Monday, December 28, 2009

Friendly Skies

Fallout from the Christmas Day underwear bomber:
NY Times -- A businessman ... said he was shocked to have a female flight attendant barge in on him in the restroom while he was washing his face during a flight from Seoul. "It was kind of weird, to have a lady try to get in," he said. "She said that they had to watch people being in the restroom too long."
Lesson: Don't get constipated on an international flight.

Maybe they should just ban loo visits altogether. Fun facts:
"Many of the ingredients for explosive mixtures, such as potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate and phosphorus, were originally manufactured from putrefied urine." --
"The process of making gunpowder ... Saltpeter was originally extracted by mixing barnyard wastes, the soil under privies, or bat guano." --
Another incident:
CNN -- On August 28, the Saudi Arabian deputy minister of interior, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, survived a bombing attack ... The would-be assassin ... concealed the bomb... in his underwear.
 Actually, it wasn't the underwear, exactly. It's said he got through security because he had it in his rectum.

(The Friendly Skies are about to get a whole lot friendlier.)

Here's what the "Skating on Stilts" blog had to say about that:
How did the terrorist manage to set off the explosives? Well, he was allowed to call Yemen just before the explosion, so it seems likely that his accomplices in that country used a cell phone as a detonator.

Yes, it's true. Al Qaeda is now reduced to making booty calls.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Blue Xmas

Crap. There's a callout for a missing 11-year old girl in Salisbury. It's only 2.5 hours away, but we send a minimum of 2 people, and no one else has stepped up. Most of our members are students, and probably home for winter break.

Right now, it's 28 degrees there -- 19 with wind chill -- and it'll be colder tonight, and raining all day tomorrow. Not a good time to be lost.

Update, 12:35 pm
Double crap. This might be a cadaver search.
Sex Offender Charged in Kidnapping of Md. Girl, Authorities Say

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One Flu Over the EMS

Y'ever notice how many things are described as having "flu-like symptoms"? lists 129 medications that can have flu-like side-effects, and (once I filtered out the duplicates and minor variations), 58 different maladies, including:
Bowel Bypass Syndrome
Cat Scratch Fever
Fire ant bite
Food poisoning
Hodgkin's Disease
Legionnaires' Disease
Lyme Disease
Metal Fume Fever
Sandfly Fever
Slap-Cheek Syndrome
Systemic Capillary Leak Syndrome
Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis
So don't worry if you get swine or bird flu symptoms: it might be something totally different.

In any case, that's background for the following news story from the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS):
LOWELL, MA, Dec. 7 - Expect discussion by the City Council Tuesday night regarding a policy ... under [which] dispatchers have stopped sending firefighters to medical calls where flu might be present ... [Fire Chief Edward] Pitta said he does not want firefighters compromising their health by responding to 911 medical calls for flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath associated with flu, and sore chest associated with cough."
But what if it's Slap-Cheek Syndrome?