Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter, everybody!

At first it looked like Easter Sunday was going to start off as busy as Black Saturday had for us:  A few minutes after midnight our crew phones started playing their "dispatch is texting you" ring tones.  My head had literally just hit the pillow (I don't think there's a pressure-activated switch in there, but sometimes I wonder).  I muttered something non-Easter-ish, grabbed my phone, and looked to see what adventures awaited us.


Probably good news:  We're supposed to get an extra page at the end of each flight listing our "fractional miles", because Medicare in its infinite wisdom recently decided that rounding the distance we fly each patient to the nearest mile wasn't accurate enough.  Now they want want our mileages to include tenths of miles as well (528 feet, in a helicopter -- seriously, Medicare?), which requires extra calculations and a separate text message.  So this was either an extremely late page for our flight twelve hours before, or a complete misfire.

Called dispatch.  Determined that it was indeed a complete misfire (intended for one of our other helicopters).  Counted my Easter blessings, and went back to bed.

Well, eventually went back to bed.  A couple hours later.  There's always a certain amount of adrenaline produced by that phone going off when you're in bed -- even if you've just gotten into bed -- so even false alarms tend to cost us some sleep.

Woke up fairly late this morning.  Walked out into the living room to find that the Easter Bunny had left me a big bag full of paper grass and candy (I work with some pretty cool people; have I ever mentioned that?).

Other than a couple more false alarms (standy-bys for accidents that didn't end up requiring a helicopter), nothing else flight-related has happened so far today.

So I've spent the day chatting with pilot, nurse, and mechanic, sending and receiving Easter messages, working on continuing education paperwork, napping a bit, and chipping away at VANISHED.

One thing I haven't been good at this last week is inviting people to this blog.  I've mentioned it to a few family members, some co-workers, listed it on my Twitter profile.  I've been very pleasantly surprised at how many views just that wee bit of publicizing has generated.  But I still have hundreds of VANISHED-related contacts I need to email ... and I'm still horribly embarrassed at how long I've been out of most touch with most of them.

So tonight, without further ado (and as always when at work, dispatch willing), I'm  gonna start emailing invites.

Good night everybody.

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