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.

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#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:


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.

@SirensUSA Advance Screening Of “Rachel McAdams Topless” In Review

The USA Network has made an episode of its forthcoming series Sirens available online. The episode is identified as being season 1, episode 4, “Rachel McAdams Topless and is available for viewing on their website or right here:

This series has been a long time coming. I first mentioned it back in June 2011 when news came out that Denis Leary would be producing the US version of Sirens, which is originally a UK show based on the book Blood, Sweat, and Tea: Real-Life Adventures in an Inner-City Ambulance by former EMS blogger Tom Reynolds. We got our first look at the show in December of 2013, and it was finally announced that Sirens would be premiering March 6, 2014.

With all of that said and referenced, let’s get on with the review of Sirens S1,E4 “Rachel McAdams Topless”:


The Premise

“Why else would a guy, who’s on his death bed, ask three strangers to go to his house and erase his computer history?”

“Maybe he’s a terrorist. Oh my god what if it’s some kind of terror plot! Maybe we should call the FBI or the NSA.”

As you may guess from the dialogue above, the show is basically about what happens when a patient asks the Sirens crew to go back to his house and erase his Internet browsing history. No, that screen shot above is not what happens when the crew reads what people on the Internet are saying about the show (though it may very well could be once it airs), but rather in regards to what they find. Since the episode is themed around content on the Internet and being advance screened on the Internet, I really though that there would be a reference along the lines of two girls only having one cup, but instead they went the already trodden reference of a Horse show. Kevin Smith‘s been there and done that a few times, but this is television so maybe there’s a new audience to be shocked by it.

What I Liked

I liked the opening song. ALOT. I’d really like to download it from iTunes, but I need to know who sings it first. Needless to say when the Premiere airs, I’ll have Shazam at the ready.

I enjoyed the pacing of the show. Many shows either dump you right into it with little or no setup. Other shows take forever to get to the part you want to be and drag the setup out past its prime. In the first segment, you had the setup, they were already on a call, and you had a vague idea of how the next 15 minutes were going to be spent.

I have to freely admit that Michael Mosley as Johnny has the typical New York mentality down. I know the show is set in Chicago, and maybe its the writing, but he delivers a solid sarcastic laced straight faced performance. There’s more than a few people that he reminds me of and I look forward to seeing more of it.

I also really liked Kevin Daniels as Hank, the verbose black/gay medic. Again, he reminds me of a few people with the quick retorts, quips, and business like demeanor.

I’m a little fuzzy on Kevin Bigley as Brian. It seems to be a part that was written to be over the top to begin with as a bit too wholesome new jack. I think Bigley may be going over the top on what’s already over the top, but that could also just be this episode. At first I rolled my eyes at the whole “maybe he’s a terrorist” jump to conclusion bit, but then the more I thought about it the more I realized that probably happens more often than we’d like to admit… jumping from something that’s meh to the world is ending conclusion. I definitely liked the physical humor he performed, specifically while next to the horse.

What I Hated

I absolutely hated how clean, new, and wonderful everything looked. From the rig, to the station, to the patient’s apartments it was all so nice, neat, and orderly that I was disgusted by it. This is something that we see quite often on everything from ER, to Third Watch, to Trauma. Everything is bright, shiny, and practically brand new. The only show that I remember actually getting it right about the state of affairs on equipment for most EMS agencies was TNT‘s one season of Saved.

I hated how safe everything felt. There was literally one scene of them driving, and none of the obvious dangers were there. I get that this is a comedy, but the wholesome safe seeming environment was, in my opinion, a bit too safe.

I hated the lack of backstory I had, but I chalk that up to this being an episode that wasn’t the pilot.

What I Loved

So there’s this scene where the crew sits with Bill Nunn who plays the older, wiser, seasoned, honest, and probably slightly demented medic Cash. He offers up this absolute pearl:

“…but one time, on this job, I done what you fools did. I stuck my nose in someplace where it didn’t belong. See, everybody’s got a secret. So when you go into someone’s home on a call you want to do what you’re supposed to do, save their ass and get them in the rig.”

“The key to this business is minding your business and keeping your minds out of the gutter. Because what you put in your head stays in your head.”

Wow. I wish I had talked to this guy before writing 25 Things They Should Have Taught You In Medic School… But Didn’t, because that would be right up there in the Top 3.

The other thing I loved, Gas Station TV. I loved how they used it to open the episode in a non-EMS setting. It gave Johnny an extra-dimension to the character, but also to the profession. Let’s face it, most of us spend probably 80% of our week in a uniform. Does that define us? To our patients, co-workers, and bosses it often does. The truth is that we shouldn’t allow the uniform to define us, we should be the ones defining the uniform. I love knowing that extra-dimension about the character and it does something else too which is really more important….

Why Sirens Isn’t Trauma, And Why I’ll Watch It Regularly

There is a lot of hesitation in the EMS community about what this show means for us. When Trauma first aired the backlash was enormous for it being unrealistic and full of technical errors. There’s going to be a lot of the same backlash from the tunnel visioned providers out there who don’t realize that this is entertainment and not a training video. There is however a very huge difference between the two shows that I think will be the defining factor for the future of Sirens.

The reason why I’ll watch Sirens is because I can relate to the characters.

That’s really what the show, any show, is looking to do. Connect with people, relate to them, and convey a story. It’s really the same thing we do on a call. We walk into people’s homes, connect to them as they convey the story of why they called, hopefully we can relate to the issue through either knowledge or experience, and then we get them to where they need to be for definitive care. Yes, the steps aren’t quite the same, but at the core it is identical. I couldn’t relate to the characters on Trauma, hence why I hated it as entertainment as well.

I also watch Gas Station TV when I’m fueling up.

For All You Rachel McAdams Fans

Undoubtedly, there will be some visitors who are here because they are fans of Rachel McAdams. I won’t lie, the name of the episode provided perfect link bait for the great search engines of the internet, and I used it. So for those who are here solely for some Rachel McAdams, I don’t want to disappoint you so here’s a nice image of her from Nicholas SparksThe Notebook


So what do you think of Sirens? Let us know in the comments your thoughts, predictions, and feelings about it…

EMS Garage With @MedicSBK, @AmboDriver, and @EMSLawyer1

Podcast_Studio_2014_EMS_TodayWhile at EMS Today 2014 in Washington DC I had the fortunate opportunity to join host Scott Kier, EMS Blogfather Kelly Grayson, and the esteemed EMS Legal Practitioner Steve Wirth of Page, Wolfberg, & Wirth on a wonderful episode of The EMS Garage.

The topic on hand was about documentation. How we’re doint it, how we’re doing it wrong and what steps can we take in order to make it right? You can download the episode here or check out this video:

For those of you wondering, yes, this is the episode where it is revealed that EMTs and Paramedics do in fact diagnose.

Personally, I think there are a number of different take-aways from this discussion, other than the obvious gasoline can poured onto the “diagnosis or not diagnosis” firestorm. Here’s my quick list:

  1. There is often little evaluation or concern given to the writing skills of potential EMTs and Paramedics
  2. We don’t spend enough time during the foundation of EMS education on documentation
  3. There isn’t enough focus on documentation when onboarding and orientating new members at an Agency level
  4. We often ignore documentation best practices until it becomes a QA/QI issue which means its often too little and way too late

Interestingly, in a separate discussion with The EMS Siren, we talked about how we as EMS providers speak a multitude of “languages” to a variety of people. We need to be able to communicate to our patients on a level that they understand and are familiar with (Patientese), which is not the same level we have to be able to communicate with the nurses and doctors we will be handing them off to (Medical Terminolocus). Inbetween we also need to speak and deal with law enforcement (Five-Point-Ohish) and the fire service (Furnace). Our documentation often needs to be translated by medical billers (Reimbursementish) and stand up to the close scrutiny of lawyers (Legalese).

I’m a big proponent of a natural narrative for the conveyance of a patient’s acute condition and the events of the assignment because, regardless of what language you speak, everyone loves a story.

What are your thoughts on documentation? How are we doing? What are we doing wrong? How can we make it right? As always feel free to share your thoughts in the comments

While Being Miserable About “The Lego Movie” Selling Out This Weekend You’ll Never Believe What I Found

This past weekend The Lego Movie was released to wide fanfare. Unfortunately between weather forecasts and traveling back from Washington D.C., I wasn’t able to find a show with seats to attend.

So as I sat in misery I was cruising the internet and found this:

Lego_Hands_Only_CPR_with_Lego_Vinnie_-_YouTubeLego Hands Only CPR with Lego Vinnie is both informative and hilarious!!! This is one of the best videos I’ve seen performing a Public Service Announcement for Hands Only CPR since the not-so-safe-for-work one. You also can’t argue about the timing of it, with all The Lego Movie hype it’s undoubtedly getting more views than normal… like from me!

What public education announcement would you want seen done in Lego?

When Obama Called Us Ambulance Drivers In The State Of The Union He Had No Idea What Would Happen Next

Recently a number of people shared in outrage a post through the social networks, and a few even contacted me directly. Here is the intro to the article:

Tuesday night in his State Of the Union address President Obama used the term Ambulance Driver to describe EMS workers. The comment was a blink and you missed it statement during his 65-minute speech. But it was enough to push many skilled paramedics and EMTs to voice their displeasure.

National Registry of Medical Workers (NRMW) chief executive Vince Furnier, say his office received an overwhelming number of calls. “Our phone system was overloaded. EMTs and Paramedics were calling in droves. Many were calling hoping we could use our lobbyists to force an apology from the president. We have been in contact with members of congress but are not very hopeful anything will be done.”

The post I am referring to is Obama angers EMS workers by calling them “Ambulance Drivers” in State of the Union Address over at who are proudly “America’s 27th Most Trusted Source For Public Safety News“. As a big fan of The Onion I also find myself a fan of Their investigative piece on how Walmart is going to provide EMS from their rural SuperCenters was a deep and inspiring work.

So, does any of this sound odd or off to you?

If it doesn’t, then this is part of the problem. You are undoubtedly suffering from either: A) BelieveItAllosis – a false sense of trust in everything you read on the internet, B) SheldonCooperitis – the acute inability to decipher sarcasm and satire in the real world, or C) ambient stupidity. You cannot, theoretically, suffer from both B and C at the same time, but you can suffer from A with either of the other two possibilities. You are afflicted and need to see your Medical Director IMMEDIATELY for treatment!!!

If it does, then great! That means that you’re probably going to take a closer look at the source… and you’ll realize that any site that takes pride in being the 27th Most Trusted Source For Public Safety News either sets goals really low or is what would be considered a satirical site. You are in fine health and should not worry about those ailments afflicting you or your ability to fulfill your job requirements.


DSC_0517To those of you who have been afflicted… I raise an eyebrow to you and ask, “Really? Really?? Really???

Do you really think Obama would use the term “Ambulance Driver“? More importantly if he did say “Ambulance Driver” don’t you think that the Republican War Machine Sarah Palin would have pounced all over that usage and rode that term to the hilt in the media? Don’t you think there would have been cries of foul from actual associations such as NEMSMA and NAEMT? Don’t you think it would have been the cover story on both trade magazines, covered by countless bloggers, and that CNN would have an hour long panel discussion about the derogatory use of the term?

Yeah. So without getting into the whole fact that the vast majority of you railing against the use of the term “Ambulance Driver” do, in fact, drive the ambulance, you need to be a little bit more careful about what you see on the internet and riles you up. While I appreciate the humor and incredible creativity that goes behind, I don’t appreciate my fellow professionals using that as the source for being vocally disgruntled about things in the industry.

How can anyone take you seriously when an obvious joke is what you’re taking seriously?

Mark Your Calendars: #Sirens Premieres March 6th On The USA Network

The USA Network has announced March 6th, 2014 at 10/9C as its launch date and time for the Denis Leary produced EMS comedy Sirens:

Sirens_PosterAs I posted in December of last year, this show has been awhile in the making. I’m going to continue to stand by my earlier predictions of the type of criticism its going to receive and that the same sources will be those that banged and bagged on NBC‘s Trauma. While deep down I don’t want to be one of those sources of criticism, I’m going to reserve my judgement until March 7th. Actually, I may even reserve it until March 8th so that I’ve had some time to ponder on it.

What do you think about this new show? Did that video clip up there leave you with the warm fuzzy feeling or did you want to projectile vomit over the inaccurate and comedic light your honorable profession is about to be portrayed in? Let me know in the comments!