If, in moving through your life, you find yourself lost...go back to the last place where you knew who you were, and what you were doing, and start from there. Bernice Johnson Reagon.

14 June 2014

Blauer 8" BLITZ duty boot wear test

I earned my EMT certification in 1976, the same year that the EMS classic movie. Mother, Jugs, and Speed was in theaters. The week I got my card in the mail, the number one song was Chicago’s If You Leave Me Now, the Montreal Canadiens were the reigning Stanley Cup champs, and Gerald Ford was president.

A lot has changed since then. Over the years, I have been a gearhead- still am to a degree. I am always testing out neat stuff, most of the time just because, well, I could.

So after all these years, it was pretty cool when I got an email from Blauer to test out a pair of their boots.

Over the years, I have worn a lot of different boots, partly due to my weird feet. I’ve had a hard time finding boots that wear good, fit good, and look good. You name it, I’ve worn it. Some lasted a long time but were not comfortable, while others felt good and lasted about eight months. So I was more than willing to test out a pair of Blauers. I’ve seen them advertised but they were about the only ones I had not tried.
For the past five or six years, I have worn Haix Air Power boots. They wore...OK...but never did get really comfortable. I was hoping that sometime they would break in, but they never really did. So yeah, I was looking for some replacements, and when Baluer came calling, I said "OK".

For my wear test I selected the Blitz 8” waterproof boot.

Look what FedEx left
They arrived on a Friday just before lunch, so I started the test that afternoon (yes, I get to come home for lunch...hey it's a perk of being the Training Officer with a whopping 1.1 mile commute!).

The first thing I noticed when I took them out of the box was the BOA lacing system with stainless steel cables. I was wondering how that would work but I have been pleasantly surprised. One of the problems I have always had with zipper boots has been getting a good fit and having 
the boot not slip up and down without getting them too tight. The BOA works wonders- the boot fits but it is not too tight.

Score one for Blauer.

Like every boot or show I have ever worn, my weird feet have always required a break-in period. Some boots never ‘broke-in’. Some felt good from the get-go but not too long later they felt ‘worn out’. My Blitz boots took a couple of days to get broken in, but by Monday afternoon (yes, I wore them over the weekend at my other gig- CCT paramedic) they were feeling pretty good. And if my feet are not hurting after work, that is a good thing. And they still feel pretty good now.
Score another one for Blauer.

I don’t normally stomp through deep water anymore (I guess that comes from riding a classroom), but the other day that sort of changed. We were doing driver training where I work and I was overseeing a backing station, when one of the "afternoon and evening" thunderstorms our area is known for in the summer time dropped in. So, I wound up standing around in 4” of water…and while my head and upper body was wet…and I mean soaking wet, my feet were, well dry.

And score another one for Blauer.
The Blauer 8" waterproof Blitz boots
Now I did not put them through some of the same "scientific" tests that fellow blogger Kelly Grayson did over at the Ambulance Driver blog. But, I have given them a general wear test, and there is one thing that counts above all- my feet don’t hurt at the end of the day. And that has not happened since I was issued my all leather army boots at basic training at Fort Jackson many years ago.
Also, there is something in the descriptive literature about 'antimicrobial' materials and such, which I take to mean 'odor suppressing', or something similar. And since my feet are know for their distinct aroma at times, this is a good thing. And since the dog does not get dizzy and stagger after I take them off or he walks past them, I guess it works.
The Blitz boot is billed as the "ultimate is public safety footwear". And from my feet's point of view, they are pretty damn close.
The only thing I would suggest to Blauer is to develop a pair with a safety toe, specifically a composite safety tow. I don’t know about law enforcement, but a lot of EMS agencies specify that footwear has a composite safety toe.

Other than that, two thumbs up.
I have worn Blauer stuff for years. One of my employers issued us Blauer jackets, shirts, and pants and they were always very comfortable. These boots continue that tradition.

19 May 2014

School Days UPDATE

My Dad told me once to get an education. I guess it meant a lot to him because he did not have one.

So in 1984 I set out to 'get a degree'. I got my Associate Degree in Fire Protection Technology in 1987. I always wanted a Bachelor's Degree, but back in that day, just getting an AAS was hard. It was the only degree I could get at the time with my work schedule, and most fire chiefs back then did not place too high a premium on getting degrees and stuff.

So fast forward to 2006. It was possible to get a Bachelor's Degree online. Plus, there was a program near by, I knew the guy running it, and I knew several who had graduated from it. In the fall of 2006 I started in the EMC program at Western Carolina University.

I had planned to be finished by 2010.

I have often heard that "if you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans". Yeah, He sure must have gotten a chuckle.

Life happens, and I had to skip a couple of semesters in 2010. Then I started back, but had to stop again in 2012. And it was starting to not look very positive. You see, when it gets down to it, college costs a lot of money. And you can get reimbursements and stuff, but you have to have the money up front, or you at least need to know that you can get the money so you can pay it back if you borrow it.

So, I got an email the other day from the NC Association of Rescue and EMS telling me I had been awarded a scholarship beginning in the fall of 2014.

I have four classes left. So maybe, just maybe, nine years after I started, I will finish up.

Here's to the Class of 2015.

21:30, 21 May 2014- This just in. Good news travels in waves. Humbled and honored to receive a scholarship form the Johnston County Rescue Association tonight. Looks like my summer, fall, and spring are full!

The other JOCO...and their approach to those plastic boards...

We put too many people on backboards...

I have said it before, as have others. There is even an EMS system out in Kansas quite a few EMS systems around the world that have taken a whole new approach to that whole plastic board torture routine spinal immobilization spinal motion restriction transporting people on hard plastic boards practice.

Maybe now people are finally re-evaluating the dogma long held belief that we have to put patients with curved spines on hard, flat surfaces.


26 February 2014

Another blog...and a friend's blog at that

Danny is one of the people I count amongst my friends. I worked for him at one of the EMS agencies I used to work for and many a day he would stop by and we would "talk puck". After I discovered that I was indeed a hockey fan, it was Danny who explained a lot about the game to me- the penalties, the calls, the plays......the game. It's one thing to enjoy something, it is still another to enjoy something AND understand it.

So after The Forks went away, Danny worked for one agency and I worked for another. I would catch him on Facebook from time to time, but then he decided to step away from The Book of Faces.

So now he has a blog- The Knives Den. Being that Danny is a Buffalo Sabers fan, I am sure he will be blogging about the Sabers, among other things. So if you are inclined, go check him out.