Tour 2012!

July 12th, 2012 § Comments Off on Tour 2012! § permalink

So the Tour of Saints 2012 was a little bit more interesting this year than previous years. This time we had to fight a legal battle to get trucks, had some problems finding eligible drivers, etc. Oh well!

The Tour was a blast. I had a fun time in the process. I had worked in a support vehicle as I have done for years. This year I had some fun taking photos while also running around. I was not able to take as many photos in the process but it was still fun.

Something interesting happened. Wow! That is my cousin in line for the bathroom. Okay, everyone is here… his wife, sister in law…

After the event we had a large BBQ, as our debriefing, that I had planned with just over twenty people. A blast all in itself.

Check out the pics… more on the Facebook page itself.

Minneapolis Marathon 2012

June 3rd, 2012 § Comments Off on Minneapolis Marathon 2012 § permalink

Today Dylan and I decided to offer our assistance to the Minneapolis Marathon, working in MedComm. Dylan just getting his ticket wanted a taste of EmComm and I am known in this arena and thought that it might be fun to try working at a new race event.

Our Director seemed to have things under control with the few people that he had to work with. Being a “certified” public safety volunteer, they are hard to come by. We were told exactly what to do and it seemed pretty easy. This is the same thing that I have done over and over again for many different events and I am trained in from different nonprofits and government agencies. We can do this.

A few days before the event they had a meeting with everyone working on the event. We had our meeting just before the medical team and we were to stay for part of the medical meeting as we are working on the same team.

Arriving a little late with traffic was unbelievable. They should have never held the meeting at 5:30 in the evening in the cities. Getting off work at 4:45pm, I thought that it would have taken 15 to 20 minutes to go 7 miles… I was wrong when I was 15 minutes late.

After speaking to some of the people standing at the doorway, the room was packed and nobody really had a clue what was going on but everyone was listening to them talk about something that we could not really hear in the back of the room.

I was lucky enough to find a seat and proceeded to listen to a women tell us how we should be doing medical patient assessments. I am not a doctor… why? Our shirts for uniforms had not been printed yet; they will let us know how to get our shirts on the day of the event. Also we would have EMTs at our location and every tenth of a mile in our location as we are near the finish of the race. After the meeting I was even more confused as to what I would be doing. Oh well, I have done these before so I will just play along.

I did make it a point to ask my supervisor where to park, and I was told that they did not know and that I should check the day before. Not from the cities, I thought that I would ask the people that were in charge of the race and were also from the area. They should know! Upon checking, I was told that I would get an email the Friday before…. nope! I emailed her and was told that I would get one Saturday morning…. and again, nothing. Wow.

If I did not want to favor my name in the EmComm community, like Dylan said, “Why go?”

The day before we had a little time to search where to park and the area around where we would be. Pulling over a Minneapolis Park Police officer, he was a little shocked and confused as to the map they had given us. He also offered some additional tips. I felt ready and confident but still discouraged that I had not received my email that I was expecting.

So we were told originally to be there a half hour before first runner. That allowed me to show up at 6:40am. I knew that meant be there by 6:30 to get a spot to park. The evening before the event we received an email letting us know that we should be getting gear (our radio and shirts) at 5:30 in the morning so we should be on our location. Great! I am not a morning person.

At 5:30 in the morning we were there even though people should not be alive this early and we were waiting. We had forgotten to program our radios but I was proud that we did this before our schedule time for check-in.

Waiting, waiting, waiting… nobody ever showed up! Net Control (dispatch) did not know anything about delivering any gear. Finally someone had said that the sag wagon on route had everything. So I tried to flag them down twice and did everything but get run over. They would not stop for anything! Finally on the fourth pass and hours later they had told us that they did not have anything for us. So we were just sitting there with our radios looking cool. Okay?

Medical students? Where are they? Slight change of plans… no med students… again, on our own! What?!? Dylan it looks like you are taking rectal temps!

We did receive our shirts, after the race. Who wants a shirt that says I worked somewhere? I have a box of these since I never wear them again. I am glad that I am not the only one that said that they were frustrated and will not be working this event again.

I have some photos in the gallery! Feel free to check them out!

Where it all goes! National Weather Service

May 6th, 2012 § Comments Off on Where it all goes! National Weather Service § permalink

The National Weather Service is offering tours today and the ability to poke around their offices in the Chanhassen, Minnesota office. Being the National Weather Service is a federal office, tours are always fun to see where our funds are going. Loving the Emergency Management field, I made a couple calls to find someone to go with.

A friend of mine from a neighboring community had the day off due to foul weather, what a perfect opening! Come on Paul, let’s go!

The National Weather Service Forecasting office did not look anything like I had imagined, even my guest Paul said that. We pulled up to a nice Minneapolis suburb with cut grass looking for towers only to find none. You pull up to the building and you can see the standard federal sign, NO TRESPASSING!

At the National Weather Service office I was greet by some friends. It was nice to see everyone again, but I was curious to see the toys. Inside the building I was surprised to see all screens and really felt like I should just move right in. Honey, I am home!

With a brief explanation of some of the toys I ventured off for photos. I really enjoyed seeing where I chat with when I radio the National Weather Service. This gives explanation to everything that I do.

Rounding off the day with winning a couple stickers and a ruler made the day. Heading off with Paul for the hour long drive home we grabbed a Wendy’s Frostie and recapped the day and our purposes in our lives with emergencies.

If you liked the photos, I have more in the photo gallery.

Dead in the water!

May 3rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

So driving home from work on Tuesday my phone starts going off. Tornadoes in Stearns County and emergency management is activating us. I am heading that way and my car oddly enough stalls. Gearing up I am heading out and I am to sit on the highway. So I bunker down in the median and I am sitting on highway 94 at highway 15. I am just waiting here for my partner and I thought that it might be interesting to sit and chat. So, I radio into our dispatch and let them know that I am in position and just sitting here.

My battery light comes on… interesting! So as I am sitting on the side of the road I am a little worried about everything and just wondering what is really going to happen to the car. I get out and I thought that I would wait for Dylan when all of a sudden my car dies.

Now, I am not too worried, stuff like this happens all the time. I just have to restart my car. I get in and turn the key, nothing. Okay so I thought that I would call Dylan first. He is like five miles out… thank God. Gee… flashing lights… who could this be… State Patrol. Nicely enough they knew who I was and I explained the situation. They gave me a jump before Dylan even got there. My car is running!

NOT! My car dies again. Dylan jumps it and sure enough no lights or anything. Well I was able to make it home but not without an interesting night. I phoned into our dispatch and said that I was heading home. Dylan and went out for waffles at Keith’s Kettle in Clearwater.

A couple days later and now my car is getting repaired. With a faulty alternator (again) and a couple other things wrong, I am ready!

 

Damage hits home!

May 2nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Just a quick photo upload as to what I woke up to in my backyard… 4 trees down!

This all happened overnight. Two were snapped and two were uprooted. One of them was half dead, but still those storms had some power.

The pictures sure turned out nice at least! I am glad that I have a new camera! 🙂

You never really think that it will happen to you. Last year about five miles away from home a tornado hit and I booked home… but again, you never really think that it will happen to you.

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