EMS: Courage And Compassion In Action

By Shawn GodfreyPrint Story | Email Story
Shawn Godfrey is a certified paramedic and operantions manager at the Village Ambulance Service in Williamstown.
Welcome to "EMS:Courage and Compassion In Action," a weekly column written by Village Ambulance Services Operations Manager and paramedic Shawn Godfrey. Godfrey's columns will appear on Monday and will focus on the reality of the emergency services medical profession. The Birth of a Sibling Rivalry This week I wanted to write something humorous; something to expose the public to the “funnier” side of the emergency medical service (EMS) profession. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. This week I had really intended to write a column on the body and its stages of decomposition under extreme hot and cold temperatures, but as I began writing the rough draft, I realized a decaying body, under any circumstance, isn’t all that funny no matter what the temperature is. Well, actually, if it’s 30 degrees below zero and there’s a harvest moon and…okay, I digress. Anyhow, while preparing to write this column, I tried to recall EMS incidences that could be considered “funny”, because, while it’s usually easy for me to be funny (ask my coworkers), it’s a lot harder to find humor in our profession than one might think, especially while under the watchful eye of my editor who recommends I “lighten it up" every now and again. Home Birth So, as I blankly stared at the keyboard, the first “funny” incident that popped into my mind was that of Cindy. Cindy was a 6 year-old girl who seemed to never be at a loss for words, especially following the at-home birth of her baby brother. One early fall morning the ambulance was called for Meghan. Meghan was expecting her second child, and, unfortunately, was at home alone with her 6 year-old daughter, Cindy. It was three days after Meghan’s expected due date and her husband was away at a business conference in Seattle, so needless to say, fear of giving birth without her husband there caused tremendous anxiety for Meghan, especially with contractions now only two minutes apart and the urge to push intensifying. As the EMTs arrived, Meghan quickly said "hurry, I think the baby's coming!" The EMTs hastily prepared their equipment and positioned Meghan comfortably on the sofa. Job Well Done Cindy, who had been watching from the kitchen, wanted to help, and since it was apparent this was going to be an at-home delivery, the EMTs agreed that the additional help might be useful. One EMT handed Cindy a towel dampened with water and instructed her to gently wipe her mother’s forehead each time her mother shouted. After numerous, intermittent contractions and several forceful pushes, the baby was born. It was a boy. The EMT immediately cradled the infant, assessed his skin color, and spanked his bottom. The baby began to vigorously cry, move all four extremities, and appeared generally healthy. Should Have Known Better While preparing Meghan and her newborn son for transport to the emergency department, the EMTs thanked Cindy for her help, and asked the excited 6 year-old what she thought about assisting with the birth of her new baby brother. Cindy immediately responded, "It was neat, but I would have smacked him again. He shouldn't have crawled up there in the first place.” Fortunately, many humorous accounts, like this one, can be found circulating through EMS folklore. After all, LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE.
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Williamstown Planning Board Weighing New Pot Bylaw

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Planning Board last week heard from several residents who want it to prohibit outdoor production of marijuana in the language of an updated bylaw the board intends to send to May's annual town meeting.
 
Several of the people who argued against granting a special permit to grow pot on a Blair Road parcel early last year were back at Town Hall on Tuesday to ask that town regulations be changed to allow marijuana production only indoors and then under highly regulated conditions to control odor.
 
The Planning Board chose to address the bylaw passed by town meeting in 2017 because it was written before the commonwealth's Cannabis Control Commission had written statewide regulations in response to the November 2016 vote to decriminalize marijuana in Massachusetts.
 
The town in 2017 was trying to "get ahead of the curve," and now wants to amend its language to align with the nomenclature used at the state level. For example, the 2017 bylaw refers to "marijuana production facilities." The CCC language is written to address indoor and outdoor "marijuana cultivators."
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