01 February 2012

Breaking Perfectly Good Rules

Pavement Pizza.
That's what one of my peers called some of the folks we pick up at scenes.
He made the mistake of using the term over the radio on the way to the hospital. Folks in EMS sometimes use VERY dark humor to keep some of our transports from driving us insane, but it's best to keep those jokes within the EMS family...
His company promptly fired him.

Scene flights are exciting. As I've said before, I think they are the closest thing to combat flying you can do as a civilian pilot. Time is critical. Landing at night in an unfamiliar, virtually unprepared LZ can get your juices flowing. Sometimes we arrive before our patient has been extracted from the wreckage and steam, smoke, and broken glass are everywhere. And obviously, if you cannot stand the sight of blood, this is not the job for you.

Motorcycle accidents can be ugly. One of the States we cover is a "No helmet required" State, and many of our clients think their head covered by a "Doo-rag" is perfectly satisfactory as protective gear.
Which brings to mind another of those phrases I frequently use:
"In EMS we know why they call it 'Gray Matter'. We see it up-close and personal. It's called that because it is gray!"

Now that I'm back on two wheels, knowing I'm older (but wiser) and my reflexes ain't what they once was, I've set rules for myself to try to avoid exposing my gray matter. One of the rules I set for myself was because of the literal explosion of White-tail deer in our area-
I promised myself I wouldn't ride after dark in rural areas.
It's a fine rule.

But Global warming has descended on our area with a vengeance. The last three days have been as nearly perfect as our Good Lord can make 'em. I had to fly with a student in BigTown a couple days ago and when I checked my thermometer it registered 63 degrees. I looked up-
Not a cloud in the sky. Checking the radar and satellite showed there wasn't a cloud within 500 miles. But riding in to fly with this student meant I'd be riding home in the dark...
Through some areas with LOTS of deer.

Rules were meant to be broken.
Actually, I just bent this one. I rode, and had an ear-to-ear smile on my face the entire trip.
(On my way in I noticed several OLD cemeteries along the road that I want to investigate later. I LOVE old cemeteries. I've passed these by for 30 years in a car and had never noticed them. Think your "seeing" is better when you're on a bike?!!)
But to the degree I could I stayed on 4-lane roads where heavy traffic was more likely to spook deer to stay away. When I was finally forced to take two-laners, I slowed in those areas where woods came close to both sides of the road and deer might cross from one side to another. And you know what? Forty miles per hour on a bike is still more pleasant than driving the speed limit in a steel box!
Temps were above 60 again today. I rode the older 'Wing to work tonight and used the same technique. The ride was GRAND.

The oil is draining out of the bike as I type this. New oil and filter will be in place before I head for home in the morning. Forecast temps for tomorrow?
Can you read my mind?


Old NFO said...

Enjoy the rides and be careful out there! :-)

Timothy Frazier said...

I know exactly what you mean. The deer crossing sign is about 1,000 feet from my home. I keep asking 'em to move it to someplace outside my commute route.

And in reference to the "pavement pizza" termination incident...many of us former emergency response personnel could have been in the same boat. Firing over that is a bit draconian. If we opened our sould and allowed ourselves to be emotionally impacted by every victim we'd be useless blubber-heads with Prozac salt licks in every corner.

Open mic syndrome simply adds stress and another unnecessary thing to constantly be cognizant of in what is already among the world's most stressful jobs.

It's sad that recording devices and air waves have resulted in so much "no tolerance" and zero second chances in a world populated by imperfect mistake-prone humans.

Many a good man and woman have been sent home without a paycheck and with a permanent black-listing over a simple slip of the tongue under the wrong circumstances.


Fired, you say? Hmmm.