Monday, January 16, 2017

I Have a Dream: In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, I am posting his famous address delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.



I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. [applause]
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves [Audience:] (Yeah) who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. (Hmm)
But one hundred years later (All right), the Negro still is not free. (My Lord, Yeah) One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. (Hmm) One hundred years later (All right), the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later (My Lord) [applause], the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. (Yes, yes) And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (Yeah), they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men (My Lord), would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. (My Lord) Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds. [enthusiastic applause] (My Lord, Lead on, Speech, speech)
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. (My Lord) [laughter] (No, no) We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. (Sure enough) And so we’ve come to cash this check (Yes), a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom (Yes) and the security of justice. (Yes Lord) [enthusiastic applause]
We have also come to this hallowed spot (My Lord) to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. (Mhm) This is no time (My Lord) to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. [applause] (Yes, Speak on it!) Now is the time (Yes it is) to make real the promises of democracy. (My Lord) Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time [applause] to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time (Yes) [applause] (Now) to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent (Yes) will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. (My Lord) 1963 is not an end, but a beginning. (Yes) And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. [enthusiastic applause] There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: in the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. (My Lord, No, no, no, no) [applause] We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. (My Lord) Again and again (No, no), we must rise to the majestic heights (Yes) of meeting physical force with soul force. (My Lord) The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people (Hmm), for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny [sustained applause], and they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” (Never) We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. (Yes) We can never be satisfied [applause] as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. [applause] We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. (Yes) We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating for whites only. [applause] (Yes, Hallelujah) We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. (Yeah, That’s right, Let’s go) [applause] No, no, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters (Yes) and righteousness like a mighty stream. [applause] (Let’s go, Tell it)
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. (My Lord) Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. (My Lord, That’s right) Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution (Yeah, Yes) and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith (Hmm) that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi (Yeah), go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities (Yes), knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. (Yes) Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. (My Lord)
I say to you today, my friends [applause], so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow (Uh-huh), I still have a dream. (Yes) It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. (Yes)
I have a dream (Mhm) that one day (Yes) this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed (Hah): “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” (Yeah, Uh-huh, Hear hear) [applause]
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia (Yes, Talk), the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream (Yes) [applause] that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice (Yeah), sweltering with the heat of oppression (Mhm), will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream (Yeah) [applause] that my four little children (Well) will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. (My Lord) I have a dream today. [enthusiastic applause]
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists (Yes, Yeah), with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” (Yes), one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. [applause] (God help him, Preach)
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted (Yes), every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain (Yes), and the crooked places will be made straight (Yes), and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed [cheering], and all flesh shall see it together. (Yes Lord)
This is our hope. (Yes, Yes) This is the faith that I go back to the South with. (Yes) With this faith (My Lord) we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. (Yes, All right) With this faith (Yes) we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation (Yes) into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. (Talk about it) With this faith (Yes, My Lord) we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together (Yes), to stand up for freedom together (Yeah), knowing that we will be free one day. [sustained applause]
This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children (Yes, Yeah) will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country, ‘tis of thee (Yeah, Yes), sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. (Oh yes) Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride (Yeah), from every mountainside, let freedom ring!” (Yeah)
And if America is to be a great nation (Yes), this must become true. So let freedom ring (Yes, Amen) from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. (Uh-huh) Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. (Yes, all right) Let freedom ring (Yes) from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. (Well) Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. (Yes) But not only that: (No) Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. [cheering] (Yeah, Oh yes, Lord) Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. (Yes) Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. (Yes) From every mountainside (Yeah) [sustained applause], let freedom ring.
And when this happens [applause] (Let it ring, Let it ring), and when we allow freedom ring (Let it ring), when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city (Yes Lord), we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children (Yeah), black men (Yeah) and white men (Yeah), Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics (Yes), will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! (Yes) Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” [enthusiastic applause]

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Buddy Bench and More







The Buddy Bench and More

In March 1980 my father decided to uproot us from our hometown to a small town 100 miles away. I was a freshman in high school and to say it was traumatic is putting it mildly. I remember having one or two classmates who were nice to me but did not really invite me into their group of friends. I felt alone and isolated. We were required to go outside after lunch (recess) until it was time for our next class. So, I would eat lunch alone and then sneak up to the library to spend "recess". Maybe those memories are the reason why the stories of inclusion that I have been reading lately have brought a feeling of hope to me for all children who feel alone and isolated at school.

The Buddy Bench is a simple idea to help foster friendship and eliminate loneliness on the playground. The idea stemmed from a first grader named Christian after he saw a picture of a special bench on a playground in Germany when his family was contemplating moving there. He asked about it and liked the idea. He thought it would be a great thing to have on the playground at his current school, Roundtown Elementary in York PA. He knew that there were some kids who felt lonely at recess and he thought this would help. The rules are a little different at each school but basically go like this:

Buddy Bench Rules

If you’re sitting on the bench, play with the first classmate who invites you.

While you’re sitting on the bench, look around for a game you can join.

 Two friends sitting on the bench can turn to each other and invite each other to play.

The bench isn’t for socializing. Only sit there if you can’t find anyone to play with.

When you see someone on the bench, ask that person to play with you.

Keep playing with your new friends.

In the fall of the next school year his principal helped him pick out a bench for their new Buddy Bench. He gave a presentation to his local school board and community. From there Huffington Post ran a story on the Buddy Bench and it was then that the story took off.

Personally, this story has given me a sense of hope. Hope for any children who feel like I felt back in 1980.





Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Brief History of the Heroin Crisis and the Effect on First Responders







I'm sure most of you have seen the horrifying picture of the 4 year old sitting in the back seat of a minivan while his grandmother and a male are seen overdosing in the front seats. This picture is the reality of the heroin crisis in our country and for first responders it's, unfortunately, an everyday scene.

The heroin addict was born in 1874 when the drug was introduced as a "safe" alternative to the morphine addicts derived from the tens of thousands of Northern and Confederate soldiers who had become addicted. It has been present in American culture ever since. Heroin, morphine and other opiate derivatives were sold legally in the United States until 1920 when Congress enacted The Dangerous Drug Act after seeing the danger. Fast forward to 1996 when OxyContin was introduced and now that heroin is used because it is easier to use, much cheaper and easily available.

Opioid addiction is now an epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014. And it's only getting worse. Which means everyone in the United States has or will be affected especially the first responders who see it daily.

In Marion Ohio, the police chief stopped charging those who overdosed (Of course drug traffickers are still arrested). Instead authorities rely on other tools — prevention, education and naloxone (Narcan) an overdose medication — to try to put a dent in an epidemic that killed more than 1,400 people last year in Ohio. Police and paramedics now also have to be drug-treatment specialists. The Ohio Department of Health states that Naloxone (Narcan) was used 19,782 times by emergency personnel in Ohio last year. In another Ohio town one paramedic has used naxolone 5 times in one shift. You wonder what is does to first responders who everyday see people on the edge of death over and over and over again because of addiction.

Several of our products are used for training in basic life saving skills that are used constantly in this battle. We hope one day they aren't needed near as often as they are today.

It's likely that first responders will continue to battle this crisis daily and with their knowledge someday help end it.  We can only hope.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Why We Only Sell Prestan Manikins







Everyday at work I come across stories about how CPR training helped save a life. I often wonder if having the right CPR manikin during training helps with some of these positive outcomes. Pondering this question is how I came up with the idea for this blog post. 
Our owners, Karen and Charlie Morrison have chosen to sell only Prestan manikins here at MCR Medical. Both are seasoned CPR/First Aid instructors as well as instructor trainers. Of course this means they have plenty of experience with using CPR manikins. 
Recently I spoke with Charlie about why they chose Prestan. "It was Karen's preference" was his initial response. Even though the old saying 'Happy wife. Happy life' rings true in a lot of cases, I pressed him for a few more details. He began to share that Prestan manikins are first and foremost the best manikins for teaching CPR and BLS. He also explained that simply being easier to tote around makes them a better choice for trainers. They are lighter than most and the nylon carry case that comes with them are great!
Since I began here a few months ago, I myself have learned a thing or two about our CPR manikins. First, having the option of a rate monitor in the manikins is a tremendous tool in training students. The LED indicators allow for instant feedback to both instructor and student regarding their rate of chest compressions. This design was revolutionary for CPR manikins and CPR training. The use of the lung bags to monitor the proper chest rise are wonderful as well as the actual chest size when training with AED's make them versatile for other BLS training. Little things like the realistic feel of the manikin and how easy they are to keep clean were great selling points as well. 
The right tool for the job certainly rings true in this case. If you haven't used Prestan manikins, I encourage you to try them. You won't be disappointed. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

EMT News: It's Healthy Living Day at the Alaska State Fair


It's Healthy Living Day at the Alaska State Fair






PALMER, Alaska You can find plenty of tasty, deep-fried and high-calorie treats at the Alaska State Fair. On Monday, the emphasis was on healthy eating and life styles.

Several booths offered free health and safety lessons and screenings as part of "Healthy Living Day"
Mat Su Regional Medical and Mat Su Borough EMS have a tent on the purple trail are offering free hands-only CPR training. The one-on-one training takes about 5 minutes.
EMS training instructor Mandy Grinnell says more than 870 people, both adults and kids, had been trained in the tent by Monday.

"Got a lot of first-time parents that are coming in with their little ones that are saying hey can you teach me infant CPR," says Grinnell.

Across the purple trail Lions Club members are offering free vision screening. The quick exam offers two outcomes, pass or referral for further evaluation by a doctor.

Josh the Otter was handing out hugs and coloring books on water safety. The awareness project was started after a child named Joshua Collingsworth died in 2008 from slipping into a pool while unsupervised. To learn more visit http://www.joshtheotter.org/ 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tuesday Morning







Maya Angelou was a successful author, poet and civil rights activist. While she had a tumultuous childhood, as an adult she surrounded herself with people who inspired her and were uplifting. It's wonderful how she continues to encourage and energize so many people even after her death. 

Recently, our work family was hit with a terrible blow. One of our own was diagnosed with a very ugly illness. I think all of us are still trying to come to grips with the diagnosis but also stay positive. We all want to do something, anything to help our friend through this scary time. But we also don't want to be intrusive. Being a rainbow in someone else's cloud sounds perfect. 

While doing my research for this post, I have come across several articles on being a good friend during a serious illness. The first thing to remember is, it's about them! What they need and want from you. I did see similarities to everything I read; Notes, texts and calls are nice. But keep them short and sweet. Phone calls may not be welcomed all the time and that's ok. Visits can sometimes help them not feel isolated. But be sure you ask before you visit. Consider visiting on a Tuesday morning instead of the weekend or evening when a lot of people want to visit. Share things they enjoy while you're visiting. Also, conversations should help them have moments of joy. Such as talking about pets, traveling and etc. Running errands and bringing them silly or sweet gifts are great ways to help. And finally, remember the caregiver. Ask what they need. Maybe sit with their loved one while they take a short walk or run to the store. 

Now I know that some people are more private than others but with a little listening, you should be able to figure out what they are comfortable with. And if it's nothing right know then that's ok. It is about them anyway.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Children Can Save Lives With CPR Training


                  I have seen several pictures and read several stories lately concerning children learning CPR. As a former teacher of young children, I am always fascinated by their abilities. They are truly little sponges that absorb as much information as we can throw at them. And as a new school year begins wouldn't it be wonderful to send them off with skills that could possibly save a life?

                  That is exactly what is happening around the country as more states begin to make CPR training a mandatory graduation requirement. This map from Pro Teachings LLC shows where we are as a country, as we strive to have CPR required in all high schools.

                
                 While doing research for this blog I came upon several videos and pictures from around the country of young children learning CPR. I really enjoyed this video posted from WPBF in Florida. I like the idea of using the soft toy ambulance for compression training. Also, how wonderful is it that NYPD has a Mobile CPR Unit. This summer they have been traveling throughout the city teaching CPR. I love seeing all their pics on Instagram.
                 

                  Please consider taking a CPR class with your children. It most certainly does Save Lives!


Lora