The “fog of war” is the confusion that occurs when soldiers become preoccupied with fighting or rendered lost by the elements of battle. As the battle rages and accurate intelligence deteriorates, the fighting force becomes more and more obscured in this fog. Scientists are working feverishly to reduce this phenomenon, but so far, they have had little success. Recently, I considered the “fog of EMS.” If you have been in EMS for any length of time, you can relate to some of what I am about to describe.
It might seem ironic to some that Minnesota, a state not known for diversity, is the birthplace of one the most diverse EMS departments in modern day U.S. history. It might also seem ironic that its inspiration, the diverse Pittsburgh EMS agency—called Freedom House Ambulance Service, was dissolved during the height of its support by prominent clinical leaders due to politics.
Dick Ferneau and El Bourgraf were not only partners in the stretcher manufacturing businessƒthey were also best friends. This combination of a work partnership and friendship kept the two innovating around the clock, in and out of the office. One day in 1958, the young founders of the Ferno Manufacturing Co. were invited to their secretary/receptionist/bookkeeper_s house for a cold beer as a well-deserved break from their long day at the office.„