Letters - Training - @ JEMS.com


Across the Ages


From the January 2008 Issue | Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I’ve been reading your magazine for longer than I can remember. I love what I do very much, and my granddaughter has become very interested in EMS. I’ve taken her through our ambulances multiple times, and she still amazes me with the questions she asks. She has learned the names and uses of the equipment we carry. One of her biggest thrills is to help me restock my flycar after a call. She questions me on the outcome of the call, and I do my best to tell her the story without violating any HIPAA rules.

About three weeks ago, she noticed my new copy of JEMS and asked if she could look at it. Of course I said yes. She spent two hours going through that issue page by page. Since that day, she asks me every day if she can have another magazine to read. She will sit and read every page and ask questions about things she sees. Of course, my collection is no longer in order, but just to have her share my love and dedication to EMS is worth it. She tells me all the time that she wants to be an EMT when she grows up and help people just like I do.I just thought you would appreciate the profound effect your magazine has on the EMS providers of the future.

Bill Elwood Jr., WEMT

Westtown, New York

I was very interested to read Gary Ludwig’s column, "Generation Y" (November JEMS), dealing with the generational anomalies ascribed by many to people growing up as generations X and Y, as well as those known as the baby boomers.

My experience has differed from Gary’s, although I think I understand what he means when he talks about the various realities we all encounter as we grow (e.g., never having had to "shake down" a thermometer). But I think anytime you profile people, you forfeit a lot.

I’ve noticed that, regardless of when people are born, they’re all individually very different.In particular, those with the aptitude to be good caregivers seem to have general makeups that transcend anybody’s generational expectations.I teach at a little community college not far from where I live, and I’m continually impressed with the great quality (and quantity) of people who are being drawn into our ranks today.

As for loyalty to organizations (or to anybody) I think that’s something a few people earn. Most organizations don’t. And I think the key to leading peopleƒany peopleƒis to keep your mind wide open to their individual, aggregate value and match them to the roles they fit best. People are complex, so, you should expect that to be hard work.

Thom Dick


I especially appreciated Bryan Bledsoe’s article ("The New EMT," JEMS.com), and I wanted to share my thoughts. Through the years, I’ve worked in various EMS jobs, from fire to third service to private. For 20 years, I’ve ironed my shirts and pants, polished my boots, always showed up early and treated every patient with respect and professionalism. Those values have allowed me to scale the upper echelons no matter where I happened to be. I still tell people I have never worked a day in my life.

This profession has been very good to me, and when I teach EMTs and paramedics, I try to share the very same things in that article.I have found that if a person follows those examples, they keep themselves far away from litigation, reprimands, disputes Ú I could go on and on.

Tony Pope, EMT-P, CCEMT-P

Victor, Montana


I just wanted to thank you for "Follow the Law" (October JEMS). My undergraduate degree is in public administration with a major in law enforcement.I’ve been trying for years to bridge law enforcement theories into EMS, but others have looked at me like I was crazy.

I know that your article will shine a light on some proven theories for law enforcement and how they can be effective for fire and EMS agencies. Someday, I hope to report the success of the theories you discussed, as well as many other law enforcement theories, from my department.

Robert B. Horton, MPA

Las Vegas, Nevada


The article "Smoke Signals" (October JEMS) says cyanide will have a bitter almond odor. I don’t know what that smells like, can you give me an example?How will I know when I smell it if I am one of the 40% that can smell it?

Jim Holt

JEMS Medical Director Ed Dickinson responds:My generic answer is along the lines of the traditional medical teaching of a diabetic in DKA and the classic "fruity breath" that some can appreciate and others cannot, but if you can, it’s helpful data. Olfactory information plays a reasonable role in both the medical and fire worlds. Other examples that come to mind are the diagnostic odor of a lower GI bleed (missed by few), or the difference between the smoke odor of chimney fire versus the smoke odor from a working residential structure fire (known to the nose of an experienced fire officer). JEMS

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