What Should I Do After Leaving a Life in Uniform?

With my coaching clients I’m often asked this question…what should I do after leaving a life in uniform? It doesn’t matter if you leave for retirement, voluntary separation, an injury, or even a disciplinary proceeding, you still face that question and its ramifications.

If you’re wondering what uniform I’m talking about, I’m talking about the military, police, fire, and EMS. Sure, I work with others on occasion, but it’s these folks I have a heart for and work with.

In my practice I help highly driven people in high stress/high danger occupations who are seeking significance through a second career. I do this by hacking and attacking the learning process toward action rather than numbing introspection. Through this my clients are empowered to live their dreams and embark on new adventures. Because of my military and public safety experience I understand the effects of losing that adrenaline rush, the desire to be in a uniform of some kind, the need for structure and order, and even potential complications of PTSD.


So, here we go with a few ideas on what to do after hanging up your uniform…

  1. Find another way to serve your employer. Doing what you’ve always done isn’t the only way to serve. Many employers have positions other than uniformed service, such as support staff or independent contractors.
  2. Find another uniform to wear. Just because you hung up one uniform doesn’t mean you can never wear one again. You can find another place to work or pursue a different career and still find the thrill you seek in uniformed service.
  3. Find a line of work completely opposite of what you did before. Some people leave uniformed service and never want to look back. You’ll need to decide if this is for you too.
  4. Find a way to help those still in uniformed service. There are many ways to do this, so, if you choose this route, you will have to find the one that suits your personality and goals.

When I left uniformed service after over twenty years in the military, Federal service, and EMS I chose number four. That’s what I do now. I speak at EMS conferences, I train civilians in emergency preparedness, and I work with my former colleagues as a coach. If I can be of any service to you or your team in this capacity, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Wisconsin EMS Symposium 2016 Resources


This blog post is here for attendees at any of my lectures for the 2016 Wisconsin EMS Symposium to access resources I referenced. If you happen to come across it otherwise, feel free to also partake of the offerings.

FREE copy of my book The Future of EMS– Click HERE to get to the free e-version on Amazon. This offer is only good the week of the symposium, so if you’re clicking any other time, it is still available, just not free.

Future of EMS_Vertical Cover

If you didn’t get a chance to sign up for my newsletter after the lecture, you can do that HERE.

Good Medics Gone Bad– The lecture discussed cases in which emergency workers went over to the dark side. Situations included were a suicide bomber, various examples of white-collar corruption across the U.S., and sexual crimes all committed by those we call ‘brothers in arms’. The lecture wasn’t a bashing session on those who did wrong but an analysis of why they did it, how to avoid these tendencies in ourselves, and what to look for among our fellow workers.

I didn’t give any references for this lecture, but, if you’re interested in more, a simple Internet search will help you here. I’m assuming that some of you may research this more because of specific problems in your own agencies. In other words, just search for “EMS” or “Fire” and the issue you need more information on, such as drugs, theft, alcoholism, hazing, or other.

Becoming an EMS Mentalist– We all know that patients, partners, and bystanders always tell the truth, right? How do we really know when they don’t, unless it’s painfully obvious? It’s possible to learn the seemingly ‘magic’ tricks employed by Simon Baker on the popular television show The Mentalist and employ those same tricks to aid us in EMS work. Simple looks, head nods, and the words used are sometimes all it takes. Not only can these tricks help you in providing better patient care, they can also help you become a better employee by increasing your confidence, self-esteem, and mental acuity. Learn how to become an EMS Mentalist.

I referenced the following books in this one…

How to Become a Mentalist by Simon Winthrop

Mastermind- How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

If you’re interested in the Mentalist television show as well, you can find that HERE.

My Wife Hates Me, My Kids Don’t Know Me, and I Think I have a Dog– There are seven key areas of life that we all experience or should if we only made the time. Instead of balancing our lives as we should, we all spend too much time somewhere to the detriment of the other areas in life. It could be work, hobbies, education, or anything that takes too much priority. For those of us in the small business world it usually happens to be work. This imbalance has an impact on all parts of our lives and can cause disastrous consequences. It endangers our relationships, our success, and even our own lives. Find out what it means to balance your life for maximum enjoyment and hopefully get back to knowing those people you call friends and family. Think about how it could make everything better at work, at home, and at play.

I actually published a book based on this lecture that goes more in depth. You can find it right HERE.

marriage-relationship-Dr. Powers

I hope all of you enjoyed my lectures. As always I’m available for any questions you might have about anything I covered.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

What Do You Do When You Need Help…Reach Out

I recently reconnected with an old friend from my EMS days, and she needs my/your/our help. I used to work with Parker McBryde on an ambulance. I’m talking way back in the old days. We worked together from when I was just an uncertified person tagging along to help out as manpower all the way to when I finally became a full-fledged paramedic. She was always fun to work with and always upbeat. She taught me a lot.

You can see below the things she talked me into. I once dressed up as a bunny rabbit for an Easter fundraiser.

Surfside Rescue-Easter-Ambulance

Aside from being partners off and on over the years, we also became great friends. We would often hit the ocean to go surfing. Well, we called it surfing. It was mostly just a lot of falling. Water has always been a great stress reliever and source of self-therapy for me. I think it was for her too. And that brings us to the present and why she needs our help.

After a career in EMS, a heavy dose of PTSD, and an injury Parker left EMS for seminary. Although school and those lessons helped her manage her diagnosis, it never made them go away. You hear a lot about veterans with PTSD and there’s a lot of support out there for them, but not so much for folks in public safety. The minute they step off the ambulance the help ends…if it was even available when they worked fulltime. That’s actually what led me back to school for a degree in counseling. It was an exercise in self therapy that led me to a place where I could help others.

Parker has set up a page at GoFundMe seeking help for counseling expenses. You can find the link HERE. Go check it out. Get in touch with her. If you have it available, help her out.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Roaming Again in Connecticut

I was invited back again to the Connecticut EMS Expo at the Mohegan Sun resort. I presented lectures ranging from Zombies and Infection Control all the way over to A Futurist Look at EMS. I had a great time at the expo and casino. I had the opportunity to see a few old friends again and also make some new ones, including the Nightwatch crew below. It’s nice seeing a beard and some tattoos on an EMS crew, especially Holly, who’s pretty cool (Even though you missed my zombie class Holly!).

Nightwatch-Holly-CT-EMSHere’s our view of the Thames River from the hotel room. You can’t beat waking up to this every morning.

20150529_125224 Once again we ate way too much. It seems like every eatery in the resort serves double portions. I tried my best to keep up.

Hash House-Mohegan Sun

Fresh off the airplane we drove over to the Old State House in downtown Hartford CT to see the Joseph Steward Museum of Curiosities. It’s small but well worth the price of admission and time involved. Be sure to ask for your AAA discount. There was actually a lot more at the State House than I expected and we ended up spending several hours there.

Joseph Steward Museum of Curiosities

PT Barnum-chair-Hartford

Possibly our new favorite place in CT is the Gillette Castle State Park. This was the home of William Gillette, the actor who defined the modern portrayal of Sherlock Holmes with his cap, pipe, violin, and hypodermic needle. It was a pretty awesome place and, to me, a must stop spot in CT.

The riverside photo below is the remains of Gillette’s old houseboat that burned. It’s easy to find. You can park at the ferry below the castle or even walk a trail from the castle down to the river.

Gillette Castle-CT

Gillette Castle-CT-2



A place I would highly recommend you avoid in CT is the city of Bridgeport. Everything about Bridgeport is pretty sketchy, and most of the downtown resembles a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The Barnum Museum is located there, but is closed most of the time and not worth the trip.


We climbed Mt. Tom to see the tower at the summit. You can ascend right up onto the top deck of the tower.

Mt Tom-CT

Then we visited Sleeping Giant State Park and the small castle at the summit of Mt. Carmel.

Sleeping Giant State Park-CT

There are way more photographs and reviews of places I visited than I could put in the blog. Be sure to check out my Facebook page for the pics. If we’re not FB friends yet, why not?

I’m also doing more work for Trip Advisor, so you can see my reviews of places visited, including hotels and eateries on there. You can find my TA account HERE.

I also do coffee shop crawls anytime I travel for another business venture of mine The Coffee Scholar. Check out the CT Coffee Crawl on that site.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Tactical Gear for Women?

I just received an e-mail from 5.11, a company that specializes in tactical gear and clothing. They’re a trusted supplier, and I’ve used much of their gear over the years. It’s good stuff and comes in all the basic man-colors like coyote brown, olive drab, and various camo patterns. The e-mail I received yesterday was about their line of tactical clothing for women.

Tactical clothing for women has long been a problem in the armed services, both military and civilian. It’s good that 5.11 is setting the bar for it. In the past, most tactical clothing for women has been poorly modified men’s clothing or they had nothing at all available. It didn’t fit right over the hips and made no room for the mammary glands, among other problems. This was made even worse with body armor, which not only proved uncomfortable, but could also cause long-lasting cumulative use injuries.

A problem though. I had two thoughts when I received the e-mail…
1. A nice one. This is some sexy clothing, suited for modern shieldmaidens.
2. A mean one. MOST women I’ve known in tactical environments or EMS were better suited for men’s clothing.
Now, I’m sure I just made a lot of people mad. If I did, and you think I’m wrong, prove it. Comment back. Send pics of feminine females in public safety or the military. I know they’re out there. It’s just that they’re such a distinct minority that we never see them, except on television where they have to be pretty to get the role.
Just to play devil’s advocate, here’s a pic of me with a very pretty young lady I served with. Very pretty despite the masculine clothing.
family pics 154

Here’s another one. This young lady with an old friend of mine is in the Air Force.

Marine pics, Texas 011

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Be sure to check out my book The Future of EMS on Kindle!

Mix It Up Friday

Here’s a Friday mix up of digital awesomeness for you. I hope you enjoy. I hope you visually digest each and every nugget of this computer-y goodness and use it to make a difference in your life and the lives of others.

I love reading my medical journals at mealtime. The pics make for such interesting discussions. Mmmm…subcutaneous abcess.


Repurposed buildings are awesome! My dream house will be buying an old school or factory and turning it into a house on the inside.


This poll from an EMS magazine gave me pause. The screwdriver you see on the right is framed in my office. A psych patient tried to stab me with it. I dodged. She went down. Nothing worse than a nasty rusty screwdriver in your chest.


I came across this in the Storybranding book I read. Tree Neutral sounds like a neat program.