Thursday, April 24, 2014

F. M. (Marilyn) Meredith and Murder in the Worst Degree

Murder in the Worst Degree: The body that washes up on the beach leads Detectives Milligan and Zachary on a murder investigation that includes the victim’s family members, his housekeeper, three long-time friends, and a mystery woman.

Today I'm happy to welcome a good friend to Cicero's Children. F. M. Meredith, aka Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over 35 published books. She enjoys writing about police officers and their families and how what happens on the job affects the family and vice versa. Having several members of her own family involved in law enforcement, as well as many friends, she’s witnessed some of this first-hand.

Social Issues in the Rocky Bluff P.D. Mystery Series

Though it was never planned nor intended, social issues have cropped up in each of the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series as part of the plot.

From the first book on, I’ve written about people who are mentally ill and the plight of the homeless. I’ve written about people who don’t trust the police and those who hate law enforcement of every kind. I’ve addressed women in law enforcement and some of the unique problems they face.

A police officer has a problem after shooting an armed robber who turned out to be a teenager.

I’ve had two stories where a pedophile was investigated and arrested.

One of the officer’s wives suffers from post-partum depression.

Sergeant Navarro’s mother has Alzheimer’s.

One of my minor characters is a young man with Down Syndrome, and in the latest book, Murder in the Worst Degree, Officer Ryan Strickland isn’t sure if he’s man enough to love the baby with Down Syndrome that he and his wife are expecting.

Only one of the RBPD officers is African American and his major problem for a while has been the fact that his wife is white—and neither of their families are pleased.

In this latest book, a new police chief has come aboard and she is female and African American. I’ve already had some fun addressing a few issues with this. I know she’ll be a key player in future books.

What happens, I think, is when I’m writing about the men and women of the Rocky Bluff P.D. I am bombarded with ideas—crimes that I know happen every day and obviously would be faced by the officers I write about. And along with that, to me, these police officers and their families are very real to me, and like the people who we all know, problems arise in their lives.

Thank you, Mary, for allowing me to come and visit today.

Marilyn, aka F. M. Meredith

Once again I am offering the opportunity to have your name used for a character in a book if you comment on the most blogs during this tour for Murder in the Worst Degree.

Tomorrow you can find me visiting here:


Friday, April 18, 2014

Confusing English Words

A friend sent this to me and I just had to pass it along.

Read to the end where you'll find an explanation of what these words are called in English grammar. Yeah, we all learned this back in 5th grade, but who remembers it now?? Anyway, have fun with the following sentences.

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the  desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, please present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.  
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) A buck deer does funny things when does are present.
15)  A sewer of men's clothing fell down into a  sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to  sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind up the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

From at  comes this explanation:

Homographs, Homophones and Homonyms
It’s easy to confuse homographs with homophones and homonyms, but if you think about each word, they make more sense.
Homo-, as you know, means “same.” But the end of each word tells us what is the same.
·  Homograph - “Graph” has to do with writing or drawing. When you think about a graph, you envision a picture. If you read graphic novels, you know they have pictures. Someone drew them. So “homograph” means “same picture” or “same writing.” Homographs are written (spelled) the same.
·  Homophone - “Phone” has to do with sound. When you talk on the telephone, you hear the other person’s voice. When people in the 1800s used a gramophone, they were listening to music. And phonology is the study of a language’s sounds. So “homophone” means “same sound.” Homophones are pronounced the same.
·  Homonym - “Nym” means “name.” Stevie Nicks and Stevie Wonder have the same first name, but they clearly are different people. It’s the same with homonyms. They’re spelled the same (homographs) and pronounced the same (homophones), but they have different meanings. “Bow,” for example, means both “to bend at the waist” and “the front of a boat.”

And then there are heteronyms, where each of two or more words are spelled identically but have different sounds and meanings, such as tear meaning “rip” and tear meaning “liquid from the eye.” 

Now wasn't that fun?? :)


Saturday, April 12, 2014

What's the Difference Between an EMT and a Paramedic?

Someone recently asked me to explain the difference between an EMT -- Emergency Medical Technician -- and a paramedic. Here in Illinois, the answer is simple; the term "EMT" covers all men and women who have completed state mandated EMT courses and have passed the licensure tests associated with those courses. 

But don't tell that to a Illinois paramedic. They can get a little touchy if called an EMT because they have worked long and hard to rise to the top of their profession. You see, there are three levels of EMT recognition in my state. 

Illinois EMT-Basic (EMT-B)
1.       Cannot intubate
2.       Can assist patient with the following medications: Albuterol (patient assist in using MDI); Epinephrine (Epi Pen) for adults and children for application in treatment of allergic reactions and anaphylaxis; nitroglycerin (patient assist).
Illinois EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I)
1.       Can intubate
2.       Can give the following medications: Aspirin; Epinephrine (1:1000); Adenosine; Epinephrine (1:10,000); Atropine sulfate; Furosemide (Lasix); Bronchodilators (Beta 2 agonists) e.g. Albuteral; Lidocaine Hcl 2%; Morphine sulfate; 50% dextrose; Naloxone (Narcan); Diazepam; Nitroglycerin.
Illinois EMT-Paramedic (EMT-P)
1.       Can intubate and perform needle cricothyrotomy
2.       Can give the following medications: adenosine
    (Adenocard); albuterol(Proventil) (2.5 mg usual first dose); amiodarone (may be mentioned with Lidocaine for Rx of ventricular dysrhythmias); aspirin; atropine; dextrose 50% 50ml IVP (adult dose for hypoglycemia); diazepam(Valium) (peds dose: 0.2/0.5mg IVP/IR); diphenhydramine (Benadryl); dopamine; epinephrine 1:1000 0.3-0.5mg for bronchospasm; epinephrine 1:10,000 1mg IVP/IO for code mgt.; furosemide (Lasix); glucagon; lidocaine; midazolam(Versed); morphine; naloxone (Narcan); nitroglycerin; sodium bicarbonate; vasopressin (may be mentioned with Epi 1:10,000 for Rx of V-fib and asystole); verapamil (offered as an alternative to diltiazem).

EMT-Basic training courses typically range from 120 to 150 hours and concentrate on the basics of pre-hospital care, including airway management, CPR, and control of shock and bleeding and splinting of fractures fracture.
EMT-Intermediate courses cover intubation, administration of some medications, and general ALS principles of care. 
EMT-Paramedic courses range between 1000 and 1200 hours and cover administration of medications, IV therapy, cardiac monitoring and defibrillation, and trauma care. Paramedics provide ALS -- Advanced Life Support -- services.

As you can see, there's quite a difference in the services provided by EMTs at different levels. Paramedics can expand their training by taking other specific courses, such as classes in trauma transport needed for air ambulance service jobs.

If you're writing a story the requires a scene with an EMT character, the above gives you an idea of what he/she can do for your victim. Remember, though, that what I've written here applies to Illinois EMTs. While Illinois recognizes three levels of EMT licensure, other states may recognize more levels or fewer levels. For example, Texas has five levels of certification, the highest being licensed paramedic followed by EMT-P, EMT-I, EMT-B, and ECA (emergency care attendant). To gain the highest level of licensed paramedic, a Texas applicant must hold either a two-year EMS degree or a four-year degree in any field.

State by state EMT levels and requirements can be found by searching the Internet using the above underlined words. It may take you a little time to find the answers you need for your state, but it's worth it if you want your stories to reflect accuracy and credibility.

More next time on EMS regions and differences in care from one region to another.