I ain’t skeered

TOTWTYTR replied to my recent post concerning the need for cops to wear cameras while on duty. I was originally going to respond in the comments section, but thought that my thoughts on this would require more room than I had, so I figure I can get a post out of it.

Be careful what you ask for because it’s not a stretch for someone to say “Paramedics need cameras” too. Like the ones that some systems have in their ambulances to track your driving skills. 

My department installed cameras in the patient compartment of all of the rigs a few years ago, and the original plan was to record all of the action. I was one of the most vocal opponents of this plan, and I pointed out that personal injury attorneys would analyze every frame of video to score a “gotcha” moment and use it against you. I also noted that HIPPA compliance would be a real issue with these recordings. I used to think that there is no way that I would want to be recorded. I have since changed that view.

I have a few thoughts on this that I want to share:

First, it would be hypocritical of me to expect a cop to wear a camera and not be willing to do the same. I am being paid by the public, and the public has every right to know what and how I am doing things on their behalf and on their dime. I have no problem with being recorded while on the job, as long as those recordings protect the modesty and privacy of my patients, who do have a right to expect their privacy is secure. If the patient were blurred out, or if the recordings were only released to the patient, then the patient’s right to privacy is secure, and I am just fine with it.

Second, if I am doing my job, and treating the patient they way that they are supposed to be treated, I have nothing to worry about. I do my job, and I do it well. The worst thing that anyone will see on video is that I occasionally miss an IV or a tube. So what? I will get an IO or a King tube, and that is the end of it. In order for this to create a liability, the lawyer needs to prove three things:

1 That there was a duty to act, and
2 That the paramedic failed to act, or acted in a way that a reasonable paramedic with his experience and training would not have acted, and
3 this failure resulted in a negative outcome or harm for the patient.

Even if there is no video, if you are doing things that are not in the best interests of your patients, you are going to get sued, and rightly so. To a good medic, a video can help more than hurt. A video is poison to a bad medic.

The only official complaint that I have ever had filed against me was one where a Doctor accused me of failing in a treatment, and the thing that saved me was a memory dump of my LifePack. If it wasn’t for the telemetry information that was contained in the monitor, I would be a greeter at Wal-Mart. A video would have done wonders for my case.

The third thought on this matter: I know a lot of crappy medics. They make up vitals, they do as little as possible, and do everything they can get away with to complete the run and go sit down somewhere. They have been known to bring in patients with agonal respirations with only a nonrebreather. They bring codes in to the ER with only BLS in progress. These are the medics who make the good medics look bad. Those of you who want to improve EMS, and who want paramedicine to excel, remember that the crappy medics who are getting away with that sort of thing are the ones who are making us all look bad.

Maybe it is time that they leave us.


A joke

What is the difference between America’s leader, and Russia’s leader?

One is a commie who flouts his wealth while the people suffer, and the other shoots whales with a crossbow.

If we had to elect a foreigner to the White House, why couldn’t we have gotten the whale hunting badass instead of the Lobster eating golfing socialist?


Cops need cameras

Story after story is in the news, where cops abuse citizens, citizens claim that cops framed them, cops murder citizens, cops refuse to be filmed, yet desire to film everyone else.

I think that since the technology is there, every cop should, for the duration of the time he is on duty, wear a recorder that they cannot shut off, and the recording of the officer’s shift should be downloaded and stored for one year, unless a subpoena or court orders that the recording be kept longer. Such recordings would be public record, except those who identify minors, victims of sex crimes, or witnesses who are deemed to be at risk.

Any recording that is discovered to be damaged, missing, or unavailable for any reason (including the famous “technical difficulty” that causes so many police recordings to disappear) shall cause the court case to be decided against the cop. If you don’t have anything to hide, you don’t have anything to worry about, skippy.


How to simulate Paramedic life

Do you have a friend or family member who works in EMS? Do you want to work in EMS? Have you always wondered what it is like to be a paramedic? Well, wonder no more, I have come up with a way to simulate the life of a paramedic:

– Write down every task that you need to perform in the house and how it is to be done, such as lawn mowing, painting, sweeping the floor, etc. Place all of the sheets in a notebook titled “Protocols.” Memorize the entire book. Then have your neighbors call you at random times throughout the day and night, so you can go to their homes and perform these tasks. Change the protocols at least once a month, and take a test to ensure that you have the new way memorized.

– Your neighbor gets bonus points if the task needed isn’t in the protocol book, or if the task is gross, disgusting, or a complete waste of time. A good example would be calling you to come change the thermostat for their air conditioning, or rub cream on his hemorrhoids. If the task to be performed isn’t in the book, you must call your father in law on the phone, describe the situation, and ask him what to do.

– Stay dressed all day so that you can make it to the car in less than 30 seconds. To test this, have a neighbor run through your house periodically with a megaphone yelling “Copy code three” whereupon you jump up and run to your car. Every fourth time, after you have gotten in the car, have the neighbor tell you that you are canceled, and you can return to what you were doing. Bonus points if you were in the shower, cooking or eating dinner, or sitting on the toilet.

–  Every day, write down the contents of your medicine cabinet and pantry. Then check the car out, paying close attention to fuel and oil levels, and the condition of the tires. Also, confirm that the headlights and horn work. Write this all down and stuff the papers in a drawer where no one will ever see them again.

– If you need something to replace missing items needed to carry out your protocols, send an email to a relative, who will go to the store and shop for you. Make sure they either buy the wrong thing, or get too much or too little of whatever it was.

–  To simulate your coworkers, when you perform a task, have another person stand behind you and comment on the way you did it, either telling you that you aren’t following protocol, or pointing out that they would have done it differently.

– Every time you perform a task, write down everything you did in the form of a report. Have someone randomly pick out every fourth report from a week ago and point out that you misspelled a word, got the zip code of the grocery store wrong, or that you missed a step in the protocol for whatever task you performed.

– For at least 4 hours a week, you should watch training films that you have seen at least a dozen times.

– For another 2 hours a week, have someone “teach” you how to do something that you already do on a daily basis by reading an article from a two year old copy of JEMS out loud. It helps if they do this by reading the article verbatim from a power point that you could easily read for yourself.

– Make sure that there is no toilet paper in the bathroom, and at least once a day have your neighbor call you to come to his house while you are on the toilet.

– When preparing dinner, have that neighbor call you to come over while it is cooking. This will force you to either recook the food, forget to turn the food off and burn it, or just say forget it and get something to go from McDonalds.

– Have your mother-in-law write down everything she’s going to do for the day, then have her make you stand in the back yard at 7am and read it to you.

– Sleep in your car in the driveway. To simulate move ups, at random times between midnight and 5 AM, drive several miles and park in a random parking lot, sleeping in the parked car for 15 minutes, and then drive home to sleep in the parked car in the driveway. Make sure that whoever is asleep in the car with you farts at least twice an hour.

– Wash the car every morning with a scrub brush and brillo pad, then have your wife come in and complain that you missed a spot.

Did I miss any?


The AG has finally taken notice

You hear it all the time in the mortgage debate when dealing with the foreclosure mess and the plague of bogus affidavits and other legal documents: “we should not give some deadbeat a free home because they signed the mortgage notes and received the funds to buy their homes, so they must owe the money. I mean after all, you should not have borrowed money that you cannot repay!” How can those losers deny that they owe the money?   That money is owed to someone; the mortgage notes are somewhere; and someone, somewhere actually and lawfully owns the notes. The real question is: Who?

Many of the people advancing these “free home” arguments are the same people that didn’t scream or shout when Wall Street stopped making money and the American taxpayer came to rescue with hundreds of billions of dollars to save their collective asses.  After all, it was all just a mistake by the smartest guys in the room.  These were the guys who failed to take into account that a lot of these adjustable rate mortgages might not perform once they adjusted.  These were also the same people who assumed that the value of residential real estate would continue to appreciate forever at an annual rate of at least 15% per year.

 Who exactly suggested that Florida or any other state for that matter is a pro borrower jurisdiction?  The facts are that about 95% of the Florida foreclosure cases are won and homes are lost without a fight. The foreclosure attorneys don’t even come into court to get their summary judgments in many cases, they just call them in to the judge. These lawyers are very busy and due process and proper evidence are just technicalities to be overcome.

The banks in many cases cannot prove who owes money to whom, and so their law firms have been busy manufacturing the evidence needed.

How about here, where the bank produced what was purported to be the same note twice, but with certain… irregularities:

If you can’t prove it, photoshop it:

Well, the Attorney General’s office of Florida has finally taken notice and is investigating the fraud that is occurring. It is about time. I wonder how many homes were illegally and fraudulently taken in the meantime?

A tip of the hat to


Reports of oil plume are misleading

Here is an article that talks about how scientists have discovered where the oil from the BP spill went. It is highly misleading, and I will show you why:

the scientists mapped a huge plume in late June when the well was still leaking. The components of oil were detected in a flow that measured more than a mile wide and more than 650 feet from top to bottom.

 A volume of water 22 miles long, a mile wide, and 650 feet tall encompasses 398 billion cubic feet. That volume contains about 3 trillion gallons of liquid. The report goes on to say:

Now federal officials say as much as 42 million gallons of oil may be lurking below the surface in amounts that are much smaller than the width of a human hair.

So even if the entire 42 million gallons is located within the 22 mile long area tested, That gives us a concentration of 1 part per 71,000, or 14 mg per liter (to use the SI standard).  The EPA allows 10 mg/l of Xylenes to be present in drinking water. In fact, 14 mg per liter is equivalent to 3 shot glasses poured into your average swimming pool.

The article then says:

The study conclusively shows that a plume exists, that it came from the BP well and that it probably never got close to the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, Camilli said. It is probably even larger than 22 miles long, but scientists had to stop measuring because of Hurricane Alex.

Which means that the Gulf of Mexico, at least as far as oil is concerned, is cleaner than the water from your tap.


Trouble on the horizon

It all started when my wife said that hunting was evil, that no one should kill a living animal. I pointed out to her that the cow providing that Outback steak dinner that she loves did not become despondent and leap off of a building, thus making her position just a little hypocritical. She responded that she chooses to believe that the animals on her plate died of natural causes. I explained to her that it was illegal to butcher an animal that dies of disease or illness. We came to a truce of sorts whereupon I promised not to hunt, and we continued our normal dietary lives. (This excludes pork- she says pigs are nasty and won’t eat pork. I still eat bacon, but that is cool with her, as she doesn’t eat anything for breakfast except the occasional bowl of cereal or pancake)

Until today.

We were at the store, shopping for this week’s menu, when she made the announcement that as soon as the supply of meat in the freezer is gone, she is becoming a vegetarian. I could almost live with this, except for two things:

1 She won’t eat vegetables. She hates them. The only vegetables I can get her to eat are corn, peas, and tomato sauce.

2 She still says we will have a real issue if I decide to hunt. In other words, we are at an impasse. Not only am I prohibited from hunting, but I fear that the time will come when she attempts to control my meat eating habits.

Her diet will consist of pasta, cheese, seafood, and candy. I am a carnivore, and while I don’t mind eating that stuff, the diet she is embarking on is most unhealthy, and is a road that I simply cannot follow. I recently had to crack down on her, as she was eating 2200 calories a day of life savers. (That is not an exaggeration- she was eating candy all day, and that is it.)

I really fear for her health, and for the health of a 6 year relationship that is taking a decidedly bad turn.

OK, vent complete.


I would have gone to jail

A story about a child taken from his parents because the parents slapped the crying child boils my blood. Whether or not you believe in corporal punishment for children, or whether or not you think the child was too young to be spanked is not the issue here. What is at issue here is the question of where a flight attendant, as an employee of a private company, gets the power to take a child from a parent. I can assure you that if a flight attendant had done the same to me, the plane would have made an emergency landing to take me to jail and the flying waitress to the hospital.

In the end, a flight attendant is an airborne waitress with delusions of grandeur, and has no police power at all. Touch me, touch my child, or touch my wife and I will use whatever force is required to stop that contact.

To those angry flying waiters and waitresses who will surely leave nasty comments, spare me. The fact that you are responsible for assisting passengers in the event of a crash does not give you any more authority to use force to enforce law than I have, so save your breath and your bandwidth.


Obama gets one right

The recent hubub over the Mosque in New York has finally earned remarks from the White House. There are those who claim that placing a Mosque less than two blocks from ground zero is an in your face move that should be made illegal. They are half right. It is in poor taste, but the act of building a Mosque, or any other church for that matter, is protected by the Constitution.

The fact that 68% of the public of New York opposes the Mosque is used as a justification for opposing the facility, and there are those who claim that Obama is opposing the people of New York. To you I say that the Bill of Rights of the Constitution is there to protect the unpopular. This is the very reason why we are not a democracy. As Mr Jefferson put it, a democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. Now I will grant you that the First Amendment begins with “Congress shall make no law…” but the right of freedom of religion is a natural right

Saying that “there are 100 Mosques in New York, so  this is not an issue of religion, but one of safety and security” is complete crap. They are not asking to make a bomb factory, they are asking to build a place of worship on their own property, using their own money.

Obama is not saying that he will interfere in the State’s business (which the FedGov does not have the power to do) but he is weighing in with what I think is a correct opinion. Just because some Muslims have broken the law doesn’t excuse violating the rights of others. Otherwise, we could forbid Catholic Churches from being located within 2 blocks of a school for little boys, or make all guns illegal because some people misuse them.


Gun takes son, just like Dad

The headline of this post is the headline of a story in the St Pete times newspaper. It is also a crock of shit. The gist of the story:

Byron Patty Sr was killed in a robbery in 1994 at the age of 21 years, while “playing cards with friends” in a local motel. A few years later (2010), Byron Patty Jr was killed at age 17 during a robbery while playing dice in an alley with some friends.

The article tries to blame guns, but glosses over a few facts that can be ascertained from the article:

1 Byron Patty Jr was 17 in 2010, and had already been arrested several times since 2004 (then age 11).

2 Byron Patty Sr had been arrested at least three times on drug charges and theft charges, according to Hillsborough County records. At least one was a felony.

3 Both father and son were involved in gambling activities when they were killed. (cards and dice)

4 Michelle Patty, the mother/grandmother of this story is a well known “community organizer” in the Tampa area. She has had a few dealings that were a little, well let’s say they were suspect and leave it at that.

5 According to the another story about the shooting, the 17 year old accused of killing Patty Jr was his best friend, and was arrested near the scene and charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation.

The grandmother is being investigated by the FBI for finance irregularities in connection with public funds, the father is a convicted felon who is murdered during a card game, and the grandson, also with a criminal past, is killed in a robbery during a “dice game” by a convicted felon who is his best friend.

Yep, it is the gun’s fault.