Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Do you smell smoke?

Everyone in the southeast corner of Australia can smell smoke. You can clearly see smoke if you look outside. In fact you can see the smoke from space. If you don't happen to be in space you can see some amazing photos here and here. In melbourne when you look outside the horizon is gone and the streets look like it is a foggy winter's day. It is quite surreal to see. There have been some spectacular blood red and orange sunrises and sunsets giving a beautiful but stark reminder that in some areas of Victoria people are battling to save life, land and property.

I got asked if we (ambulance) have been seeing a rise in respiratory problems because of all this. I'd have to say personally no. A few exacerbations of asthma and COAD but overall much the same. Other areas may be seeing a lot more of it than I have. I asked at one hospital today and was told it had been surprisingly quiet on that front. What I have seen during this hot smoky few weeks is a big rise in heat related issues, dehydration, fainting, heat stress, and the inevitable violence and stupidity that the hot "beer drinking" weather brings.

I don't know about you but beer and hot weather makes me want to sit on my couch and watch the cricket. I don't quite understand the whole I've had half a dozen beers and now I'm going to try and stab my cousin in the left buttock with one of the bottles. Or even the Perhaps I'll get on the tram in Moonee Ponds with a chainsaw. Two separate jobs in the past 24 hours where drunk blokes had hit other drunk blokes over the head with handy pieces of wood have left me feeling like I'm missing out by sitting quietly on my couch with a coldy - perhaps I'm not drinking enough?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fallen off the perch

First off thanks to everyone for the comments and e-mails that I've been getting. Great to hear from you all.

Here's a quick one I heard on the radio today and you'll just have to trust me, this is 100% true.

A dual car response was sent this afternoon to someone who had "fainted" at home. The cars were merrily speeding through the streets when the dispatcher came on the radio and said "Guys you can both cancel........(long pause) turns out the patient who fainted was a bird". Yep, someone's budgie had collapsed at home and they had called an ambulance. Of course the radio then lit up with all the predictable witty comments.

Along the same lines I'm told there is also a recording of a 000 call here in Melbourne where it was only during the over-the-phone CPR instructions that the call taker finally worked out that the patient was a dog that had run into the road and been hit by a car.