Fate says to the warrior “you cannot withstand the storm”.

The warrior says to Fate “I am the storm”.

12 June 2018

2018....Plan B

Well, everyone probably remembers the move from Little County EMS Training Officer to Big County Community College EMS Faculty.

Well, things just don't always work out. In a couple of weeks I will be returning to my role as Little County EMS Training Officer.

It is a good move, really. More on that a little later.

Plus, I get to keep the EMS ambulance job, plus I will start teaching for a local business that offers BLS, ACLS PALS, etc.

Plus, the Other Half and I will still be going to Hurricanes games in the fall.

Anyway, that's it for now. More later.

16 January 2018

An open post for the new Hurricanes majority owner Tom Dundon

This is probably going to ramble a bit, but OK.

As a lot of folks are aware, the majority interest of Carolina Hurricanes NHL team has been purchased by Texas billionaire Tom Dundon.

A lot of folks have been talking about this and what it means to the organization. So I have been putting together a ‘wish list’ of sorts, based upon my non-hockey expert opinion and the view from Section 330.

As a hockey fan, I like to think I am a little different than many. I did not grow up with hockey, having never seen a game prior to 07 October 2005. That night Cam Ward mad his first NHL start and the Hurricanes beat the Penguins in a shootout. I was hooked by the end of the game.

I attended a lot of games in the ensuing years before my wife and I bought season tickets for the 2011-2012 season. We skipped the 2014-2015 season, and resumed for the 2016-2017 seasons.

We’ve seen ups and downs. The ups have been pretty good (Canes beating the Pens in consecutive games this year, sounding the siren in 2013) and the lows have been, well, low (Pens beating 7-1, Rangers beating us twice this year, the Caps seeming to always beat us, etc.).

So, for that part, please, we need a couple of big name scorers. Pull the trigger, get out the check book, and get us a couple of scorers. And while you are at it, we need some help on defense. Too many times our defense leaves our goalies out to dry, and well, we have seen the results.

As to the goalies, Cam has served us well and I think there is still a little gas left. But is he a starter? And I have seen flashes of brilliance from Scott Darling, but it seems that there are times that the team has not supported Scott, leaving him hanging too many times. Let Scott play. He needs to gain confidence and the team needs to learn to play in front of him.

OK, so much for my hockey team on-the-ice management expertise.

So now, about that in-game experience.

As I said above, my wife and I sit in the 300 section, 330 to be exact. And lets just say that the in-game experience has been, well, lacking of late.

First, let me go outside the arena and talk about parking. $20.00? Really? Sad to say, I know plenty of folks that view the $20.00 parking charge as a deal breaker. Period.

OK, back inside. When we first started going to games, Ron the Ref was a staple. Since then, well, it has dropped off. I am not saying Ron the Ref should come back, but something has to come back that has energy.

And the Storm Squad…well…needs work. As it is, during the game, they had out gift bags in the mostly 100 sections, and wave flags, and clap occasionally. How about energizing the Storm Squad beyond a Spring Shower Squad?

And speaking of the giveaways in the 100 sections, once upon a time, the Storm Squad came up in to the 300 sections on a regular basis for Harris Teeter giveaways. Over the last few years, it is rare for the Stormers to come up in to the 300 sections.

They ‘toss’ t-shirts during some games, but again, they rarely, very rarely, arrive into the 300 sections. Then there is the PNC Parachute Drop. Yep- mostly to the 100s, sometimes in to the 200s, never in to the 300s.

You need to engage the fans, including those of us in the 300 sections.

There has been stuff said about places to sit and eat. I applaud that idea. I would also like to see some variety and some ‘home town staples’. If Bojangles sponsors the Power Play ‘Biscuit in the Basket’, how about some Bojangles in the arena? I mean, they have a restaurant in the Charlotte Airport, and our Checkers’ arena is the Bojangles Coliseum. A chicken filet biscuit combo with fries and a large tea? Yes, please.
Speaking of Bojangles and the Checkers, a few years ago the Checkers played a game at PNC. How about getting the Checkers back to PNC for a couple of games.

And about hot dogs, how come we cannot get chili for our hot dogs? You know, chili without beans. And maybe on red hot dogs. Like the ones made in Smithfield just outside of Raleigh.

I really like the Homegrown Series, so please continue it, and maybe even expand it. Not necessarily more dates, but more stuff.

Expansion of The Eye? Yes. And maybe it is due to some NHL rule, but there are a lot of things that would work really well, I think, here in NC, but do not seem to be available in The Eye. I can go online and buy Hurricanes stuff for my vehicle, but there is very little ‘truck/car/Jeep stuff’ in The Eye.

Like many others, I would like to see the Hurricanes really get involved in kids’ hockey. When I was growing up, I was stuck with Little League baseball, and well, I didn’t like baseball. I was too small for basketball and football, so… But if you get the kids hooked, so go the parents.

Maybe some more events where fans can meet the players. We have an event where we can meet some of the palyers, and maybe get autographs, but in the times allotted, one cannot get all of the players’ autographs. How about expanding the availability? If I or any fan comes out for a day to spend with the team like the Season Ticket Member day, we should be able to get to meet all of the team, not just 6-10 team members.

And speaking of the Season Ticket Member folks, years ago, we got ‘stuff’. I have a duffel back that is emblazoned with the Hurricanes logo and the letters STH. How about more of that? You know, duffels, back packs, t-shirts, that kind of stuff.

And there were ‘at-the-door’ giveaways. So far this year, well, there have been trading cards and a rather cheap hat. In years past I have gotten t-shirts, nice hats, and Bobble Heads.

Bring back the Bobble Heads.

OK, I’ll stop now. I do not want this to sound like a bitch-fest or the like, but, well, I want to sound off a bit.

My wife and I really enjoy the games. We enjoy watching the team on TV as well as at the PNC. Our dog even howls at home when the Canes score (well, he is encouraged by be yelling out “GOAL!!!”, but he does howl.

I’d like to see PNC packed. I want to experience "The Loudest House in the NHL" again.
And lets get an outdoor game at Carter-Finley Stadium, which is right next door to PNC. Outdoor games do not always have to be 'up north'. Maybe a Canes-Preds or Canes-Caps match-up.

Welcome to NC and to Caniac Nation, Mr. Dundon. Looking forward to all you/we get done at PNC.

09 January 2018


Another year is in the books and 2017 was full of changes.
First, I changed jobs. I went from working for an EMS agency to teaching at a community college. Of course, upon arriving at the CC, I was moved in to completing some accreditation stuff and have only really started teaching this semester (six months later). There has definitely been a learning curve and more changes are maybe on the horizon. I’ll keep you posted.
Also, I started back working on an ambulance part time. The agency is one of several that has existed in my county over the years, and in the modern era, it is the only one that I had not a. transported a patient in, and b.) drawn a paycheck from. IT has been fun settling in to the role as it had actually been about five years since I actually worked in an ambulance in a 9-1-1 setting. And of course, my first day we had a cardiac arrest patient transported to the station by family members.
What made that call…memorable… was that a lot of folks knew that my old butt was working, and when it was called in, a lot of them thought I was the patient since I was not the one who called it in. I was honored that a lot of people were apparently concerned.
Back in October I realized a dream of mine from since I was seven years old- I bought a Jeep. It has been a lot of fun so far and I am looking forward to our travels, especially with the top down. And yes, we have a pair of Doggles for Jake for riding with the top down..
Christmas was pretty good. All three kids, with their significant others, along with my mother, gathered at our house for a Christmas Eve Morning breakfast.
New Year’s Eve was spent with our friends Janice and Wade in Wilmington for dinner, and we were back at home for the stroke of midnight.
The hockey season has been up and down. We have seen some great wins and some pretty sucky losses, most of the losses being on the road. At the beginning of the year the Hurricanes were in a Wild Card spot, and as of right now are only one point out. So in the words of Section 328- “C’MON, CANES!”.
More later…

Another review...

Merritt’s Store & Grill, located at 1009 South Columbia Street in Chapel Hill. Home of what has to be the absolute best damn BLT I have ever eaten. In. My. Life.

Mrs. 9E1 and I were watching a little bit of TV and an older edition of the Tar Heel Traveler came on about various NC restaurants. They were reporting on Merritt’s and I lamented on how many times I had been by there and had never been able to stop, or they had been closed. Within a few moments we decided that a road trip was in order from the Caniac Command Center.

I had the single BLT with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and cheddar cheese on sourdough bread. The sandwich was huge and I could only eat half for dinner. Needless to say, I had the other half for breakfast.

The bacon was excellent and plentiful, the bread exquisite, and the veggies fresh. The service was great…what more can I say?

In the words of The Terminator- “(We’ll) be back”.

26 December 2017

Reviews, etc.

So…a couple of reviews.

First, the Mrs. 9E1 and I went to Just Cookin’ in Garner. OK, we were not expecting what we found. We were thinking it was a kind of country cooking place, but it turns out to be a sandwich shop.

I had the beef brisket sandwich, the wife had the sweet Italian sausage sandwich. Mine was OK. My idea of beef brisket involves thick slices with smoky flavoring. This was thin sliced beef with BBQ sauce. I had onion rings to go with it, and while they were cooked good, they were rather flat testing. Mrs. 9E1 said the Italian sausage was good, but she had the same concern about the onion rings.

The service was good, and we will probably give it another try. My grade? B.

Second up, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Well, no spoilers here, but we both enjoyed it. Grade? A+.

In other news, Christmas is over. We had all the kids with their significant others up for breakfast on Christmas Eve. It was good seeing them all and spending albeit a little amount of time with them all- we do not get to do it enough.

On the food side, I found Cajun bacon at the Clayton General Store. Only one word is needed to describe it- A W E S O M E.

And finally, some changes may be coming. Maybe more later.

Happy New Year.

13 December 2017


My first NHL game was in October 2005. District Chief Randy Moore (ret) is responsible for getting me hooked on hockey with his opening line “Hey, man, how would you like to make some easy money…”

Courtesy AP
My hockey fan debut was also Cam Ward’s first NHL start and win, when he stopped Mario Lemieux, Ziggy Palffy, and Sidney Crosby in a shootout. The Hurricanes beat the Penguins that night and my love of the Hurricanes and my not-so-fondness of the Penguins was off and running.

So last night, I got to watch Wardo win his 300th NHL career game in the team’s first match-up with the newest NHL team, the Las Vegas Golden Nights.
Mario Lemieux, Ziggy Palffy and Sidney Crosby Mario Lemieux, Ziggy Palffy and Sidney Crosby Mario Lemieux, Ziggy Palffy and Sidney CrosbyIt was a fun game to watch, as it seems that both teams were pretty evenly matched. Marcus Kruger's goal was one of those that just happened- he was in the right place at the right time. We don't see to many of those go our way, so it was a good one. And yes, Jake was howling with that one.
Next up is Buffalo, who seem to be on a streak of sorts.

12 December 2017

Does the siren affect the driver of an emergency vehicle?

Some more semi-scientific research in EMS…

I wonder what the effect on the siren tone is on the driver of an emergency vehicle?

My anecdotal observation is that three things tend to speed drivers up- the yelp setting, the phaser/piercer setting, and moving the selector back and forth. Seems like the wail setting is not as agitating for the driver.

This observation is also reinforced by my anectodal observations of emergency vehicles in traffic. Those with an electronic siren set on wail do not seem to do as much ‘pushing-the-edge’ sort of stuff as those with the siren set on yelp, phaser/piercer, or flipping back and forth.

I’ve noticed that if the siren operator on a fire truck is methodically running the siren up and down, as opposed to ‘standing on the Q switch, the fire truck seems a little more methodical in their movements through traffic.

I’ve also noticed that LEO vehicles traveling with a siren set on wail do not seem to be driving as fast as the ones with sirens set on yelp.

Maybe this is something that GEOTAB could gather data on.

11 December 2017

Take It Easy

So…the Eagles are getting ready to tour again. A lot of speculation occurred with the passing of Glenn Frey that the Eagles may have passed away, as well.

Thankfully, that is NOT the case.

Those that know me are aware that I am a Classic Rock kind of guy. I spent my youth listening to 45s, real vinyl albums, 8-tracks, etc.

And The Eagles are probably my favorite musical group of all time. I’ve seen them more than a few times. At one time, I had all of their releases on vinyl, 8-track, AND cassette.

So…for a little musical interlude, one of my favorite Eagles tracks…

05 December 2017

How well do you take care of people?

Not long ago a friend of mine relayed his experience with EMS in another county during a family emergency. That chat reminded me of an experience my parents had with EMS several years ago that did not turn out very well.

I've seen this topic addressed before on blogs and in articles. But, anyways, once again, it kind of got me to thinking. How well do we really take care of people?

It depends upon what you think it involves. Of course, we have protocols to follow, procedures to do, and on and on and on. But there are other things that we need to do that are just as important. And they have nothing to do with starting an IV, reading a 12-lead, or any of that other stuff you learned (hopefully) in paramedic (or EMT) school. It’s all about how you take care of people.

Have you ever been in the doctor's office and had a cold stethoscope applied to you? Now imaging that you are elderly and have been laying on the floor for a few hours. How do you think that would feel? So just how many times do you take the time to warm up a stethoscope before you place it on a patient? Especially in the winter time when it has been hanging in the back of an ambulance, probably on that catch-all-netting at the head of the bench. Even when it is wrapped around your neck it gets cold. Little kids and elderly patients are kind of sensitive to that cold stethoscope. And guess who makes up a large number of our patients? Yep, you got it, elderly folks. So take a few seconds, tuck the bell under your arm. Probably would be a good thing to do when you are introducing yourself to your patient. You do introduce yourself to your patient, don’t you?

Another thing I have noticed is that the entrance to Walmart is smoother than the entrance to most of this area’s Emergency Departments. So, do you take it easy over those entrances, or just bump on across? Based upon what I have seen, most of us just bump on across. Probably feels really good with that broken hip, bone cancer, open ankle fracture, or any one of many maladies that hurt when you move. 

And when entering the ambulance entrance to several of the area EDs, it seems that the worse part of the trip is when you are turning into the ED. And we no doubt know it since we do it enough. So how many of you just turn on in, bumping and swaying? And how many of you think about your patient (and partner) in the back of the specialty vehicle you are driving that is NOT known for its smooth ride? If you are the one that just drives on in without consideration for your passengers, I bet you are the one that does not slow down and ease across railroad tracks as well. And, personally, I hope you are not driving my ambulance, whether I am the attending or the patient.

But what about other things along the lines of ‘taking care of people’?

Do you explain what you are going to do and why you are going to do it? As I get older I am exposed to the healthcare system just a little bit more. At my colonoscopy I saw a wide variety of ‘explaining’ and the lack thereof. The nurse that started my IV had a good technique (well, her tourniquet technique sucked) but she barked out orders like a drill sergeant- “Put your arm down”, “Make a fist”, “Hold still”. And when she was done she just walked away. Oh yeah, and there was that introduction- “I’m gonna start your IV”.

Well, she did tell me what she was going to do. And what do to. In no uncertain terms. But ‘why’ would have been nice. So would a little personality.

I always tell my patient (even if they are unconscious) what I am going to do, why I am doing it, if it’s going to hurt, etc. And you should too. It is part of the reassuring process. For a lot of people (I like to think most of them) the whole process of getting hurt or sick and calling 9-1-1 is a pretty stressful and frightening event. A big part of our job is reassuring them and alleviating their fears.
And to do that you must tell them what you are doing, why you are doing it, and quite frankly, if something is going to hurt. Before we do it.

And how well do you ‘relate’ to your patient? You know, that rapport that you have to establish early on to gain their confidence. I have seen some people that are really good at it, while others…well, some people are really good at it. It’s all of the stuff above, and a little more. In one of my my old sjobs we used Panasonic TOUGHBOOK laptops to complete our call reports. And there was a natural tendency to type as you rode. And that is OK if you can pull it off. By 'pull it off' I mean that you have to maintain that rapport, that relationship, with the patient. And that means you have to talk to them. Pay attention to them. And, egads, reassess them.

Reassess means more than let the Zoll's blood pressure monitor recycle every few minutes and take a look at the pulse oximeter reading every few minutes or so. It means talking to them. It means asking them if they feel better, if the oxygen is helping them or if the pain medication is working. Or if they’re feeling worse. And you CAN’T sit in the ‘captain seat’ and do that. And sitting in that captain seat, typing away, and asking your patient, from behind them, without making eye contact, if they are OK, to me, is worse. I know someone who did that and arrived at the ED with a deceased patient...who was not deceased when they put them in the back of the ambulance.

Taking care of people is a total package. Sure, starting that IV and reading that 12-lead is important. But being nice (because nice matters) is just as important. Maybe more so. In the end, it is the total package that matters. It is the total ‘A’ game.

And you have to bring that total ‘A’ game to every call, every time.

Anything less is not doing your patients (or their families) any favors.

04 December 2017

As The Season Turns...

Well, the season is moving along. A little bumpy at times, but moving along.

So here are my observations on the Hurricanes’ season so far.

1. It is better than last year and the year before and the year before.

2. Let’s stop the “fire Bill Peters” crap. Did you not see what a dumpster fire he inherited? And in the same vein, did you not see the dumpster fire Ron Francis inherited from Jim Rutherford? Yeah. Given what he has had to work with, Peters has done pretty good, in my book.

3. And while you are at it, get off of the “we need a goalie” crap, too. We have one. Scott Darling. The view from Section 330 has been impressive. Yeah, he let in two really bad goals. As have every other NHL goalie ever. I have not cussed him anywhere near as much as I have other goalies of late.

4. And speaking of goalies, we have a pretty good back-up. Yeah, Cam Ward was brilliant against Florida. But does he have it in the tank to do that night-in and night-out? Well, see last year’s video highlights for that answer. Good guy, lot of talent, but he is where we need him now.

5. “We need to get a goal scorer”. Yeah, it would be nice, but I do not want them to trade the farm or write a big check to do it. See Alexander Semin for an explanation of how that could work out. I like that GMRF is being…cautious, measured, and deliberate..

6. Faulker. What’s up? Are you hurt, don’t care, or just going through the same kind of phase that every NHL player goes through?

7. Shake those Rangers games off. Please.

8. The jalapeno pretzels are heaven on earth. Really, they are.

9. We are in North Carolina. Can we PLEASE have red hot dogs at PNC? And at least can we have chili for the hot dogs? Please?

10. Bojangles. I would pay $5.00 for a Bojangles half-n-half tea.

So far, with a couple of exceptions, the crowds have been good. And it is good to hear the Caniacs getting loud. Shoot, we were louder than the Rangers fans the other night.

And the last thing, Mrs. 9E1 and I are getting new jerseys this year. Just got to figure out which ones to get. I think she wants a #33, but I am tossing up the #14 or #7 idea. I like the idea of #14, since Justin Williams is the ‘old dude’ on the team and shows every night that he ‘stall has it’. Kind of like me and my paramedic career. But then there is the perseverance thing that is personified by Derek Ryan. He stuck with it for years and finally got is break and is playing in the NHL.

Later ya’ll. Canes are on a road trip so it will be a while before we see you at PNC.