The May 2010 Handover Blog Carnival

“And That’s When It All Came Together”

There are moments in life when everything clicks. Synchronicity. Poetry in motion. Bliss. Those moments on our journey when the map suddenly seems so clear and our destination so much closer. It can be a moment of insight or learning, a realignment of our priorities or perhaps just a stunning instant of clarity. Regardless, they are sacred moments in our human experience.

This month, in true EMT Spot fashion, I asked EMS bloggers from around the world to share with you their sacred moments of clarity when everything came together. I hope you enjoy the stories of these fellow travelers. All of us share the experience of stumbling down life’s road looking for a signpost to point the way. One of the most amazing things about breakthroughs is that they help us to point the way for others who follow.

Each of these stories is a sign post in-and-of itself. It’s impossible to tell the story of your own breakthrough without becoming a teacher to the weary traveler who chooses to listen. Perhaps that’s what makes these moments sacred.

Without a home for his submission, The EMS Professional, Jim Hoffman got things started with a guest post right here at The EMT Spot. (Is that cheating?) It’s interesting how our darkest moments can produce our greatest insights. Jim’s breakthrough came the day he discovered how being burnt out could ignite a rebirth.

Next on the road came Aimee, mommy, army wife, EMT. Aimee was a senior in high school with a year or so under her belt when she felt like she had found her EMS groove. A 21 year old boy in cardiac arrest brought her around to the moment when it all came together.

Nate’s EMT experience had mostly consisted of drunks and minor problems, until the day a tripoding COPD patient scrawled “Take me to the VA and Hurry” on a scrap of paper, and the world got cold, cold, cold.

Greg’s road to paramedic certification was seven months down and two more to go when a nurse gave him 45 precious minutes. “You two guys just wait here until Amanda gets back,” were her kind instructions. And Greg’s life was never the same. For Greg, an OB emergency was when it all came together.

Some breakthroughs take years to achieve. Some insights take a lifetime. For Chris Kaiser his moment of clarity happened in an instant.

Justin was still a rookie, traveling the road to being a damn good paramedic, when he started developing his theory about the three types of women in EMS. He thought he knew right where Roxy fit in his theory until an interstate wreck and a pulse…and that’s when it all came together.

Every caregiver who has spent their share of time walking the EMS road has struggled with questions about the sanctity of life and the dignity of death. Do we help prolong peoples lives or do we prolong their death? Mark Glencorse knows what it means to help someone die and he’s willing to tell you how, in that one moment, they can leave an indelibile imprint on your life.

Rescue Monkey, Joel Neild was 18 hours into his shift and running another routine nursing home transport when he got his swift spiritual kick to the head, or Shakabuku, that altered his reality and forever changed his idea of who he’s supposed to be caring for in EMS.

From the time he was a kid, Aled wanted to be a cop. Years later, after joining a mountain rescue squad, he found a new field of interest, medicine. But his true calling still eluded him, until he wrote to his local ambulance service and got hooked up with a ride along. That’s when it all started to come together.

The restaurant staff wanted to know when the grown-up ambulance was coming when Natalie Quebodeaux and her partner pulled up. She may have wondered that herself when she first encountered the patient. And then she made the choice to take charge, and that’s when her Aha! moment came.

For EMS blogging icon Peter Canning, competence didn’t show up in the form of a blinding moment of clarity but as a series of plateaus. He offers an insight for travelers who’ve wandered the road through the years.

Taking the patient back to the ER would have been the best idea, if the goal was to avoid responsibility and turf the liability on to someone else, but when it all came together for Tim Noonan, he decided that what the patient needed was a hospital with a cath lab and doing the right thing for the patient was why he was there.

And how could I forget (Even though, OK , yes, I did forget.) Fircap5. Firecap was a new EMT with a jump kit when the local nursing home called for a man in cardiac arrest. The timing couldn’t have been worse. He was alone on scene, with backup a long way away. And then he took a deep breath, and remembered the basics, and then everything clicked.

Thanks to all the EMS bloggers who participated in this month’s Handover. It was a pleasure to receive so many outstanding contributions.

Next month, everyone’s favorite EMS blog carnival moves to everyone’s favorite clothing optional blog. The ever irreverent Jeanette Kozlowski of Tactical Pants Blog wants to know what you do when you’re not saving lives. The theme for the June Handover Blog Carnival is “Down Time.” Get your fingers typing and get your sumbmissions in to Jeanette over at her blog. You’re not going to want to miss this one.

Now it’s your turn: What was your moment of clarity when it all came together? Leave us a comment. We’d like to hear your story too.

Read more moments of clarity:

“I’m Only An EMT Basic”

6 Reasons Why You Should Be A Better EMT

Ten Things You Can’t Learn About EMS From Your Computer

Unconventional Thoughts On Emergency Services

Patients Define Their Emergencies


  1. Steve, thanks for the compilation and introducing me to some blogs that are new to me.

  2. Hi guys,

    Er Nate’s link points to Aimee’s blog…?


  3. administrator says:

    Fixed it Aled, Thanks.

  4. Great Edition Steve.

    Some very inspirational posts from everyone!

  5. The dog was dead. The woman stood in the middle of the road, screaming. The car that struck the dog was gone.

    My partner at the time called it HHS and looked bored. (HHS is short for Hysterical Spanish Syndrome in these parts)

    I walked over to the woman, tried to get her out of the road ind into the rescue. She wouldn’t leave her dog. A bystander told me the woman was deaf, her dog specially trained to assist with doorbells and other sounds.

    This was a bond that went deeper than one would have first thought. The dead dog had been her companion for eight years, offering everything to a woman who lived in silence.

    I stood in the roadway, trying to think of a way out of this predicament while my partner, who was actually the senior person on our crew and supposedly in charge talked on the phone picking players for his fantasy football team.

    I got a sheet from the truck, bent over the dead dog, carefully wrapped him in the sheet, leaving his dead face exposed and presented the body to the woman. She stopped screaming, cradled the body and walked out of the street and into her apartment, and closed the door.

    Then and there I knew that all the medical training in the world is useless in a person who has no heart. I decided to stay on the rescue after ten years fighting fires.

    I haven’t looked back, and have no regrets.

    Sorry I missed the Handover, Steve, Time flies and deadlines come and go.


    Kind of funny how some of my favorite stories literally take about two minutes to write. It all came together almost ten years ago, and is still vivid in my mind.

    I posted the above comment, then made it a blog post because it kind of hit home, more than I realized. Thanks for choosing a topic that brought it all back, and together.

    Great job everybody!

  7. Steve Whitehead says:

    @Firecap5, Sorry cap, you were actually one of the first submissions I received. I added you in. No slight intended. Thanks for your contribution.

  8. Great writing from all. It’s amazing to learn about these moments and how important they are in shaping our future. Looking forward to hosting the June Handover as well 🙂

  9. Steve Whitehead says:

    @Michael Thanks for the addition brother

    @Jeanette Thanks. Your blog is awesome. I think the Handover there is going to be a lot of fun. Speaking of which…I need to get started on that submission.


  1. […] … hosted this month by Steve Whitehead over at The EMT Spot. […]

  2. […] Click the jump and have a read. […]

  3. […] Click HERE to go over and read this edition and hopefully be inspired a little. […]

  4. […] the latest edition of the Handover, And That’s When it Came Together…” hosted at The EMT […]

  5. […] feel that this should have been my submission to Steve Whiteheads edition of ‘The Handover’ under the topic of ‘in that one moment’, but alas, tis too […]

  6. […] Handover Blog Carnival: Discussing that moment of clarity when it all came together. (The EMT Spot) […]

  7. […] May 2010 Edition of the Handover Blog Carnival was hosted by none other than Steve Whitehead. The theme was “And That’s When It All […]