Friday, September 25, 2009

CMA Report #2

Thanks to all you who commented on the last report.:) I'm afraid these are not quite as interesting or exciting as the Police Academy, but I'm learning things.:) I just noticed that on my last post I had put CMP. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe I wasn't thinking.:) It should be CMA (Citizen's METS Academy). But, anyway, here is the next report complete with pictures which I'll post right after this from the other computer. Hope you enjoy it!

CMA Report #2

Welcome back to the second class of the Joplin CMA. Thanks for joining me.
Arriving with our dessert (hot apple crisp), we found Ed, Steph, John and Karen already there. The others arrived shortly, and Marc introduced us to our instructor, James Harrison.

Marc told us he was leaving and then walked out of the room and shut the door. Just for the fun of it, we all started cheering when he left. The back door of the room opened and Marc says,
“He’ll be in charge,” looking at the other guy who came in with him. (I think it was the evening shift supervisor.) The new guy asked suspiciously,
“What was all that hootin’ and hollerin’ when Marc left?”
No one would say.:)
James informed us that we would eat while we watched the video. Then we would do the hands-on things.
“I always like to get the paperwork done first and get it out of the way,” he told us. James has been teaching CPR classes there at METS for years.

“Everything was the same for the first sixteen years, and then they suddenly changed it in ‘07. You might have heard on the news that CPR is now “hands free,” but it isn’t. Out of the ten minutes of news they give, only about sixty seconds is true. (That sure is the truth.) What that “hands free CPR” really means is that if you see the person have the cardiac arrest, you do not have to do the breathing on them. You have to pump their heart, but they do still have air in their lungs, and pumping the heart will keep it circulating. But if you do not see the arrest but just find a person somewhere and they aren’t breathing nor do they have a heart beat, you must do the breathing for them.”

There was a little more explanation and then we got our food. We watched the instruction video for CPR with pauses now and then as James explained something to us or interjected something.
Here is something you probably don’t know. In which city in the U.S. would you be most likely to recover from cardiac arrest if someone did CPR on you? Kansas City and Joplin with 47% recovery rate. (I knew Joplin was a good town to live in. Does anyone want to move?) Chicago, New York and LA have much lower percentage rates.

After we watched, we had a short break and then got to do the actual hands-on CPR practice. Since there were 11 of us, James divided us into three groups of three and one group of two. Let me mention that though there used to be so many breaths for so many compressions if the victim was an infant, a child or an adult, it is now two breaths to thirty compressions no matter how old the victim is. It certainly makes it easier to remember. Roger, Ed and Steph were up first.

They had to pump the heart for one entire minute. They were rather tired when they finished. Then it was John, Dad and me.

I didn’t think it was too bad. We did have to count out loud as we did it though.

Lynn, Karen and Frankie followed us with the group of two being Paula and Mandy.

When I first learned CPR, I always practiced everything at once: breathing and chest compressions along with checking the victim and calling for help. James had us do it backwards. We first did compressions, then we added breaths, then we added the other things. When John, Dad and I were at the “victims” James told us our situation and asked what we do first.
Dad: “Check the scene.”
James: “Check the scene to make sure it is safe for you. If it is not safe for you, maybe with power lines down, or someone shooting, don’t go to the victim, or you could be a victim too. Once the safety of the scene is established, what do you do next?”
John: “ See if the victim is okay.”
We had to check our victims. My poor guy looked really bad.:) He didn’t respond at all.
James: “What next?”
Dad and John: “Call for help.”
“Okay,” James says, “but you are all alone. There is no one nearby at all, so what should you do next?”
Dad and John suggested breathing and starting CPR and checking to see if the victim is breathing.
James kept shaking his head.
I said, “Head tilt, chin lift,” as I did that to my victim.
“Wow! She’s the quietest one! Hasn’t said a word all evening, and she gets it right!” James was really excited. He had to come give me a high five. I didn’t realize that I had done such an unusual thing. I mean, if the air way is not open, it is really hard to breathe. Besides, he had told us that if you open the airway by a head tilt, chin lift, the person sometimes starts breathing. Besides, he had had us say “head tilt, chin lift” enough times that evening.

Okay, after James calmed down, we checked our victims. Mine certainly wasn’t breathing. We immediately went into two breaths, thirty compressions, two breaths, thirty compressions.
When you do CPR, you are supposed to do it for two minutes which is five cycles of two breaths and thirty compressions.

An infant has the same, only you do the compressions with two fingers. On a child 1-8 (unless the child is large) only do compressions with one hand. The adults get two hands.

If the victim is an adult and you are alone, call 9-1-1 first and then start CPR. If the victim is a child or infant, start CPR and then after the first two minutes, call 9-1-1.

Here is some advice for anyone dealing with an infant needing CPR. (I hope you never have to.) Take the infant to the phone with you. You can do CPR while you talk. It was amazing how many people don’t do that.

What next? Ah, the AED was brought out. I have forgotten the exact words AED stands for, but basically it is an electric shocking device to try to get the heart to work. We didn’t actually get to try one, but having done it before and having him tell us, it isn’t hard. Just make sure no one is touching the victim when you administer the shock.:) Also, no one ages 7 and under will get shocked. At least not by an AED. James said they might do it on the ambulance.
After that we all got our CPR cards. They don’t have to be renewed for two years. How nice. James also said that if anyone needs their CPR renewed or to learn it, then to go to the METS web site, as they are doing CPR almost every day. Anyone need it?
We were dismissed a little early and headed home.

I’m glad you could join me here at the CMA as we learned CPR. I hope you come again next week as we delve into Medical Emergencies. Until then, this is Rebekah.

Did you learn anything?

Friday, September 18, 2009

CMP Report #1

This is a little later than I usually post, but that is on account of me mowing the yard this morning. And boy did it need it! But at last I am posting. If you read this before there are pictures, you'll just have to come back in a little while and check again. See, I have to post this from one computer, than load the pictures on the other one and post them from there. Of course you might not read this until it is all here.
As you can see, I didn't post Meleah's Western Part 9 since I got this first report done and those who commented asked for the reports and not Meleah's Western. I hope you enjoy this first report.

Now I can post pictures with this. It was a little bit longer than I planned as I had to jump in the shower and then start the laundry. But here they are if I can figure out how to get them on.:)

CMP Report #1

Welcome all of you to the first report of the first class of the v
ery first Joplin Citizen’s METS Academy. I will be your reporter for these next eight weeks. (Well, eight weeks total.)

Dad and I arrived at the METS building about 5:4(from CPA) and her mom (we were at a DWI checkpoint together), Paula (was in charge of the CPA) and her husband, two others who had gone through the CPA and were now Sentinels. John (from CPA) had to work that night, and Marie (from CPA but had to drop out) and another lady were not there. Stephanie was the only one of the group who had not gone through the CPA. She works at Dillions with John and learned of this from him. Meaghan had to stop by to say hi to all of us from the CPA.

It was a little after 6:00 when we got started. Marc introduced himself and told us that he really wanted our opinions about things as they had never done anything like this before. Jerry was also introduced who would be helping. We watched a power point while Marc talked about what METS was. (For those of you who are wondering, METS stands for Metro Emergency Transport System.) The Joplin METS does not take any subsidizing from taxes or anything like that. Did you know that the first ambulances were actually station wagons with a light on the top and were run by the funeral home? That was back in the 60s. The person driving the “ambulances” would hope that the victim was dead. It would mean business. It they weren’t, they would to quote Marc, “toss them in the back of the station wagon, hop in the drivers seat -- if there were two people they would both get in the front -- and take off for the hospital.” Anyone wish they could try it? In the 70s, the first real ambulance was built.

We learned that they have four 24 hour ambulances, two 12 hours ambulances and one 8 hour ambulance for the peak demand during the day. The 8 hour night shift usually transports people from Joplin to another city.

After the power point was over, we had a ten minute break and then Jerry talked. During his talk some of the other personal from the station came in and took seats. This was a new thing and most of them didn’t know what was going on. We saw pictures of all kinds of things that you might run into when you do a ride-along. Hmmm, I’m might be having second thoughts on doing a ride-along.

Did you know what in reality, most medics on the ambulances won’t jump right out and run to the victim? They make sure the scene is safe and that they won’t be hit by any oncoming traffic. That wouldn’t be a good idea. One of the most common complaints is that they are so slow.:) They are really just making sure things are safe.

If an ambulance arrives on a scene after a fire truck, who is in charge of the victims and says what to do? The medics. They will even tell doctors and nurses who are trying to help, to basically get out of the way and let them do it. Of course they are a little more polite then that.

In most movies and TV shows the ambulances always race down the street at top speed. Actually they don’t go more than ten miles above the speed limit. Keep that in mind next time you call 9-1-1 and they are a little while in getting there.

Have you ever wondered how they decide where to take the victim? Here in Joplin they take turns. One week it will be Freeman and the next St. John’s. If the person is conscious and requests a certain hospital, they will take them there unless they really need the hospital and one is closer.
Roger, Ed, Steph and John (paramedic) in the kitchen/recreation room

The tour of the building was next. It was fun going out to the bay and seeing the ambulances. We divided into two groups, Dad, Ed, Steph and I were in one with two paramedics, Chris and John. Chris took us in and showed us where things were. He also said the one bag he hate to have to use is the, I forget the name he called it, but it is the birthing bag. The one thing that the medics hate doing is delivering a baby! So, if you know someone is going to have a baby, call the midwife and not the ambulance if you can or go to the hospital. They’d like it better. Chris looks at John and says,
“You’ve been working here how long?”
“About 15 years.”
“And how many babies have you delivered?”
John replies, “None.”
I don’t remember if Chris said how long he had worked but he had delivered four and really doesn’t want to do any more.:)

Chris showing us one of the storage places on the ambulance

We were shown where all their equipment on the outsides was and then Chris added something that really made me not sure I want to go on a ride-along.
Looking at Dad and me he said,
“Now I just want to tell you this now, the jokes on the ambulance are crude and the language is foul. Don’t take it personal, that’s just the way it is.”

I thought how sad that was. Aren’t there any Christian ambulance drivers and medics who pray on their way to an emergency? Aren’t there some who don’t tell crude or off colored jokes and who honor the Name of Christ? I guess not in Joplin.

This is the computer inside the cab

Anyway, while we were out in the bay, one shift came in. Several of them looked curiously at us and asked Marc what was going on. He explained and I heard some comments: “Neat!” “What a good idea.” “That’s great.”

Back to the meeting room where we got instructed about riding in an ambulance quickly, and figured out who was bringing a meal next week. Dad volunteered us for dessert. Hmm, I wonder what he is going to get Sarah to make?:) I only make box brownies.:) Marc also handed out our shirts. Now these aren’t just any shirt or T-shirt, these are collared polo's that are navy and red with a little white on them. They even have a Citizen’s METS Academy with the logo on them! Wow! I guess it pays to come to the first class.

The logo on our shirts!

That is all until next week. I hope you can join me then as we do CPR. Until then this is Rebekah, your corespondent from the first CMP. Thank you for joining me.

Was it worth reading? Did you learn anything new?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Meleah's Western Part 8

I just can't seem to get it into my head that today is Friday again! I seem to be missing several days, so if anyone finds some extra ones here and there, let me know.:) As it is, I guess I'll just have to post. Thankfully I do have something ready this time. I wrote this part of "Meleah's Western" some time ago, but as I had other things to post and no one mentioned wanting to read it, I thought I'd just wait. Sarah says I'm really nice.:} If you let me know soon, I might be able to get the next part up next week, but only if you want it.

Now, quickly before you go and read the next part, I do have a question for you all. Next week my dad and I are starting the METS Citizen's Academy which will be for 8 weeks. The question is, do you want me to post my reports and pictures here? Or would you rather get them sent as emails to you? Or would you rather not read them at all? Let me know!

Okay, here it is. At least I think this is the right part.:)

Part 8

Sleep was long in coming to Bob that night. For hours he lay on his pallet staring into the darkness of the cabin and listening to the breathing of the two who made this cabin home. Could he let Sunshine go? It wouldn’t be forever, for if anything happened to Aunt Kate . . . No, nothing was going to happen unless she didn’t get the rest she needed. Yet, how could she rest with the little one about? Bob moaned softly in the dark. Why did it have to come to this? He knew his Sunshine would have to go. But never since the day she first came into the world had she been away from the cabin. Never had she been parted from Aunt Kate. And only when Bob was away hunting and trapping was she separated from him. Bob moved restlessly. He just couldn’t bring himself to say with certainty the thing that his heart knew must be. At last as dawn began to steal across the sky, Bob arose from his sleepless bed and began to gather Sunshine’s things.
“Now, ya be a good girl ‘til Aunt Kate gits better.”
The little child dimpled into her sweetest smile as she leaned down from the horse where she sat before Mrs. Westlin and kissed Bob on the nose.
“I be dood,” came the response from the baby lips, and another kiss was given.
Bob stood in front of the cabin and watched the horse walk off down the trail. “God forgive me if I’m breakin’ my trust, but I reckon I’m doin’ the right thing.”

Aunt Kate did grow stronger, and though she wasn’t quite the same, she could once again take care of the house, chickens and a little mite of a child. The day was never to be forgotten in the minds of these two when Bob brought his sunshine girl home again. She had been sadly missed; her childish ways and words once more filled the little cabin with brightness though outside the day was chilly and cloudy. Autumn was fast approaching, and Aunt Kate had gathered a handful of late blooming flowers to grace the table.
For two weeks the joy of being together remained. Then one morning,
“Aunt Kate, I reckon I ought to go out trappin’ once ‘fore the cold weather hits. Ain’t gonna be gone more’n a week if’n the trappin’s as good as usual. I knowd I should’a gone an’ done it some time ‘for this, but . . .” Bob’s voice trailed off.
“I go too,” came the sweet little voice on his knee.
“Well, I reckon when ya is a mite bigger, I’ll take ya ta mind my campfire an’ cook my food. Ya’d like that?”
The golden head nodded vigorously and the small hands clapped in glee.
Aunt Kate spoke then. “Ya can’t go this time, honey, I need ya here, an’ he won’t be gone long.”
All was silent. Bob looked at the fair young face before him. So like her mother, he thought.
“Oo promise oo tum bat soon?”
“I promise I ain’t gonna be gone more’n ten days. If’n I leave this mornin’ I’ll come back the quicker.”
And so it was that later that morning Bob rode off on his horse for a few days of trapping and hunting. Before he mounted he took the child in his arms once more and held her close as he whispered, “The Good Lord take care o’ ya an’ I’ll be comin’ back. Don’t ya forget.” He strained the little one to his breast while she clung to his neck. A strange ache began to press on Bob’s heart as he set the child down and turned toward his waiting horse. A feeling almost akin to fear tugged and pulled at him as he rode off. He felt an urge to turn around and not go.
“I’m jest gettin’ sentimental,” he muttered to himself.

Six months passed before Bob again rode back down that trail towards his cabin. Six months of hardship and delay. Six months of catastrophe and trouble. He mused on all that had taken place since he had set out. Now at last he was almost home. His arms ached to hold his little girl once more and to taste someone’s cooking besides his own. He rounded the bend and suddenly reined in his horse. Something was wrong. He could feel it. There was the cabin before him; however, no smoke came from the chimney. No welcoming light lit the window. No chickens cackled in the yard. In fact, there was no sign of life anywhere. Bob sat there motionless, scarcely breathing as he took in the scene before him. What had happened? Indians? It couldn’t be. Everything was in too much order for that. Slowly he dismounted, and leading his horse off the trail, he left him in some underbrush. Quietly, stealthily he made his way to the cabin. The latchstring was out! Could Aunt Kate and Sunshine be gone for the day? No, the thought was absurd. With sudden force he kicked the door open. There was nothing inside. It was bare except for the table and benches. The old bedstead against the wall was there but no bedding. Dust lay on the mantelpiece and the ashes were cold. Icy fingers of dread began to twist about his heart. Where were they? His breath was growing more rapid, and his eyes darted here and there over the bare and forsaken cabin.
“Aunt Kate!” his shout brought back only the echo of his own words. With rapid strides he left the cabin and entered the barn. No sign that any animals had wintered there. As his eyes roved the surrounding clearing, they came to rest on a little wooden cross near the border of trees. With a cry of anguish he raced towards it only to read the words,
Mrs. Kate Lacks. Died 23, September 18--. Rest in peace.

Any comments, questions or thoughts?

Friday, September 4, 2009


Well, as I sit here and type, I am not hearing the hammering and banging and saws that I thought I would be hearing. There is a chance of rain today, but it is growing less each time we look. I don't know if anyone will be coming to help tear off the roof or not. For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, we are in the process of tearing off the entire roof over the attic which is over the kitchen and building walls and a whole new roof. The room will then be our sewing/scrapbook room. It sure will be fun! But first we have to get the roof off and not get caught in any rain. I don't think it will rain, but . . .

Anyway, I know you didn't come to read about our roof and the rain. The post today is the essay I finally got written on the Joplin CPA. If you don't know what that is you will just have to read it.:) By the way, this is the first essay I remember writing, but don't tell any of my writing students that.;) I did do it the same week they had to write one. Okay, here it is.

CPA Experience

I’ll never forget my experience with the Joplin Citizen’s Police Academy. The Joplin Police Department began making this class available to citizens several years ago. Though starting out as a twelve week course, meeting once a week, it is now a ten week course packed full of information and fun. The Joplin CPA provided me with adventure, furnished me with potential writing material and increased my awareness and sense of responsibility as a citizen of my community.

My adventure began with the very first class when we were handed a program of what was to come. Later, my pulses raced as together with another class member we got to drive a police car and act the part of the officers during a traffic violation. When we got to the shooting range, it was exciting. I shot my first gun. Though I wouldn’t say I was a great shot, I did better than I had anticipated and I’ll never forget the thrill of getting to handle the SWAT team equipment. During the Investigations class, we learned, among other things, how fingerprints were lifted and even lifted some ourselves. Certainly learning how the interrogation officers know if someone is telling the truth will not be forgotten. Even before the classes were ended, I could see how my adventures could enhance my writing.

Participating in the Joplin Citizen’s Police Academy certainly had many benefits to me as a writer. As each class brought different officers in from the different departments to speak, I listened eagerly to all the personal adventures which were shared. I heard firsthand accounts of K-9 experiences, patrol encounters, and drug busting endeavors. What intriguing tales! Some would read practically like a legend of valor while others sound almost unbelievable By taking a few notes during class and listening well, I was able to go home and rewrite the stories for future use. When I later use one of the events mentioned, I will know I am retelling a true story. Surprisingly, writing down what I had heard engrained more firmly in my mind how I can be a better citizen.

As I strive to be a responsible citizen, it may not be some big thing that I do, but the little things that make a difference. By always pulling over to the RIGHT at once for any emergency vehicle, I can ensure that if they need to pass me, they can do so with safety. Although I may feel that my need of a policeman is great when something from my yard is stolen, I should recognize the fact that it could be a life and death situation that keeps the officers from responding immediately. Getting to know my neighbors can help promote community safety. As we keep an eye out for one another, our neighborhood greatly improves decreasing the need for police involvement.. Truly, seeing the Joplin Police officers through the eyes of the CPA has given me a greater respect for them and the challenging job they do.

My adventure with the Joplin CPA has enhanced my life in many ways.I now have new material for my writing and a determination to be a better citizen of my neighborhood and my city. Sharing what I have learned with others makes me hope that they too will be interested in attending the Citizen’s Police Academy. Indeed, I would encourage all who are interested in it to go to the Joplin Police web site at and find out how you can have an adventure of your own. Finally, in closing, I would like to say a hearty thank you to each of the officers who made my experience in the CPA so dynamic. I appreciate your service and dedication to our community.

So what did you think?