Friday, December 07, 2007

Mission Accomplished

Hi Friends:

With great pleasure and satisfaction I can tell you that I approved my last test to finally become a lawyer. My eternal gratitude to those that gave me their best wishes before the test.

The exam was actually NOT what I expected. I was presented in front of 6 experienced lawyers, one of them a man with more than 25 years of being a judge. But the questions were more like conversation-styled, with the purpose, I think, of trying to make the student feel comfortable and not intimidated.

After 30 minutes of this interview-like test, they told me it was enough, and gave me a grade of 90! 

Now comes graduation, though when I do not know yet.

See ya,

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Graduate test topics

Today I received the topics that I must present at my test. Let me explain to you how the test is going to go:

The test, an oral exam, lasts 1 hour. The student is presented in front of a jury, composed normally of 3 to 5 members. During the first 15 minutes, the student must present the first topic assigned. During the next 15 minutes, the student must present the second topic. And the remaining 30 minutes are dedicated to what I call "Fire at Will": the jury will ask whatever they want, about whatever they want.

Well, today, 4 days before test, they gave us candidates the topics to present. Mine are the following:

Topic I
Equity and private property
Luckily for me, I got his topic, not only one that I enjoy a lot, but one that I dominate confidently.

Topic II
The concept of family at its historical evolution
Honestly, I do not enjoy Family Law. But luckily, I got a very simple topic. Here, I have to talk about the concept of family from a legal perspective, as well as how the family and its law have evolved across time.

The test begins on Wednesday, 5th December.
Wish me luck :-)


Blog topic changes

Hello friends:

Since I belong no longer to COMSER, it is natural to change this blog to something else. Therefore, I've decided to make this blog my personal blog, not just of topics related to my work on the Red Cross.

However, for those of you interested on the Red Cross, this blog's archive will still maintain those posts that I've made.

I hope you will enjoy this new blog, and please, feel free to leave comments whenever you like!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One weel till deadline

In exactly 8 days, I will be doing my final graduation test. I will have to prove a tribunal of respected and experienced lawyers, that I deserve to be considered one of them too.

Now, the dynamic is going to be as follows. The test is oral, that is, no written questions, no presentations or powerpoints, no nothing but yourself and your words. They are going to give me 2 topics to talk about during 30 minutes, and after that, they will open “fire at will” and ask about anything they deem appropriate. But, what can they ask about? Anything of what I’ve studied during the last 4 years: obligations, commercial law, property law, General Theory of the Contract, Family Law, Labor law and Criminal Law, among others. So yeah, I’ll have to dodge some bullets, just as Neo.

The problem with an oral test is that you do not have time to think: once they ask you a question, you either answer it or not. You cannot erase your answers, or think it over for 5 minutes as you would do on a written test. Furthermore, you must speak and appear to have complete dominance of the exercise, that is, the vocal tone and body language play an important role here.

Anyway, whatever happens, I am well prepared for it: I have been intensively studying for more than 2 months now, successfully approved the preparation-test (which is an oral exam too), and thoroughly reviewed the laws, theories and jurisprudence of our courts. Whatever comes, I’m ready to charge against it, or die trying :-)

In one week, I expect to gladly communicate to all of you that I have become a lawyer.

See ya,

Monday, November 26, 2007

Goodbye COMSER

Well, this is it. After 2 years of belonging to one of latin america’s best emergency services community, it is finally time to say goodbye. The reason for my departure is quite simple: intolerance.

Though our work at the Red Cross is volunteer, ad-honorem, the people in charge of the volunteers at COMSER tend to forget often that we, in the end, do not receive a salary for the ardous work we perfom; that we study or work (or both as myself), that we have families and friends to take care of, that is, that our volunteer work as paramedics, whether we like it or not, does not enjoy of the highest priority on our lifes.

Therefore, the bosses at COMSER decided that it would be better if I do not belong anymore to the committee, considering that I’ve not been able to attend regularly as demanded, since this december I’ll be taking my last exams to graduate from Law School. Well, too bad, but whether they like it or not, I AM receiving my lawyer’s diploma.

Anyway, the experience of belonging to a group of such marvelous people was amazing. During my first month of work I learned what I hadn’t learned in 2 years as a paramedic for another committee. Just to give you an idea, during my very first day at COMSER, during our 12-hour watch, we had to attend 3 different people that in the end, died. That’s right, 3 dead in just 12 hours! The trauma and medical emergency cases we deal with at COMSER are not to be seen everywhere. Sometimes they are, actually, spectacular!

During my time I learned a lot about life, about being able to appreciate little things that we tend to forget. In the end, it is these little things that give meaning to one’s life, but because of our busy lifestyle, we give them for granted. Truly, I must tell you people, there is no better school for learning about life than the street itself, and I took a term on this school, working as a paramedic, trying to bring relief to people, sometimes succeeding, but sometimes also failing.

My gratitude must also go to the great paramedics, medics and rescuers that taught me everything I know. People like Hugo Madrigal, Tony Chacón, Manuel Miranda, Johnny Ramírez, Jim Batres, Paulo Monge, and many many more, dedicated their time to teach me how to do my work better and more efficiently. Their effort was remarkable, and I will always be thankful to them.

And now, what’s going to happen with me? Actually, I don’t know. My bosses gave me the choice of transfering to another unit, or officially discharging me. I’ll let you know what happens. To be honest, right now, there is only one thing on my mind: approving my last test and graduate from Law School!!! Wish me luck!

If you wish to see some pics, check them out here (the guy with the huge white helmet and white coat is me :)):

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Colisión La Uruca, 2 Muertos | La Uruca MVC, 2 dead | La Uruca Verkeherunfall, 2 Töte

Jueves 1 de Marzo, 2007:

Un aparatoso accidente de tránsito ocurrió la madrugada de este Jueves 1 de Marzo, justo frente a las instalaciones de REPRETEL, en La Uruca.

Un pequeño vehículo tipo van, con dos personas dentro, colisionó violentamente contra uno de los árboles que adornan el margen derecho de la carretera (en dirección Alajuela - San José). Las dos personas, dos hombres que trabajaban para una empresa de seguridad, fallecieron, y sus cuerpos quedaron prensados.

Al lugar nos hicimos presentes las unidades 02 y 05 de COMSER, además de una máquina de bomberos y la ambulancia de León XIII.

Nada que hacer mas que extraer los cuerpos, se esperó al personal de OIJ durante una hora, luego de la cual entre los compañeros Antonio Gaitán, Tony Chacón y mi persona, procedimos con la extracción de los cuerpos, la cual se extendió por alrededor de 20 minutos.

Vale la pena mencionar que, debido a un descuido (y a que eran las 3 de la madrugada), olvidé mi casco en la unidad 09, por lo que tuve que utilizar un casco de aguas rápidas, que por cierto, son bastante feos e inapropiados para rescate vehicular!!!!

Thursday, March 1st 2007:

A very violent accident occured this Thursday early morning, just in front of the REPRETEL building.

A little van, with two people inside, crashed horribly against a huge tree, one of those that decorate the road at the right side (direction Alajuela - San José). Both men, who worked for a security company, died, and their bodies were trapped inside the collapsed structure of the van.

Units 02 and 05 of COMSER were dispatched, as well as an ambulance of León XIII and a firetruck.

Nothing to do for the men but to extricate their bodies, we waited for judicial personnel for about an hour, after which my partners Antonio Gaitán, Tony Chacón and myself, proceeded to open up the car to free the dead bodies. The extrication procedure lasted some 20 minutes.

It is worth mentioning, that I forgot my helmet inside unit 09. I had nothing left to do but to use one of the rapid-waters rescue helmets that were inside the 02 truck, which are very ugly and inappropriate for road-crash rescue. Anyway, it is one of those moments of frustration that later you see very funny!!!!!

Dienstag, 1 März 2007

Ein sehr hässlicher Verkehrsunfall ist am Dienstag früh am Morgen, gerade vor REPRETELs Gebäude, geschehen.

Ein kleiner Transporter, der 2 Menschen trug, ist gegen einen sehr großen Baum gekracht. Auf der linken Seite der Straße, Richtung Alajuela - San José, gibt es viele große Bäume, so der Lenker des Autos hat vielleicht die Kontrolle verloren und gegen den Baum zusammengestoßen. Die zwei Menschen waren sofort tot, und die beiden Leichen im Auto eingeklemmt.

Amzulanzen 05 und unserer Rettungslastwagen 02 wurden zu dem Notort entsendet, zusammen mit einer Ambulanz aus León XIII und die Feuerwehr.

Außer die Leichen zu retten, man könnte nichts für die 2 Männer machen. So, wir haben für die gerichtlich Polizei eine Stunde gewartet, und danach, meine Kollegen Antonio Gaitán, Tony Chacón und ich haben mit hydraulischen Rettungswerkzeuge die Leichen weggenommen. Die Rettung der Leichen hat etwa 20 Minuten gedauert.

Also, ich habe mein Rettungsschutzhelm in Ambulanz 09 vergessen. So, ich musste ein Schnellwasser Rettungsschutzhelm benutzen, und diese Schutzhelme sind sehr aber sehr hässlich und sehr unangemessen für Verkehersunfälle. Aber, es war ein bisschen lustig!!!


El Gato
J. Zúñiga

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Curso Holmatro 2007 | Holmatro Extrication Course 2007 | Holmatro Rettungenkurs 2007

Del 16 al 18 de Febrero, se impartió en la sede de la Cruz Roja Alajuela el curso de rescate vehicular impartido por el Sr. Oscar Campillo de Holmatro USA, en asociación con el distribuidor local de la marca, Lenex.

Verdaderamente, y a criterio personal, Holmatro lleva la delantera en tecnología y diseño de equipos de rescate vehicular. Desde detalles tan finos como la luz en la agarradera de las herramientas, hasta tecnología tan avanzada como las mangueras CORE, es una herramienta versátil y muy funcional. Pero no solamente se liminta Holmatro a fabricar excelentes herramientas, sino que además las une con técnicas propias, algunas muy singulares pero efectivas.

Las fotos del curso las pueden acceder en el siguiente link.
MurdockCRC Live Space

From February 16th to the 18th, Holmatro extrication course was given at the Red Cross of Alajuela. The instructor, Oscar Campillo from Holmatro USA, and the local brand distributor, Lenex, are the ones to thank for the activity.

Holmatro is truly an exceptional rescue tool, and is far ahead from its competitors in technology and design. Details as the lights on the tool, as well as more advanced features as the CORE hoses, make this a very functional and agile tool. But not only does Holmatro manufactures extreme rescue tools, they also create excellent rescue techniques that are efficient and practical.

Pictures of the course can be viewed here:
MurdockCRC Live Space

Von Februar 16 bis Februar 18, ein Holmatro Rettungskurs wurde in dem Roten Kreuz von Alajuela gegeben. Danken an der Lehrer, Herr Oscar Campillo von Holmatro USA, und der lokal Verteiler Lenex, für die Aktivität.

Holmatro ist wirklich ein sehr gutes und super Rettungswerkzeug. Details wie die Lichte in dem Werkzeug, und technologische fortgeschritten Dinge wie die CORE Schlauch, machen diesen Herstellen vielleicht der beste der Welt.

Sie können auf diesen Seite mehrere Fotos von dem Kurs anschauen:

Colisión Alajuelita, 1 herido grave | MVC in Alajuelita, 1 seriously injured | Verkehrsunfall in Alajuelita, 1 schwer Verletzt

Martes 27 de Febrero, 2007:

Últimamente ha habido bastante acción respecto a los accidentes de tránsito en la capital. En este caso en particular, la unidad 09 y la unidad 02 del Comité Metropolitano, junto con las unidades de Escazú y San Juan de Dios de Desamparados, fueron despachadas para atender, según despacho, una colisión entre una microbus y un autoliviano.

En el lugar, efectivamente se encontraba una microbús volcada sobre su costado derecho. En la misma viajaban 6 personas, algunas de las cuales sufrieron traumas leves que fueron atendidos oportunamente.

Sin embargo, en el vehículo liviano, donde solo viajaba su conductor, se encontraba éste gravemente herido, con una disficultad respiratorio evidente y que requirió una extracción rápida de urgencia para iniciar tratamiento y mejorar su condición.

Concretamente, el paciente presentaba un pneumotórax bilateral, con evidente enfisema subcutáneo y un patrón ventilatorio totalmente irregular. Con una oximetría de apenas 46%, el mejoramiento de su mecanismo ventilatorio y aseguramiento de vía aérea fueron indispensables para que el paciente llegase vivo al hopsital, el cual estaba a unos 7 minutos de viaje.

De camino se le aplicó una vía intravenosa de grueso calibre, se le practicaron dos toracocentesis y se le suministró oxígeno suplementario, con lo cual su oximetría mejoró a 90% entrando al hospital. Sin embargo, debido a las severas lesiones de tórax, su pronóstico es muy reservado.

Tuesday, February 27th 2007:

There has been lately a lot of action and work to do related to transit incidents in the capital city. In this case, unit 09 and rescue truck 02, along with units from Escazú and San Juan de Dios de Desamparados, were dispatched to a MVC between a small van and a car.

Once at the place, effectively, a van had rolled over and lied on its right side. 6 people traveled inside it, and some of them suffered from light traumas that were treated promptly.

However, inside the car, there was the driver who was seriously injured, with a very severe respiratory difficulty. Due to his inability to correctly oxigenate, the man, of about 28 years of age, was extricated from the car quickly with a rapid procedure, so that airway management treatment and transport could begin immediately.

Specifically, the driver had a bilateral pneumothorax, with a very evident subcutaneous emphysema that could be easily palpated (even with extrication gloves!), and presented a very irregular ventilatory pattern. With an oximetry of just 46%, improving his ventilation was a must to ensure he arrived alive to the hospital and to have a greater chance of survival.

During transport, the patient received a large-bore IV, and two thoracocentesis were applied to reduce the pneumothorax pressure. Suplementary oxygen was given, and once at the hospital, his oximetry improved to 90%. But even though, his prognosis is not very good at all, since the blunt thorax trauma is extremely severe.

Dienstag, 27 Februar 2007:

Diese letzte zwei Wochen waren ganz verrückt! Es gab viele Verkehrsunfälle, die meisten mit schwer verletzte Leute, und sogar manche eingeklemmt.

In diesem Fall, Ambulanz 09 und Rettungslastwagen 02, zusammen mit Krankenwagen von Escazú und San Juan de Dios de Desamparados, wurden nach Alajuelita entsendet.

Auf dem Ort gab es einen über gerollten Transporter, der 6 Menschen transportierte. Einige wurden leicht verletzt und wurden schnell behandelt.

Aber, in dem Auto war noch der Lenker, und er war sehr schwer verletzt. Er könnte nicht richtig atmen, und brauchtet mit einer schnell Befreiungsprozedur aus dem Auto weggenommen werden.

Ausdrücklich, der Lenker des Autos hattet einen bilateral Pneumothorax, mit einem erkennbaren Subkutanemphysema. Seine Oximetrie war nur 46%. Wir haben ihm eine große Intravenösgang und zwei Thoracocentesis gemacht, und wenn wir zu dem Krankenhaus angekommen waren, seine Oximetrie war 90%, viel besser! Aber, seine Prognose ist nicht gut.

Antonio Gaitán
Paulo Monge
Luis Delgado

Tony Chacón
Minor Carballo