Grand Rounds From the EMS Blogosphere: December 2010


Grand Rounds From the EMS Blogosphere: December 2010

By Adam Thompson, EMT-P Nov 29, 2010

This column is an update of what is being talked about on EMS blogs around the Web. EMS blogs have become quite popular lately, especially with the EMS 2.0 movement underway. I began the Paramedicine 101 blog in 2009 in hopes of creating an online educational resource for prehospital medicine. It has become a popular multiauthor site of which I'm very proud. There are a myriad of other EMS blogs as well--some for entertainment, some for product reviews and best practices, and others, like mine, for education. If you're unfamiliar with what's out there, look no further. Here we will regularly summarize some of the most popular blogs and their topics. Enjoy.

What's New in Critical Care

The EMCrit Blog is an archive for the EMCrit podcast, which is dedicated to critical care within the emergency department. It may not be a prehospital blog, but its topics are worth checking out nonetheless. Two of the most recent were traumatic arrest and the 2010 ACLS guidelines. The podcasts are very well done and provide yet another great educational resource.

Mobile EMS

Do you have one of those fancy Android phones? If you do, and you are in EMS, then the Droid Medic, another EMS Blogs site, is the blog for you. Andy is the Android medic, and he will teach you exactly how to get the most out of your smart phone. His posts and tutorials provide many tips, tricks and fixes for Android users. He has a two-part video tutorial to show you how to turn your phone into an EMS tool. He also has many news articles and reviews, and is up to date with any new releases. Go check out Andy's (actually Sean's) blog and see what else is there.

Biased for the Patients

The Rogue Medic is at it again. Recently he has taken on the new fad of carbon monoxide monitoring. The Rogue Medic, aka Tim, is regarded as somewhat of a research king by those of us who know him. His two-part look at research on the Masimo Rad-57 leaves us wondering if these devices are a truly reliable basis for treatment modalities. A recent study done on the device had negative results. Tim also authored a couple of follow-up posts worth reading on how not to respond to negative research (with an addendum here) and how to respond to negative research.

Without guys like Tim, would we just accept everything we're told by some product salesperson? He questions every product, every medication and every procedure we perform. He does the research and dissects the results. Tim is never satisfied with just having the answer; he needs to evaluate the method used to achieve that answer. For that I salute him.

Wordsmiths in EMS

We in EMS generally limit our writing efforts to two- or three-paragraph narratives riddled with medical abbreviations in hopes of providing a good history of present illness. Only a few of us write much more than that, and even fewer are any good at it. But how many times have you thought you could write a book based on some of the calls you've run?

Continue Reading

Well, a few of our peers have written those books and have actually done damn good jobs. Two of the three guys I am going to mention have already been featured on Grand Rounds. Peter Canning, Kelly Grayson and Michael Morse are all phenomenal authors and EMS bloggers. Kelly and Peter both author blogs I have mentioned before, A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver and Street Watch: Notes of a Paramedic, respectively. Michael writes a blog titled Rescuing Providence. He has a way of writing about calls that entertains even those of us who see the same things every day. In a post called "Innocent," he describes a moment on a chaotic call where he reflects on his childhood in order to understand just how helpless and in need a young girl is. If you are looking for some excellent EMS stories, head over to Michael's blog and have a read.

Tip of the Month

Try to connect with your readers. All too often we see blog posts or stories about how great the author of that story is. No one wants to read about why you think you are a hero. Think about what you like most about the blogs you enjoy reading, and use those attributes. One of the things I tend to appreciate as a reader is honesty. I want the nitty-gritty. Maintain patient privacy, and obviously don't write about something that will get you fired, but be truthful. The humility of utter honesty will help you connect with your readers and give them something they may be able to relate to.

Adam Thompson, EMT-P, is a paramedic with Lee County EMS in southwest Florida and an EMS educator with Edison State College. Read his blog at, or contact him at


FBI, first responders, and the American Red Cross worked around the clock to find the four missing men until Cosmo DiNardo confessed to killing them, leading police to their burial ground.
Scenes function better when EMS can work collaboratively

Summer means mass gatherings, like festivals, sporting events and other popular crowd draws, and those bring their own unique sets of EMS challenges.

Dispatch centers will lose funds entirely if the bill aiming to increase phone surcharges to help support and improve the 9-1-1 call centers is vetoed by the governor.

Ambulance service in Tennessee's Decatur County is in danger of interruption because EMS is out of money, according to Mayor Mike Creasy. 

Leaders from three recent responses debated some pressing questions 

As the tragedies of terrorist attacks continue to unfold, first responders everywhere know one day the call may come to them. Whether it be in a Manchester arena, the London Parliament or outside a Stockholm department store, citizens expect a prepared and competent response.  

In the final days of August 2016, the citizens of Pasco County, Fla., were preparing for Hurricane Hermine, the first to make landfall in Florida in over 10 years.
Ever since the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the world’s maritime nations have created and updated a framework to maintain minimum safety standards for merchant and passenger vessels. For the United States this responsibility falls to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Police, fire and EMS agencies will partake in an exercise involving an active shooter at a local elementary school.
Nine emergency agencies, including a crisis response team, trained for a drill that included a hostage situation and explosion.
EMS, fire and police agencies participated in an active shooter training exercise in light of the increasingly frequent shooting incidents across the country.
New dangers have arisen from the influx of fentanyl into the drug market.
Greg Gibson of the DHS' Emergency Services Sector discusses current threats facing first responders.
The FBI will be working with police, firefighters and other local agencies on how to respond to a maritime terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction during a two-day training exercise that will begin Wednesday.
The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection continues monitoring developments of threats following the terrorist attack in London.