Sunday, February 8, 2009


I think there are few that would disagree that the Emergency Medical Services field has changed significantly over the years. In fact, I think you could say that the one constant in EMS is change. There are always new treatments, new equipment, new drugs, new protocols, new laws, and, (of course) new expectations. I’ll touch on more of these topics in later posts…today I’m just “a-strollin’.”

There are things that we were able to do way back when, that would (most likely), get us fired nowadays. The EMS version of torture: back boarding, body runs, baby powder in the vents, garbage bags of water in the wheel wells, and defibrillator gel under the windshield wipers. Well…if it didn’t get us fired nowadays, it would definitely buy us a verbal warning at the very least.

I kinda got into EMS towards the later stages of the practical jokes. I heard about more over previous years than I did actually see or participate in. All I know is that I laughed so hard I cried more than once to hear the stories of the “good ol’ days.” Mary, Dave and Eric spring to mind as epic storytellers of the days of yore. Mary used to keep me riveted night after night with stories that were just too funny to be true, but they were. I had many a beer trying to pry good war stories out of Eric. Dave was the easy one…he’d invite me over for dinner and tell me stories. I never had the opportunity to work with Dave for some reason. It just never worked out that way with the scheduling. Nevertheless, we’re pretty darn good friends anyways. I probably owe him a few dinners at this point.

I kinda felt like strolling down memory lane a little bit. I also couldn’t help but think about Gary Zingler. After Gary’s death, I wrote a column for the company newsletter about its impact on all of us but myself in particular. I have been contemplating reposting the column, but I kinda feel like I should wait for the anniversary of his death (which will be in November…meaning I kinda just missed it or I got 9 months to prepare for it). At any rate, I had many good memories run rampant in the past few days. Another thing that strayed thru the cobwebs was “The Shadow.” “The Shadow” was a mysterious figure who kinda tried to stay mysterious, but I’m not entirely sure “The Shadow” did manage that. Anyways…I’ll make a decision shortly…I think this year will be ten years since Gary’s passing. It might be appropriate to wait.

I found a bunch of pictures recently…a lot of them were Expo pictures…but was still pretty cool going backwards for a bit…I’m gonna scan them when I get a chance and I’ll probably post most of them on Facebook…I might post a few on here, I haven’t decided yet.


  1. Zing Zing. I worked with him quite a bit. I never could understand how he could be out cold, sleeping, then awake at a moment's notice calling out orders, lol. I remember stopping at his house up in the Clem for him to pick up forgotten things.

    He was a great partner. I got along with him well and remember that laugh to this day. I look forward to your November post. I'm sure I will need kleenex.

  2. It was a good column...gonna have to update it for the ten-year anniversary...God, I can't believe it's been ten years already...

  3. I'm sure we all remember exactly what we were doing when we got the word that Gary had passed. There are several things like that where you can recall vividly every detail and circumstance of an event.
    Of course, the day when I found out my father died. I was 17.
    The day my son was born.
    The day I asked Trina to marry me.
    Gary's death.
    My mother's first episode with cancer and her death.
    Even though I can't remember what color tshirt I'm currently wearing without looking down, those moments will always be with me. I can tell you where I was, what I was doing, who was there, and every detail about finding out about the event.

    Gary died late at night. It was on a 3 day off stretch for me, so I was playing a computer game online. Trina tried to call me for 3 hours, but the phone line was busy due to my addiction to Everquest, the online role playing game.
    I was falling asleep at the keyboard when I finally decided to log off.
    As soon as I click off, the phone rang. It was Trina, crying out loud. I paniced immediately, knowing it had to be really bad news. The first words were, "Well....mumble mumble...Zingler's died...."
    I had no idea what to say. So many questions came to mind at the same time, that I just didn't reply at all. Then after a few silent minutes, she told me the story of the accident, his transport to MCGH and transfer to Beaumont RO.

  4. oh....and I'll never forget winning $250 at one of Gary's superbowl parties! ;)