15 September 2008

Day of Reckoning

The day after the day after. Yes That is what I said. The people who are experiencing life after a storm are not the brightest (although in my district they are are well educated). You will see the twitter log of the stupidity I have witnessed today, but I thought I might expand on a few.

Dr.'s Office - gas generator running in basement; CO 275ppm in basement. Yes patients were in waiting room
What on earth was this Doctor thinking? Her husband, a licensed electrician, made a valient effort to get the office open and wired a gas generator into the circut panel in the basement. I am not electrician, but it appeared that the wiring was correct and it would not back feed to the power grid (which would pose a danger to all the electricians working to repair the downed powerlines). This is a good way to ensure that you can power what is needed without running a mile of extension cord. Good thought perhaps, but to place the toxic fume emmiting power plant in the basement of the Doctor's Office is worthy of a Darwin Honorable mention. THey did make an effort to open the doors and try to naturally ventilate the basement (it had two exterior doors on either end of the building, with one leading up stairs to the office proper). We took our CO detector and found 305ppm of carbon monoxide. The experts recommend that no one is exposed to more than 35ppm over a 10 hour period (NIOSH) and not more than 200ppm. I would have hoped that the Licensed Medical Doctor knew the dangers of CO in her own business. I guess not. The patients that were waiting to be seen understood why we had to evacuate the building, but I don't think they were too happy. How would you feel if you were poisoned AT the Doctor's Office?

Why promote a guy to sergeant then not let him ride up as officer? Answer: Because he doesn't have enough experience
Well...Ok here is the scoop (yes a large lighting fixture used to produce broad soft light with no shapable beam), the person we just promoted to sergeant is not allowed to ride in the officers seat because he does not have enough experience. One of the candidates who was passed up for promotion DID ride as officer. WTF? Why promote someone then say they don't have enough experience to perform their job as officer? I have nothing against the two persons, I just do not understand the logic behind that decision. I did not apply for promotion and with this logic passing as leadership I don't think I am going to try any time soon.

I'm disappointed in the lack of pride & ownership in my department today
Seems simple enough. Today was my first day back from vacation. I knew this was going to be a difficult day with the storms that passed through yesterday. I tried to think about the greater good and suggested that we drive around and survey the damage in our district. My thought was to help clear roads that were blocked by trees (not with wires, I don't feel like playing with that much electricity) and provide good PR for our department by offering a hand to those in need. I was told that the Chief wanted us to clean up our parking lot. The lot was not in NEED of cleaning, it only would have improved the cosmetics of the station. A co-worker stated that he made that suggestion to the 1st Platoon Major and the response was "That's NOT our Job". That is a crappy attitude.

Anyone who follows fire service talking circut is familiar with Al Brunacini former Chief of Pheonix Fire Department (AZ), and Rick Lasky Cheif of Lewisville Fire Department (TX). Chief Brunacini championed the high end constomer service (not unlike Disney's idea of Guest Service). Brunacini is known for stories about this philosophy. One run PFD made was a medical call on a male. He was having some medical problem and needed to be in a hospital. The man was pouring a new sidewalk when the medical emergency happened. The Pheonix FD engine that made the run, returned to the mans house and poured the remainder of the person's sidewalk. Now that is service. Chief Lasky has taken this to the newer generations of Fire Chiefs. Chief Lasky makes the talk circut with his "Pride and Ownership - A Firefighters love for the Job" book and subsequent seminar presentation. Lasky's approach is the same as Brunacini's (and Disney's).

Two days ago I had a similar experience during my paramedic ride time. We made a run on a middle age man who fell down the stairs. He was helping move a washing machine up from a basement. The man refused transport to the hospital. My perceptor suggested that we move the washing machine for the man (so we don't have to come back when he hurts himself again). The whole process did not take more than 5 minutes (we took the machine to the street) and we went on our way. I admit that I did not want to perform heavy lifting (we did have a furniture dolly that they were using), but I understood how important that was for the patient. We not only treated him with respect, but we moved the washer for him (not That's Constomer Service). We got good PR and we were assured not to return when he tried to move it again.

That is what we should be doing. Going above and beyond for the community. Somedays I forget the good Karma that we can spread with much ease. I am ashamed for all the times I took the lazy way out. I hope to be a better person in the future.

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