Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Dear Main-Stream Media,

The war we are fighting now is NOT VIETNAM! Instead of every day, telling me how many of my brothers and sisters in arms have died overseas, how about you report on some of our victories? Tell me how many we got, too. We may have lost 4 in a firefight that cost them 20. The way you tell it though, our armed forces are nothing but cannon fodder for an enemy we couldnt possibly win against. (My eyes are rolling as I type that, by the way) And although every life lost is important, far more important than that is the humanitarian victories. I want to hear when we put up a school, fix a road, dig a well, get those towns electricity. I'm glad that people are voting in Afghanistan right now-report on that and not just the violence associated with those who would see that those people live in fear every day.

Much Obliged- BangBangMedic

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pay Issues

Just did a long-distance trip yesterday, and along the way I started thinking about EMS professionals, our hours, and our pay.

Anybody involved in EMS is painfully aware that we are the redheaded stepchild of emergency services. Cops and firemen get all the glory. Their pay is far better, even without overtime, and they usually get a pension. It's a perk that comes with being a civil service job, employed by the state or city, and one of probably the only good things that could come out of government healthcare-EMS might turn into a government job with all the perks that come from that.

EMT B's in my area start at ten bucks an hour, medics at about $16. After two years I'm almost to 11 per hour now. It adds up to about 22K a year, depending on how much overtime I pick up. My company does offer a respectable healthcare plan, and a 401K for full time employees, which is nice. That's about all though. It's kind of pitiful considering the ambulette drivers start with at least $12 an hour, and even a janitor in the school system can make enough to support a family.

What I realized though, is there is so much money there-even in this starved economy, we are always a little short staffed, and there is plenty of overtime to go around. For those that want to, an 70 hour work week is not unheard of. Overtime, like most anywhere else, is time and a half where I work, which bumps those EMT-B's up to 15 per hour. Why not simply hire a few more staff members, and raise the pay a few bucks? Burning yourself out with an insane amount of hours is dangerous to the tech, their patients, and anyone on the road with them. It can hurt patient care, and it's not good for mental or social welfare of employees either. Would it be so hard to pay everyone say, $13 an hour, and have a few more employees to cover the shifts that would otherwise be overtime?

Next up: How the volunteer EMS system is killing EMS as a career!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More soon

Just got back from the shore-I have lots of pictures and a bunch of stories, I'm going to get a post up soon. Also, the third chapter of my story is taking much longer then expected, but it *IS* coming. Bear with me, folks

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I've been noticing lately, wherever I go, people tend to look at me like I'm a dead man. I tell them I'm a soldier, and invariably, theres a few moments pause. Their mouths drop open just a tiny bit, and their eyes get soft and it looks like I've just told them that I have terminal brain cancer, or that my puppy died. They they usually pull it together and shake my hand. Some of them react as if I told them that *I* killed a puppy, but those people aren't worth continued conversation.

The thing is, I don't want sympathy. I volunteered to be a solider. I LOVE being a solider. I knew the risk when I signed up-for God's sake, we've been at war since I was in 8th grade-I accept that risk freely. There is no shame, and no need for you to feel sorry for me. So please don't. I want support on the homefront, I want a president who isn't hell bent on apologizing for our actions, who isn't frightened of the men he commands. I want the proper tools to do my job, and I want rules of engagement that dont force me to fight blindfolded, hopping on one leg. Do that, instead of cringing when I tell you that I'm off to war.

I'm not a dead man walking. I'm more likely to get shot as a tourist in the nations capitol than I am in Afghanistan, actually. Is that friggin sad or what?

Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm back from the desert about a week now, and I definately prefer being home. My unit has alot of issues, which I won't discuss in serious detail, however, not having a budget for medical equipment is a serious issue. So is spending millions of dollars for high speed desert training-and then not doing anything. I qualified sharpshooter on the M9 9mm service pistol, was promoted to E4, and helped out as a medic with another unit that HAD equipment...and thats about it. A whole month in the desert and very little to show for it. Hooah.