Friday, November 30, 2007

Metro North and Bee Line

Whenever I can, I like to use public transportation to get places, especially when I travel into Manhattan. It's so much easier then driving.

I was thinking today, we are so lucky in Westchester to have Bee-Line and Metro-North.

Both agencies have a top notch, clean fleet, friendly staff, and reliable, customer responsive service. I love riding both, and it's always a pleasure getting to and from my destination.

To the management and staff of Bee Line and Metro North (especially the Harlem line), you guys ROCK!

It's also nice to have NYC Transit, especially the subways, although always packed, they compliment the above agency's services nicely.

I should note, it's also sad that here in Westchester County, we have a better centralized bus system then ambulance system.

Back To Blackberry

As some of you may know, around this time last year, I upgraded my phone to a Nextel Blackberry i7100.

If you know that, then you know a month later, I got rid of it for the Nextel i580 rugged phone. I disliked the Nextel Blackberry because it was a non-QWERTY keypad, and it was big and bulky, and wasn't a comfortable phone.

So last month, I decided to try a Motorola Q from Sprint. I really, really liked the phone, but it didn't have the push email capabilities I desired, so I returned it after my month's trial was up.

This week, I ordered and recieved a Blackberry Curve "Titanium" 8310 from ATT Wireless (Formerly Cingular). This is in addition to my Nextel i580, which I'm keeping for a phone. The Blackberry is for data only. I really love it, especially the Blackberry push email service- you can't beat it. It's extremly small and light and very low profile, which is great since I'm also carrying the somewhat bulky i580. It also is very intuitive and easy to use, and features the new very easy trackball....and most importantly to me, has a full QWERTY keyboard.

I'm learning to use the email and device, it has so many features. Hopefully will help me with my scheduling and tasks as well. I'm really excited to learn how to use the camera, and how to make entries to the blog wirelessly. With the camera, should make for some neat entries when I'm not near a computer yet my mind wants to post.

I'm still debating whether "tethering" myself to a computer even more is a good thing or a bad thing. I'll keep you updated....

Monday, November 26, 2007


"Becuase Thirsty Is Too Late"
Like many people, I have trouble keeping myself properly hydrated. Sometimes, I won't have my first sip of water until late afternoon.

I recently heard about this unique product called "Hydracoach". It's the world's first intelligent water bottle. I picked up one today for only $29.99 and am excited to use it.

Product Features
Calculates your personal hydration needs
Tracks your fluid consumption through the day
Paces you to ensure
hydration goals are met
Motivates you to stay properly hydrated
strength and endurance

Product Description Product
Known as the world's first interactive water bottle, the
HydraCoach looks just like other water bottles, but with one notable
difference--a built-in hydration monitor. This patented technology lets users
program their own personal hydration needs into the integrated computer and
track their daily water consumption sip by sip. It's the best possible way to
achieve optimal hydration whether sitting at work or running on the treadmill.
Among the measurable details are total amount consumed, total elapsed time since
the computer started, average hourly and daily consumption, percent of daily
goal, and total sips. And technophobes needn't fret, as all you have to do to
calculate your personal hydration goal is enter your weight. Other features
include a built-in clock and calendar, an easy-to-clean polycarbonate shell, a
soft silicone mouth piece, and a finger ring. The blue HydraCoach is backed by a
one-year warranty.

Product Description
Proper hydration is a combination of the right amount of
water, consumed at the right pace and HydraCoach is smart enough to figure it
out for you. The world's first interactive water bottle is smartly programmed to
calculate your personal hydration needs and then it tracks your water intake, it
paces your consumption for optimal benefits. To motivate you to stay healthily
hydrated, the built in LCD displays the amount and percentage of water consumed
relative to your daily hydration goals. Also shows time, date, fluid intake per
hour and time elapsed. Silicone mouthpiece is angled for easy sipping. Features
a large finger ring that also hooks on a carabiner clip. Measures 11" x 3"
diameter and holds 22 oz. Runs on a CR2032 button cell battery included.
One-year warranty.
Better hyration can lead to Daily Use of the HydraCoach leads
• Improved muscle tone
• Appetite suppression
• Increased fat
• Conversion of food into energy
• Transportation of nutrients and
oxygen to cells
• Enhanced strength and endurance
• Rapid removal of body
waste and toxins
• Protection against heat exhaustion
• Insulation in the
• Body temperature regulation
• Increased cushioning for your
• Increased protection for your organs
I'm excited to use this product, and will keep you updated as to if it meets what it promises.
More product information:

"Sicko" On DVD

Just a head's up, Michael Moore's "Sicko", a comparitive look at the US healthcare system, has just been released on DVD.

Even if you don't like Michael Moore, I encourage you to watch this film, with an open mind. It's fascinating, and funny, and I highly reccomend it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Britain, CT EMS: How Do They Do It?

Yesterday, I had the oppurtunity to visit New Britain EMS, to photograph 2 pieces of their fleet. (I hope I can return to photograph their entire fleet more extensively)

Now, at least the part I saw of it, the City Of New Britain doesn't seem to be economically thriving, and many areas appear to be run down, and I figure a very high run volume.

However, EMS appears extremly well funded, with a brand new spacious modern building, a brand new, nicely spec'd and maintained fleet, and ample equipment.Does anyone know how they do it?

If they can have such a apparently top-notch EMS agency, how come other cities in the northeast can't follow their lead???

By the way, they have the sharpest EMS paint scheme I have ever seen.

Medic 25, 2007 Ford F-450 Super Duty 4x4/Frazer (Frazer is a very unique ambulance, the entire module and emergency lighting are powered by a small generator, which takes a huge load of the engine and chasis. This results in colder air conditioning and warmer heating, brightly lit interior, and plenty of power. The inside of the module is built very rugged, for high volume EMS. These ambulances are popular in Texas, and I don't know of any agency that operates them in the Northeast. The only other time I have seen one was at the JEMS show in '05, when they were trying to make a push into the northeast. I had a chance to check one out then, and was very, very impressed. I'm suprised more agencies haven't loooked into Frazer. )

New Britain, CT Medic 25
2007 Ford F-450 Super Duty 4x4/Frazer

Medic 13, Duty Supervisor and Special Operations Vehicle
2007 Dodge 2500 Turbodiesel/Swab

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Worcester/Boston Photo Hunt 11-17-07

Yesterday, I traveled to Worcester and the Boston Metro area to shoot some apparatus I've been after for a while.

I'm excited with what I had the oppurtuinity to shoot and who I got to meet along the way. A great day overall and helped to take my mind off other things and lift my spirit a little.

MA FF's are great, very kind and hospitable, very different atmosphere then the NY Metro area.

Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way.

I'd like to thank paul612 for his help and driving me around the Worcester area to get some of these shots.

.(The only things I missed was some Boston FD and EMS units, since they seemed to be running like crazy and not in quarters when I came around, and Newton's new Pierce Arrow XT Tower Ladder, which had a warranty issue, it blew a solenoid moments before I arrived and wouldn't start. Also, because of time and daylight issues, couldn't get some more on my list, but that just gives me the excuse to come up again!)

The results of this "photo hunt" can be seen at

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Matt Lamb

Matthew Lamb, an EMT for Empire State Ambulance, died this past Thursday after the ambulance he was riding in struck a tree. At the time, he was on duty with Empire State Ambulance, returning from a transport.

Matthew was 25 years old, and engaged to the love of his life, Jennifer. He was a very active member of Carmel FD, and Carmel VAC. Matthew was in traumatic arrest at the scene, but resuscitated and transported to Hudson Valley Hospital. Although he was clinically brain dead, he was flown via Stat Flight from Hudson Valley Hospital to Westchester Medical Center, so that he could give others a chance at life by donating his organs.

On Thursday morning, November 8th, at 5AM, Matthew died with his fiance and family by his side, after he saved several more lives.

Matthew was loved by everyone who knew him, and the devastation of his tragic fate has sent shockwaves throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.

I didn't know Matt, and I regret that. In my five years running EMTBravo, this is one of the biggest outpourings of support from the EMTBravo community I've seen since Jimmy Boy also tragically passed away.

I really believe in fate and karma, and believe God took Matthew because he needed him for a higher purpose. But one is still left to ponder how many wounds that has caused to those of us still living? It's caused wounds, but I think many of us will carry on Matt's legacy, and lessons learned from him. If anything, we've learned to value life and appreciate every moment we have with each other, because you never know how your life can change in a second.

As a newlywed, I couldn't imagine the devastation of losing my fiance, and that's what hit me the hardest. It's very apparent that Jen and Matt were madly in love, and they were ready for a blissful life together. I don't know Jen, but my prayers are with her, and I know Matt's will be there with her in spririt for the rest of her life. But, there's no real words for that kind of devastation, no way to fill that void. She'll have a lot to carry with her each day, but love will always be there as will the support of all her friends and family who also love her.

If you're a registered member of, we ask that you take a moment to sign the online condolence card, which will be printed and sent to the family.

Matt will be buried tommorow, but he'll NEVER be forgotten, and I will make sure that he's never just some inscription in a memorial.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Recycling Info On Sanitation Trucks

Currently, in the Town Of Greenburgh, where I live, the sanitation department used to collect all recyclables every Wednesday. Now, every Wednesday is different, and it can be affected by holidays.

Our sanitation trucks, on the packer body, say "Greenburgh Recyles" in permanent lettering. I think putting a changeable sign, promoting what gets recycled this week, and any other messages, such as Hazardous Materials Collection day, Change Your Batteries in your smoke detector, etc should be placed on our sanitation trucks. Basically, they're a giant billboard that you see several times each day while driving through the Town Of Greenburgh. The Town shops could probaly fabricate a metal bracket or similar, and changeable signs.

We have one of the best sanitation departments in the county, so why not make it more progressive and use vehicles we have on the streets everyday push a message?

Wonder Bread Snowplow

Well, I've been waiting for this unit to be set up for a photo op, and today was finally the day.

Does anyone else find this concept wierd? I can't imagine this being a good plow vehicle????

Monday, November 05, 2007

Heartbreaking News: Ted Knoesel Passes Away

This morning, I recieved heartbreaking news....a longtime friend of mine passed away.

Ted Knoesel was an ex-chief in the Ardsley Fire Department, where he served 57 years. He meticuloulsy maintained the department's 1928 Seagrave, "Old Betsy".

Ted owned Ted's Texaco (now County Gulf) in Ardsley for many years, and was an excellent mechanic and wrecker operator. He was friendly, and, as he was born in Ardsley and lived there his entire life, everybody in Ardsley knew who he was. Even in his retirment, he served as a crossing guard at Ardsley schools until his wife passed away. He didn't do it for the money, he always loved to work and be active. Ted was a survior himself, valiantly overcoming several critical illnesses.

Ted lost his wife of 39 years, Sheila, last year after her valiant and brief fight against Leukemia.

His son, TJ Knoesel, is a Westchester County Police Officer.

I knew Ted initially through my father and grandmother, who were friends with him. I got to know Ted myself when I served alongside him in Ardsley FD. I will miss Ted a great deal. He tought me so much, he was so energetic, enthusiastic, and giving. I have many memories with him during the 10 years I served with AFD, and he will always remain in my heart.

My condolences go out to the Knoesel family.

KNOESEL, THEODORE I. November 05, 2007 Theodore I. Knoesel
, 83, a lifelong resident of Ardsley, died November 3, 2007, after a brief
illness. He was the son of the late Frank and Helen (Neppert) Knoesel. In 1961
he married Sheila Hollis. She died in 2006. For over 25 years, he was the owner
of Ted's Texaco in Ardsley. For 57 years, Ted was a dedicated member of the
Ardsley Volunteer Fire Department, where he was an Ex-Chief. In his retirement
he has been a school crossing guard for the Ardsley School District. Ted's
family wishes to express their gratitude and appreciation to all the
schoolchildren that brought such happiness to their dad, as he worked as a
crossing guard. He is survived by his loving children, Ilene (Nick) Caruso,
Norine (Ronnie) Roemer, Susan (Frank) Leone, Mary Pat (Dennis) Kopek, Kristina
(Michael) Morano, Jr., and T.J. (Keira) Knoesel, 14 beloved grandchildren and
one beloved great-grandson. Mass of the Resurrection 9:30 am Thursday, Sacred
Heart Church, Dobbs Ferry. Visiting 7-9 pm Tuesday and 2-4 and 7-9pm Wednesday, Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to eitherthe Ardsley Fire Dept. or the CDLS Foundation at EDWARDS-DOWDLE FUNERAL HOME, INC. 64 Ashford Avenue Dobbs Ferry, New York

Friday, November 02, 2007

Top Secret Genetics Research Facility In Hartsdale, NY

I'm a fan of the NBC show, "Heroes", which airs Monday nights at 9 on NBC.

So, I'm watching the show, and Dr. Mohinder Suresh brings his patient he's studying to a top-secret genetics lab and hospital in Hartsdale, NY.

Pretty cool shout-out on an international TV series, but I don't know of any top-secret genetics research facilities in this town, and I've lived here for 28 years and am a firefighter here, lol. I wonder how they picked Hartsdale to place this fictional lab?