So this years’ EMS week brings me to a whole new front. I am no longer a Paramedic. Through circumstances way beyond my control, I no longer have a State Paramedic License. I am not going to go into the whole thing now; I do not have enough liquor left to dredge up every emotion that I went through in the past twenty-four hours to try and stop the hurtful and hateful thoughts running through my head. I don’t know if I’m going to go back through the drama to get my state license back either…I may just hang up my shears and stethoscope and move onto bigger and better things.
This years’ EMS Week theme is EMS: More Than A Job. A Calling.
That statment pretty much encompasses why we do this. From a very young age, I wanted to do this job. I can remember the first time I ever saw the inside of an ambulance. I was no more than six years old and the babysitter’s house I went to every day was across the street from an ambulance station. Playing outside, I would watch in awe, the Paramedics and EMT’s washing the trucks, playing Basketball, screaming past the yard on the way to a call, and doing their daily routines. I will never forget the day they started to hang out with us; we were selling Lemonade and I thought it would be nice to go over with some Lemonade and Rice Krispy Squares. From that day forward, each shift would take a few minutes out of their time to stop by and let us run through the trucks, would let us come and help wash the trucks…basically, they let us be Junior Junior EMTs.
I still remember that.
Monday, while on the way to an outing with friends, Capt. Smurf, Hawkeye, and I watched an accident happen before our eyes. Two cars collided, rolled, and one caught on fire. We instantly engaged into EMS mode. Prior to the arrival of Fire or EMS units, the patients in the car that was engulfed in flames were extricated and the other victim in the other car was extricated as well. I never put my hands on a patient, but I organized bystanders to direct traffic, to get a heavy object which ended up being a T-Ball bat so that Hawk could bash open windows to get the patients who were in danger of being burnt to death out, and just being a calm voice in the midst of extreme chaos.
EMS has always been my life. I have given up years of my life for this job. I’ve missed many family get-togethers just because I got off work late, or I decided to fill a shift. No one does this job for the money, they do it because it’s in their soul. Not running on an ambulance just kills me. I hear the sirens going past the house and the hair stands up on the back of my neck and I try to figure out and wonder what is going on.
EMS is a calling. I believe every EMT, Paramedic, Ambulance driver, Flight Medic, Critical Care Nurse, Flight Nurse, whatever is set apart for this. Everyone has read the poem, “When God Made Paramedics.”, if you haven’t click the link. In it, it shows how we had to be set apart, made from a completely different mold. All of us have the drive, the want, the desire to do this. Any of us who have been out of the field due to injury or illness knows the unsettling feeling when we see an ambulance pass, and we have that urge to get back on and do what we know.
For this EMS week, all I have is a wish. I wish, each and every one of you, fulfill your calling to the fullest. You fulfilling your calling may not be doing the big technical rescue, or paying the ultimate sacrifice, but your answer to your calling may be nothing more than just holding someones’ hand to help them through the worst moment of their life, or to even get someone else into the field, help someone else realize their calling. We are truly stewards to our profession.
For me, go out and do the best you can do. Show the world why we do what we do, why we sacrifice so much for this job, why our brothers and sisters make the ultimate sacrifice and we salute them for it. EMS is not a job, it’s a true calling.
I love you all.