Rich here.

If memory serves, I completed my first First Aid/CPR certification when I was around 10. I followed up with lifeguard at 16, ensuring myself a few years of employment as a seasonal professional volleyball player. I completed my EMT and 19 after being dumped by my first girlfriend, when I needed a way to occupy my free time. For some reason it’s hard to get insurance for 19 year-old-males driving things with lights and sirens, so I didn’t get onto my first fire department or ambulance company until I was nearly 21. I followed that up with paramedic at 22, and since then have been trained, worked as, and/or certified in everything from dive rescue, mountain rescue, and ski patrol to WMD and national disaster medical response.

That’s over 20 years of being an active emergency responder at the professional level, and 25 if you count sitting in a chair, getting sunburned, and pretending I was cool like on Baywatch (well, after Baywatch started).

So I am struggling to deal with the fact that as the CEO of a startup and the father of 2.4 young children, my response days are probably on hold for a bit.

My EMT expired a few months ago and I don’t have the time to go to a refresher class. This is the second time since I was 19 I have let it drop, the previous time also when I was busy as heck at work. I’m still technically on a federal response team, but without my EMT they are looking at slotting me into IT… where my job will be to fix people’s computers. I. Cannot. Handle. That. Besides, I can’t take off for the minimum 2-3 week deployments anymore.

Giving up part of your identity, for however short a period, is never easy. Not to pick on people who dally with their EMT on weekends, but I worked On The Job at the full-time professional level, and have been in emergency services a lot longer than IT. Heck, my computer was a Commodore 128 when I first started in EMS. I would have killed for an iPhone and iPad to fill the hours on some of the slower shifts.

“Siri – calculate the drip rate for digoxin on a 172 lb patient with rapid atrial fibrilation”

“Let me find that for you Rich… Willie Davis played center field for the 1972 Dodgers”

“No dammit, he’s dying!”

“Now playing ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees”

Maybe that wouldn’t have been so good.

I can live without the lights and sirens, but I miss being an active part of the community. I miss cooking meals in the firehouse, drinking Crown Royal on the rocks in the locker room after a cold ski patrol shift, or simply bullshitting for hours on end with my partner in the ambulance parked on the street corner. Yes, there was the bad, but my kids puke on me far more than any patients ever did. But never underestimate the appeal of the Brotherhood.

But I’m co-running a successful company and a happy family. There is absolutely no way I can balance the needs of those priorities with the demands of even a volunteer responder position. I try to be honest with myself, and the truth is I haven’t really been active since we had our first daughter. I could try and cling, but all I’d do is be bad at everything.

So it’s time for a break. At some point work will settle down and the kids will be okay with Dad being gone for a shift every now and then. I’ll need to redo a lot of training, but there’s nothing wrong with that. And I’ll still totally abuse my background and use firefighting and rescue anecdotes in every presentation I can stuff them into.

Thanks for letting me vent. I love a semi-captive audience.

On to the Summary:

Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences

Nothing I could find. No one loves us any more.

Favorite Securosis Posts

  • Adrian Lane: US Returns Fire in Huawei/ZTE Report. I’ve picked this as Fav internal, both for Rich identifying the pressure point as well as Huawei will be in the news for a long time. It’s not just the U.S. reaction, but about a dozen other countries and about half the firms that work with Huawei have made similar claims.
  • Rich: Defending Against DoS Attacks: Defense Part 1, the Network. I got crap for seeming to dismiss the recent DoS attacks. It wasn’t that I dismissed their importance, but not everyone is in the same crosshairs. DDoS has been a problem for a while but we see a massive uptick in interest, for very valid reasons.

Other Securosis Posts

Favorite Outside Posts

  • Adrian Lane: Designing for failure may be the key to success. You need to be a database and language processing geek to appreciate this, but IBM Fellow Bruce Lindsey clearly sees the inner workings of data processing systems and how all the pieces fit together. Not for everyone, but an interesting view on designing software for unexpected outcomes.
  • Rich: Spaf on the anti-science side of political rhetoric. I’m bordering on getting political by linking to this, but the important part for me is the importance of science and critical thinking.

Research Reports and Presentations

Top News and Posts

Blog Comment of the Week

Remember, for every comment selected, Securosis makes a $25 donation to Hackers for Charity. This week’s best comment goes to Oliver, in response to New Series: Understanding and Selecting Identity Management for Cloud Services.

A great introduction for this topic, which seems always to be forgotten when people talk about cloud services. Taking care of security – which includes authentication and authorization – in our company being a IT service provider, makes this topic especially interesting. Customers wanting to use cloud will reduce our business income, but we might give them some additional services for a seamless integrationin in their current world. Special topic for me is the difference between cloud being used for development and testing (more likely IaaS and PaaS) and cloud being used by business.