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  1. Drako is a big scary dog. He is a pit bull / rottweiler mix and he is big and strong and scary looking. He came into my life about 7 or 8 years ago when he was rescued, with another smaller pit, from an abusive situation. He was going to live with my daughter and her family. I happened to be in town when he arrived. I spent a few hours with the dog in my daughter's house and put my foot down. I explained that he was going to hurt someone in that family. Her chaotic, dynamic family was not the right place for Drakeo. We immediately thought of my brother. He lived alone in an A frame that he had built with a chainsaw and timber he had hewn from his own land. He lived in the country, very isolated in a remote part of Northern Ontario and had just lost his guard dog. I called him about Drako, and my brother came to see him. I didn't know it then, but it was the last time I would see my brother alive. I live in Arizona and our contact was sporadic. Long story short, my brother took Drako home with him and over the next 3 years, turned him into an excellent, loving dog. With a combination of discipline and dogmanship, my brother rehabilitated Drako. Drako was there when my brother shot himself. Drako almost got himself shot by the police. He was so protective of my brother's body. Eventually, a friend was able to persuade Drako to leave his best friend. Another long story short, Drako arrived here in Wisconsin to live with me a week and a half ago. I had spent time with him during my sojourns into Canada, when he was living with my daughter, where he had gone immediately after my brother's death. We are old friends. The most striking feature of my brother's face were his huge, expressive brown eyes. I see them in my mind's eye, looking at the world when he was a little boy, and when he was a broken man. Drako has the same eyes. It breaks my heart. View the full blog
  2. I'm just exploding with excitement and I want to share it with the world! View the full blog
  3. In his stories, he was always the hero. It was an open secret that he was a fabulist. My father said his brother Leo was the same way, like it was some genetic trait. (In a way it was. Uncle Leo once told me a story about his sister Aunt Liisa straining at the potty and prolapsing feet of large intestine. My uncle Leo laughed like it was the funniest thing ever)<br /> <br />My brother's stories embarrassed me. I tried to stop him from talking when we were with friends. I didn't want him (and me) exposed to their ridicule. He resented this forever. He told me in a drunken anguish at age 45 that "I never let him talk". <br /> <br />My brother's stories lasted his lifetime. All his friends knew it about him and accepted that in him. None of his friends knew that he had a sister. This hurts the most. Have to stop writing now.. Crying again. View the full blog
  4. I thought that I would write about my brother.<br /> <br />He was an affectionate little boy. There is a picture of us about age two where he is hugging me. The look on his face is pure joy; on mine - impatient toleration. My mother says that he was always trying to hug me and I was always pushing him away. When I actually let him hug me, they took a picture because it was so rare.<br /> <br />He did not socialize well with others. I was always on the go, learning languages from my neighbors. He was in a corner, playing with a truck. He once told me that he wanted a truck with a trailer that was 8 miles long. I was truly puzzled and asked him how he would make the 90 degree turn into a neighboring town. He was very angry with me. It was a missed connection.<br /> <br />When we started school, we headed to first grade, neither one of us speaking English. (The neighbors were Italian) We went in hand in hand. The older boys offered us chewing gum just as the bell rang. The teacher was screaming at us to "spit it out" and we had no idea she was talking to us or what she was saying. One of the other finnish kids filled us in. I still remember how my face burnt as we went to the wastebasket and "spit it out". <br /> <br />It reminds of the time other kids taught us to say "F--- you you b-----d" as the proper way to ask for candy at the corner store. Pretty funny now.<br /> <br />My mother had decided that she wanted to learn English with us, so she would check our papers after school. I started getting stars on my papers and my brother didn't. We would walk home and try to come up with a believable story - "She ran out of stars" was one. Mother stopped checking after a while.<br /> <br />By Christmas, I was reading English. By the end of the year, I was promoted to second grade and my brother was left behind. It was the beginning of the end.<br /> <br />Horrible things happened to him. He was hospitalized in a town 4 hours away due to physical damage from abuse. He was soiling himself due to lack of sphincter tone. How ashamed he must have been. I missed him so much when he was gone. <br /> <br />When he came home, he told me wonderful stories about the hospital. I wanted to go to the hospital too. A year later, before my own hospitalization, he confessed that his stories had been made up. He didn't want me to expect it to be a wonderful place.<br /> <br />There is so much more to my brother. I will keep writing as I can. I am crying now and will stop for a bit.<br /> <br />Thank you for reading. View the full blog
  5. It seems I no longer have anything of value to add here since I am so far removed from the field these days. It seems everything I post or add gets shot down by one person or another. I've tried to be a contributing member of this forum for the past 6-7 years but I don't think I bring anything to the table anymore. It's probably time for me to take a break while I finish nursing school and once I get some experience in that field maybe I'll be back. I'm tired of contributing and asking questions to just get shot down. My life is stressful enough right now with NCLEX and finals coming up, I don't need to continuously have my confidence shot. <br /> <br />I don't fit in anywhere. I'm not a medic anymore, I'm not a nurse yet. View the full blog
  6. Perhaps we always have been. Perhaps that's the way of the world. Nail somebody or something on a technicality and we don't have to extend ourselves as human beings. We don't have to see the subtleties of the situation or the person or the event. We can hang a label on it and then we don't have to think any more. We can sleep at night knowing that we did what the right thing. Or can we? Do we sleep? Or does the wrong we have done nag us with insomnia, sleeplessness and vague disquiet?<br /> <br />If we have pangs of conscience, troubling thoughts about what we did, do we kill them with booze, activity, the more pressing demands of daily lives, until we bury those pangs under piles and piles of whatever defenses we have learned to use?<br /> <br />It's difficult to let go of the touchstones of our judgments To recognize that people and situations and events do not fit into neat little boxes. The world is not black and white. It is colors beyond our ability to see - vibrations beyond our ability to sense and possibilities beyond our imaginations to picture. <br /> <br />We don't control this world - this universe or even our lives. All we can control is our responses to the unimaginable. <br /> <br />My response is to defy the easy answer - to always look more and see more and try to understand more. I am scared and uncertain. I have no boxes to guide what will become of me. I am open to the cruelty of others, as well as the kindness of strangers. Life hurts, but I am alive. View the full blog
  7. So here I sit spinning around in my own little world, waiting for some cheese and bread for my wine. No my whine. It will be my last post because obviously there is nothing in the last 3 that has made anyone offer any words. No slap upside the head, no you deserve what you've been dealt, etc etc. I posted in hopes of finding out if anyone could put their virtual arm around me and tell me it would be ok, that it would get better. Study more, try harder, give it up. Your employer sounds like a moron would have been awesome. I did some research and I found evidence that other EMS agencies use systems to manage their employees, track problems, provide solutions to head off problems, remediate and retain as needed. So I'm encouraged that another place may hold out some hope. <br />I do leave you all with this, and I know at least 300 people have read the blog: We're charged with taking care of people on what is often their worst day ever. I know there's plenty of abuse, plenty of free loaders, plently of people with no coping skills. I never minded that so much which is why I thought I had something to offer to the field. No matter how dumb assed, how stupid or how abusive, I gave every patient compassion and kindness, even when they didn't deserve it. I treated them to the best of my ability without abuse, which is more than the ER I had to take most of my patients to ever did. No matter what dumb mistake a co worker ever offered up and I've seen some doozies, I treated them with kindness and respect and tried to be helpful about offering alternatives that might have been more appropriate without trashing them either to their face or behind their backs, which almost seems to be a sport in EMS anymore. See how hard you can go at someone until they break and then celebrate it?<br /> <br />In a field where we take care of people, we suck at taking care of each other. View the full blog
  8. I have been trying to explain to my husband what's going on with my job and I find myself almost incredulous that I let it go this far. I don't want to hang out all the dirty laundry, so I'm thinking deep inside I do want to stay in EMS. I made a mistake. After months of a schedule that required 40-48 hours straight, no breaks, long distance transfers and high stress calls, I made repeated attempts to change the schedule, me bringing up repeated safety concerns, such as EMT's driving 90 while texting, an EMT having a seizure on the job and being allowed back to work a week later, I made a medication error. Funny that really wasn't covered in my medic course, but the thought of hiding it, trying to pass the blame, anything dishonest, never crossed my mind. During a code enroute after the standard EPI, I administered Narcan per our protocols, but the patient had been down a long time and was pronounced at the hospital. During the cleanup of the truck a bottle of Haldol was found and being the standup adult that I am, I could only conclude I had administered the wrong medication. I don't remember it like that, but evidence is evidence. I distinctly remember grabbing Narcan. Orange cap. Not Haldol. Yellow cap. Anyway, I went to my director, wrote it up, wasn't asked for mitigating circumstances, such as the fact I'd been up for 40 hours straight. I wasn't asked how many cardiac arrests I'd worked solo: 1. Just give us the facts. Now 6 months later, with no follow up from the head of the service or the medical director, based on another incident blown out of porportion that I was rude to a nurse in the ER, I am being asked to resign. I'm actually being threatened with them going to the medical board is probably more accurate, unless I resign. My husband wants to know why I'm not being demoted, was I ever counseled on any of this, had I ever talked to my medical director prior to all this. My answer is I don't know, no, never. I can never remember anyone being counseled, suspended, demoted, nothing. Once in a while we lose a good medic to an ER nurse who makes a complaint about this exact thing. They were rude to me. I've thought long and hard the last 4 weeks about how many times I went to my boss about issues that concerned me, mainly the continued use of straight shifts. Everyone comes in tired, including me, I told them. Repeatedly. When I ask for time off, I get turned down by the supervisor. I was publically mocked at one point for it with a big production about "conspiracies" and how there aren't any, you just take time when you need it. But yet I couldn't get it when I asked. So in the end, it's my medical license and my future in EMS. It is completely my ass on the line. I've realized that I really lacked any sort of perspective to compare the service to, as I never worked anywhere else. The medical board can screw me forever and I will not work as a medical provider in this state. Ever. I guess I am a little curious about whether this is over the top, pretty typical or just boring and repetitively ignorant. I thought I was a good medic until all this happened. I doubt myself every day and I wonder if going to medic school was a huge mistake that I will pay for forever. Everything I have done the last 3 years was so that the last career I would ever have would be in EMS. Now that's in question. I was planning to move but regardless of the distance and how far away I can never outrun myself. I will always question myself. I guess the bottom line is if I had more confidence in my abilities I might have walked sooner and wouldn't be in this predicament now. I don't know. I love my job, loved my job, that is. Despite all the issues about safety, put me in the back and I'm happy. I love patient care, but maybe I don't deserve it. I keep thinking if I was a better medic this wouldn't have happened, but I know too much about other mistakes made and can only conclude that somewhere in documentation I missed medic self preservation. View the full blog
  9. It took me 18 days to realize my bad month was going to screw up the Christmas of people I know and love. The hardest thing in the world was to let go of being mad and feeling betrayed and also totally responsible for the entire situation and say, Move on. Just like when your buddy separates or gets divorced or whatever event now makes continued miserable... View the full blog
  10. I should have started a blog here a long time ago. Maybe back in March when I started having problems. I don't know what happened or where things went wrong, but here on sit, all broken hearted all because I (fill in the blank). Remembered that old kids rhyme for some reason. To start at the end and work backwards for a second, I am in all practical... View the full blog
  11. A FIRE took hold in the basement of a Leamington home yesterday. <P> Two fire crews were sent to the incident at the four-storey property in Lillington Road at 5.10am. The fire was believed to have started in a small amount of rubbish. <P> Firefighters took an hour to put out the flames. <P> © 2012 Coventry Evening Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.<P>A service of YellowBrix, Inc. View the full article
  12. POLICE were last night probing the "unexplained" death of a teenage girl after a Midland house fire. <P> The girl was pronounced dead after firefighters were called to a fire at a property in Bagley Marsh, near Ellesmere, Shropshire, late on Saturday. <P> A spokesman for West Mercia Police said the emergency services were called at around 11.30pm to reports of a fire in a bedroom. <P> The police spokesman said: "Officers from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service found a teenager inside. Paramedics delivered first aid but were unable to revive her and she was declared dead at the scene at 12.25am. <P> "The death is being treated as unexplained but no-one else is thought to be involved." <P> Two adults who were also in the property were unharmed, and officers from West Mercia Police are working with fire investigators to determine the cause of the blaze. <P> © 2012 Evening Mail; Birmingham (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.<P>A service of YellowBrix, Inc. View the full article
  13. FIREFIGHTERS were called to a car on fire in Warwickshire on Sunday night. <P> The vehicle on reported to be ablaze in Coughton Fields Lane, Coughton, at 8.45pm. <P> One crew attended from Alcester along with police. <P> Firefighters took 30 minutes to extinguish the flames. <P> © 2012 Coventry Evening Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.<P>A service of YellowBrix, Inc. View the full article
  14. By Kari Bray, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. <P> Dec. 15--Portland firefighters rescued a dog from the burning home of a man who was earlier Tased by police after blocking firefighters from the home with a sword and shield. <P> After the 69-year-old man -- who stood on the porch waving a sword and shouting incoherently -- was removed from the scene, firefighters were able to control the blaze. The damage is estimated at about $40,000 but was limited to the one house at 7827 N. Hodge Ave. <P> Firefighters retrieved a dog from the house. The animal was suffering from smoke inhalation and was treated with supplemental oxygen from a specially designed mask. The dog is now in the care of animal control officers. <P> The name of the 69-year-old man has not been released and he has not been charged with anything at this point. The name, age and breed of the dog are unknown. <P> Firefighters arrived on the scene at about 5:14 p.m. and the blaze was declared under control by 5:34 p.m. <P> A Portland fire investigator is looking into the cause of the blaze. <P> --Kari Bray <P> ___ <P> ©2012 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) <P> Visit The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) at www.oregonian.com <P> Distributed by MCT Information Services<P>A service of YellowBrix, Inc. View the full article
  15. By Eric Florip and Paul Suarez, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash. <P> Dec. 17--A few missteps by a Ridgefield-based contractor and subcontractor from the Puget Sound area most likely led to a wildfire that scorched more than 23,000 acres, destroyed 61 homes and hundreds of other structures in August, state officials said Monday. <P> The Taylor Bridge Fire cost an estimated $11.1 million to fight and took more than two weeks to control. <P> According to a state Department of Natural Resources report, released Monday, the contractors were welding and sawing at the bridge replacement site past a 1 p.m. safety cutoff time designated by DNR due to the extreme fire hazard created by hot, dry weather. Crews were not adequately trained and fire suppression equipment was not sufficient to meet needs when the fire started on Aug. 13, said Bryan Flint, DNR spokesman. <P> According to the report, Patrick Freeburg, an employee of Ridgefield-based Conway Construction Inc., was welding and wire brushing steel plates and beams beneath the deck of the Bristol Fill Bridge, which carries state Highway 10 across a dry, brush-filled canyon east of Cle Elum, in Kittitas County. Conway had a contract to rebuild the bridge deck. Taylor Road is near the bridge. <P> Nearby, an unidentified worker with subcontractor Rainier Steel was cutting steel rebar with a hot saw on top of the deck. <P> One or both of those activities most likely sparked the fire, according to the report. <P> The area was in the midst of a prolonged dry spell, and temperatures had already climbed above 80 degrees just after 1 p.m., according to the investigation. <P> DNR spokesman Flint said a Conway employee drove a water truck to the site of the fire, but didn't know how to operate its water sprayers. One employee was unable to find a fire extinguisher and grabbed a personal one from his truck, Flint said. A supervisor arrived on the scene a few minutes later and got the sprayers going. But the truck ran out of water before the fire was extinguished, the report said. <P> Crews should have been trained to use the water truck and the company should have had fire extinguishers that were "up to the job," Flint said. <P> "There was no evidence that precautions were taken by either the contractor or subcontractor prior to the cutting and welding activity (that could have prevented hot materials from igniting material below the bridge)," the report said. According to the report, Conway Superintendent Greg Ross said he didn't think any of the construction crew was trained to use the water truck to suppress fire. <P> Washington State Department of Transportation project inspector Wilberto Otero, who was on scene, called 911 about five minutes after the fire started. By that time it was already about 15 feet in diameter, the report said. <P> Firefighters from Kittitas County Fire District 1 arrived on scene 11 minutes after Otero reported the fire. DNR crews arrived about 15 minutes later. <P> By 2:15 p.m. the fire jumped the state highway and "burned with increasing size and intensity" away from its origin, the report said. <P> The Taylor Bridge Fire wasn't the first to occur on the job site. Crews had quickly extinguished at least two earlier small fires, but didn't report them to state or local authorities, the investigation found. <P> Flint said DNR is not planning to issue any citations. <P> "We will be seeking recovery for the (DNR's) costs for fighting the fire," he said, which is about half of the $11 million total firefighting cost. The agency will work with the Attorney General's Office to see where those funds should come from. No decision has been made at this point, Flint said. <P> The purpose of the investigation wasn't to assign blame; it was to find the fire's origin, he said. Litigation will determine who is responsible, Flint said. <P> WSDOT spokesman Steve Pierce said in an e-mail the agency is reviewing the investigation and its legal options to recover money for infrastructure, including roads and guardrails, damaged in the fire. WSDOT had hired Conway in April to do the project. <P> WSDOT requires contractors carry insurance to cover claims related to project failures, he said. Pierce believes Conway and the subcontractor carried insurance up to $9 million. <P> Conway's attorney couldn't be reached for comment. <P> Conway and Rainier Steel have been sued at least twice already for damages related to the fire, according to Kittitas County Superior Court records. Both cases are pending. <P> . <P> ___ <P> ©2012 The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.) <P> Visit The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.) at www.columbian.com <P> Distributed by MCT Information Services<P>A service of YellowBrix, Inc. View the full article
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