Apr 23, 2010

Brain Dump

A few things rattling around in my head.

At our fire department banquet this winter, a lifesaver certificate was presented to several members on behalf of an AED manufacturer. They had a save last year - a legitimate save, not a clinical save, in that the patient has resumed a normal life. Bystander CPR and an AED on the squad saved this guy.

The certificate they received is framed and hung on the station wall. It's a piece of paper and has a manufacturer's logo prominently emblazoned on it. What's worth more to those firefighters is the handshake of the guy they saved.

The AHA and ARC keep trying to decide what the "best" CPR is. 5:1, 10:2, 5:2, 15:2, 30:2, compressions only, etc etc etc. I think I've seen all those ratios go by in the nearly twenty years I've known CPR. (Dad was an instructor and taught it to me when I was about ten. I couldn't be certified but I knew how to do it.)

"Certified" is nonsense. The exact ratios are nonsense. Knowing how to do effective chest compressions (and rescue breathing if you are so inclined), plus early defibrillation is what saves lives. Take a class once. Even if your card expires, the knowledge doesn't, and could save a life.

I've had to do real-live (real-dead?) compressions once, and have played go-fer on more than a few others. It's not fun. It's not exciting. There is no dramatic music playing in the background as William Shatner narrates. You will feel ribs cracking under your palms. Your patient may well vomit on you. That's reality - but reality isn't often pretty.

Find a class nearby and sign up. It's usually free, many fire departments and sometimes churches will host the class. If you can't find something nearby online, call your local American Red Cross chapter and ask. Plan on giving up a couple weeknights or a Saturday. I think the current CPR class is 4-6 hours. Add in First Aid for good measure and go to 10 hours.

Isn't it worth it to save a life?


I re-organized my reloading cabinet today. I need to set aside some money and make an order from somewhere. Brass and bullets mostly. Need to stop by the local reloading shop and get a few more pounds of powder. Another pound each of 2400, H4831, TrueBlue (keg?), a jar of TrailBoss, and need to look into good powders for full-house .44Mag and .30-30Win loads.

I've got more primers than I thought, nearly 10,000 total. Small and large pistol, small and large rifle, and a thousand of small pistol magnum match that I snagged during the worst of the shortage and have yet to develop a load for.


While doing the reloading cabinet, I worked my way down the row and checked the ammo cabinets... and smiled to myself. I continue to be amused when the media breathlessly announces an "arsenal" of three guns and "thousands" of rounds of ammo. It is inevitably a 10/22, a pump-action shotgun, and a low-end centerfire rifle in .30-06, plus a half-dozen bricks of .22, a flat of trap/pheasant/duck loads, and a few boxes of Remington CoreLokt 180gr hunting ammo. I smile because I see that, and the only thing that comes to mind is, "Pikers."

Also, if you Google the definition of "arsenal", you will find that it is generally a whole building, usually government-owned, and three Fudd guns with a few boxes of ammo probably doesn't count. (If you search only on the word "arsenal" you are greeted with LOTS of information about an English football club.)


Working night shifts has SEVERELY cut into my range time. I've got TWO new-to-me guns that have yet to go bang, and I'm itching to ping steel with the rifles (and pistols?) again.


Need to find a new doctor. My primary care doc retired last year, and I haven't been troubled to find a new one yet. The fire department requires and provides an annual physical that covers the basics, and refers you to your own doctor if anything unusual comes up. Nothing has. However, I'm starting to show minor symptoms (fatigue, cold, unable to lose weight, etc) of a hypothyroid condition (Hashimoto's Thyroiditis) that was diagnosed and asymptomatic when I was twelve or thirteen, and it should be checked up on and treated if necessary.


I think that covers it for the day...

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