Posted by: medicblog999 | August 27, 2009

‘The Handover’ – Edition 7


Well, here we are again!

Welcome one and all to another edition of ‘The Handover’, the biggest blog carnival for EMS and E.R related blogs in the whole entire blogosphere!!

Its been an interesting 7 months since the first ever edition, but over that time, this carnival has grown from strength to strength, and continues to add new bloggers to its contributors month after month.

This edition has the theme of ‘The First Emergency’ and its all because of one of my readers ‘janiegotagun’ who asked me a question back on June 12th about what my first emergency was like, and how it made me feel. That resulted in my post ‘To share the fear’, but it also made me wonder what it was like for all of my blogger friends out there. What followed was me abusing my power as the administrator of ‘The Handover’, so that I could ask the same question to all of you.

So without further ado….Shall we begin?

1_A_E_Ambulance2Ben over at The Insomniacs guide to Ambulances shares his story of his first call and the strange twist of fate that made it even more memorable than the actual job itself:

“I was told that you never forget your first job. I never expected it to be so true, on so many levels”

boy_scoutsNext, we move to CK who writes the blog ‘Life under the lights’. CK`s first real emergency happened before he was even in EMS, but it help shape him into the Paramedic he is today. Its a moving and thought provoking story:

“I was giving the breaths without a barrier device. He was throwing up”

stolen_mobile_handOnwards to Flobach at “Flobach Republic”. Flobach takes a different route with his memories. This time he tells us about the first time he needed emergency help, and then shares the twist at the end of the story too:

“my mind and body are free to work again, without the fear of knives being produced”

11778Moving along to Crusty Ambulance Driver. Crusty tells us about an experience which I am sure is common to all health care providers (although maybe not in this exact setting). Ive been there and said the same things…..have you?

“Not that I doubt you…I’m just trying to learn…but, how can you tell he’s dead?”

LaryngoscopeRapid Response Doc, tells us about the first time he ever had to deal with a critical patient beyond the realms of his Accident and Emergency department and the joy involved in managing a particularly difficult airway :

“I go to open her mouth, only to find it wont open! She has a severely fractured lower jaw, and it is not going to move for me. Oh BUM!!”

cprMy frequent partner in crime, The Happy Medic describes his first ride along with an ‘actual fire crew’ and then the first time he was involved in a medical call. Its great to see an arrest call through the eyes of a ‘wide eyed’ 16 yr old child!:

“We cut open the man’s shirt and began CPR. I had only received my CPR card a few weeks prior and was scared I would do it wrong”

As always, Steve over at the EMT spot tells us a story about his first cardiac arrest patient, 20 years ago, but at the same time, educates us in to how we can be better at what we do. He shares some important and sometimes obvious learning points that we should all do, but sometimes forget in the heat of a big job. Wouldn’t it be great if we could arrange for all new student paramedics/EMTs to shadow a partner who truly has things to teach!:

“Phil walked in and did something I never expected……He smiled!”

pintRogue Medic`s blog has always been the place to go to read some ‘proper’ academic style posts on issues surrounding and involving EMS. He always has an interesting viewpoint and he is never afraid to say what he really thinks. However, for ‘The Handover’ he has moved into a more personal piece of writing and describes his first shift on an ambulance and the first lesson given by a colleague (although he still gets a couple of references in 🙂 )

“That’s all you need to know. Alcohol is all we do. All night. Every night”

i06376AlbinoBlackBear from Asystole is the most Stable Rhythm was already and experienced ER nurse when she moved to a very remote nursing station in the Canadian Arctic. In this post, she tells us about the first ‘real’ emergency she had to deal with outside the comfort zone of a traditional fully staffed and equipped ER:

“he is going to crash. He is going to crash and we have no electricity to do anything”

pulsating_sc_jet_shower_head1239147422Michael Morse from Rescuing Providence, tells us the tale of the first time he was in charge of a Fire Department Vehicle and the chaos that followed from an innocent question from one colleague to another:

“I need a shower, think I have time?”
“What’s the worst that could happen,” I answered

20lb Extin

Next we have a family affair.. Mack from Notes from Mosquito Hill shows the difficulty in actually picking your ‘first emergency’ to share. He has so many firsts, as well all do, but he finally focuses on his first fire – except this time it was on the same day he joined his fire department, but before he was actually on duty:

“The engine company inspected our work, evacuated the smoke, condemned our smoke machine, and stomped out”


Then we follow up with a guest post on his blog from his Sister, Rescue82. She is already an nurse in a trauma centre and a volunteer paramedic. However, she decided that wasn’t enough, and so describes her first fire as a firefighter:

“Great” I think, “what stupid thing have I done before I even got out of the truck?”

Commtech_Wireless_4130_PagerOnwards to Bernice from ‘I Just Call It As I See It’. Bernice remembers the feeling of the first time the pager went off, and then as luck/fate would have it, also her first cardiac arrest :

“My heart dropped to my feet to the beat of a million a minute. Cold sweat stung my forehead and the pinch of anxiety knotted my stomach”

trashtimeDani, who writes Sneakers, Scrubs and Sleepless nights, reminds us all that some of the most important lessons to learn early on are not always the all singing, all dancing ‘big jobs’.Sometimes it is the truth that is found in the situation which gives us all the clues that we need :

“Welcome to the game kid, get used to alot of this.”


Walt, the author of Life in Manch Vegas describes two jobs 9 years apart. The first is his first cardiac arrest, the next is his first cardiac arrest as a newly qualified paramedic. Was there any difference ?:

“come on new guy – this is how you learn. Now get in there.”

A&E Door SignLumo, from My life in A&E tells us how she felt when she had to deal with her first cardiac arrest as a new Health Care Assistant. The way she describes it reminds me so much of the first time I was involved in an arrest in A&E as a student nurse in 1993 :

“Do you understand why we stopped?”

Seat_Belt_Extention Just Me at ‘Just me, Just my Blog’ has a couple of tips to share after attending his first ever emergency:

“there is no way a person could have climbed out of such a vehicle”

pure-adrenaline-rushAnd last but most certainly not least, we have a tale from Aled, a member of a UK Mountain Rescue team (a quick side note… you gotta love his sub title to the blog – “Do mountains need rescuing that often?”) who describes his two big firsts. His first emergency call as a community first responder and secondly his first cardiac arrest. He very quickly learns that all that adrenaline needs somewhere to go after answering his first ever call:

“So you’ve had the sore throat for 3 days, and it’s hurting when you swallow…”

Phew…….that’s it folks!

The end of another edition.

I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed reading all of the submissions.

My thanks go out to all who have submitted posts, and who have supported the carnival. Without you guys it wouldn’t even be here.

If you have enjoyed what you have read and you have a blog, please consider writing a short post telling your readers about it, so that the family can grow even bigger and we can all find new bloggers out there who want to share their stories.

Next month the carnival moves over to Ckemtp at ‘Life Under the Lights’  His theme is “Funniest. Call. Ever.” Click here to go to his post telling you all what it is all about.  He will take submissions emailed to him at, with a deadline of Monday 21st September for a publication date of Friday 25th of September.

We have been having some interesting email discussions, and I think he is planning something just a little bit different. Should be interesting!!

For further information on either hosting or submitting posts for future editions you can also click here for the home of ‘The Handover’

Thanks again Folks!!



  1. Fantastic!

  2. Mark,
    Another great collection! Thanks for adding me to it too! It’s helped pass another night shift…. 🙂

  3. Absolutely awesome collection of stories.

  4. Well done as always, sir!

  5. Howdy,
    Great job with the post! Thanks for including my submission…reminds me to keep writing. 🙂 Cheers.

  6. […] Handover EMS Blog Carnival has published its latest edition themed around The First Emergency and its being hosted by Carnival Founder Medic999. While I can personally relate to CK’s […]

  7. […] those who dont know what this carnival is about, imagine ‘ The Handover’ but just alot bigger and open to ALL medical bloggers from every speciality out […]

  8. […] been a busy couple of weeks with hosting our very own EMS/ER carnival ‘The Handover’, then Grand Rounds, so I thought why not round it off with Change of […]

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