Back again…

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So after a long hiatus I am back yet again. I am sorry for the long break. School will do that to you. I decided to try and get some pleasure writing in while I am on Spring Break. A little bit about what is going on in the family, and such. All in all we have been alright at home. A few health problems, but fortunately, knock on wood this winter health wise actually has been mild. The boys haven’t been as sick as they have been in the past. I attribute that to the fact we are home schooling them. It is hard to contract yuckies when you are around only three other people. Speaking of home schooling the boys are rocking it. They are flourishing in the classroom/kitchen. No actually it is awesome. The world is the classroom, and we are using it to its fullest potential. 

That pretty much sums it up. 

ImageWe are also becoming more health conscious in our family. After a few scares with prescriptions medications, we have officially decided that unless our lives hang in the balance we are not taking them anymore. Mother Nature and the good Lord have provided us with enough medications that we don’t need stuff made in a factory. We are also becoming more conscious of the foods we are putting in our bodies as well. We are actually gearing up at our second attempt at a garden. The first attempt didn’t go so hot, so after doing some homework I do believe we are gonna do it right this time. I have also adopted some new eating practices, if God didn’t put it on the Earth I am not going to put it in my body.  Basically that stuff fast food places try to pass off as food I am trying like the dickens to be done with, and same thing with meats that have been injected with hormones and 

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steroids in order to make them bigger. We are also attempting to do our garden all organic, and if we can’t get it 100% the first year we are going to strive to get it there ASAP.  I am hoping that along with my changed eating practices and working in the gardens this summer I will also lose some of this Owen Corning I have accumulated.

I am hoping to check back once a week and let you see the progress we are making on our little garden. 

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Alone

Alone he sits on his island, years of pain rushing in all at once. How many times had he tried to tell them? How many ways did he cry out for help? The physical abuse hurts, but the verbal kills him inside. Physical scars heal, emotional never do. He closes his eyes, images of his taunters come flooding in. As tears roll down his face he thinks about all those that were actually nice to him. Always there with kind words, always there to lift him up. He wishes he could do more for them, but the pain is too great. He thinks of his family, he knows they love him, life will be better for them. It may be hard to fathom now, but they will get used to the idea. He thinks back to all the people he told of his problems. Why didn’t they listen? He digs deep down into his soul, but all he can find is darkness. Darkness seems to be all he can find. His path in life is clouded with darkness. No matter how hard he searches for light it seems to evade him. Drowning in his emotions he makes up his mind. With one last breath, he enters into eternal darkness.

 

September 10th is Suicide Prevention day. This year it rings especially close to home as a young boy in our area took his life over the weekend. While the reasoning may never fully be known, speculation is blaming bullying. Take the time today to speak with your children about bullying. Tell them to never give up if they are bullied. Tell them to seek help until help is found. Tell them that it is never okay to be a bully. Every human being on this earth is special in their own way. They all serve a purpose. We need to support each other, help each other, uplift each other.

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Farewell and Thanks For The Memories.

Once in a while someone comes into your life that makes such a tremendous impact that your life is forever changed. I was lucky enough to have met that person. Captain Michael “Mouse” Burgan came into my life just 2 years and some odd months ago. While some may say that is all, for me that short time frame will have a forever impact on how I will live the rest of my life. His accomplishments are numerous so many that I will not try to list them all, but his most important were father, brother, son, fiancee and  most importantly, for me, was friend. No matter the day, no matter the hour if he was needed he was there. Mouse was only one phone call away and everyone knew it. Mouse also loved to laugh, and his laugh was infectious usually bringing the whole room to tears laughing right along with him. And yet when the time came and work needed to be done he would become Mr. Serious, until the work was done. He had a life that gave him more then his fair share of hardship, such as becoming a single father at a young age, a role that he undertook and perfected. And because of these hardships as one would expect he developed a rough and tough exterior. But underneath he was a caring and compassionate man. This was a side however he did not let onto readily and he was very guarded as to who he showed it too. Mouse did find true love again, and no matter how hard he tried to keep up the facade of roughness around the “guys”, we could tell. The look in his eyes was different, and the smile on his face was bigger. Along with that love came a whole new addition to his family, and he gave them the same unwaivering faithfulness that he gave to the rest of his family. In the last few days I was blessed to be able to hear stories that showed just how great his love was, and how far it went. All was becoming right in the world for Mouse so much so that they became engaged three weeks ago.

Mouse was a full time volunteer firefighter who also held a part time job as a farmer. I don’t know how many times he would sit at the station and elude to his farming duties that he was supposed to do until the pager went off. And he was fine with that. For his true joy in life was helping others in their most dire time of need. And as a result he aimed to be the best he could be in the fire service. Which is why I feel he was the logical choice for Captain in the Chief’s eyes. As an officer he was meticulous in his thinking, and logistical in his actions. He never over evaluated a situation nor did he ever under evaluate either. He always knew just what to do and when to do it. As a fire department we valued his leadership and looked to him for guidance when things got rough. Mouse taught me my first lesson on scene safety as a newbie EMT, always know where the bull is hiding before running like a hero into the barn.

Mouse never did things halfway, it was all the way or don’t do it all. He lived his life to the fullest and knew how to the make most out of every minute of his life. Tragically his life was cut short at 46 years young. And while I mourn the loss of such a wonderful man, I also celebrate because I know that he passed away having lived the fulfilled life that he wanted. And I am grateful that I was able to be apart of that life for the 2 years and 9 months I knew him. And my only hope is that I can take the great examples he set and incorporate them into my life. Captain Michael “Mouse” Burgan I bid you farewell for now, and I thank you for all the memories.

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At least we have a cuckoo clock.

Well last week was election day, and while I am happy to say that Issue 2 failed with flying colors, other aspects have left me with an ever infinite Why? in my head. What has become of our voting system when we put personal feelings in front of the betterment of the community? Our community has a lot of wonderful things in it, but at the same time it is also in need of some repair. We have streets that are closed due to the fact they are falling apart. We have water lines that are rusting and in need of major repair. And yet the major issue of this election has been a cuckoo clock. I do believe that the cuckoo clock will be a welcome addition to this community, but I also believe that there are matters that pose a more pressing importance to this community. How are people supposed to visit said cuckoo clock if the roads they need to travel are in disrepair, or there are sinkholes in the road from water main break after water main break? I probably wouldn’t be worried about this if those candidates that have been elected hadn’t made this there main political platform. While those that lost the election actually made their platform addressing the issues that are plaguing the village. Unfortunately though the voters of our community decided to let personal vendettas and grudges get in the way of what really matters to this community. Yes citizens of Sugarcreek get ready because a dark day of community politics is headed our direction. Oh well, At least we have a cuckoo clock.

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Why Me Mommy?

He comes home from school, he knows his parents can see the pain in his eyes as he holds back the tears. Quietly he goes into his room and sits on his bed with his head in his hands. He reflects back on the days events, and all the pain he felt. He desperatley wants to know why? Why don’t they like him? He knows he is different. He knows that he can never fully be like them, and it hurts him to know that. The physical pain they inflict hurts, but its the words that kill him inside. Why do they say those things? Don’t they know he just wants to be friends? He just can’t understand and he probably will never understand. Mommy and Daddy try to help him, but they aren’t there to hear it and feel it. And besides no matter what they do to stop it nothing changes. His teachers don’t seem to care, in fact some even do it too. That pain is the worst pain he has ever felt.  You are supposed to trust your teachers, they are supposed to make you feel better,and yet some treat him like the kids do. Someday maybe this will all make sense, maybe someday it will. But until then he will go to school with a tear in his eyes, and a pain in his heart to face another day of bullying.

This scenario plays out everyday all over the country, from the big cities to the rural communities. In fact 1 in 4 students are bullied at school. Studies show that 77% of students have experienced being bullied either mentally, verbally, or physically. Every 7 minutes a child is bullied at school. And during those bullying time only 4% will recieve adult intervention, 11% will receive peer intervention, and 85% will not receive any intervention at all. Bullying generally starts in elementary school and increasingly worsens as they progress through the grades. In fact 74% of 8-11 year olds stated that teasing and bullying occur at their schools. 160,000 students say they stay home from school just to avoid being bullied. These numbers are astonishing and that is just peer to peer.

Stay tuned for more….

~Creek Medic

Please re-post this so that everyone can see these staggering numbers.

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Where did that come from?

When entering a burning structure time is of the essence. In a regular run of the mill fire all will go well. But there are sometimes that we have speed bumps that get in the way. Most are due in part to things that go wrong in the operation, equipment malfunction, water supply problems and personnel shortage, which are things that we can prevent. But what if those things are out of our hands? What if they were speed bumps that were placed way before the emergency ever panned out? I am talking about building errors that happened during the construction of the building. Can we as a department have prevented them? Before we can discuss the prevention we need to take a look at the problem. I have found some examples of what I am talking about:

It appears that someone forgot to add a balcony or stairs to the other side of this door. While performing a search of rooms, do you take the time to feel the floor before entering a new room through a doorway? This has uh oh written all over.

While not as dramatic of a drop, this still is enough to leave a mark and a few days off.

While I am not in the construction industry, in fact the best thing I ever built was a table for my sons trains to run on, I am pretty sure that those floor joists are supposed to actually be seated all the way down. Also I think maybe just maybe they should have some sort of anchoring system in place to keep them there. While sounding the floor to check for stability is a must, I don’t think that would help very much in this situation. With the already existent floor load from household furnishings bearing weight on these what do you think the added weight of two firemen in full gear and a charged hose line would do?

If you were descending these stair in smoke filled conditions would you even think of the fact that  there may just be a wall at the bottom. This is why feeling while crawling becomes so important. If you were to run into this during fire conditions would it disorient you?

What about ascending?

When in a commercial operation, malls and stores, some have a second story. When finding the escalator and climbing would you think that you would find this?

Not all building flaws are found inside either. Outside is just as important. With outdoor operations you wouldn’t think that there could be any speed bumps pretty clear cut and forward. But yet again I have examples of how you should always be on top of your game:

When deploying resources to do interior attacks and searches during heavy smoke conditions would you want to ladder the lower balcony? Or would you just assume that there was a door there and deploy?

When confronted with outdoor steps would you step back and evaluate the entire set of stairs or would you charge full speed ahead?

When planning two forms of egress off of a roof would you see the step and plan on those as one? Once again take the time to step back and evaluate the entire picture rather then relying on tunnel vision.

When determining apparatus placement do you take the time to look at all angles of your parking spot? While from the front this grade may not look steep from the side you can definitley see that there is a problem.

Even when not operating on a fire ground scene we need to take time to evaluate surroundings. Does it look like these lines can handle the weight load that is placed on them?

Not all flaws are due to builder error though. Homeowners have a strange habit of doing weird things to their homes in order to make or save money:

Here we have a resteraunt which someone  had decided to open up in their home. By doing so they added elements to a residential based operation that we usually reserve for commercial based attacks.

Here we have a homeowner who decided that their hot water heater was an eye sore in the home, so they moved it to the backyard.

Here we have a built in grease trap that someone set into the ground. If you were operating onthe scene and stepped into it then entered the structure that is involved, what do you think the outcome would be?

And finally here we have someone that didn’t feel the need to cut down the tree that was growing out of their basement. This adds a whole new dimension to a collapse zone in the event of a fire.

So how are these speed bumps preventable? Yes they are. This is why as a department inspections are key. While some of these are impossible to inspect, as in the residential problems, there are ways to do a brief inspection upon arrival of an incident. We do it everyday, in fact they preach it everyday in the classrooms training the future of the service. Gloves On, Scene Safe…. are words muttered by students all over the country. When exiting the apparatus a size up or inspection needs to be done. Be aware of visual clues that may be seen. Ask the homeowner, I am oretty sure they would be able to tell you they have a tree sticking out of their basement. On the commercial side while building are being constructed drive past them occasionally look at how they are being erected. Ask the contractor if your department can do a walk through, I don’t think many of them will turn you away. Unless there are shady things going on behind newly constructed walls. Granted most of these pictures are not from the US, because we do have stricter building codes, but the speed bumps are always there no matter how big or small. Always be aware of your surroundings.

~Creek Medic

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SB 5 The Ticking Time Bomb

Senate Bill 5 is now in the hands of the voters and the opposition is gaining steam in reaching the voters. All those that are going to be affected by this need to be diligent in spreading the word to everyone who is a registered voter in the state. Along with encouraging them to get out and vote, and throw another word in to have them spread the word to their friends.

Now that I have gotten my PSA on voting out of the way let me delve into the title of this post. Why am I calling Senate Bill 5 a time bomb? It is due to the fact that if passed it will blow up in the faces of our elected officials. When I don’t know, but eventually it will. How you may ask yourself…. well let me elaborate a bit into how I see it happening.

On the fire side of things gone, are the days when you would throw on a knee length coat and rubber knee boots and run into builings with no airpack. Over the years the fire service has come to realize that those practices needed to be revamped. When firefighters were wearing that style of safety gear the injury and death rates were very high, so Firefighters began looking into new ways to be safe. Behold the advent of todays turnout gear and SCBA gear. Granted there is still injury and death, but the numbers have gone down. Another old fashioned practice we have strayed away from is riding on the tailboard of

the fire trucks. As you can see from the picture safety wasn’t exactly there in fact ask any of the old timers in the fire service and they all probably have a story about some close call of one sort or another. Why am I bringing this up? Because our safety is one thing being thrown out the window in Senate Bill 5. We are losing our ability to bargain for it during contract talks. What does that have to do with a time bomb? Eventually nobody is going to want to take on the task of being a firefighter, why because we have taken great strides in protecting our people and now they want us to back peddle and place our safety on the back burner. I know there may be someone out there that is willing to take that risk, but I for one kind of enjoy the feeling of knowing that I have gear, and an airpack that will protect me if the fecal matter hits the rotating air circulating device. So I personally believe that with safety matters falling by the wayside that firefighters are going to find themselves another line of work.

As far as law enforcement is concerned we need to face the fact that the days of Barney Fife are long gone. No longer are our police officers patrolling the streets looking for parking violations, and speeders. Now they have to face drug dealers, street thugs, and crazed maniacs aimed at killing anything with a badge. What do those officers who are out there facing these hazards rely on? Bullet proof vests. But wait a minute,they are not allowed to bargain for those either. So once again, refering back, what person in their right mind is going to say “Yeah sign me up for that!” I just can’t imagine a world without police officers, if you can then please go ahead vote for Senate Bill 5.

When it comes to the educators in our state, gone are the days of small intimate classrooms. Instead teachers are forced to have more and more students placed in their classrooms. One way they can put a limit on  this is by bargaining their classroom size. But once again bargaining has been taken away. So instead more and more teachers will leave the classroom and take on jobs elsewhere, thereby increasing classroom sizes to the point where eduation becomes corporate rather then individualized. And I being the parent of a student who needs more one on one time for his educatin do not want to see that. Why? Because he will be shoved in the cracks left to fend for himself. Yes, Kellie and I can try to do our best at home to help him, but he needs attention from his teachers as well.

So to recap todays blog post:

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So there you have it, once again this is just my opinion of what coud happen. I hope we don’t have to find out either. I know the fire portion was considerably longer then the rest, but its what I know so I can delve a little bit deeper in it.If any teachers or police officers would like to write something up I will be more then happy to post it on here thanks and as always Vote No on Senate Bill 5.

Also I have a favor if you like this post please repost it on your facebook page. The same goes for any of my posts. If you look at the bottom of the post there is a facebook button click on it and the wonder of technology will do the rest. Thanks.

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