Wednesday, April 25, 2012


     Took a blog break and now I'm back!! With some great posts! Todays is a lil story, about a car accident I responded to a while back. It happened on a nice day, mid-afternoon. Home skillet was driving along, and claimed another car hit him head on, and spun him around a few times, and drove off. When I arrives on scene, there was a slew of peeps hanging out with home skillet. I walked a long them and asked them where they were sitting, etc. NONE of them having been in the car. Just a few fellas having a BBQ when they heard the crash. When I got to the driver (home skillet) I asked him if he was ok, and of course he was a little shaken up. I saw no obvious injuries, and checked his car, and told him he was lucky and the usual banter about him wearing his seat belt. I noticed however, that as he was speaking with me, he had brown on his hand. I didn't smell anything, so I ignored it. I moved on to talking with the police officer that responded, and let my partner get some information for our paperwork. I noticed he had some of the same brown ALL OVER the seat of his pants. So, naturally in my assumptions (coming from 12 years of experience) I assumed that he pooped himself. I pondered, that he was probably on some sort of drugs, or crashed, devised his story, and pooped all in the same split second. The times I see a "CODE BROWN" are usually our elderly patient who has been ill, fallen and hadn't made it to the bathroom, or our usual drug or alcohol induced candidate that releases his bowels when he sees the cops with us. Of course that's where my brain went. I decided to look inside the car for any paraphernalia, alcohol bottles, and whatever else I could find to back up my suspicion. And there, plain as day, was a Hershey bar in the drivers seat. Homeboy probably fell asleep, or reached for said Hershey bar, and crashed his car. Thankful it wasn't poop, but then again, what a waste of good chocolate.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Firefighter/Paramedic Bihlmaier

FF/Paramedic Jeanie Budge Bihlmaier

 It's been said that people come into our lives for a reason. That is definately the case here. I met Jeanie almost 2 years ago, at the North Fork Fire Dept. I had started there, in 1999. I've always worked there off and on, and in this case, was asked by the assistant chief to cover a shift while he was out of town. Jeanie and I were on that shift. We worked all day, and talked and laughed, and while I was going through a very difficult trial, she was supportive and instantly protective after knowing me just a few hours :)
At that time, She had just finished her firefighter training, at UVU in the Recruit Academy. I was in the middle of paramedic school, stressed out of my mind.  She applied for UVU's paramedic program and was accepted, and also made the class president. I finished medic school, and she carried on with her class.
Jeanie and son Lander
I visited her occasionally on her ride-along shifts at my station, and we kept in touch daily. It was nice to have someone, to talk to, after a hard shift, or clinical... Someone that was going through it too.
She had been testing, and interviewing for jobs for months.  Along came Provo Fire & Rescue.  I was with her, when she received the news that she had passed the first test, and was moving on to the next one. We screamed like teenage girls that just got asked to their first dance :) She tested, was interviewed, and offered a position. Again, screaming ensued. We keep in touch now, every shift, every call, every day. It's been awesome, to have someone go through the same struggles and trials in a male dominated job. She claims I am her inspiration, well she is my motivation to keep going when this job gets rough, as well as my inspiration to be a great mom.  She is definately a best friend I'll have forever.
Congrats Jeanie, love you and SO proud of the paramedic you are, and will be...

Jeanie in boot camp, training for new job

Monday, February 28, 2011


AirMed is an ambulance in the sky. They operate helicopters as well as fixed wing airplanes, accomodating much of the west with medical transport. They transport patients across state lines, respond to various trauma accidents, and so on. I was priviledged to ride along or, "fly along" with them in Februaury. I flew twice in the chopper, and once in the fixed wing plane to Idaho and back. What I experienced, was a level of care that I am honored to pass my patients on to. It was most interesting to see what happens when I transfer a patient to them. I had a great day, and met great, educated and inspiring people. Here are some pics of my day!
Salt Lake City
Flight in fixed wing
Learning the ropes with Ben, flight medic
Fixed wing I flew in
SUNSET, Prefect day....

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I started my EMS/Fire career back in 1999. Both at Sundance, and the North Fork Fire Dept. Occasionally, I come back to my old stompin' grounds, for a shift or two.  One fine summer a few years ago, I was helping my friend Kenny, the Asst. Chief, with some other firefighters, with controlled burns.  Wildfire, as devastating as it can be, actually helps the forest by cleaning out the dead, and promoting new growth.  We were chopping trees down, and cleaning up the dead, and burning it up.  As clutz-y as I am, you can gather how muddy my pants were after a day of this, since I'd fall every hike we were on.  There happened to be a large wildfire to the north of us, that had come very close to a neighborhood of homes.  Kenny, had put the new fire truck in, and the department, for an assist to the US Forest Service.  We were to go up and protect the neighborhood in case the fire krept close to the homes again. We were stationed and were to rotate every few hours.  We were the overnight shift. We went to the de-briefing and shift change for the night fire crews coming on. We also were able to eat dinner with them before we all started our shifts.  We got plates and sat down, just the three of us. Kenny, Stephen, and I. If any of you know Stephen, he likes his food. He wolfed down about three bites of a pasta salad, when I heard... "IS THIS SHRIMP!!!??"
I said, "um, yeah I think..." He immediately responds, "OH SH*T!!" I exclaimed, "YOU'RE ALLERGIC!!?" he jumps up, and tells me he is running to the engine for some benedryl.  After being gone about 10 minutes, I panic. I jump up from debriefing, and go looking for Stephen, imagining to find him collapsed in the fetal position, and wheezing for air. I find him, on the phone with his wife, just fine, however, full of benedryl.  We get to our post and start our duties. All three of us sat in the front of the truck, Stephen in the middle. Kenny and I are talking, watching the fire and laughing about the good old days, when I noticed Stephen, face down, dead asleep. Those of you that know me and my laugh, know it's more of a cackle and snort, than a laugh, and he wasn't budging. All the benedryl knocked him clean out. We'd move positions, and patrol around the area, discussing plans of evacuation of we needed to etc. We parked where we could see the hill, and sat for a bit. It's around 3:30am. All the neighborhood is quietly sleeping. The truck is dark, and Kenny pushes a button on the steering wheel, to put the engine into a "high idle" which is better in the engines of fire apparatus'. Instead, he hits the air horn. Without a hitch, just as if he'd been awake for hours, in the conversations, everything, Stephen pipes up, and yells.."TIME TO MOVE!!" Kenny already had the truck in gear and was driving as fast as he could out of the area, while I'm ducking, and laughing hysterically at what just happened, and that Stephen, though being knocked out, jumped up and called out our command.  Needless to say, I'll never forget how funny that night was, and how glad I was Stephen had ingested shrimp, even though it could've killed him, it didn't. And he's sitting here next to me now. Eating...

Monday, February 7, 2011

2015 Police & Fire Games

Well I'll be. I am the profile pic of the 2015 Police & Fire Games Facebook page for this week. They choose a random person, and I guess I was chosen. Needless to say I am flattered, and honored to be recognized as a 'fan' for such an inspring event! It is to be held in Fairfax, Virginia.  It is a competition amongst firefighters and police officers from all over the world. Can't wait for 2015!

Monday, January 24, 2011


I graduated from Paramedic School in December,  from University of Utah, here is a newspaper article, featuring us:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Clinical Conundrums....

As I am finishing Paramedic school this week, I figured I'd post on the interesting few stories I have to share from many clinicals.  As a requirement, we have to do many hours of clinical time, in hospitals departments such as, Labor & Delivery, Operating Room, U of U Burn Unit, and most hours are completed in the Emergency rooms and riding along with fire deptsrtments. With that said, I have some great moments from my experience!  I have decided, to share them with you, in the form of a "Top Ten" list:


One certain firefighter/paramedic from a neiboring agency, calling me any name but my own.  My fault, however, that he asked if it was ANDREA? and I said, Mindi. Next day, "TIFFANY, right? I said yes. His captain called me MANDY. and The rest of the day, I was called KID. 

Yes, picking up on me. Whilst in a breezy hospital gown.

The all too common conversation, was "Oh, your not a nurse?" "No, I'm a paramedic here getting clinical hours" "OH! YOU are a firefighter?!? "Yes." "My sons, brothers, cousins, dogs nephew, is a firefighter, but he doesn't have a job yet, can you get him one?"  or  "YOU are a firefighter? but your a girl... is that hard?" Yes.

Let's just sum this one up in a few words, since I still get frustrated thinking about it. Old man. Me. Hospital room. he's not happy. I get to hear it all, for probably 45 minutes.

We practince IV's and giving certain medications. I drew one up, was pushing out the air bubble, out of the syringe, my "air bubble" was the medication. Oops.

As I'm standing at the nurses station, I notice a greasy, odd man staring at me as the paramedics wheeled his friend into a room. He approached me, and it was an instant "personal space" issue. "So, you're with the Fire Department?" "Yes." now, at this point I'm ready for the normal "wow you're a girl stuff...which he said, but then it went verrrry...akward." "I just watched Backdraft, and man, you guys are really great, carrying kids out and stuff, man that's so great. I can't believe you do that, can I shake your hand?" Uh, movie magic there fella. He shook my hand, which I immediately sanitized, and tried to stay busy. He decides to leave, comes back to my personal space to let me know I'm the most beautiful firefighter he's ever seen, wants to shake my hand again (immediate sanitation follows) and leaves. I thought I was free and clear.... Not so.  I then went into a room helping a gentleman with chest pain. I started and IV, had the curtains drawn in the room, and as I'm drawing blood, this crazy shows up again "JUST wanted to say HI! HI!!" really.... Hope he gets a copy of Backdraft for Christmas.

In between the Primary Childrens Medical Center, and the University of Utah hospitals, is a long tunnel connecting them. One day after a PCMC clinical, I was making the long walk back to U of U. Interestingly enough, hardly anyone was in the tunnel. I heard a male voice, singing. As I got further in the tunnel, it got louder. I finally saw a man, sitting on a bench, singing his heart out in spanish.  I wondered if he knew I was coming, but as I got closer, I noticed he didn't care. He kept singing, and it made me smile. He had an amazing voice, and although I didn;t know the words, it touched me. I wondered what he was there for. Waiting for his wife that was ill? Or a child? I'll never know. But after a long hard day, he'll never know how much he made my day. I passed him and he kept singing. It faded as I walked away, but my smile stayed affixed the whole drive home.

As a form of extra credit in the semester, I was allowed to attend a apecial burn class for Fliht medics/nurses and Burn Unit nurses. As part of the 2nd part of the day, I was to be made up as a burn victim. They were all required to pass some practical testing with those of us that were made up as victims. I got the uh, easiest one (sarchastically of course).  Electrical Burns.  I had to form my hands into half claw, half fists and dip them in wax, over and over. The wax feels like typical 3rd degree burned skin. Once I had dipped so many times, I had to keep them stiff, for 3 hours. 3 hours. 3 hours!! They painted the make up on and I laid on a table and tried to act burned. I did have a very nice view, of some nice looking flight medics though :)

I had a night shift in an ER. After being there for 5 hours, I was standing at the nurses station, and felt a little sick. I thought it was since I hadn't eaten all day, so I ate a granola bar. We had 6 traumas in 5 hours, and I was running around helping other nurses, and finally had a minute. After deciding I didn't want to announce I was sick, I went to the last trauma to help the nurse. It was a patient that had been beaten severely, and was covered in blood. I started to clean him up, and suddenly, my hearing faded, going, going, gone. I looked up and a white tunnel closed in on me. I grabbed the side of the bed, took a deep breath, and slowly stumbled over to the nurse. "I think I'm passing out..." She grabs me, and sits me down where she can watch me. I pulled off my surgical gown and mask, and she said, "OH, you are PALE!" I told her I had seen many a trauma victim, I was so worried she'd think I couldn't handle blood!! So nerdy. I sat for a minute, then left. I cried the whole way home out of embarrassment. Turned out, I had a flu bug.

My greatest story ever. A woman came in after suffering an allergic reation. We gave her 3 different medications, to help the reaction, her breathing, and the hives. Her son, was speaking to me in broken english, about how I was a paramedic. She started to come around and he asks me.. "When do her nipples go away?" I reply, "Excuse me?" he says, "THE NIPPLES, when do they go away??" he then points to the bumps on her face. I respond loudly, "HIVES! HIVES!.....HIIIIVES"

Monday, September 20, 2010


It is a long running tradition at the fire house. Practical jokes. After all, what better way to pass the time, and have a little fun at your fellow firefighters expense? I have yet to work a shift, where no joke is played on me, another firefighter, or us to another fire station... This day was no exception. Myself, being the non-sarchastic spice that I am, was in the kitchen with a few of they guys one shift. I opened their fridge to put my snacks for the day inside. I noticed, all neatly plastic wrapped, a cheeseburger. CHEESEBURGER. wrapped in plastic. Now, keep in mind, these guys work 48 hours, go home for 96, so my mouth started running. "WHAT IS THIS??" they all laughed, they usually throw away leftovers, but this little guy made his way back into the fridge in case somebody wanted a snack. At that point, I was challenged, to place it on the deputy chiefs desk.... Me? avoid a challenge? NOT so. I walked casually by, noticed he was gone, and left the perfectly wrapped cheeseburger on his desk. We giggled like school girls, waiting for him to return to his office. He did, and was meeting with our vehicle maintenance guy. I walked past and noticed, he kept on going, moved the burger forward on his desk, and kept on going. I walked in, grabbed it, and he said "UH, yeah, what's that about?" I casually walked out. I then was challenged to put it in the captains office. I snuck in, and we noticed his bag still on his bed. We placed it in the bag. After that, I asked him, "Hey Cap, I need some socks, would you happen to have an extra pair??" He said yes. After much anticipation, he finally went into his office. I stood by the ambulance in anticipation, when the door speedily cracked open, and the cheeseburger FLYING at me, it hit me. Right in the keester. We laughed forever. After that, my partners grabbed it. We were called out to a mental patient, female. I was of course the only one she'd talk to. I was talking with her, when outside one of the guys asked another firefighter if he had anything in his pocket he could snack on. Stan reaches into his pocket, and there it is. Cheeseburger. After the call, I got into drive the ambulance back to the station, on the dashboard?? Cheeseburger. We went to train at a burn fire prop we had, and reaching into my mask bag to get it, what did I grab? Cheeseburger. That thing followed us half that day, until we started throwing it around at each other, and it finally, bit the dust. I miss my little friend, but know he is in a better place... the trash. Here are some pictures from the infamous cheeseburger day.....
Jake, Britt, Cap Jolley, Stan and Chase
Jakes bloody nose, wish I could say from the cheese burger, but not so...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Calendar shoot....

I was asked to be in a firefighter calendar, where all proceeds go to Shriners Hospital. So how could I say no!? Photo shoot is in a couple days, Stay tuned for the updates, I just might never live this one down....But hey, I've always idolized pin-up girls, its my 15 minute pin-up fame!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scavenger Hunt SWAK

One fine Saturday, we all gathered at the station to set up for a holiday event. I walked up to the bay, and immediately, all the guys were pointing at me, and laughing and saying "Mindi will!!" uh oh... talk a bout a set up. It was for some sort of a scavenger hunt. They were to get a kiss from a firefighter, so of course they set me up for it! As we sat around waiting for everyone to get situated, 2 more groups came. Now, I'm always for putting on make up and saying "all firegirls are pretty," this day, we'd have hours of work ahead in the hot sun, so there was not a stitch of make up on. I posed for numerous pics kissing the cheeks of the young and old alike. If I get my hands on any, I'll post them, but to the spouses of those fellas I kissed for the scavenger hunt, I apologize. Not thinking they're too worried though, I looked quite scary that morning :) Hope my teams won!! MUAH!!