Thursday, September 22, 2011


First, watch this video:

Credit to my friend Frank Piscitello (!/fpiscite) for sharing

What, exactly, is one SUPPOSED to learn on a college campus these days? What DOES one learn? As a college senior myself, I am continually amazed at how many students have no concept of basic life functions. I find there are many students can’t do ANYTHING in moderation. Administrators can’t make up their minds – on the one hand, they acknowledge that almost all the campus community are legally adults, yet they enact rules to “protect” the students from perceived evils of society. While the campus does have walls… by design, access is almost unrestricted, for convenience if nothing else.
As the video points out, the current educational concept relies on the student accepting everything the teacher presents as face value – even when the instruction is blatantly biased. And the student that would seek to challenge bias is seen as a troublemaker.
When did our society change that a college degree is a requirement to enter the “real” workforce? What miracle happens at a college campus that makes a person with a B.A. or B.S. a good manager? Or qualifies them for a 9-5 job, where overtime is uncommon, and things like vacation time and holidays are expected?
I work 12 hour shifts, sometimes 2 or more consecutively. My “office” is a box on wheels with about 300-400 cubic feet of workspace. In that, I have enough tools at my disposal to at least attempt to “fix people”. EMS is the only part of the medical system that routinely makes house calls anymore. EMS, on average, has 30 TIMES the chance of being injured in an assault than the “average” worker. I work outside in extreme cold, extreme heat, and sunlight, darkness, rain and snow are all “normal” things that I’m expected to work through. If I call in sick, it means that someone else is called in or held over… or that the community isn’t as well protected as it would have been, and my co-workers have to make do with fewer resources.
In many cases, my peers and I are paid much less than a nurse… even though the actual responsibility and delegated practice model under which I perform makes me more of a Physician Assistant Lite. But because I have 3-4 years less schooling, I make a small fraction of what a PA makes. Why? Because the only letters after my name are NREMT-P…. not B.S. Even adding additional competencies such as FP-C or CCP-C doesn’t win me much of an increase, if any.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 11th Reflections:

I know I'm a few days late.

This is where I was last year on 9/11, working a West Chester University of PA home football game with WCU EMS. It was 9/11/10, exactly 9 years after the attacks that changed America. One thing I hadn't known until then was that the First Officer of Flight 175 (2nd flight to be hijacked and flown into the Trade Center Towers) was a graduate of my school, West Chester University. Not only that, he was the quarterback during two impressive seasons for WCU Football. These days, the prime benefit of a home football game is a chance to see the WCU Marching Band play. If you actually want to watch a football game, you might as well go somewhere else.

Anyway, Michael Horrocks was a noted graduate of WCU. A year ago, they unveiled a statue of him throwing a football. The statue is larger than life, at 7 feet tall, apparently just like Mr. Horrocks. His statue sits along the path that all athletes walking to and from the locker rooms will walk down.

Anyway, the video above is a well-done student production. At 8:20 in the video was a C-130 flyover. The video doesn't do it justice. The planes seemed to fill the sky, and the sound was deafening. As the game went on, I was following Twitter on my phone, and noticed a tweet from 22EMT22, retweeted by TheHappyMedic, mentioning Michael Horrocks by name. Turns out, William, an EMT from Sacremento, CA, knew members of the Horrocks family, and he seemed to appreciate knowing what WCU was doing on that day.

It's been 10 long years since that day... yet I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

Michael Horrocks

And the motto on the plaque:
Honor Him
Never Quit
Love the Game

And here's the actual text.