Introduction to the Shooting Sports

Original Mentor Page

In the effort to promote responsible gun ownership and rights awareness, I make the following open offer to any resident or visitor in the Evansville, IN area:

If you have never shot a gun and would like to try, I am willing to take you shooting free of charge. I will provide the firearms, ammunition, eye/ear protection and I will cover your range fees. I guarantee if you are on the fence about gun ownership and usage, you will not be at the end of the session. You will have fun and learn a little in the process.

Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to meet at one or the other!

If you live in a different area, please check this map for mentors that may be in your area.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

The only constant in life is change...

About 9 months ago I was hired to work for the local ambulance service. When I first started, I quickly realized that things were different then what I'd been exposed to previously. Not better, but not worse either. Different.

Perhaps the biggest difference was that at the local service there is a paramedic on every ambulance that responds to 911 emergencies. New Jersey (that place where I cut my teeth on the ambulance) is different. I've mentioned it before.

Anyway, the war stories at the new service always seemed to revolve around the paramedics, and the runs they'd be on. Their partners were very very rarely mentioned.

Initially, the fact that the EMT's in the story were glossed over annoyed me. "You've got to do BLS before you can do ALS." and "Paramedics save lives, EMTs save Paramedics." were quotes that I was known to use at home on a regular basis.

Well, things change. I'm 9 or so months into it, and I've realized (generally by talking to the different medics that I've had the chance to work with, but also through my own observations) that most of the EMTs working for the service are green. Like, fresh out of school, no street experience, never taken a blood pressure in the field green. Where in NJ I was an adequate EMT, at new job I have paramedics requesting me as a partner, because they think highly of me.

I don't think I've gotten better, I just think that the standards are different here. I know the emphasis is...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

National Ammo Day

For those of you unaware today was National Ammo Day.

Despite the fact that I was scheduled to work from 0400-1000 and 2300-0600 along with a nice stressful medic class (we did IVs and that involved your humble host getting stuck with a needle, not such a good combo) and I still managed to make it to the shop for a little bit of ammo.




Ok, so the National Ammo Day guidelines say at least 100 rounds, I went a little above that, although not as much as Jay G did.

--Jim

Friday, November 13, 2009

Task force seeks ban on Assault Weapons...

Is the headline in the Washington Post today.

Nevermind the fact that the so called "assault weapons" are semi-auto weapons that look scary. 

Nevermind the fact that the drug cartels are getting their full auto weapons from the corrupt Mexican government (military and police).

Well, my answer is simple.

No.

Your move.

--Jim

Late Runs...

Everybody who works in EMS hates them.

I don't particularly mind staying late for an emergency run, I understand that people can't choose when to have a heart attack, or get hurt.

Staying late for a transfer just drives me FREAKING nuts, and I'm likely to start something along these lines:


H/T TOTWTYTR

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quote of the Day:

In
regards to Socialized Healthcare (yes, it's socialized, telling
yourself anything different is lying to yourself and everyone else.)



I heard an analogy on the radio the other day that I want to
expand.  Imagine healthcare is an automobile. Our car is the best car
in the world. In fact, it is so much better that when people with other
cars really need to drive somewhere important, they come and use ours.
 However, our car does have some problems. It needs a new set of tires
and maybe a new transmission.  So to continue the analogy, the proposed
reform is to take our nice car and replace it with a shitty import that
gets bad mileage, has a terrible safety rating, was rated Worst Buy by
Consumer Reports, and costs twice as much.  In fact, it costs so much
more that we really don’t know how we’re going to be able to afford the
payments.



H/T to Larry Correia @ Monster Hunter Nation

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fort Hood Shooting, etc.

If you're not living under a rock, you know about the shootings at Fort Hood in TX last Thursday.

To say that I'm upset is a huge understatement.  The men and women who defend our country with their lives deserve our undying respect and gratitude.  I get more then a little annoyed when I read comments like the one posted over at Wyatt's place.

I responded to it in comments, so have a read for the full thing, but the second commend sums it up nicely:

"Tree, Rope, Terrorist Dirtbag.

some assembly required."

--Jim

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Like Caleb Says...

Make a Hippie Cry!


And then follow the link to Caleb's and download the song on iTunes.  $0.99 isn't much, and it goes to a good cause!

That is all.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nature....

While taking a hike in the woods, please be smart... don't walk across a fallen tree suspended 15 feet in the air above a creak.

If you insist on doing so, please try not to fall.

If you must fall, please fall where the EMS guys can get to you without a ton of issues...

The full story will come out sometime later.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Engaged

As of approx 1715 this afternoon I jumped off the cliff and got engaged.




Better picture later.


-- Posted From My iPhone

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sorry for the absense

Medic School/ Work / Sick is just wiping the floor with me.

I'm gonna go pass out, and maybe have a chance to blog tomorrow.

(It also doesn't help that I found a new author whose works I love!!!)

Hang with me, and we'll get back in the swing of things. Promise.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tougher Gun Laws Would Not Have Prevented This Tragedy

http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=11153484

I am truly sorry for the grief that this family is going through, but the simple truth of the matter is that the firearm in this instance was simply a means to an end. If the child was determined to commit suicide, then for all intents and purposes there is no way to stop him, short of putting him in a psych facility on suicide watch.

In all reality, the system failed this kid. The system being his parents, and his school and his friends. That is truly a tragedy, but prohibitting the population from owning firearms would not have fixed this issue. The child in question could have downed a bottle of Tylenol and destroyed his liver, or overdosed on illegal street drugs bought at his high school.

My smpathies to the parents.

-- Posted From My iPhone

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Explosions...

...And Boobs.

How much more fun does a guy need. Want more pictures, simply refresh, and I use the F5 key to perform the function :)

--Jim

Friday, September 11, 2009

Always Remember








Always remember those who lost ther lives, their loved ones, and everyone who had their lives changed by this horribleday 8 years ago.

-- Posted From My iPhone

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Citizen's Academy

A blog post by Xavier reminded me of something that I have actually meant to talk about here in the past.

At one time, I was firmly convinced that I didn't want to work in the engineering field, that I wanted to take my four year college degree and use it to find a job in federal law enforcement. As time went on, and I never heard anything back from the federal positions that I applied for, I looked to the idea of possibly getting involved in local law enforcement.

When I first move to Indiana from PRNJ in 2007, I was firmly in the midst of attempting to locate full time local police work. I had the opportunity to attend the Evansville Police Department's Citizen's Academy in the fall of 2007. I was hoping that attending the academy would give me a leg up in the future.

The Citizen's Academy is a great educational experience. We attended sessions ranging from the motor patrol group, to the K-9 teams, to the SWAT, to the firearms guys, to the homicide detectives. It was an awesome couple of months. At the time, class was once / week for several hours in the evening.

If you have any interest in law enforcement, or just want a better look at what the guys in blue do for a living, what they have to put up with, attending a citizen's academy like the one that EPD does is probably worth your time.

I wish Xavier nothing but the best in his experiences, and may he teach us all something :)

--Jim

Monday, September 07, 2009

Martha Stewart

Ain't got nothing on my friend Lauren.



-- Posted From My iPhone

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Doggy Blogging

Took both of the dogs to the vet this morning for check up. The bill ended up being just north of $300 between the two of them.

Nutmeg's bill of health came back all good. We got some more heart worm preventative and got a booster for her vaccines.



Unfortunately, Samoa has some kind of respiratory infection, so we had to start her on antibiotics. She also has several types of intestinal worms that she needs treatment for. We'll pick up medication for that tomorrow because the stool sample we brought in won't be completely analyzed before they can give us the right meds. We also started her on heart worm medications.





Hopefully both puppies get and stay healthy, and we get to have lots of time together.

"Don't worry....

....when you feel something, worry when you don't."

Capt. Cragian, Law and Order SVU

The same can be said about EMS, when you stop havi g feelings about the runs you're making, and the patients you're treating it's time to hang up the scope, or at least take a nice long break from it all.

-- Posted From My iPhone

Monday, August 31, 2009

Samoa...

My girlfriend and I adopted another puppy on Saturday. So far the old (Nutmeg) and the new (Samoa) seem to be getting along.
Nutmeg and Samoa share a stick in the backyard...


Tag

EMS Training

It is my recommendation (though I be a lowly EMT-B) that after obtaining your EMT-B certification, you spend some time riding on the street (the slower the service, the more time you need) before you decide to go to Paramedic school.

You look like a fool when the questions you're asking the preceptor medic are things that as an EMT-B, you MUST know.

That is all.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gun School Bleg

Does anyone have any info on Force Options Tactical Training? They are offering a class near me at the beginning of October that I'm considering taking, and I'm wondering if it's worth the time and money.

Input is appreciated.

Home Defense Thoughts..

Brigid shares her thoughts on home defense.

Work has a prohibition against firearms while working, it also has a prohibition against firearms in personal vehicles while parked on company property. That being said, as soon as I'm in the door after a shift, I'm out of uniform, and wearing at least some kind of firearm around with me. My general thinking goes like this: When the chips are down, I am going to KNOW where my gun is, 100% of the time.

Will you?

My house has an alarm, and we're good about keeping the house locked even when we are home. The dog is only 40lbs, but she sounds real menacing when she needs to. That all being said, the true protection in the house comes from me always having a firearm ready to go, and within easy reach. It's such second nature anymore, that I feel naked when it's not the case.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy Dead at 77

Mommy always said "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all."

This concludes the current post.

Paramedic School

Tonight, I embarked on the epic journey that is medic school.

Baring any unforeseen issues (I decide to give up, or move away to find an engineering job), I should be starting my ambulance internship in about a year, and ready to test sometime just before December 2010.

Hold on for a wild ride.

Monday, August 24, 2009

MHI Review

Apparently all of the cool bloggers are reviewing Monster Hunter International, MHI, written by Larry Correia and currently published by Baen Books. If you're lucky enough to have one of the original self- published copies that Larry put out about this time last year, make sure you keep ahold of it. Rumor has it that the self-published copies were drawing outrageous prices on eBay recently.

The reviews are almost entirely good. Everyone who reads the book has good things to say about it. Me included. I literally can't recommend the book to enough people, and have loaned my copies out several times.

Larry is also running a way to purchase an autographed copy and patch, if you'd like to do that. I need to do it one of these days.

So anyway, what is this book about? Start here, monsters are real, And the government is trying to keep it very hush hush, they don't want ordinary citizens learning the truth. Enter Owen Zastava Pitt (he shares a last name with another book protagonist that I love) who manages to throw his boss out of a fourteenth story window in the first chapter. And it gets better from there.

The gun play is excellent, and written in such a way that even if you are not a gun nut, it makes sense, and won't bore you too much. The action sequences hit hard, and then take you through a roller coaster ride. Right up to the very end, you're not sure how it's all going to turn out.

And I won't ruin it for you. But I will strongly suggest that you pick up your own copy and get it read before the sequel is released!!

As always, specific questions in the comments section below.

An afternoon delight

The other day (or at least the other day is when I read it) Jay G posted about his .22LR spinner target and how much he enjoys the target. I have one, and I enjoy it immensely, but I don't use it with regular .22 ammo.

Slightly more than a year ago, I was introduced to the following ammo selection at the local gun shop that I frequent. A customer brought in a bolt action .22 rifle that he said would not function and fire properly. The owner grabbed a box of ammo from the desk drawer, grabbed the rifle and walked out the door. Around the side of the building we walked, to the small pile of sand next to the concrete wall.

"Terry, do you have a range back here that you've been hiding from me?"

"No"

"OK, so where are we going? What kind of ammo is that?"

"You've never seen these?"

"Nope, what is it?"

"Watch"

I watched as he opened the box of ammo and loaded the rifle. I put my fingers in my ear, and waited. Terry and the owner of the firearm seemed unconcerned.

Terry took aim, or at least pointed at the base of the wall/ the sand pile, and pulled the trigger.

"Pfffft."

"Huh, what was that?!?!?"

"One of these," said Terry as he handed me the box of ammo.

Super Aguila powderless 22's. A 20 grain bullet loaded for a maximum velocity somewhere below 500fps. The gun sounds like a BB gun when it goes off. The ammo isn't even strong enough to function the action on a .22LR semi-auto.

I immediately thought that this ammo was perfect for introducing a new shooter to the sport. As little recoil as most .22LR has, these rounds are quieter and would allow the shooting of the rifle in the backyard without wearing ear protection, which makes the whole experience far
more pleasant.

I bought a brick (because I always buy .22 in brick lots) and took it home. The next time I had the opportunity I put a few rounds downrange. I loved the idea, but I hated having to function the action on my uncle's .22 after every shot.

The next time I had some money saved up, and had permission to purchase a new toy, I headed to the shop and picked up the rifle shown in the picture. It's a Henry lever action, capable of shooting .22 short, long and long rifle. The combination is perfect.

I frequently shoot these rounds in the backyard at my aunt's house (with safe backstop of course). I shoot them about 20feet from where the rest of the family is sitting around talking. I have introduced several new shooters using the combo above.

My cousin brought her two daughters and her son to my aunt's house and we spent the afternoon putting rounds downrange. I've also used the combination to introduce my girlfriend of 2 years to shooting for the first time, and she enjoyed the experience.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Remember...

When dealing with corporate entities, it is a good idea to remember that all rules, policies and guidelines ever created were created because somebody did something they were not supposed to.

That's my piece of advice for the day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Always...

...carry a gun!

It's a lighter burden then regret...

and remember, the life you save may in fact be your own.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Prizes....

Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire is running a contest.

Check it out.

I use those S-biners to hold my keys at work, and on my own time. I also have one clipped behind my ID badge at work.

Goodluck.

Politically Incorrect Joke...

Stolen from Warthog, over at Warthog's Wrants.

Three strangers strike up a conversation in an airport lounge while waiting for their respective flights ...

One is an American Indian passing through from Lame Deer, another is a Cowboy on his way to Billings for a livestock show and the third passenger is a fundamentalist Arab student, newly arrived at Montana State University from the Middle East ..

Their discussion drifts to their diverse cultures. Soon the two Westerners learn that the Arab is a devout, radical Muslim and the conversation falls into an uneasy lull.

The cowboy leans back in his chair, crosses his boots on a magazine table, tips his big sweat-stained hat forward over his face, and lights a cigarette. The wind outside is blowing tumbleweeds around, and the old windsock is flapping; but still no plane has arrived.

Finally, the American Indian clears his throat saying softly, 'At one time my people were many, but sadly, now we are few."

The Muslim student raises an eyebrow and leans forward,'Once my people were few,' he sneers, 'and now we are many. Why do you suppose that is?'

The cowboy removes his cigarette from his mouth and from the darkness beneath his Stetson says in a smooth drawl . .

'I reckon that's 'cause we ain't played Cowboys and Muslims yet, But I do believe it's a-comin'.'

Monday, July 06, 2009

M.W.A.G. Fireworks Festival

Took in the annual fireworks display on the Riverfront in Downtown Evansville on Saturday night. The show itself was nice, the music score not so much.

As is my custom, was carrying concealed. In this case, Kimber TLE II/RL with a Surefire X300 attached, as well as Ruger LCP in the pocket.

No problems, no funny looks from police, or anybody else. All's well!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Man with a gun...

At a wedding, and with alcohol served.

No one was injured, and the gun didn't magically go off by itself.

The only mind control effects of the gun caused the carrier to make a fool of himself on the dance floor!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sorry...

For the long absence from my blog. It's been a rough couple of weeks. I found out in early March that my grandfather had passed away. The funeral was on the 16th in Atlanta. I worked until the 14th in TX, before flying to the funeral. I was scheduled to be home in Indiana for the weekend of the 21st and 22nd. I ended up driving from GA to IN after the funeral with my parents.

I was in Evansville until the 24th, when I flew back to TX to resume work. 1500 hrs on the 25th and I was told that I was laid off as of the 27th at 1700 hrs. 1705, I was on the road heading back to IN again.

I've been trying to find a job, and spending lots of my time doing housework and home improvement stuff at the girlfriend's place. She's an accountant, and is obviously very very busy. I promise more stuff in the near future (and I may be going back to work on the ambulance, so maybe some EMS stories?)

--Jim

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This cop...

needs to have his ass fired!

I'm sorry, but that whole thing is freaking disgraceful. 

Discretion, use it asshole.

Friday, March 20, 2009

That's Gonna...

Leave a Mark!

Just for the record, Navy ships crashing into one another near hostile waters is probably not a good thing.

Then again, Navy ships crashing into one another at any time is probably not a good thing.

Speedy recovery to those injured in the crash!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Critical. Need to know...

....Information. Mission critical information...it was all denied to me.

As I mentioned the other day, my last remaining grandfather passed away. He's at peace with God, his wife and one of he daughters, who both proceeded him to their rewards. We buried Poppo in accordance with his faith and his last wishes.

The day was a long one, with both good and bad points. It was nice to see all of the family again. The circumstances could sure have been better though.

The most humorous part of the story involves me arriving at the church for the funeral yesterday morning. I'm dressed in head to foot in black, with the exception of a tie, colored gray and silver. I followed my mother into the church while dad parked the car.

As I walk in the door, an older man stops me and says, "Are you a pallbearer?".
"No" says I.
"Yes," says mother.

Huh. News to me. I hadn't heard a thing of it up until that very moment. Oh well, live learn and overcome I suppose.

To make it funnier, we complete the service in the church and follow the coffin out to the foyer/reception area of the church. The family was seated as a whole, there was no special seating for the pallbearers, so we worked out with our family.

The family is all gathered around the perimeter of the room when they call the pallbearers forward. We escort the coffin outside to the hearse and proceed to lift it. At this point, I'm on the right side of the hearse, right side of coffin, middle position. We lift, and as we do so, I turn my head to speak to my brother, only to find out he is missing. Poor boy forgot we had to escort the coffin, and had to use the restroom.

Thank you all for reading, I know I've been off topic recently, but I'm planning on doing a post this week about a trip to the gunshop, which should be fun (new toys maybe). I'll also share a story of riding MARTA in Atlanta.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shit Magnets...

Anyone who has ever spent any time in EMS will know exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes they're referred to as a black cloud, but in NJ we always called em shit magnets. You get into an ambulance with them, and you get the feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach. You just KNOW that you're going to be stuck on run, after run, after run.

Maybe you should have packed a lunch?!?!?! (We gave one of the local firefighters a packed lunch after he took 1 run with one of our EMTs. I think it was like 6 runs later (after passing the firehouse multiple times with the guys waving and laughing at him) that he finally managed to get out of the ambulance. (And marathon runs like that will take it out of you in the worst way.)
Anyway, a couple of years into my career as a volunteer EMT in northern NJ, we're covering the local fair. It's evening (we were cooking hamburgers and hotdogs for dinner [fair food is good, but gets expensive when you live at the place for more than a week.]) We just happened to overhear one of "our" fire departments doing a self-dispatch from the firehouse (apparently the dispatch tower was down?) for an MVA in our primary. The crew on duty that evening jumped in one of the ambulances and put themselves in service to the call. It wasn't long after they started responding that the updates started coming in from the scene.

"We're going to need another ambulance, multiple patients to be transported." Was radioed from the firefighters on scene to headquarters.

A second crew was hastily put together and put themselves in service to the accident scene.

Seconds later: "Dispatch, get me extrication for a door pop." (Our squad in the area was running rescue at the time [and they still should be...in my humble opinion]) We had a rescue guy at the fair with us, but I was as close as they could get for a second rescue guy (and I know just enough about rescue to get myself in trouble.) I got to ride shotgun to the job.

We pull up on scene and we're directed to the vehicle that has a door that needs-a-poppin. Only the door isn't jammed, and we managed to get it open with handtools only. Local fire chief and I bent that door so far back it was junk by the time we were done with it.

We end up using the rescue truck as a supply box, and putting our patient on a backboard. We load her into one of the ambulances on scene, and I get directed to maintain patient contact. OK, this I can do. Shortly, a second EMT with a second patient is put into the bus with me, and the Shit Magnet (mentioned in the first paragraph) gets behind the drivers seat.

We're the first crew to leave the accident scene, leaving the other patients in the more then capable hands of the other 2 ambulance crews on scene (we ended up with 4 vehicles on location). On the way to the ER, patients are stable, no major complaints (as far as I remember anyway). We're coming down the hill into the town were the ER is located, I've called ahead and given a report, when one of the dispatchers gets on the radio and tells SM to "go home." (this was a fairly regular occurance for us...). I don't remember the rest of the conversation, but I did chime in by sticking my head through into the cab of the bus and saying. "SM, I love you to death, but if I get stuck in this damned ambulance with you for the rest of the night, I'm gonna be pissed!"

We finish the transport, and manage to restock our ambulance that had been stripped of backboards and other important equipment. We manage to leave the ER will a fully equipped truck, so we're ready to go on the next job. We head back to the fair, stopping off at Dunkin Donuts on the way.

We turn ONTO the access road for the fairgrounds, and SM turns to me (I'm still in the back) and says, "See, we made it back, no problem."

Immediately, as if God is laughing at us:

"Dispatch from [the fair], start us a CAD, we have reports of CPR in progress on the fairgrounds.

I groan, look at SM in the mirror and say "GREAT, thanks, love you too. Oh well, ask 'em where we need to take this bad boy."

Ended up treating the CPR, and saving his life. Awesome feelings got better a year later, when the patient walked into the first aid station to THANK us for saving his life. He was back to dance the next year!

That was an awesome feeling!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

North Texas Tactical Training Combat Handgun 1

Sorry for keeping everyone waiting on this review.

On 2/28 I took the Combat Handgun class with Hany Mahmoud and the guys at North Texas tactical. The class was held on the grounds of the Texas Tactical training area, just a few miles north of Weatherford TX.

The class started with some classroom stuff, before we all moved out to the range. We talked about being aware of your surroundings, and how the vast majority of people exist totally in condition white. We also talked about the fact that the proper mindset is condition yellow, which will blend in and out of orange as the day passes. Hany also emphasized that there are times when condition white is necessary for everyone's mental health. As an example, Hany mentions that he goes into condition white when he's relaxing at home, a pistol within easy reach. The key to doing the condition white safely is to have layered defenses (all the doors and windows locked, the alarm set, the dog ready to pounce, etc.) We also covered OODA loops and actions that could possibly disrupt your opponents OODA loop.

During the classroom section of the day, we covered range safety with a quick review of the four rules of firearm safety. Hany had an additional rule for us throughout the course of the day. From the time we stepped onto the range and went hot, until the time we were finished for the day pistols were to be either holsterd, or indexed on the targets. After all of this, we moved out to the range and started loading magazines and preparing for the range part of the day.

Range exercises started with some non-firing drills. We reviewed stance, grip, sites, trigger control, etc. From there we moved into live fire drills. I honestly don't remember all of the drills we did, but they were excellent, and were varied. We covered the draw in 4 easy steps, and then we removed the numbers from each of the steps and did it as a fluid motion. Then we added a lateral step to the mix, so that it became natural to take a step to the left or the right (disrupt the opponents OODA loop) while drawing the pistol. We did reloads, and then we added reloads with a lateral step.

One thing that particulary stood out to me was the use of multiple different target setups. Every couple of drills, the targets would get changed out. I don't mean that new targets were put up, I mean that a whole different style of target was put up. Hany pointed out that he uses multiple targets because there are only two things he CAN'T tell us about an encounter with a bad guy: When the encounter will occur, and what the bad guy will look like.

Overall an excellent class, and I'm hoping to take at least one more class with the guys at North Texas Tactical before I leave TX! Maybe next time I'll remember the camera and get some photos!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

I Remember...

...the drive to Atlanta.

...Thanksgiving Dinner.

...clam chowder.  Not the white potato based soup, but the Manhattan, tomato based broth. 

...thunder as Poppo bowling in the sky.

...not being able to stand to wait through school, knowing he'd be home when I got there.

...visiting his brothers and sisters, none of whom I knew, but who all made me feel like family.

...playing tag at the house in Atlanta.

...the woodshop.

...breakfast in the kitchen.

...playing in the stream and woods.

...climbing the trees in the backyard.

...watching him mow the lawn.

...gathering in KY.

...moving to IN.

...the surgery.

...if you want to see him again, you need to come home this weekend.

...visiting him at the hospital.

...visiting him at the nursing home.

My grandfather passed away early this morning.  He was 89 years old.  I realize now there were things I would have liked to know, that I never got the chance to ask him.  I'll miss him.  Please excuse the a lack of posting if one occurs.  I promise that when my muse returns, I wll too.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sad News

One of the prettiest ladies on TV is in the hospital, apparently for the third time since December.

Here's wishing her a speedy recovery.  And she carries a gun on TV (just to keep this all on topic.)





As well...

she should.

Lady needs to learn some critical thinking skills.  Once again, talking about guns in class is NOT the same as threatening to shoot the school up.

And for the record, the student was 100% correct, an armed civilian would have helped contain the tragedy at VT!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

North Texas Tactical Combat Handgun 1

So, all finished with class, and safe and sound back at my residence in TX.  I'll give a detailed account of what we covered in the next few days, but for now, a general list of comments.

-What the hell happened to the 80 degree day we had yesterday.

-Pay Up. And as a reward, he's a legal liability waiver...

-Awareness Color Chart

-OODA loop (no, not the loop de loop)

-Carry a gun regularly = 90% of your waking hours :)

-Things may not always be as they appear.  People standing around with hands in their pockets, be careful, they may just have a plan to kill you (which could very well include having a J-frame snubby in that pocket)

-Pistol will either be indexed down range, or holstered.

-Front site. Press.  Front Site.  Press. 

-Draw.

-Failure to stop drills DNE 2 to the COM and 1 to the head.  Address the body, and then address the head.

-Wait, you want me to do what now?  Sit down and shoot the target with my ass on the ground? OK.

-Now laying flat on my back!?!?!?  OK, we can try that too.

-You shouldn't see shoeleather when you're looking through the sites.

-1,2,3,4,5,6 drill.

-Move and Shoot!

-SCAN!

-FINGER!

-Walrus story (which I'll tell you is kind of cool, but you have to attend a class to find out what it is!)

All in all, a very very worthwhile day, and if you can possibly make it up to see these guys, well worth the time and effort!

Friday, February 27, 2009

PSH taken to new heights....

My head fairly exploded this afternoon when I read this account of how John Wahlberg was rousted by the campus police after giving an oral presentation in his Communication 140 class.  Apparently his discussion of concealed carry on campus was so threatening that the professor filed a complaint against him.

Mr. Wahlberg gave an oral presentation as part of a class assignment, the topic of that presentation was school violence.  It is undeniable fact that a concealed handgun on a victim's person is the best and most effecient way of stopping a mass shooting.  The only way to stop the psycopath is to force him to stop, and if he's got a gun, you better hope you've got one as well.

Mentioning such a topic as part of a communication class is not a threat, no matter the audience.  If the mere mention of concealed carry on cmapus  is enough to inflame Ms. Anderson to report the student, then she is definitely a hoplophobe.  To report the young man to the police for the matter is simply inexcusible.  Not only should Ms. Anderson apologize to John immediately, she should be fired, and barred from ever teaching again, if only to protect the children! 

--Jim

(H/T kahr40)

Quote of the Day

"I guarantee you the next place you go won't have a toaster oven, two fridges and a snack shelf."

In reference to the trailer that we work out of at the jobsite.

--Jim

Pistol Drills

Jay.Mac over at Cryptic Subterranean posts this video of Clint Smith performing malfunction drills with several firearms at Thunder Rance.  If you're going to carry a firearm for self defense, it is well worth your time and knowledge to learn this kind of stuff.


--Jim

XD45 vs. 3" 1911

So a week or so ago, Jay over at MArooned asked if anyone had any first hand experience with a Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry (a 3” Kimber 1911 with CT Lasergrips) and an XDm. A recently returning shooter that Jay had gotten back into the sport was asking for advice about the two.

I don’t have either of those exact models in my collection at home, but I have things that are relatively close, and I told him that I’d do an in-depth review and comparison of the two firearms, and post it on my blog, so here we are.


The actual guns that I have in my safe at home are a Kimber Eclipse Ultra and a Springfield XD45. There are a couple of differences in the guns that I have vs. the guns that Jay is asking about. My Eclipse Ultra has a stainless steel frame, vs. the aluminum frame found on the Ultra Crimson Carry. My XD differs from an XDm in that it has a slightly different shape, a different texture on the grip, and does not have a “match” grade barrel installed.


I purchased the Kimber Eclipse Ultra in January of 2008, and it came from the shop with a set of CT lasergrips already installed on it. The gun was “used” at the shop, but was less than six months old. The dealer (who I am now friends with) had sold the gun to its original owner. The pistol didn’t appear to have any wear on it what so ever and the price was most excellent. I ended up taking the pistol home that night, even though it was absolutely my first 1911.


** As a quick side note, the customer service guys at Crimson Trace deserve a huge thumbs up. I started having problems with the grips almost immediately after I took the gun home. The grips were extremely dim when they would light up at all. I sent CT an email, and they told me to ship the grips back to them and they would repair them at no cost to me. I made sure to tell the rep. That the gun was bought used, with the grips on it already. The rep told me it didn’t matter. True to their word, I received the repaired grips in about a week, no bill! That’s customer service! **


The gun is fairly heavy, even for it’s small size, which helps with the recoil just a little bit. Recoil is still stout, but by no means is it unmanageable, and I actually prefer it to some of my .40 handguns. The gun is a dream to carry, with the possible exception of the weight. The night sites included on the gun are bright, and extremely fast in either full daylight, or low light conditions. The only real complaint I have about the gun is that my fingers are not quite long enough to naturally come to rest on the activation buttons for the CT grip (because the buttons are on the side of the grip, as opposed to the front).


About 3 months after I bought the Kimber Ultra, I purchased a Springfield XD45 for BAG Day 2008. I LOVE my XD45, and it is my primary carry piece. I carry mine in a Brommeland Max Con V IWB holster, and it is very nearly as comfortable as carrying OWB. The magazine capacity is very nice at 13 rounds, although in MA, that is limited to 10 rounds due to laws (boo hiss). I haven’t made any changes in my XD45 yet, although I am planning on purchasing a set of night sites for it, and I might but a set of Crimson Trace Lasergrips on it at some point in the future.


I find myself carrying my XD far more often then I find myself carrying the Kimber Ultra. I think there are really two reasons for that to be the case. I tend to think of the XD as much more of a working gun, I don’t mind if it gets scratched, or worn, and I think that marks on the finish of the gun add to it’s appearance (it couldn’t get much uglier then when it left the factory!). I think the Kimber is much more of a pretty gun, or more of a BBQ gun, something to carry openly when I’m in the right setting. The other reason I’m more likely to be found with the XD on my hip is holsters. I have a very nice IWB holster that is custom made to hold an XD45, and the retention on it is excellent. I have a factory leather holster for carrying the Kimber Ultra, and the fit and finish are not as nice as my XD leather.


A better holster would probably lead me to carrying the Kimber slightly more often, but all things considered, I’d probably still revert back to the XD. I just don’t enjoy shooting the Kimber as much as I enjoy shooting the XD (probably due to muzzle flip).

Kimber Pros:

  • Smaller Pistol
  • Nicer Trigger
  • Night Site
  • Crimson Trace Laser Grips

Kimber Cons:

  • Increased Muzzle Flip
  • Smaller Mag. Capacity
  • Short Site Radius
  • Condition 1 Carry (Not a con, but can be perceived by the untrained as unsafe)

XD Pros:

  • Longer Site Radius
  • Larger Mag Capacity
  • Reduced Muzzle Flip
  • Simpler Operation (no manual safeties)

XD Cons:

  • No Night Sites
  • Larger Pistol
  • Longer & Heavier Trigger
  • Bladed Trigger

If anyone has any additional specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

--Jim

Illinois Carry Law Article

From Dustin, we hear that Allen Mueller is in favor of a carry law in Illinois, and he's in favor of carry on campus.

I'm not sure that Illinois will make the jump from no provision for CCW to allowing carry on campus, but I certainly wish them luck.  When I'm trying to go somewhere from Indiana, I avoid at all costs going through Illinois, because my right to carry my firearm is worthless there.

When I fly though Chicago on my way between TX and IN, I've often considered what would happen to me if I had to retrieve my luggage due to a missed plane, or some other problem.  I would hope that I'd be covered under Federal Transportation Laws, but I certainly don't want to end up as the test case.

Goodluck it Illinois, if they pass a shall issue law, and will recognize my Indiana permit, I'm far more likely to visit the state!

EMS Article

AD puts up an awesome article over at EMS1.com. Well worth your time and effort. Check it out.

(H/T Lauren)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who says Facebook...

Is all bad?

A buddy of mine was nice enough to put this up on my wall just now.

http://obamaclock.org/

Please pray the man does not get elected for a second term.  He's been in office a month, and has spent more money then GWB spent on the entire Iraq war... and the money that Obama has spent won't do any freaking good.

Weekend Plans...

So I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was considering going up to take a class with these guys. I am in fact planning on attending the session that they are having on Saturday morning, but prior to that, I'm planning on attending the TSRA dinner. My plan for the weekend at this point looks like this:

I'm ducking out of work a little bit early tomorrow afternoon, and driving up to Mesquite TX tomorrow afternoon. A short trip to the hotel I'm staying at will take care of a quick shower, and a set of clean clothes. I'll attend the dinner (hopefully get some pictures, but I'm not sure.)

I'll go back to the hotel and crash for the night, before getting up (probably around 5:30ish) to drive across Dallas to meet up in Weatherford TX. A full day in the classroom and on the range (been told to bring 400 rounds, I think I have 500 packed...) and then driving back to Franklin.

I'm planning on attending the class and using an XD45 Service in a Blackhawk Serpa holster, with Blackhawk mag carriers. I had a leather snap holster ordered, and it was supposed to arrive this week, but it doesn't look like it will arrive in time. Plastic it is. I'm also taking my Glock 19 as a backup in case I run into problems with the XD while we are shooting.

Anyone want to meet up in the Dallas area, shoot me an email, I know it is short notice.

--Jim

Stupid People...

Keep EMS in business.

I hope she recovers successfully, and doesn't have too much permanent disfigurement, but I wouldn't bet on it in this case.

How dumb do you have to be to soak your hair in gasoline, indoors, in the middle of winter?

That's just ASKING for trouble.

O.B.A.M.A.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just Wow...

Curiosity of SayUncle, we get this priceless gem.

I'm sorry, but... WOW..

That's all I can say.

Those guys need some more fun time with an AR-15 or an M4.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sorry...

For the lack of posting...

I managed to get a weekend at home (I get one per month per contract) and spent the weekend in Indiana. I'm planning a couple of posts as a result, and I have a comparison post to put up as soon as I get it put together.

In the mean time, I'm also planning on hitting the TSRA dinner on Friday night, and going to North Texas Tactical Combat Handgun 1 on Saturday!

Let me know if you're going to be at either!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"The Coming Swarm"

February 15, 2009
Op-Ed Contributor


The Coming Swarm



Monterey, Calif.

WITH three Afghan government ministries in Kabul hit by simultaneous suicide attacks this week, by a total of just eight terrorists, it seems that a new “Mumbai model” of swarming, smaller-scale terrorist violence is emerging.

The basic concept is that hitting several targets at once, even with just a few fighters at each site, can cause fits for elite counterterrorist forces that are often manpower-heavy, far away and organized to deal with only one crisis at a time. This approach
certainly worked in Mumbai, India, last November, where five two-man teams of Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives held the city hostage for two days, killing 179 people. The Indian security forces, many of which had to be flown in from New Delhi, simply had little ability to strike back at more than one site at a time.

While it’s true that the assaults in Kabul seem to be echoes of Mumbai, the fact is that Al Qaeda and its affiliates have been using these sorts of swarm tactics for several years. Jemaah Islamiyah — the group responsible for the Bali nightclub attack that killed 202 people in 2002 — mounted simultaneous attacks on 16 Christian churches in Indonesia on Christmas Eve in 2000, befuddling security forces.

Even 9/11 itself had swarm-like characteristics, as four small teams of Qaeda operatives simultaneously seized commercial aircraft and turned them into missiles, flummoxing all our defensive responses. In the years since, Al Qaeda has coordinated swarm attacks in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen and elsewhere. And at the height of the insurgency in Iraq, terrorists repeatedly used swarms on targets as small as truck convoys and as large as whole cities.

This pattern suggests that Americans should brace for a coming swarm. Right now, most of our cities would be as hard-pressed as Mumbai was to deal with several simultaneous attacks. Our elite federal and military counterterrorist units would most likely find their responses slowed, to varying degrees, by distance and the need to clarify jurisdiction.

While the specifics of the federal counterterrorism strategy are classified, what is in the public record indicates that the plan contemplates having to deal with as many as three sites being simultaneously hit and using “overwhelming force” against the terrorists, which probably means mustering as many as 3,000 ground troops to the site. If that’s an accurate picture, it doesn’t bode well. We would most likely have far too few such elite units for dealing with a large number of small terrorist teams carrying out simultaneous attacks across a region or even a single city.

Nightmare possibilities include synchronized assaults on several shopping malls, high-rise office buildings or other places that have lots of people and relatively few exits. Another option would be to set loose half a dozen two-man sniper teams in some metropolitan area — you only have to recall the havoc caused by the Washington sniper in 2002 to imagine how huge a panic a slightly larger version of that form of terrorism would cause.

So how are swarms to be countered? The simplest way is to create many more units able to respond to simultaneous, small-scale attacks and spread them around the country. This means jettisoning the idea of overwhelming force in favor of small units that are not “elite” but rather “good enough” to tangle with terrorist teams. In dealing with swarms, economizing on force is essential.

We’ve actually had a good test case in Iraq over the past two years. Instead of responding to insurgent attacks by sending out large numbers of troops from distant operating bases, the military strategy is now based on hundreds of smaller outposts in which 40 or 50 American troops are permanently stationed and prepared to act swiftly against attackers. Indeed, their very presence in Iraqi communities is a big
deterrent. It’s small surprise that overall violence across Iraq has dropped by about 80 percent in that period.

For the defense of American cities against terrorist swarms, the key would be to use local police officers as the first line of defense instead of relying on the military. The first step would be to create lots of small counterterrorism posts throughout urban areas instead of keeping police officers in large, centralized precinct houses. This is
consistent with existing notions of community-based policing, and could even include an element of outreach to residents similar to that undertaken in the Sunni areas of Iraq — even if it were to mean taking the paradoxical turn of negotiating with gangs about security.

At the federal level, we should stop thinking in terms of moving thousands of troops across the country and instead distribute small response units far more widely. Cities, states and Washington should work out clear rules in advance for using military forces in a counterterrorist role, to avoid any bickering or delay during a crisis. Reserve and National Guard units should train and field many more units able to take on small teams of terrorist gunmen and bombers. Think of them as latter-day Minutemen.

Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen all responded to Qaeda attacks with similar “packetizing” initiatives involving the police and armed forces; and while that hasn’t eliminated swarm attacks, the terrorists have been far less effective and many lives have been saved.

As for Afghanistan, where the swarm has just arrived, there is still time to realize the merits of forming lots of small units and sprinkling them about in a countrywide network of outposts. As President Obama looks to send more troops to that war, let’s make sure the Pentagon does it the right way.

Yes, the swarm will be heading our way, too. We need to get smaller, closer and quicker. The sooner the better.
To quote Tam: Carry your damned guns people!"

Article seen here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

They Remember...

But they haven't learned.

Illinois still has no carry provisions, and has certainly not allowed carry on campus.

Today marks one year since the shooting at NIU. Nothing regarding proactive protection has changed. Such a shame.

Gun Sign I'll Support

Post it where you'd like. I think I'm going to give one to my favorite shop owner.

Make sure you visit the owners website. I might pick up a copy of his book.

(H/T Shooting the Messenger)

Guns for Liberals


Sent to me from a friend via email.

Feelings instead of Facts... Again...

Dana Parsons, a columnist at the LA times wrote an editorial a couple of weeks ago in support of Sandra Hutchens, the new Sheriff of Orange County. Sheriff Hutchens has changed the requirements in regards to getting a concealed carry permit in Orange County. Many of the people who currently have a valid permit will not be able to renew their permits, becuase they do not have "suffecient need."

Forget for a second that Sandra Hutchens doesn't know jack shit about any particular individuals "need" to carry a firearm (open or conealed.) Forget for a second that she is infringing on that right which "shall not be infringed." Forget for a second that she's out of lockstep with what the county commisioners (or whatever the governing body is) want, and is out of step with what her employees (at least some of them) want.

Dana admits, in an editorial this week, that when he opened his mouth in support of Sandra Hutches, he "knew there'd be hell to pay." Only the reaction wasn't what he thought it was. Apparently not everyone who chooses to carry a firearm for self defense is a cousin humping redneck who spits 'bacco. Dana goes on to say that he got dozens of emails, and the vast majority of them did not fit into the stereotype of "gun nuts." They zeroed in on the points that Dana had made, and argued their cases on merits.

So the Pro Rights crowd argued their case on the merits, but then Dana falls back on feelings, sharing the following:

As I suggested in the last column, I get the argument. I really do.

How can anyone dispute that if confronted on the street by a criminal intent on mayhem, it's much preferable to have a way to defend yourself?

But I and other pointy-headed people just can't extend that argument as far as the other side does. Bottom line: I wouldn't feel safer knowing that untold numbers of private citizens that I pass on the street -- yes, even salt-of-the-earth types who have been trained -- are packing guns.
Dana, I'm truly sorry that you feel less safe walking down the street knowing that good people might have guns. Now I have some bad news for you, the criminals that would prey upon the good people of this country, they don't go through the trouble of getting carry permits, and they're going to carry their firearms anyway. That means that by tightening the requirements on issuance of CCW permits, you're guaranteeing that the only guns around are the ones in the hands of the bad guys. That makes no sense at all dude.

Less gun control, more criminal control.

We are all socialists now...

or... not so much... we're just fucked.

(H/T to SayUncle)

Economic Stimulus Bill...

Only... NOT! Pet Projects! Billions of Dollars of Pork!

Don't get me wrong, I like bacon as much as the next guy, but not prepared by Congress...

Never mind that the bill will actually do more harm than good, which is a travesty in and of itself. Look at what else has happened:

The majority holders in the House and Senate kept the minority members from offering amendments to the bill.

When the bill was all said and done, it was over 1100 pages long, was delivered around midnight and voted on next business day. Call it 17 hours, if the vote happened by 5PM. That means that a member of Congress would have to read 65 pages per HOUR of legaleeze (assuming they didn't sleep at all after receiving the bill...). I can't read that fast when I'm reading for enjoyment.

In addition, I've heard reports that the text of the bill was never delivered to the representatives in a PDF or other electronic file, so there was no way to quickly search if for pork. This was a disgusting trick by the majority leaders in both the house and senate to pay off (that is buy votes) all of the pet projects of their constituents.

Republican Minority Leader John Boehner talks about the bill in this short clip, well worth your time.



I'm so angry, I could literally spit at these people. These people should all be ashamed of themselves! This was not the way our government was intended to work.

Bayou Renaissance Man talks about it over here.

And as usual, Breda is far more eloquent than I am...

The Break-Up Poem



Happy Valentine's Day

Insufficient Evidence Could Force U.S. Navy to Return Suspected Pirates to Somalia

As seen at Fox News.

Pardon me while my head explodes.

I'm sorry, but if these guys were caught by the US Navy and were in the act of committing, or attempting to commit piracy, this should be a simple matter.

Try them aboard ship, and when they are found guilty, shoot each of them and throw em overboard.

How often does the US end up doing this?  Taking a passive stance instead of an aggressive one.  If these pirates are returned to Somalia, I'd b e willing to be a weeks pay (that's actually a good chunk of change) that the prisoners will be actively pirating again within a week.

Let's not get me started on illegal aliens...

--Jim

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Everlasting Shame

Via SayUncle, I stumbled across Gun Free Kids, a group opposed to allowing valid concealed carry permit holders to carry onto a college campus.

To my eternal shame, I clicked over to their list of schools that support the measure, and found that my alma mater* is the ONLY school in the communist state of NJ that has signed up.

A letter will be sent to the President of the University before this day is out.

--Jim

*There was a murder on campus since I left in May 2006, so it's not that safe of an area.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Daily Carry Gear

So Breda was nice enough to throw up a post about the stuff she carries each and every day. I also remember seeing a meme that floated around the blogsphere a couple of months back about what gets carried every day, so I figured I'd participate.

First of all, this is a picture of the stuff I carry each and every day when I'm at work (this stuff is carried all day, every day on the jobsite.) Unfortunately, work prohibits the carrying of firearms on the jobsite.

Starting from the bottom left:

Cell Phone (Palm Treo - Verizon Wireless)
Texas Key Ring (has the keys to my apartment, and office at work)
Cell Phone Case
Camera Case
Truck Keys
Digital Camera (Nikon CoolPix)
Small Notebook
Pen
Surefire E1b
Leatherman Multitool
Emerson CQC-7B w/ Wave
Wallet

When I'm not at work, I have the following stuff:


From the bottom Left:

Cell Phone
Wallet
Cell Phone Case
Texas Keys
Truck Keys
Leatherman Multitool
Small Notebook
Pen
Springfield XD45 Service (in a Brommeland Max-Con V)
Backup Mag
Emerson CQC-7B
Surefire E1b

--Jim

Even the Wall Street Journal...

is saying that the new "stimulus" bill has pork in it. Never mind the fact that you can't find the Federal Government's power to do this anywhere in the Constitution

Even some of the MSM is reporting it. Maybe they're turning on the master?

Don't get me wrong, I like bacon as much as the next guy... but not from the .gov!

--Jim

More Stupidity from the Courts...

Let me start by saying that I don't smoke, never have, and have no real desire to start.  Maybe when I'm a grandfather, I'll take up smoking pipe (I actually like that smell....).  That being said:

I'm sorry, but if you choose to smoke, you're stupid.  In this day and age, the disadvantages of smoking far outweigh the advantages of doing so, in the same way that the disadvantages of heroine or crack far outweigh the advantages.  I personally believe that as an adult, you should have the right to make all of those choices for yourself.

I'm honestly completely in favor of legalizing marijuana, heroine, cocaine, LSD, all of it.  Provided that it is something you are doing to yourself, or it is happening between 2 consenting adults, the government should keep its nose out of it.  The government (at any level) should not be passing legislation telling citizens how to treat their own bodies.  The government should not be forcing a ban on smoking in all restaurants, and all bars. 

That all being said, if the effects of your choices come back to haunt you some day, well, they're also your responsibility.  Suing the tobacco industry because your husband died is just plain wrong, and the lady should have been laughed out of court.  It is extremely tragic that Stuart Hess died at the age of 55, from lung cancer, it truly is.  But the man had smoked for 40 years, even after knowing the risks, and quitting several times before making the decision to go back to it.  The tobacco industry did not stick the cigarettes in the mans mouth and light them up for him.

Hopefully the decision is overturned on appeal, but somehow I'm not sure that it will be.

And to Elaine Hess for trying to hold the tobacco industries responsible because your husband made piss poor choices: EPIC FAIL!

And to the jury that found in favor of Mrs. Hess, kindly do the world a favor, and take a long walk off a short pier.

--Jim



The Letter J - Meme

THE LETTER J

Rules: It's harder than it looks! Copy to your own note, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag 10 people. Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real. . .nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Have Fun!!
----------
1. What is your name: Jim

2. A four Letter Word: Jump

3. A boy's Name: John

4. A girl's Name: Jen

5. An occupation: Jumpmaster

6. A color: Jaundice

7. Something you wear: Jumper

8. A food: Jam

9. Something found in the bathroom: Potty

10. A place: Jaynestown (reference anyone?)

11. A reason for being late: Just Forgot

12. Something you shout: "J! C!" (I shouldn't say it, but it happens)

13. A movie title: Jurassic Park

14. Something you drink: Juice

15. A musical group: Joe Diffie

16. An animal: Jackrabbit

17. A street name: Jefferson Ave. Evansville IN

18. A type of car: Jaguar

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Good Information

When I was but a wee little lad, well, 17 years old, I had the opportunity to take the EMT class offered in my little rural county of NJ. As part of taking my EMT, I was taught some very very important rules, one of which was the simply, and yet undeniable truth that as an EMT, it is critical that:

"You never upset the dispatcher, they get to tell you where to go, and can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Whatever you do, never, ever, EVER, piss off the dispatcher."

I can say, from experience that dispatchers do in fact have an extremely difficult and stressful job. While working for the ambulance corporation after I graduated college, I had the opportunity to dispatch for several shifts. Probably the most stressful day I've ever had at work was the day that I sat behind the dispatching screen and had to make sure my trucks got to the right place, on time, and picked up the right people.

Unfortunately, as much as that rule may be critically important when it comes to dealing with dispatchers, I am about to break it, well, maybe just bend it. I hope that my dispatcher readers will forgive me.

August, I think 2007, although it might have been 2006, I'm not sure. The squad is in the middle of fair week, which is basically 10 days of at least 14 hour days (often longer.) The fair shut down relatively early this evening, and the ambulances returning to the station make a small convoy. Just as I reach the station parking lot, the tones sound, and send us on a run. The run was dispatched as a suicidal female, which a leg injury. (pay attention, this is going to be important later.)

Because of the scattered nature of duty crews during the fair, the crew for the evening is scattered around the four winds. (Translation: we aren't sure where they are.) One of them was in the mini-convoy of ambulances, so she's in the parking lot ready to head to the run. I offer to ride along with her, so the crew is complete. Just as we're getting ready to put the rig in service, actual crew member 2 pulls in. I offer to bail, but they decline. In service we go.

Half way to the job, we get a radio call that the 3rd actual member of the crew will meet us half-way there. Again I offer to jump out, and drive his truck back to the station, but the offer is declined. We continue onto the job, and arrive on location at the same time the first responders from the local fire department arrive on scene. The state troopers are already on location. This shouldn't be too bad.

Grab the gear, say hello to the first responders, walk to door, knock.

No answer.

Knock on door.

No answer.

Knock on door.

"Hey guys, over here," says the state trooper from the side of the house.

Walk around the back of the house to find the following scene: One trooper walking in front of us, one trooper in the back yard (flashlight in elbow, off), a middle aged couple is standing in the back yard, probably about 25 feet from the back wall.

"Hey troop, what's going on?"

"She was drinking, got emotional, and either jumped, or slipped off the deck."

"OK"

As we walk up, the crew heads towards the middle aged lady standing in the backyard. As a general rule, she seems to be alert and oriented, knows what's going on. Doesn't seem emotionally upset, etc.

As we approach, we're discussing if our patient needs to be backboarded. She fell, which calls for it, but she's up and walking around, which probably means that any damage that might have happened would have happened already. We decide that just as a precaution, looking at the deck, we're going to go ahead and backboard here for transport.

I approach the middle aged man, whom I presume is the husband of the patient, and attempt to gather information. I think the trooper overheard me start asking questions about the man's wife, and realized my mistake.

"That's not her, she's over there."

Turn around to see one of the troopers had turned his flashlight on, and is pointing it at the ground almost underneath the deck, where a young lady (late teens, early 20's) is laying on the ground.

"Oh, ok," we repond. Only, as we approach the patient, it quickly becomes evident that in fact, she is NOT ok, and the situation is NOT ok. Patient is responsive, but only to extremely loud, or painful stimuli. She smells like alcohol, won't answer questions appropriately, and is generally combative.

Take a quick look at the deck, and realize that it's at least 20 ft off the ground, which makes the mechanism of injury significant, which translates to a recommended ALS response, and a consideration of transport to the trauma center. The semi-conscous nature also calls for ALS, and a possible trauma center, because we can't tell if it's alcohol, or a fall that is causing her to be semi-conscious and combative.

I run back to the rig, call dispatch and have them start ALS, and put the helicopter on standby. Run back and check on the crew, and ask K if he wants the patient to fly. We're not sure we need to, but the trauma center is a good 45 minutes from where we are standing, and we're not sure we're going to get a medic. At that point, dispatch comes back on the radio and tells us that indeed, we are not getting a medic, as the nigh unit is tied up at the moment, and we'll call our dispatch when they are free.

We make the decision to fly the patient to the trauma center. We package her on the backboard, and as we get ready to move to the rig, for further eval, and to begin transport, the medic unit signs on the air, looking for an update from our crew (they must have been almost clear at the local ER.)

For whatever reason, my portable radio won't reach the medics, so I call one of them on the phone, and give him the run down on the patient. The medics are understandably questioning how a emotionally disturbed patient with a leg injury has transformed into an ALS run, but settle down when I explain what's going on. We agree to meet at the landing zone for the helicopter.

We do the transport, and at one point during it, patient stops breathing, and then starts on her own again. We finish the transport, meet the medics, and they do their thing. They aren't sure the patient needs to fly either, but we can't rule it out, so we let the bird continue in.

Ends up the patient is transported to the trauma center, and is treated and released, no permanent damage.

The part of this story to make note of, we were dispatched to an emotionally disturbed patient with a leg injury. Both of those calls are BLS only. I'll give the dispatcher credit, it was an EDP, and she had a leg injury, but the whole, jumping off a second story deck, and being semi-consious, that's just a LITTLE important! We walked into a job and got blind sided, which should happen very very rarely!

Make sure the information that you get and pass along is as good as it possibly can be. The little pieces of information are often the most critical and are always the ones that are overlooked! (this holds true for everything, not just EMS.)

Tactical Training

Is anyone interested in going to take the Combat Handgun 1 class at North Texas Tactical Training?

I think I'm going up on 2/28

Let me know.

--Jim


Sunday, February 08, 2009

A well regulated militia being necessary to the Security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.