Wasting Water For a Cause? REALLY?!?

I think it’s great that people are trying to raise awareness for ALS (or any other cause, for that matter), but wouldn’t a better idea be to actually donate money to a foundation instead of dumping water on yourselves?

How exactly is WASTING WATER helping ANY cause?

Oh wait – if you DON’T dump water on yourself (or submerge yourself into a cold pool/pond/lake/stream/ocean/etc.) within 24 hours, THEN you have to donate. Yeah, that’s a great way to help the cause.

Ever wonder why the folks in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and any other state suffering from a MAJOR DROUGHT aren’t participating in this?

If you don’t bother reading anything other than Facebook, take a moment to Google ‘US drought’. Or, just head over to http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ and look at the pretty picture.

Want to raise awareness for something? Try WATER CONSERVATION.

Update: To FAWM or Not To FAWM?

After looking through all of the material a few more times, and realizing how much I do that’s actually related to Wilderness Medicine, I decided to register as a FAWM Candidate.

Immediately after registering, I just *happened* to notice that 2 nearby[1] conferences I was planning on attending in May award FAWM credits, and an October week-long canoe trip in Upstate NY really *would* justify me taking a vacation (and even get me another 16 FAWM credits.)

I still have a major problem with having to take all of the dive medicine lectures/videos again[2], since:
1. Almost all of the 1-hour lectures/videos average $50
2. Almost every one of them I ALREADY TEACH.
3. ALL of them I had before during my DMT training.
4. They’re $50 EACH.

I guess I’ll just wait and see if I need to “relearn” any of that subject matter when I get towards the end. If I still need the credits, I’ll have to bite the bullet.

And apparently, I won’t receive credit for the DMT because it wasn’t 100+ hours to attain the cert.

Oh well. I guess I’ll manage to get over that in time. Maybe.

So, I’m already 10+ credits on the way without the experience report being submitted yet. Not a bad start..

[1] “nearby” meaning a few hours’ drive from here. Who’da thunkit?
[2] Yes, I spoke to someone about this. They’re reply was a very dry “Well, that’s how it is.”

A Little Help, Please..

If any of the graphics gurus out there are reading this, I need some help with a few things. I’m willing to pay a reasonable fee for the work. I’m also more than willing to barter for services, as well.

1. I need a logo for a new “project” I started. (Details will be discussed privately.)

2. I would like to get a new banner for this website.

3. I need a new banner for the aforementioned project.

Of course, I’d love it if someone was willing to do this in return for the warm fuzzy feeling they’d get for helping someone out, but let’s be real here…

Contact me through the comments or send me something on Twitter (@DiverMedic)

To FAWM or not to FAWM?

Updated 2013-03-15 to include more information about the FAWM and the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

I’ve been thinking about working towards becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine™ (FAWM) for awhile now. I’ve been a member of the Wilderness Medical Society for a number of years, and lately I’ve been thinking about the FAWM a lot.

A good description of A Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) is described over at Expedition Medicine, here:

The Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine is designed for individuals who want to be acknowledged for their professional achievement in Wilderness Medicine, and wish to validate their training for their patients and clients.

Society members enroll in the Academy and, by completing Expedition and Wilderness Medicine courses, receive credit for specific, identifiable experience, accumulating credit toward becoming a Fellow. Any current member of the Wilderness Medical Society who successfully completes the requirements will have the distinction of being a registered member of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and entitled to use the designation Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) and may reference it on resumes, business cards, and advertisements.

The Academy maintains a demanding set of requirements that validates each member’s qualifications in wilderness medicine. Candidates for the Academy participate in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Courses and receive credit for the topics covered. When candidates fulfill the requirements of the Core Curriculum and demonstrate other required experience in Wilderness Medicine, they qualify to be reviewed to become members of the Academy with the designation “Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.”

The FAWM designation is similar to others in the medical field, such as a Fellowship in the American College of Emergency Physicians (“FACEP”). One thing that makes FAWM unique is that it’s open to nurses, paramedics, and “other qualified medical professionals.” There is a core curriculum that must be met, along with electives, as well as actual experience that must be investigated and qualified. They even have a PDF brochure you can download.

Did you know the American College of Emergency Physicians has a Wilderness Medical section? They do.

To save you some time, I’ll included a quick blurb on the Academy:

Academy of Wilderness Medicine

The academy seeks to provide a system of adult education and certification in a modern and standardised way to provide a set level of knowledge and education for practitioners working in the wilderness arena.

    The goals of the academy are to:

  • Professional designation for achievement in Wilderness Medicine
  • Validation for the public, patients, and clients of practitioner education in Wilderness Medicine
  • Recognition for completing high quality standards in Wilderness Medicine
  • Continuing medical education (CME) credit for acquisition of knowledge and hands-on experiences in Wilderness Medicine
  • The advancement of an internationally recognized curriculum of Wilderness Medicine categories, topics, and skills

The problem is, a good chunk of the required and elective learning I’ve already accomplished, but it isn’t recognized since I haven’t purchased a Fellowship Candidacy yet. I would have to either purchase lectures, attend other conferences, and pay to sit in on “workshops” that I could probably teach. Some of them I already teach, in fact. I can also submit copies of certificates I’ve already been awarded (for a nominal processing fee) and hope they count.

Or, I could just head out to NOLS for a few weeks and have some fun while getting about 80 hours worth of credits fulfilled..

The upside is I’d have five years to complete the candidacy, and it’s only $225. Lectures can be purchased pretty cheaply, but conferences can be over $1500 plus travel and lodging. If I’m awarded a Fellowship, it’s good for as long as I maintain my WMS membership (something I have no intention of letting expire.) I’ve heard it’s a great thing to have if you are on the speaking circuit, which I hope to be in a few years.

So, with all of that said and done, I’m looking for comments from my readership. For those of you that have it, is it worth it (aside from personal satisfaction)? Does it add anything to employment opportunities? I’m not looking to accumulate an alphabet soup of credentials for the sake of looking important. I’m looking for proof of half a lifetime of education and experience that actually means something to someone other than myself.

So, I’m reaching out to my peers for their thoughts on this. I’d appreciate your comments.

“Elegy for Innocence”

In episode 82 of the Gun for Hire Radio Show, a special 2-hour show, Sandy Berardi places facts and figures in black and white and tells the truth about “gun control.”

I’d like everyone, regardless of what your stance on the Second Amendment is, to read and/or listen to this.

Read the transcript, listen to the audio.

Elegy for Innocence – .mp3

Elegy for Innocence – PDF

The Gun for Hire Radio Show is a weekly radio show, billed as “The Voice of 1 million New Jersey Gun Owners.”

If you’re a gun owner and live in or near New Jersey, I highly recommend you subscribe and listen.

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate, partner, or otherwise connected with nor receive benefits from Gun for Hire, LLC.

No EMSWorldExpo/Wedding, Courtesy of FrankenStorm

Thanks to FrankenStorm (aka Hurricane Sandy), I won’t be making it to EMSWorldExpo in New Orleans, not to mention MsParamedic‘s wedding on Friday.

I was notified that my flight had been canceled Monday evening. OK, I thought, they’ll probably give me another flight on Wednesday. No big deal.

Tuesday morning (today), I received a notification that there was a flight available that left at 8:00pm, and would arrive in NOLA at 10:23pm. SWEET!

In the 45 minutes it took for me to get to work – 1 mile away from home – it had already filled up. NOT sweet.

So, after searching for any available flight down to NOLA – and finding none – I applied for a fee-free refund and received a confirmation number. They waive the fee for processing a refund if the flight is canceled due to weather.

Bummed out totally, but OK, at least I’m getting my full fare back.

Then I get an email notifying me that my flight had been rebooked. Say what?

Here it is:

Wait a minute. I’m leaving on Saturday to fly BACK from NOLA. They didn’t really scheduling me to leave on the day I was returning home, did they?

Yup. They did.

Did you notice they departure times? Yeah, so did I, after a few minutes of staring at it.

After waiting on hold for a few hours, I finally got to talk to someone about it. They wanted to laugh at the obvious problem of being in 2 places at once, but they handled it pretty well, and relatively quickly.

Sorry, Nat and Matt. I won’t be at your wedding in a kilt as promised. If you kids ever make it up this way, let me know. Not only will I gather all the EMS folk in the area for one helluva BBQ, but I’ll show you all the cool places in NYC that aren’t on the tourist maps.

Someone drink a few for me, will ya?

Concealed/Open Carry in EMS: Some Unasked Questions

Well, it looks like all the hubbub about arming EMS has all but died down. You can catch a list of the posts over at 510 Medic’s page.

So, I think it’s time for me to stir the pot with a few questions I haven’t seen being asked anywhere. (If they have, please correct me in the comments section with a link/reference.) I’ll leave them as open questions – feel free to debate and throw around amongst yourselves.

The scenario: You’re on duty, and legally carrying a concealed weapon, approved by your employer. You’ve been through the required additional training for safe firearms handling, and have all of the certificates, licenses, and paperwork required by Federal law and your state.

What would happen with your patient if you had to use your weapon to defend yourself or them from another family member/bystander?

What would happen to your career if you were found guilty of using excessive force with your weapon?  How would that affect the rest of EMS providers who carry on the job?

What would happen if you were sued by the family of someone you shot or killed while protecting yourself/your partner/your patient during a call?

How would your family be affected if you shot or killed someone while performing your duties?

Back in the mid-90′s when I went through the mandatory four-hour class required for a CCW permit in Boston, we were told to count on 2 things happening if we ever shot someone:

1. Count on being arrested.
2. Count on being sued.

While you may not be arrested if you are found to be justified in your actions, chances are you will get sued. Your service may or may not provide you with legal representation, but you can count on spending lots of time explaining to everyone time and time again what happened, why you pulled the trigger, and every detail of everything that happened leading up to and following that crucial moment.

If you are ever required to pull the trigger, you can also count on a few more things:

1. Reliving the incident every time you doze off or fall asleep over the next few months (or more.)
2. You may be required by your service to attend counseling sessions with a mental health specialist. I highly recommend this. Leave the macho tough-guy attitude at the door. This is no laughing matter.
3. Expect a “cooling off” period of not being able to carry a weapon. On OR OFF duty.
4. Expect to be treated differently by everyone who hears about the incident. Good or bad, you will be.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks. Want to know the full story? Ask someone like MotorCop, or an attorney, who can tell you all kinds of things that you’d never think about happening.

To those of you who already carry (concealed or open), you probably already know all or most of this already. But to those providers who are new to all of this, you would be wise to start asking some serious questions to your HR department (and your attorney) if there’s a possibility you could be carrying a weapon while on duty in the near future.

You also might want to seek out a certified firearms instructor in your area, and plan on spending a lot of time and money at a range. Practicing.

*Disclaimer: I am an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor