Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 44 seconds


Jeff Furner

An old friend that I worked with for many years in EMS (Emergency Medical Services) passed away recently, although not unexpected, it was sudden and sad. I had taken the time to have a long conversation with him, then got to spend some quality time at lunch with him a month before he passed. There was a bit of closure that I found comforting. Jeff will be missed.

On that same day I learned that he died, I had an amazingly difficult experience in a simulation scenario related to my EMS life that reshaped how I think. It forced me to adjust my paradigm and I think it may benefit everyone to hear about how I am processing my miserable performance into a positive life lesson.

So there I was faced with a dying child, not an unusual situation to find myself in. My partner and I jumped in as we always do. We sprang into action fixing things. It is what has always worked for us in the past. Sadly, it didn’t work this time. My peers who were watching made the scenario extremely difficult. No matter how hard we tried, the child slowly and painfully got worse. How could that be? My approach has never failed me in the past; I just kept doing the same thing. We had made no plan together, and we had no backup plan, we didn’t need one, we’ve been doing this for years. Or so I thought.

“You can stop now”

The sweetest words came from my mentors mouth when she said, “You can stop now”. Sweating, exhausted, frustrated, angry, embarrassed, and betrayed. I went into the debriefing beaten down, how could my peers have conspired to trip us up? What had I done to deserve this sort of punishment? I defended my actions by explaining that I had faced this same scenario in real life, and I did what I have always done without a bad outcome. I came up with all sorts of excuses for my performance. It took a few days to recover; I had phone calls of apology for this and that, some had words of encouragement, but it still hurt. I left dazed and befuddled.

Then something happened that brought everything into perspective. I have a very strong faith that things always have a way of working out. This blind faith, it turns out, has prevented me from developing a better system to ensure it.

Old Dog

Old Dog

My daughter, Athena called last night to ask me for some clichés for a paper she is doing in college. “You can’t teach and old dog new tricks” came to mind, a stroke of genius perhaps. Suddenly everything came into focus.

It dawned on me. No matter what you are doing in life, you need to make a plan with everyone involved, and then have a backup plan in case it doesn’t work.”

We used to joke at the Flying Pie that having your fingers crossed, for a plan B was a poor choice. It was just a simulation, no one died. If there a better way to teach an old dog new tricks, I can’t think of it. Thanks to everyone that had a hand in showing me what I could not see in a loving, safe way that worked.

Another way to look at an old issue

On a similar theme, speaking of plans, scheduling has reared its ugly head again in our little remodeling world. The good news is that it only happens when were really busy. In an effort to get rid of the crossed fingers technique and the. “I dunno what do you want to do?” We are using a scheduling tool we’ve had for quite some time but have not needed as much. Our Client Portal and the scheduling module are robust and unlike anything that is being used in our area.

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