Nothing is more important to who we are then to have left others knowing that we care. -ME

Since you arrived here, you want to know a little about me, this will be less witty then you had hoped.

—EDITED FOR LIFE EVENTS—

I have 4 roles in life (currently):

Dad My Son is the joy in my life. Watching him grow has been an experience I never could have dreamed would be so pleasurable.

Medic with a moderately sized private ambulance company in Denver.

Police  Department Volunteer I am a Crime Victims Advocate with the City of Denver Occasionally, I will post some of my doings. But for the most part I help people who are facing seemingly insurmountable personal crises in their life.

Avid Gamer OK, I love video games. Old ones, new ones shooters, driving and more. There are 2 kinds of games I loathe: the ones that are based on TV game shows and anything in the Guitar Hero line. Pushing 4 buttons in sequence with no further goal is just, pointless.

I accept all email at phxgonline@gmail.com Look for me playing Call of Duty XBOX Live as: desertscorpi0n6(frequently)

——————————–

THIS IS SOMETHING I USED TO DO, BUT NO LONGER. IT IS THOUGH AN INSIGHT INTO KINDA THE WAY I AM.

I have been receiving a few emails asking me why and how I can do what I do for the fire department. Unlike fire or police who respond to calls and basically deal with the individuals in a medical crisis or committing crimes, we deal with the rest of the family, everyone else as it were.

At any given point there are 2 CR Vans up and running in the city of Phoenix. Each van has 2 members so for the entire population of Phoenix having problems there are 4 of us to provide crisis support. Obviously the CR Team only responds to specific calls; Codes (death), Sexual Assault, Crisis Care (Any number of problems like transporting people, following up on frequent 911 callers, police scene events (GSW, Stabbings, Drop Houses) and more. Our purpose is to help the people who have experienced a huge crisis in their lives return to reality and while not recover, at least get to a level of psychological coherence.

Working for the program is highly rewarding. No, I do not have some morbid fascination to wallow in others misery. What I do enjoy is helping people. There is a little bit of narcissism there too. When I leave a scene they don’t remember me by name, but till the day they die, they will remember me, the tall, fat fireman who stayed with them and helped them through this horrible event. It may be hard to understand, but for me and the other CR team members, it is an honor and a pleasure to be there with you and your family during this (usually) horrible event.

That is why I do it. But you also asked what I do.

Yes, most of what I encounter are codes (death). Here’s a question for you; if you, or a family member fell over dead tomorrow (expected or not) would your family be able to take care of YOU, your body that is. From experience, even people who are expected to die do not have an inkling of what the process is once it happens nor are they prepared in the slightest. It is like this:

  • You die
  • Your family calls 911 and the fire department shows up to verify that indeed you are dead and can not be revived
  • If you can be revived they take you to the hospital. If not, they leave you there (Yes, the fire department does NOT take your body
  • Be aware that by now your family is freaking out and is looking for answers. The police usually just ignore you, they don;t want to deal with emotionally worked up people. Enter the CR Team.
  • At this point the police are notified to come out, if they are not already there. You have just experienced an Unattended Death and now the police do a cursory investigation to determine if it was a suspicions (think homicide) death.
    • The police do their thing, take photos and confirm that you died apparently naturally. Keep in mind the only real thing they check for are holes from bullets, knives and if you look like you were beaten. It is real cursory.
  • The police then contact your doctor to see if he will sign the death certificate; if not then the Medical Examiner is called.
    • Based on the police findings they will:
    • Decline to come out because it appears natural
    • Come out to do a blood draw and a more advanced investigation, leaving your body at the scene
    • Come out and take your body for further investigation and if warranted, an autopsy
  • If the ME comes out they will “Package” your body. This consists of putting a name tage around your ankle, placing you into a Tyvek® bag and sealing the bag with a metal security band on the zipper
  • You must NOW pick a mortuary. You will have between 30 min to 4 hours to find one, but you MUST have one selected. We have a list. When was the last time you priced mortuary services? You may have a cemetery plot picked out, but that is the last step, not the first in planning for your death.This will be the last time your family will see you, if they choose to before your body is removed. Only your head is visible and depending on the circumstances, they may or may not be able to touch you. The next time you can be viewed is at the mortuary. And if you are not being cremated AND being buried out of state, the process is more complicated because you will need a mortuary on the end as well.
  • That is what I do, help your family get through this process. But I do have some advice for you. Once you die, you become less then helpful, kinda goes with the experience. Here are some tips to facilitate this process.

    • Have available a phone list of people you want notified
    • Have your burial plans ready and a MORTUARY picked out ahead of time
    • If you have life insurance or other types of accounts that your family will need, LIST THEM.
    • Do this NOW. Once you go, it is your family that will need to do this and trust me, you will be no help without preplanning for it.

    Working with families of the deceased is just one aspect. We also help the survivors of traumatic events cope and work with the police conducting an investigation. Assist in the improving others lives who are calling 911 frequently because they need help.