Friday, May 18, 2012

Lord of the Rings and the Lord of Middle Girth

The latest RING OF POWER

And it's damn big too, but it has to be to fit four Lombardi trophies on it.  FOUR.

Now having two, Easy E, Eli the Elite, is the new Lord of the Rings.
(This is not really a football post, I promise)

Seeing the Giants win their second ring of power in just a few years has inspired me.  I'd like one too.

The problem (besides being 46, inexperienced and undrafted in everything except beer) is I am a bit more out of shape than I was last season.  -When I was practically an Olympian.  Is farting an olympic sport yet?  Well if it isn't it should be.  I kill at that.  Which is why all our house plants are dead.  But I digress.

Let me explain my current out-of-playing-shapeliness.  Having just gotten back from a nice long vacation punctuated by several steak houses and a few all-you-can-cram-into-your-pie-hole's I myself have gained a title slightly less prestigious than Eli's.  I am now lord of middle girth.

Being a lord used to mean master of all you see, captain of your domain.  But if my girth gets any lordlier I won't be able to see my lower domain without a mirror.  But it's not totally my fault.  (Can men also blame Vogue and the media's unrealistic body image blah blah  Real fair, people.)

The 20 oz. bone-in ribeye at Texas Roadhouse (which is ungodly awesome if you ever get the chance) didn't do half the damage that Cici's all-you-can-gorge pizza did.  And it was surpisingly inexpensive.  Suspiciously so, $2.99 from 2-4pm.  I'm pretty sure Cici's must be a wholely owned subsidiary of Sauron Worldwide.  (Can somebody reasearch than and get back to me?  Thanx)

This is my theory:  Seeing how difficult it was try to subjugate man in chains of bondage, the dark lord has since found how easy it is to weaken us with chains of fast food restaurants.  His bitter defeat at the hands of Frodo and friends must have taught him that man would rise up in great numbers to shake off his poison, fry his buns and do him in.  But on the other hand, man would line up in great numbers if he merely offered that poison on a bun with fries and a shake.  Moreover, man would ask to supersize it and gladly do himself in one McRib/Whopper/Gordita Grande at a time.

Yes, we'll fight any foe to the last man if you try to destroy us.  We insist on doing that ourselves.
So be warned, if Sauron ever figures out a way to make cheeseburger flavored cigarettes it's game over for us people.  Game OVAH.

Anyway, in the unlikely event I don't win the Supe Bowl next year, that's the reason.  Just so we're clear.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Jaws of Life and other new toys of mine

Car won't start?  Show it who's boss!  Cut it down to size.
It was a long grueling day, and these new toys are heavy as hell.  But if you're trapped in a car with the doors crushed in, me and my boys (and our cutter and spreader toys) can take your doors in less than two minutes, or get the roof off in in less than three.

And there's only one way to get efficiency in that proficiency; practice baby.  You got to spread and cut a bunch of cars to pieces.  Between crews from both fire companies in my town, we sliced and diced five, including what was a pretty nice late model caddy.

Nuthin' better than your cutter 'n spreader.
The curved jaws of the cutter have a deep enough reach to encircle a car door hinge, and more than enough strength to cut through it in a matter of seconds.

If a section of car is too wide for the cutter to get around the hydraulic spreader is brought in; in reverse it's also a crusher which can crush a car body or frame section to a size that the cutter can get around.  Some B posts, the floor to roof post between the front and rear doors, require a crush before a cut.

They're both around 35 lbs - which wears on you after a while.

Holmatro vehicle stabilization sets;
can't have that car groovin' its mass
while we're in there removin' your ass

Having a that car stable before we start working on it is important for a few reasons all having to do with safety, theirs and ours.  Between rescuers, victims and equipment all moving there's going to be a lot of weight shifting around.  A car on its side is inherently unstable - we can't have that flipping; they've been through enough on the inside and we don't want it landing on us on the outside.  Stabilize.

Even a car that's still on its wheels gets stabilized.  We use blocks & chocks to 'take it off its suspension'.  If somebody in there has a neck injury we don't want that vehicle rocking even a little when we get in to help them.

It takes a hoard
for safe extraction by board

Proper removal takes five of us.  The best way to get the driver out is to get two of us in the car with him/her.  One directly behind to hold the head steady, hopefully preventing further neck injury, and one next to him/her to guide the legs out.  Outside the car there's three more of us with the board; one guiding it under the driver, one on the other side of the board to help pull the driver out once their oriented correctly, and one to push the board in and under.  Doing everything possible to keep the hips in line with the upper body and head, we pivot the person onto the board and then slide them up until they're completely on it.  Then that's pulled out and carried to the waiting stretcher.

Well, one day's training spread out on these and other techniques and equipment doesn't make me an expert in any of it.  But if that beeper goes off and it's a car accident / rescue needed I know I can help.  Worth a Saturday learning how to me.  And the hot soak in the tub at home afterwards felt damn good too.