Monthly Archives: February 2006

CERT Training – Night Seven

CERT Training – Night Seven

I got involved in something last night and forgot to post about my CERT class last night.

We started the section Disaster Medical Operations. This class was about doing an initial assessment and triage.

Triage comes from a French word meaning ďto sort.Ē It is the process of assessing the injuries and condition of a patient and determining if they require Immediate (red tag), Delayed (Yellow tag), or Dead (Black tag), transport to a treatment or morgue area.

We also learned how to control bleeding and attempt to open an airway if someone isnít breathing. I donít remember if I touched on this before or not, but in a major disaster situation, you donít start CPR. The rational is that if you start it, you cannot stop until more advanced care is on scene to relieve you. If you and your buddy are tied up with a one patient you canít help the rest that have a better chance of survival. It was kind of a hard idea to think about, but it does make sense. In a Mass Casualty Incident, you need to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

After running through a couple of triage drills we watched a video where a firefighter triaged a buss with 15 patients involved in an MVA in under 3 minutes. Weíve got some work to do



We just had some Chinese food devliverd. My conversation with the guy went like this:

Me (handing him the check): Here you go.
Him (handing me the food): Ok, thanks. Is this your house.
me: Yes. Thanks. (closing the door) Actually no. The real owners are on vacation so we thought we’d move in until they come home.

CERT Training – Night Six

CERT Training – Night Six

Tonight we practiced the extrication techniques we learned on Tuesday.

We reviewed the steps for extricating a victim from under debris and then we did the practical part.

One of our instructors stood on a wall pannel and we were to crib the board up evenly so that neither he nor the glass of water on the board would fall over. We quite successfully pulled this off switching places along the way to give everyone a turn at the jobs.

Cribbing is the process of lifting the debris with a lever and fulcrum and building box cribs with wood to stableize the debris when it is lowered. The idea is to build up the debris so that it is removed from on top of the victim and you can get them out.

We next practiced doing it on an actual victim (well a dummy). I was on the medical team with one of the other participants. We built an improvised stretcher from a tarp and two pipes. The only problem came when it was time to lift the stretcher with the victim. Someone who should have not been in charge (he was at the feet of the patient and the person at the head gives the orders) said to lift and we weren’t all ready. So the patient comes sliding off toward me. OOPS!!! He got a lecture on who was in charge and then we moved the patient successfully.

Tuesday we start the medical portion of the class.

Dispatch Sit-Along – End of Shift Report

Dispatch Sit-Along – End of Shift Report

Tonight I sat in on 2nd shift with our county comm center. It ran from 14:30-22:30. I had a great time and learned a lot too. I got to see what goes on behind the scenes of a traffic stop, hear what happens when you call 911 for difficulty breathing, and got a look into what it’s like to support the officers and other personnel in the field.

It was a fairly slow night, even though a couple people uttered the “Q” word in hopes of stirring up a little action. For thos of you who don’t know the “Q” word is quiet. Uttering this word in Emergency Services often results in the Universe raining down a literal ton of things to make the now infamous speaker of the word regret ever having emerged from the womb. Okay, maybe not that bad, but the “Q” word is generally a no-no.

We’re pretty sure the snow was what kept people in doors and out of trouble. Which is, after all, a desireable thing.

I got the chance to talk with the duty crew and learn about the hiring process and how things work around there. So I’ve got an idea what to watch out for and what to do now.

I had a really good time, and if there isn’t a job opening in the next couple of months I’ll probably go back for another shift.

CERT Training – Night Five

CERT Training – Night Five

Tonight we bagan the unit on Light Search and Rescue.

We learned techniques for determining whether a building could be searched effectively or not. We also learned techniques for effective searching. We learned how to rescue someone trapped under debris and how to effectively carry them out.

We practiced carrying techniques. How to carry someone in a chair, on your back, or with two people. We also learned blanket carries and drags. The last thing we learned for the evening was how to make an improvised stretcher with 2x4s, or pipe, and a tarp.

Thursday, we’ll be practicing the cribbing and extrication techniques for getting someone unpinned from under rubble.

Tomorrow, I go in to observe a dispatch shift. I can’t wait!

Survey Type Thing

Survey Type Thing

[Marital Status] Married. It will be six months on the 13th.

[Shoe size] 7 1/2 to 8, all depends.

[Parents still together] Legally.

[Siblings] A younger sister.

[Pets] Nope, and unless She lets me get my emu I probably never will.


[Color] Chrome and/or red.

[Number] 3.14159. Oh ok, fine you want a real number… 11001001.

[Animal] Anything exotic.

[Drinks] Pop, water (sometimes).

[Soda] Cherry Coke, and Diet Dr. Pepper.

[Book] A series by W.E.B. Griffin about the OSS (precursor to the CIA) during World War II. I think it’s the “Men of Honor” series, but I’m not sure. “Last Heros” is the first book.

[Flower] Dandeline


[Color your hair?] No

[Twirl your hair?] When I was a kid and had longer hair I used to.

[Have tattoos?] NOOOOO! Needles = OUCHHH!

[Have Piercings?] No way.

[Cheat on tests/homework?] Not so much cheat. I mostly tended to cut the deadlines quite close. Like in 5th grade, we had to write a Civil War newspaper and read them out loud to the class. I was still typing mine while the rest of the class was giving their presentations.

[Drink/Smoke?] No

[Like roller coasters?] Absolutely! It’s been too long since I’ve been to an amusement park.

[Wish you could live somewhere else?] For myriad reasons, yes. I hate snow.

[Want more piercings?] Oh sure, I think a belly button ring would be just what I need to spice things up a little.

[Like cleaning?] NOOOOO!!! I like grocery shopping MUCH, MUCH less though. So I’ll take the cleaning.

[Write in cursive or print?] Print and Braille.

[Own a web cam?] Nope

[Know how to drive?] Knowing and being legally allowed to are completely separate things… So far, no one’s been foolish to hand me their keys for that purpose.

[Own a cell phone?] Yes. It’s my only phone. We currently do not have a landline.

Ever get off the &%$# computer?] Not likely.


[Been in a fist fight?] Can’t really remember. Some pushing and shoving, but I’m not sure it’s ever come to punches.

[Considered a life of crime?] Only when the checking account balance matches the subzero temperatures outside. Even then not seriously.

[Considered being a hooker?] That’s my backup plan if this 911 thing doesn’t work out.

[Lied to someone?] Sadly, yes. I hated it when I did.

[Been in love?] Yep, and I still am.

[Made out with JUST a friend?] Nah, don’t think so.

[Been in lust?] hmmm, yeah, I’m sure I have.

[Used someone] Probably.

[Been used?] Probably.

[Been cheated on?] I don’t believe so.

[Kicked someone in the %$#?] Yes, yes I have. Only when defending a woman’s honor I assure you.

[Stolen anything?] Ok, you’ve caught me. I did it. I stole the Crown Jewels of London. MEHAHAHAHAHA Try and catch me fools!

[Held a gun] Yes


[Current clothing] Pants and a turtle neck.

[Current mood] so-so

[Current taste] Morning breath

[What you currently smell like] A bright, sunny spring morning. Or perhaps not.

[Current hair] It’s hair. It needs to be cut. What more do you want?

[Current thing I ought to be doing] Figuring out why my Asterisk PBX isn’t working right, debugging a database, writing a data backup script, fixing a data entry form, prepping for a meeting this afternoon…

[Current cd in stereo] There isn’t a CD in my stereo. I usually listen to music on the computer.

[Last book you read] “Against All Enemies” by Richard Herman Jr.

[Last movie you saw] “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.”

[Last thing you ate] Popcorn last night.

[Last person you talked to on the phone] A customer

[Do drugs?] Only Ibu Profin and ones that have been prescribed for me.

[Believe there is life on other planets?] I’ll get back to you.

[Remember your first love?] Yeah

[Still love him/her?] No

[Read the newspaper?] When I must. Usually the inability of our local paper to master elementary school gramatical concepts enrages me to the point where I can no longer stand to be in the same room as my computer.

[Have any gay or lesbian friends?] Family members

[Believe in miracles?] Darn right

[Do well in school?] Ha. No. I do much better with hands on learning, or learning from a book when I need to figure something new out. College and I did not agree.

[Wear hats] Only if it is absolutely freezing outside.

[Hate yourself?] No. I am, at times, discontented with the direction my life is going, but that’s only because I am impatient and can’t see God’s plan.

[Have an obsession?] Does finding a new job count?

[Collect anything?] Radio and computer equipment.

[Have a best friend?] Yes I do.

[Close friends?] Several.

[Like your handwriting?] I’m indifferent

[Care about looks] Yes, I want to look presentable, but that’s about all I care about.


[First crush] Oh who knows. There were so many crushes.

[First kiss] This girl named Katy in Kindergarden. That one probably doesn’t count, so “C” in 9th grade.

[Do you believe in love at first sight?] Yeah, it happens to some people.

[Do you believe in “the one?”] Absolutely. I was blessed enough to find her.

[Too shy to make the first move?] Most of the time, yes.


[Daydreamer] Occasionally

[sarcastic] Never. Not a chance.

[Angel] Sure, but my halo is out for repair. I’ve been told I’ll get it back the second Tuesday of next week.

[Devil] Try not to be.

[Shy] In large groups, or with people I don’t know well.

[Talkative] When I get going on a subject, it’s hard to stop. I need a mute button, or a gong, or something.

Five Factor Personality

Five Factor Personality
Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You’re not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your “down time.”


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have medium agreeableness.
You’re generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed – making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is low.
You’re a pretty conservative person, and you favor what’s socially acceptable.
You think that change for novelty’s sake is a very bad idea.
While some may see this as boring, many see you as dependable and wise.

Yeah. Well, other than the whole “organized” thing…

So when does it become an “unhealthy dose of cynicism?”

CERT Training – Night Four

CERT Training – Night Four

Tonight was Fire Supression training. We began the class by learning how to shut off the electricity, gas, and water utilities in a home. We then learned about the Fire Triangle (heat, fuel, and oxygen). Remove one element and the fire will go out. There are four classes of fire.

  • Class A – Ordinary combustable materials such as wood, paper, and other household goods.
  • Class B – Combustable Liquids. In most cases, it is the vapers from the liquid that burns.
  • Class C – Energized electrical equipment. Remove the electrical source and, if still burning, it will become a Class A fire.
  • Class D – Combustable metals. Almost anything ending in “ium.” These require specialized eqtinguishers to put out.

We also discussed the different types of fire extinguishers. Water extinguishers do pretty much what they sound like, spray water on the fire. Dry chemical extinguishers use a chemical, foam like compound, to smuther the flame by removing oxygen. Carbondioxide (CO2) extinguishers also remove the oxygen from the fire (these are not smart in confined spaces, they will remove your oxygen source too).

Then came the practical excersize. We put on all our gear and went outside. The instructors had used cones to mark off a simulated home. There was a burn pan in the simulated kitchen. It would be lit, and we practiced our team tactics for extinguishing the fire. We got to practice as Team Leader, Safety Officer, Primary Attack team (lead, and backup), and Backup Attack Team. The lead instructor through us a couple curves like the primary egress route being blocked and my backup going down necessatiting the backup team coming in to assist.

All in all, it was excellent training and we all learned a lot.

A quick update on the Dispatch situation. I found out that they are going to fill the vacancy from a list of previous applicants. However, our EMA director said the 2nd shift supervisor said I should definitely come in and sit in on a shift. I met him tonight and he said to just call a day or two in advance. It’ll be a good chance to meet the crew, see more of what the job entails, and learn about the hiring / training process.