Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Los Angeles City "Fire Station 9" Trailer

From what I understand, this is a trailer for a possible TV series

Fire Station 9 in downtown LA is the busiest fire house in the country.
They rarely fight fires. This is their story.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why Are We Always Looking For A Bargain With EMS?

With the turmoil EMS is in in the Hudson Valley region, it seems more and more elected officials want to seek out the best bargain they can when it comes to providing EMS, meanwhile, the companies that provide it continue to bleed cash and barely stay alive.

So, why is it that these communities are always looking to get a bargain for such a critical, life saving service? I'm sure these same elected officials don't care about how gluttonous some fire departments are, or how much money their DPW is losing them.

Although EMS is the new kid on the block, we stand shoulder to shoulder with Firefighters and Police Officers. Nobody would ever suggest contracting out for Fire or Police or even DPW, yet even get away with doing it.

I blame ourselves. I don't think EMS does anything proactively, like community education as to what we do. Nor do I think EMS makes a good enough case to justify to the elected officials that we're neccasary. I really think some elected officials truly think it's just a ride to the hospital.

Although there are excellent private companies that provide superior EMS, I don't feel EMS should be provided by for-profit companies. I also don't think that "BLS Interfacility Transports" should be considered Emergency Medical Services. All this does is blur the line for us.

Take Yonkers for example. There's no reason why they can't provide EMS that sets an example and a standard, just like their Fire and Police Departments do. Also, look at Port Chester-Rye-Rye Brook EMS. They cover 3 muncipalties with fully staffed, ALS ambulances. They've progressively grown from a volunteer agency to one of the premier, self sufficient, independent agency EMS systems in Westchester County- pehaps the only one. Also, look at other area systems like Stamford or Greenwich EMS. There's a number of different ways to do things, and it's time we bring EMS to the next level NOW instead of dragging it there. Lives are at stake, yet some people think it's their egos that are.

EMS needs to start coming together as a whole, demanding that EMS is provided by the muncipality directly as it's own department, staffed with either full-time civil service employees, or volunteers, or both. Although there may not be enough call volume in some muncipalities to warrant this, there's no reason why communities can't come together to form "EMS Districts", like we have sewer and fire districts.

How come communties don't contract out their DPW? It would seem that it could be done better and cheaper by private contractors, right? (sarcasm)

Maybe we should take a look at the pensions and benefits some of these elected officials get for only a couple of hours of work each week. Maybe we could get money from there?
We live in one of the wealthiest, fastest growing areas of the nation. Compared to other similar parts of the nation, even communities inferior to us, that have EMS, looking comparitevly, EMS around here is a real shame. It's pathetic.

Also, the ego-driven fragmentation of EMS in this area doesn't help things.

In a future post, I'll detail how EMS is provided in some other similar parts of the country, including Los Angeles City Fire Department, where EVERY community has an ambulance, and Los Angeles County Fire Department, who's hybrid Firefighter-Paramedic ALS system, and Private Transport service collaboration makes us look pathetic. The West coast, heck, even poorer parts of the South and Midwest, makes us look lights years behind.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Stone Sour At The Chance Theatre Poughkeepsie

This past Friday evening, Kris and I attened the Stone Sour concert at The Chance Theatre in Poughkeepsie. This was Kris's first metal concert.

First, the venue was awesome. It's a small theatre, so you're close to the band no matter where you are. A little run down and old, but it serves its purpose. It was also reassuring to see Poughkeepsie's Bravest come in to do an exit checks and a quick fire safety and occupancy check, especially with the crowd and age of the building.

The opening band, Human X, hails from Poughkeepsie and were awesome. I just ordered their CD from CD Baby, which is an awesome website for ordering unsigned bands or smaller labels. Maybe in the future I'll catch one of their live shows, since we came in halfway through their set and it was great enough for me to buy the CD.

The second band to take the stage was Dirty Little Rabbits, hailing from Johnston City, Iowa. I'll say they were very interesting, and leave it at that.

The next band to take the stage, Sydonia, hailed from Australlia and were unique and awesome. The bass and guitar players joined the drummer, with all three playing the drumset at once, which was awesome. Their beat thundered through the theatre, and I'm sure that people in East Fishkill could hear!

Finally, Corey Taylor and Stone Sour took the stage. (Corey Taylor is also the lead singer for the band Slipknot). They were absolutely amazing. I had listened to Stone Sour before, but was never really into them until seeing them open for Disturbed during the Music As A Weapon III Tour at the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst last November. Their performance their was awesome, the lead vocals, Corey Taylor, puts on an awesome live performance, is great at engaging the crowd, and is just a insanely talented performer who's songs actually have meaning. This was my second time seeing him live, and he delivered big time. They played an awesome set, the entire "Come Whatever May" album in order from start to finish. For an encore, they came on an played a few songs from the debut alblum, "Stone Sour". Extremly awesome performance. They brought down the house and then some.

Although they are a heavy, Grammy nominated metal band, they do have a mainstream hit that was #1 on the Billboard charts for 7 weeks in a row, "Through Glass"

You can listen to some of their tracks on their website or on their MySpace page.

The only dissapointment was that I won meet and greet passses, but no one knew anything about a meet and greet, so I missed that.

Corey left the stage with the message "Take Care Of Yourselves, Take Care Of Each Other, And Bring Our Troops Home! He's very much a rock star with intelligence and class.

Yes, I am made of scars. And my innocent wife is a budding, closet metal fan, despite the fact she'll deny it (Her favorite SS song was "Socio") Can't wait to take her to a Disturbed concert when they hit the road again. Also can't wait until Corey Taylor comes through the area again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nathan's In Yonkers May Close!!

According to an article in today's "Journal News" (8-15-07), they imply that the Nathan's on Central Ave. & Cristfield St. in Yonkers (the third Nathans store ever and the perfect place for a Post 13 10-27) may close because of the valuable real estate it sits on. It's a 100,00 sqaure feet hot dog stand, basically. With a locally-famous arcade.

Here's a snippet:
It's the third Nathan's in history. It's a landmark in Yonkers. It's one of
the biggest hot-dog stands in the world. And it's one of the last tastes of a
time when anyone would even think about building a frankfurter emporium - let
alone build it.

Still, 10,000 prime square feet are a lot for a latter-day food court,
and there's serious talk of putting them to more cost-effective use.

In short, the historic emporium will eventually be history. But even
when the building goes, Nathan's reportedly will stay.

"We've been here for a long time, and we intend to be here for a much
longer time," says Bruce Miller, a director of operations. "We're determined to
stay in Yonkers. It may not be in this location, but it will be in this

And a link to the main article:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Call 911 Immediately If You See An Illegal Gun

The following is a letter to the editor I sent to The Journal News:

In August 13th's edition of "The Journal News", you quoted Whamon Pedrow as
saying "If you see a guy walking around with a gun, put a quarter in the phone,"
he said. "Do it anonymously."

Readers should know that they shouldn't
even have to worry about the quarter, they should just immediately find a phone
and call 911. You can remain anonymous. Make sure you give the police dispatcher
as many details as possible, like the description of the person and what he/she
is wearing, and anything else you notice.

A trivial argument on a hot
summer's night can quickly turn deadly when someone has a firearm and
impulsively uses it. Even if you don't think the person is planning on using the
weapon, still call 911 immediately, as someone walking around with a illegal gun
is a loose cannon- and you could be the next victim.

-Seth ********
Hartsdale (Greenburgh)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Gas Prices: What's Up?

OK, Gas prices have gone insane, officially, I'm convinced.

Here's my survey based on recent fillups or observations within the past week:

Hartsdale, NY Sunoco Downtown $3.17

Exxon down the street from above: $3.02

Shell, in Hartsdale: $3.29

Garden State Parkway, NJ: $2.73

Danbury, CT Shell Mill Plain Rd.: $2.99

Danbury, CT Sunoco Mill Plain Road: $3.17

Mount Kisco: $3.28

Yorktown: $3.11

Now, keep in mind all gas stations priced above are name brands, in commercial areas with high traffic. What's with the extreme differences in price???? How can gas vary in prices so much in one town? It's ridiculous, and something's not right. But, regardless, it seems gas prices are coming down, hopefully they'll get back under $3.00 a gallon soon in NY. And, hopefully when Bush and Cheney depart the White House, we'll see prices fall even more, since hopefully the new leadership won't have a vested interest in oil companies making money.

I would say that increased fuel prices would be beneficial, because it would encourage people to use less. Instead, the middle and wealthy classes don't seem to be that phased by it, and the poor suffer even more.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Putnam County Legislature Takes Away Lifesaving Service From Its Citizens

As some of you may know, the Putnam County Board Of Legislators has decided that it cannot afford the increased cost of providing Advanced Life Support (Paramedics) to it's citizens.

Empire State Ambulance has been providing ALS for the county under contract, as well as some BLS ambulances, for about a year now. It is a money losing operation, and they have chosen to opt-out of their contract effective October 1st. What does that mean? That the rural Putnam County will be without professionals who's critical medical interventions can spell life or death for victims of illness or injury.

Things can pan out in a number of ways. Pressure from Emergency Services agencies and citizens could push the legislature to increase funding. The indvidual muncipalties could hire their own ALS. They could steal ALS from other neighboring communties. Or, Putnam County could take a very progressive step, and start their own, countywide ALS system.

Advanced Life Support availabilty is standard in mostly all communities in the Hudson Valley. Putnam County is developing, and has a large and diverse population. The decision by the legislator to take away this service is wreckless endangerment, in my eyes. I may not know the full politics behind the move, but I hope I'm hearing wrong and someone steps up to the plate.

EMS should not be delivered by FOR PROFIT agencies!!! This is a fine example of why. We don't contract out for our Police or Highway departments to for profit agencies, so why EMS?

Putnam County, do the right thing. Spend the money, set an example, and start your own County-run ALS system. Lives depend on it. Also, give EMT's and Paramedics what they deserve-job security, proper training, quality pay, and pension. Care for those who care, please!

Damages on FX

Has anyone been watching "Damages" on FX, Tuesday nights at 10PM. It stars Westchester resident Glenn Close, Ted Danson, and Tate Donovan. It centers around a young female lawyer who is picked up by a high-stakes litigator to be her protege'. Her career path becomes entangled with a number of different issues. It's a great legal thriller that twists and turns throughout every episode, with the conclusion of each episode leaving you wanting more. It's hard to write more about this show without giving too much away, so I highly reccomend tuning in.

FX is replaying the fist couple of episodes constantly, so it's easy to catch up on the show. From what I understand, it's a miniseries and a one shot deal.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Get Your Sicko Health Care Card!!

'SiCKO' Health Care Card

From MichaelMoore.com

As seen on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

You now have the opportunity to print and carry your very own "'SiCKO' Health Care Card."

Playing the 'SiCKO' card has worked for a family in DeBary, Florida, whose daughter suffered profound hearing loss and was denied a cochlear implant. Her father sent a letter to Cigna asking, "has your CEO ever been in a film before?" Before he knew it, his daughter's denial was overturned.

It also worked for a family in Flint, Michigan who was stuck with a $66,000 medical bill until they posted their healthcare horror story on YouTube. Click here to see what happened next.

Download the PDF of the card below and follow these simple guidelines:

Carry the card in your wallet with your insurance card.

If denied treatment, show your SiCKO card to your doctor/insurer.

Ask your insurer if they'd like to be in Michael Moore's next movie, DVD, or appear on MichaelMoore.com.

Tell them that, if denied, you will seek coverage from your local media.

E-mail your story to michael@michaelmoore.com.


Trucks On Our Highways: Under-Enforced?

Is it just me, or does it seem like there's very little commercial truck enforcement on the Tri-State area's highways?

These truckers drive like maniacs, and from their actions, it seems like they know they can get away with it.

On I-95 especially.

I'd like to see more funding for more troopers targeting agressive truckers on the highways.