Guest Post: Risk of Asbestos Exposure Among Firefighters

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Earlier this month, the National Awareness Director of the Mesothelioma Center (out of Orlando, FL) and the team at Asbestos.com contacted me, asking if I would be interested in a guest post regarding the dangers of working in an asbestos-rich environment, as we are sometimes called upon to do in cities with older construction. The […]

Gear Review: The Bowring Fire Tool

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Heralded as “pound-for-pound, the most versatile fire tool ever,” we set up a few scenarios and took some pictures and video footage for any interested parties.

Wildland (or, why I don't want to be a firefighter in California)

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Yes, that's right. In D.C., of all places, two engine companies and a truck company extinguished about a half-acre of burning foliage in Southeast Washington earlier this year. Okay, so it wasn't actual wildland firefighting—but it's about as close as we'll get in an urban environment. There's a big grouping of trees located behind a […]

DCFD's presence at "State of the Department" address, and surprising reaction.

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Lt. Alvarado rallies the troops before the press conference. Firefighters utilized social networking (Twitter, Facebook et. al) to garner support and increased presence from members and non-members alike.   Members proudly wore garments with the "DCFD" logo, which have been outlawed by Department order. Uniform regulations have changed five times within the last calendar year.

Comment Cards.

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During my last tour of duty, I came across a most unusual new practice. I was instructed to present a comment card to all patients whom we encounter in the performance of our duty. Yes, that's right, a comment card—the likes of which I had only seen at my favorite 24-hour breakfast joint. Sure, we […]

2011: RL's Year in Photos

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Happy New Year to everyone—I'm glad to see that our little blue planet has made it another year without something truly awful happening, and for that I'm thankful. Like I said back in March, I'm still a firm believer in "the best camera is the one that's with you." What good is $3,000 worth of […]

Text me from work.

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Ever have "one of those days?" Where stupidity reigns supreme, inefficiency is the norm, and the only thing that can possibly quell your growing level of insanity is texting someone who you just know will laugh at your predicament? That's right, boys and girls! It's time for a segment (that I've just made up) called […]

Photo roundup, 1 of 2.

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I haven't put up any photos in a while, so I figured it's about time for one of these. However, I'm doing two of them—this first one will be a collection of stuff I've seen/done recently, just the usual funny and offbeat items. The second will be an end-of-the-year collection, in which I will select […]

Sixteen Bags of Heroin.

Her name was Jillian, and she was as close to death as I've ever seen a 19-year-old girl. The paramedics from the city brought her in to the large urban Emergency Department where I was employed at the time. (For two and a half years, I scurried around a hospital frequented by some of the […]

Sense of Touch.

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The man's ribs cracked methodically, rhythmically, and with a slowly waning sense of purpose and urgency. The worst part was that I could feel his son's eyes on the back of my head. (Sorry… I'll back up.) At 21, I was barely a year out of paramedic school, freshly (read: naively) empowered with a bachelor's […]

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