go get the cache themselves, and destroy it! I have also had the police called on me while geocaching, and fire. That is a story for another blog. If they do catch you. Just explain what you are doing, in detail of course. Usually they will understand. Some police officers even cache and know what it is! If it is just a normal person, also explain, and maybe they will start geocaching themselves, you never know.

There are sometimes a things called trackables in the cache. This is an item of some kind, with a special code on it. If you take this item, remember you NEED to drop it off at another cache in the near future. You log this on it’s own separate page, and you can see where it has been, and it’s goal or where it wants to go. I will elaborate on trackables in another post later on. Just remember, you take one of these, DO NOT HOLD ON TO IT!!!

Why do I geocache? I do it, with Anna, to get out. When we moved up here from Corning, the first thing we did is go geocaching so we could get to know the area better. It is a way for us to bond. It is also a great way to get out end experience nature. I have seen things I never knew existed, even in the Southern Tier where I had lived my entire life. You will meet some of the nicest and helpful people on the planet while geocaching. Some of your co-workers may even geocache, you never know. I go as trckey2 in the geocaching community    Profile for trckey2. We did have many hidden, but when we moved a good friend adopted them from us. Now I have many stories about geocaching, and there is much more to discuss. But this covers the basics. I will have future posts with stories(like the time geese surrounded our car till we fed them pizza), tips, tricks, more details on various aspects, and my opinions.

Let me know if there are any certain topics that I need to go over. Feed back is welcome!

Want to know more? Go to www.geocaching.com to find out!

I didn’t call.

Posted: December 15, 2010 in Everyone, Family

A little over a year ago. I worked at Target. I worked in the Backroom, basically in the ware house of a stock room. I only got a half hour lunch break. Which is normal now that I think of it. I always read a book, texted Anna, and ate my lunch in my car. Trying to relax as much as I could. A year and few days ago, I had a voicemail from my sister Tracy. She was upset, saying that my Christmas presents are going to be late. And that she really needs to talk to me. That I should call as soon as possible. I decided to text Anna instead.

I didn’t call.

Tracy was born with Spina Bifida. She was a paraplegic, spending her life in a wheelchair. She was the youngest of my 3 elder siblings. And I was close to her. She always smiled, whether she was telling a joke, or she was pissed at me trying to break my fingers. She always had a smile. She moved to Indianapolis a while ago, just to get out of NY. So I hadn’t see her much, except for major events. Like my high school graduation, my wedding. My grandmas, fathers, and mothers funerals. But I still spoke to her on a weekly basis, whether it be over the phone, or a random email.

I didn’t call.

A year ago today. She went to the ED for a migraine. She was admitted to the hospital. Went in for an MRI. And didn’t come back out.

I should have called.

RIP Tracy. We all miss and love you so much.

6092_115302158897_820608897_2232107_7099343_nFrom my wedding. In August ‘06. My wife, me, my brother and other sister. And Tracy.


star_of_life_symbol_glowI work for a commercial EMS company. But like most of us I started out volunteer, and still do volunteer. There are differences. My vollie company has better equipment for instance, then my employer does. I have heard from some of my co-workers, that they think that vollies are less experienced and inadequately trained. Honestly? I don’t think so. I mean, yeah there are some vollies out there who never go to a CME class in their life. And there are some vollies who only jump the glory calls. But when I strictly was a vollie, I ran more calls a day then I do now in a paid job. My vollie department always has the most up to date training calendars, and CME classes available for us. My paid job? Not so much. Some people say that vollies have no heart, they are in it for the glory. For some, this may be true. But you know what? Vollies do it for FREE. So they must have heart, or else they wouldn’t be doing this. I have worked with a few paid personnel, who treat the PT like cattle, hook ‘em up to the LifePack, and then sit back and watch them, go through SAMPLE and OPQRST, then done. I have never seen a vollie do that.

And yeah, my volunteer ambulance corp. was a commercial business. They charge just as much for a BLS run as does my employer.

The other day I my partner and I had to do a SCT(Secure Critical Transport for you non-EMS folk). It was just a routine vent job, and as is the normal for my company, they put a third crew member with us. As we finished the job, and walked out of the ICU, the third member said that I have a “vollie mentality”. I asked him how so, and his response was because I wear a nylon holster with my rescue knife, mini-Maglite, trauma shears, and a pen. He further explained that this is a commercial company, and that only vollies wear holsters! He had no explanation when I  asked him why. Now I started using that holster when I was strictly volunteer, yes. When I was going through my EMT classes, road training, precept time, and all of my practical. I used the holster. I have muscle memory you could say, when I come up on a trauma now. I don’t need to think about what pocket has what, no flaps or Velcro to undo to get my shears or Maglite. But this makes me a supposed lesser EMT? Right. And if it makes me look like a vollie? So what! I would think that hospital staff can see my starched uniform, picture ID with barcode, my professional attitude, and of course my care for the PT, and decide for them selves about me. I represent my company in a positive way. Anyways, I asked the instigator if vollies also strap a small backpack to their thigh like he does, to carry their gear in. Then walked away to finish my night.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love my job, and would never give it up. I get paid to do, what little boys growing up dream of doing. Everyday that I get up and go to work, I have to remind myself that this is real. Not a dream. I will always be a vollie though.

I love my company. They treat me with respect(except for above). I am more than just a number on a sheet of paper. It does have it’s issues though, but that is what the suggestion box is for!

Anyways, this was my first real post. Kind of a rant, but it points out an issue in some EMS departments I think. What do you think?

My First Post?

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Everyone

Decided to start a blog and see what happens. Not making any promises as to how often I will be posting. My grammar WILL not be perfect, you don’t like it? Then don’t read it! What will I post about? Things I am passionate about, such as EMS, Geocaching, and whatever hobby I am doing at the current time! I may swear at times, be forewarned, but only during EMS stories, as it happens on jobs.