Monthly Archives: April 2009

Dallas FD Automated Dispatch

Dallas FD Automated Dispatch

I’m currently in Dallas, TX for a couple days of teaching a company about web accessibility for the blind. As usual I havethe scanner with me.

When I was here last July I noticed that Dallas Fire (it may be the county, but I’m pretty sure city) does an interesting thing with their radio notification of calls. Their CAD system sendsout an automated message that seems to be put together from samples of someone recording unit and address numbers, street names, and chief complaints. I assume they are also using pagers, MDTs, or “rip and run” printers to get the calls out and using the automated system so other units know what’s happening. (I assume this because the alert tone is standard and not a two-toe or other individual unit notification).

I mentioned this on Twitter and a couple people asked about it, so I recorded a couple of pages. Quality sucks cuz I did it with the cell.

I remember reading about something like this during my phase of wanting to be a public safety dispatcher (yeah, okay, that’s not really at all a dead dream), but had never heard it in action. I’m curious what my public safety readers think of this. I personally think it’s a little hard to understand (because it’s sort of choppy).

Dallas Fire Department Automatic Dispatching

Top 15 Worst Ways to Celebrate World Environment Day

Top 15 Worst Ways to Celebrate World Environment Day

In honor of today being Earth Day (andsince TSDiveDani on Twitter made me think of it) I dug back into the e-mail archives and found a copy of Topfive.com’s Top 15 Worst Ways to Celebrate World Environment Day. (please don’t flame, it’s for humor’s sake).

      The Top 15 Bad Ways to Celebrate World Environment Day
15> Lemur kabobs for everyone!

14> Set up a booth at the nearest mall called “The Wonderful World of Natural Fertilizer.”

13> Issue a proclamation thanking lesser-developed nations for their unquestioning acceptance of leaky metal oil drums.

12> Same as always — watchin’ the game, drinkin’ a Bud.

11> Barbecue some California Condor wings and Snow Tiger steaks over a Styrofoam cup bonfire.

10> Have a swim in the water tank like those hotties from “Petticoat Junction.”

 9> Use Quaker State, Jack Daniels and some pigeons to perform a re-creation of the Exxon Valdez disaster in the town fountain.

 8> Forget the hug — give that maple in your backyard some hot monkey love.

 7> Spray-paint a giant mural depicting the loss of the ozone layer.

 6> Release Linda Tripp back into the wild.

 5> Bring attention to the issue of erosion by cutting the bands holding back Cher’s face.

 4> Left hand: weed whacker;  Right hand: leaf blower.

 3> Stay up all night doing Jaegermeister shots with Captain Hazelwood.

 2> Observe a moment of silence after re-filling your new Ford Behemoth SUV’s gas tank.

              and Topfive.com’s Number 1 Bad Way to Celebrate World Environment Day…

 1> 800 cans of hairspray.  One senior prom.  Any questions?

Wake Up, Brain

Wake Up, Brain

I’m stealing this from Epi who stole it from Bernice because my muse is AWOL.

1. What color is your toothbrush?

Green and grey… I think

2. Name one person who made you smile today?

The teenager who did a “”grab and slap” on my butt at work. Nice to know I still got it. :-). (It was most likely her thinking I was someone else, but it gave us all a laugh)

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?

Dragging myself out of bed to get ready to do a tour at work.

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?

Reading Harry Potter and the Sourcer’s Stone with Treva and eating leftover Buffalo Bites.

5. What is your favorite candy bar?

Butterfinger

6. Have you ever been to a strip club?

Look don’t touch kills the fun…And my wife would beat me deader than dead. 🙂

7. What is the last thing you said aloud?

That helicopter sounds really low. Hope he’s not going to crash into the building.

8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Moose Tracks/Rocky Road

9. What was the last thing you had to drink?

Cherrry Coke

10. Do you like your wallet?

It holds the wallety things…I’m good with it.

11. What was the last thing you ate?

Leftover Buffalo chincken things

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

Nope

13. The last sporting event you watched?

The Baltimore Marathon. (I was working it)

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?

Cheese, or covered in butter and salt

15. Last person to send u a text message?

Not counting the Twitter ones, Treva

Wheres # 16?

Rolling around on an a tropical beach with my muse?

17. Do you take vitamins daily?

No

18. Do you go to church every Sunday?

Sadly, no. We are still trying to find a church…and failing.

19. Do you have a tan?

Does a florescent tan count?

20. Do you prefer Chinese food or Pizza?

Depends on my mood. I like both

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw?

In a restaurant or from a fast food cup. it’s just stupid to do so from a can or bottle.

22. What did your last text message say?

If you count the Twitter one I don’t recall. If I go back to the last “real” one, “What do you need?”

23. What are you doing tomorrow?

going to work

25. Look to your left, what do you see?

Cell phone, lamp, BCD-396XT scanner.

26. What color is your watch?

Silver

27. What do you think of when you hear Australia?

Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”.

29. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?

If I walked or if I’m at the Wendy’s where not going in means my order gets messed up 8 ways from Sunday, I go in. If I’m in a car I usually hit the drive thru

30. What is your favorite number?

3.14159[…]

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone?

My sister

32. Any plans today?

I worked this morning, the rest of the day I’m vegging and doing a load of laundry so I have clean shirts.

33. How many states have you lived in?

Wisconsin, Minnessota, Indiana, and Maryland. I “lived” in Florida, and Georgia for a month each on a summer job, and Oklahoma for two months.

34. Biggest annoyance right now?

People who don’t have a clue.

35. Last song listened to?

“The Shepherd Lad” by the Battlefield Band

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards?

I can, and have been able to since I was [how old Mom?]. I can even do it while intoxicated.

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house?

Yes, and I see them every time I look in the mirror holding a paper towel covered in Windex.

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?

My black steel toed boots

39. Are you jealous of anyone?

Not at all

40. Is anyone jealous of you?

I really don’t think so.

41. Do you love anyone?

Many people.

42. Do any of your friends have children?

Yes.

43. What do you usually do during the day?

Work, mock stupidity, fool around on the computer.

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now?

I have massive amounts of annoyance with people, but hating isn’t worth it.

45. Do you use the word ‘hello’ daily?

I tried answering the phone “ZIIIRRRRK!” just to be different, but it confused people.

46. What color is your car?

Bright Yellow (yay for Yellow Cab)

47. Do you like cats?

I can’t say it better Epi. “No.  I despise them with the intensity of a million hot burning suns.”

48. Are you thinking about someone right now?

sure

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags?

Two of them. Great America in IL and America in MD.

50. How did you get your worst scar?

Head lac from doing something stupid as a kid. Sliced it open on the underside of one of those two person swing/glider things.

En Route: A Paramedic’s Stories of Life, Death, and Everything Inbetween

En Route: A Paramedic’s Stories of Life, Death, and Everything Inbetween

Kelly Grayson, the prolific, and often amusing, blogger behind A Day In the Life of an Ambulance Driver recently released his book En Route: A Paramedic’s Stories of Life, Death, and Everything in Between. The book is a collection of short stories relating his experiences first as an Emergency Medical Technician, and eventually Paramedic, in Louisiana.

If you enjoy reading stories ranging from the heart wrenching to the hilarious, and learning more about what goes on from the scene to the hospital, En Route should absolutely be on your “To Read” list.

Much more eloquent reviews have been written by Nurse K and crankylitprof so if you want a better review go read those. I will say this was absolutely worth confusing the security guards at EMS Today, who couldn’t understand why I was looking for the EMS conference, to get. 🙂

What Not To Do

What Not To Do

If you desire to end your day at the office without frustration, take note, the following is not how you send a report to a colleague for proofing.


  1. Write report
  2. Click File, Send To, Recipient as E-mail
  3. Enter e-mail address in the “To” field
  4. Accidentally start typing the message in the attachment field; erase beginning of message
  5. Write message in body field.
  6. Send message
  7. Close document without saving because: a) it’s attached to the e-mail and you likely won’t need it again; b) you’re trying to answer a question on the phone, and; c) you’re a moron.
  8. get an e-mail from colleague stating, “Sure, now try attaching the file”

*headdesk* CRAP!!! Yeah, deleted the attachment as well as the unintended text. Thankfully it was only a page and I can rewrite it.