Answering The #ALSIceBucketChallenge To #StrikeOutALS

o… recently I was “tagged” or “nominated” or “challenged” to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by one of the supervisors at my agency.

Here I am meeting the challenge…

Ice Bucket CoverDoes it suprise anyone that I was a Film major in college?

So if you haven’t heard or seen anything about the #IceBucketChallenge, then seriously what rock have you been hiding under? The amazing part to me is that I remember seeing my friend Rotor Ray do it on Facebook what seems like months ago. Now it’s gained some serious traction and virality. The people at the ALS Association must be very pleased… over $70 million dollars has been raised through the campaign.

Viral Campaign Components

People often ask what it is that can make such a campaign viral. In my experience, every successful one has three key elements in common:

  1. Ease of Access – the media generated for the campaign has to be easily created and easily accessed
  2. A Positive Outcome – the campaign needs to strive for an improvement in the quality of life for a segment of the population, the bigger usually the better
  3. A Champion – there needs to be someone to really champion the cause at the onset to get it out as much and as wide as possible to increase the potential virality of the campaign

There’s also something here to be said about the long-tail effect of Social Media on these campaigns. I remember the first video I saw of this was of my friend “Rotor” Ray doing it at his station in West Virginia, and I feel like that was MONTHS ago. So even if you have all the right components it can take awhile to hit maximum velocity.

Honestly you can try to make something go viral, have all the components needed to go viral, but in the end it could be a flop compared to what your goal was. There are people who will tell you that they design for virality and can almost guarantee virality… notice I stressed the almost. In the end, there are no guarantees as to the levels of success of failures that your campaign will have.

The only thing that is guaranteed is that if you don’t try, you will absolutely never succeed.

Really.


EMS Comedy Sirens Renewed For Second Season On USA Network

Sirens_USA_camera_donut_eyebrow

The Denis Leary produced EMS comedy Sirens has been renewed for a second season on the USA Network!

The British version of the series, based on Blood, Sweat, and Tea by recovering EMS Blogger Thom Reynolds and starring Richard Madden of Game of Thrones (Robb Stark) fame, only lasted for one season in the UK.


Cookies for all!


4 Lessons To Learn From The #myNYPD Hijacking

Recently the New York City Police Department’s Official Twitter Account (@NYPDNews) asked users to tweet photos of themselves with their favorite members of the NYPD and use the hashtag of #myNYPD.

NYPD_NEWS__NYPDnews__on_Twitter

Needless to say, they got a relatively mixed result from the public on that one. Here’s just a few of the submissions they received via the hashtag #myNYPD

myNYPD_Photo_Backlash

The backlash and hijacking of the #myNYPD hashtag should not surprise anyone, especially whoever is in charge of the NYPD‘s Social Media efforts… if in fact there is anyone in charge over there. It’s almost as if someone went for their morning coffee, saw a #myDunkin hashtag sticker on the door, and thought “Oh that would be great for the NYPD!” while failing to take into account that a) NYPD is not a coffee shop but a law enforcement agency and b) Dunkin’ Donuts biggest complaints are in the realm of cold coffee and stale donuts, neither of which causes them to convene a Civillian Complaint Review Board to address. Previous failed Social Media campaigns such as back in 2009 when Skittles made their homepage a Twitter Feed of anyone mentioning @Skittles and last year when McDonald‘s #McDstories campaign resulted in hairifying fast food tales that would make anyone cringe should have been clear red flags that this wasn’t necessarily a good idea.

4 Lessons To Learn From The #myNYPD Hijacking

Here are four things I think the NYPD, and any agency looking to utilize Social Media, needs to take away from this event:

  • Be Careful What You Ask For - It’s important to be careful what you ask your subscribers to do for you. Contrary to the implication of the terms “Followers” and “Fans“, not everyone will have a positive perception of your agency. This goes way back to when Howard Stern‘s ratings were through the roof in DC, not from the people that loved him… but more from the people who hated him and wanted to hear what atrocity he would say next. They are your audience and while interacting with them is a good use of Social Media, crowdsourcing interactions to them takes the tone of the conversation out of your hands
  • What Works For Private Companies Doesn’t Automatically Work For Public Agencies - Just because it works for one private company doesn’t mean it will work for another and most definitely won’t work the same for a public agency. Blindly mimicking others successes (and failures) will not result in a #FTW but more likely in an #EpicFAIL as this has
  • Someone Needs To Be In Charge And Accountable - Thus far Commissioner Bill Bratton is okay with what happened. “Most of the pictures I looked at, they’re old news. They’ve been out there for a long time,” Bratton said according to a Daily News article. “The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community. Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city,” said Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster according to an article on CNN. The truth is that if Chief Royster thinks this is effective, then maybe we know who is responsible for this #EpicFAIL. There is no effectiveness in this what so ever, just a lot of noise and bringing old issues back to the surface to cloud the current issues. Not to mention the demoralizing effect it has on officers who, had they made a smaller Social Media snafu to less than 1% of the @NYPDNews audience, would have undoubtedly been robbed of their careers
  • Remember Your Mission As A Source Of Trusted Information - there is not a lot of glory to be found in broadcasting traffic reports or crime statistics, but it is important not to lose that focus in lieu of cheap PR pops. Sharing success stories, jobs well done, and live events from the agency all have their place. Asking others to do your law enforcement job for you wouldn’t be acceptable and neither is asking them to tell your own story via Social Media for you

In the end, this really is an #EpicFail that the NYPD is responsible for. Not only do their officers need to pay for it but other law enforcement agencies, such as LAPD, are now under similar social assault. Someone needs to be held accountable and more importantly someone needs to be put in charge who has a social clue so that this doesn’t happen again.


Cannabulance Set To Hit Denver Streets Today

Beginning today Denver Memorial EMS will redirect all calls for anxiety and emotionally distressed individuals to a specially established Cannabulance that will administer marijuana and direct patients to the nearest recreational marijuana dispensary for further treatment in order to reduce emergency room visits.

cannabulance“When people talk about Mobile Integrated Healthcare, this is exactly what they mean. Paramedics doing the work of social workers because, let’s face it, the social workers just don’t know how to roll a decent blunt,” explained Chief Mary J. Lays of Denver Memorial EMS. The medics have been specially trained to prepare 6 ounces of the marijuana into a delivery device of the patient’s choice. Each ambulance has an assortment of pipes and bongs the patient may choose from or a more traditional method. Should the patient choose to go the traditional blunt method, the medics have received a full 5 minutes of specialized training on rolling such fatty blunts by a local specialist named Ja Bumbleclot.

The chief went on to further explain that the protocol established by the Medical Directors will be strictly adhered to. For patients with minor anxiety/distress, the pattern of “puff, puff, pass” administration will be established between the patient and crew sharing the delivery device. “This will really create the type of rapport with the patient that no other healthcare provider can duplicate. This is Mobile Integrated Healthcare in action!”

For patients suffering from extreme anxiety and violent/suicidal/homicidal tendencies, the patient will consume the entire dose in the delivery device. Additionally, the Cannabulance has been stocked with a surplus of Frito-Lays Cheetos to administer to these most severe cases who may suddenly become ravenous.

Acknowledging the potential for abuse by staff members, Chief Mary J. Lays pointed out that the snack stock will also be used as a detection device for inappropriate crew usage. Upon the end of their tour, both crew members of the Cannabulance will have their fingers inspected for any sign of orange food dye, a condition commonly referred to as Montera Sign by the medical professionals, and an obvious indicator that the crew has been partaking a bit too much in their medicinal and snacking stock. There have been no potential repercussions decided upon, since Chief Lays is sure that none of her staff would ever need to abuse the medicinal stock. “This whole state is full of tight-wads and mentally unstable people, so they’ll get plenty of the stuff on the grounds of building up those relationships,” explained Chief Lays, “And this is just the first project. We’re going to take this whole Mobile Integrated Healthcare stuff to a new level. If Medicare/Medicaid are going to pay us to be people’s friends, we’ll gladly do it!”

When asked if there was some connection between the Frito-Lays company ( makers of Cheetos and other fine munching snacks) and Chief Lays herself, she shouted, “No comment!” and stormed off to behind the dumpsters where she presumably continued conducting tests for tired, groggy, and lethargic patients using Toronto‘s pioneering Eight-Ball Therapy.

You Called 9-1-1 For What?Think that’s outrageous? Then you haven’t read anything yet! Be sure to check out the outrageous REAL 9-1-1 calls that can be found in “You Called 9-1-1 For What?“!!! As a special gift for you timely readers, it is FREE TODAY ONLY (April 1st, 2014) for the Kindle Platform!!!

Enjoy!!!


#SirensUSA Premiere – S1E01 “Pilot”

Last night the long awaited Denis Leary produced EMS comedy Sirens premiered on the USA Network. Here’s a look at the S1E01 “Pilot:

Synopsis

Johnny (Michael Mosely/@MikeGeneMose) and Hank (Kevin Daniels/@KevinDaniels) work at Eminent Ambulance in the beautiful city of Chicago. At the start of the episode they’re ordered to go pick up “new guy” Brian (Kevin Bigley/@KevinBigley). Together they respond to a potential cardiac arrest where the first newly popular EMS catchphrase is uttered… “Charge up the toaster!” While working the faux arrest/actual food allergy, we’re introduced to Johnny’s ex-girlfriend, Theresa (Jessica McNamee/@jessica_mcnamee) who also happens to be a public safety jobber as a police officer.

The episode takes a number of fast paced turns from there. We get our first glimpse at the station where there’s a roundtable discussion regarding Brian’s living situation (with his parents), land a typical sexual deviant call utilizing a real thing foreign object, have a post shift happy hour, and stalk previously mentioned ex-girlfriend/police officer on a date. The episode was FILLED with hilarious one-liners, quips, and dialogue interchanges that generated UNCONTROLLABLE laughs and further solidified the characters on the show as people I can identify with. It also helped promote the use of ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts in your cellphone. Not only is Sirens entertaining, it’s educational!

The Sirens LOL Call – ColaVac5000

We_Barely_Get_Dental“He’s new and we’re paramedics sir. If there was a device that sucked soda bottles out of a place we dare not go, our budget wouldn’t cover it.”

“We barely get dental, let alone anal.”

Within the half-hour of Sirens, the crew finds themselves coming across two patients. The Sirens LOL Call of the episode has to do with a portly gentleman who has found himself bored at home and decided to experiment with sending objects up the wrong way of the body’s one way system. Instead of choosing something simple and organic like a zucchini or a cucumber (which he had but wanted to reserve that for a salad), the patient chose an empty bottle of cola.

After having Brian do the exam, where he confirms, “It’s up there. It’s really up there!”, Hank then sends him down to the rig for the ColaVac 5000. The patient makes a few comments before having the bad news broken that the truth is the ColaVac 5000 does not exist, and even if it did the crew probably couldn’t afford it within their budget.

Not only does this scene provide the Sirens LOL Call of the episode, but it reveals a frustrating truth that many providers feel when it comes to equipment. I did previously complain that everything looked a bit too shiny and new, which it still does, but at least they are recognizing the economic challenges that we face on a day to day basis.

Reality Check

While I really enjoyed the episode, I do have one criticism. I understand why Brian needs to sit in what we used to call the “milk crate” seat (between the front seats) of the cab, but I wish they would show him wearing a seatbelt somehow too. I know it seems minor, and maybe it’s because I came home from a day of teaching CEVO III to a class of new hires, but it irked me a bit. Thankfully both Johnny and Hank wore their seat belts the whole time.

The only other thing that caught me a bit off guard was the language. I kind of knew Leary was going to be pushing the envelope, but to be honest I thought for a minute I was watching HBO. Still, I found the language to be realistic to society today, not just the industry.

In the end, I thought this was a great start to what will hopefully become a long running entertaining and educational series.