Sunday's Fire Medic training was much improved. Our sponsoring doctor came in to discuss protocols and standing orders. We played with pigs feet, cleaning out nasty contaminated wounds with days of transport time and swelling between them and definitive care. We poked around one another's ears and eyes with examination tools. One of the lecturers from last month's EMS symposium came in and gave another excellent presentation on orthopedic injuries. Department folk were a little less standoffish this go round. My falafel and hummus was spectacular, and I spent lunch hanging out with another department medic's dog Quark in the parking lot and chatting with Pete on the phone. Much better company.
One of the things I am most excited about with the Fire Medic program is that we have protocols and training that allow us to do a fair bit more care than our state EMT levels allow. The reasons are twofold. On a fire line, we are doing significant preventative treatment to keep fire crews healthy and mobile and on the fire. On the remote wildfires in Alaska and in a lot of western states (Idaho, Montana) transport times for significantly sick, burnt or otherwise wounded firefighters can be days, not hours. We have to be able to provide more significant, long term pre-hospital care to prevent complications later down the line. I think this summer will be an invaluable learning experience as an aspiring paramedic.
In other news, I passed the forestry pack test tonight with over three minutes to spare and three firefighters behind me. I was barely out of breath. I was elated. Hauling fifty pounds of sand up and down my neighborhood hills for the last several weeks has paid off. I even spent the last leg of the test chatting with a firefighter about his day-job as a 747 pilot and his dog team.
Back to the dog kennel tomorrow. Despite waking up to snow every morning for the last four days, things are clicking along towards spring.