Yesterday, I was up flying with my IFR instructor. We were practicing holds around an NDB, about six miles south of my airfield. Shayne told me to take my goggles off (when you are practicing instrument flying, you wear vision limiting glasses so you can only see the instruments and not cheat by peering out the window). I did so, and there was a glider a few hundred feet above us, descending towards us. I took evasive action; it really wasn't that close, but both Shayne and I lost sight of the glider. I had told Shayne previously about the near miss in the UK, and he shared my anxiety about a midair colision with a glider. Interestingly, gliders, like rats and cockroaches, tend to fly in packs; if you see one, there are several more about. Also, the bastards carry parachutes, so if they tear off your wing, it's no big deal for them. Well, less of a deal, anyway. Shayne and I decided to call it a day and returned to the airport, keeping a close eye out.
We've decided to start going out earlier, when the thermal activity is less attractive for gliding.
I've been busy on the medical front, at least from an administrative perspective. Over the weekend, I attended a two day class on 'prehospital trauma life support', which was pretty interesting. There was a really gross picture of a guy who had gotten his leg caught in a grain auger. I must admit, though, that I am becoming more habituated or desensitized to photos of gore; garden variety open fractures are no big deal to look at anymore. Perhaps that's part of the reason they show photos of all that stuff. Let me tell you; leafing through an EMS text is eye-opening for the neophyte. There you are, reading along, turn the page, and there's a degloving, or an avulsed penis, or a stick in the eye, or 85% full thickness burns. The fun never ends, as they say.
On Monday, I went up to a meeting of the state medical board. My ambulance squad was under review for having conditions lifeted from our license. The ambulance lady is on vacation, so that left it to me as second-in-charge of the squad to go. The town manager was supposed to go also, but he turned out to be late. So the state board asked little old me questions about our status, and I answered them, and I guess they liked my answers since they voted the way we wanted them to.
Today I had a nice long chat with the state head of EMS operations regarding my fire department status. It seems that there are some grey areas regarding my providing EMS care as a member of the non-EMS-licensed fire department. I had begun to suspect as much, so I sent the state guy email today and he called and we discussed. It is sort of okay for me to provide care as a member of the fire department under the extended auspices of my ambulance squad, but sort of not, considering that the department and squad serve separate towns. So the upshot of the deal is that I will probably be joining yet another emergency service department, number four, in order to remove the ambiguity. When I go on medical calls for the fire department, I will be functioning as a member of the new squad. The new squad is a professional service, so I think that means I will get paid for medical calls in town. Anyway, I will be going over to work out the details with the new squad next week. They have already seen me in action with the fire department, and the guy that runs the squad seemed pretty positive about me joining when I spoke with him on the phone today. It also means that I will start having some quality improvement feedback on my calls, which is a service that I have wished for.
Today I was driving to my client's office and saw a teenager get tackled onto the pavement by another teenager. I saw the kid's head bounce on the road, so I pulled over. The attacker got up and ran off, and I quickly assessed the kid. He had nothing immediately life-threatening, but he needed to be looked at for the possibility of closed head injury. I called out the local ambulance on my handy-dandy radio (much faster than 911), then hung out and answered questions from the cops. It was pretty disturbing, but I was glad I happened to be there.