In truth, I’m still not sure of my answer.
But lately, I’ve had good results listening to the advice of good friends, and many of them have told me that instead of soap-boxing the occasional idea, opinion, and rant or rave to small circles whenever I get the chance, I should consider appealing to a wider audience. While YouTube might be the “in” media of the day, most of you who will read this first post know that I was born with a face for blogging, so this seems much safer and probably more marketable.
On the off chance that someone has stumbled here without previously knowing the author, I suppose an introduction is required, and maybe it will have value for those that do know me to clarify from which viewpoint I’ll choose to write. So, like it or not, here goes:
My career in public safety began 15 years ago, literally on a whim. I took an EMT class at the suggestion of my college advisor who promised an “easy A” that would keep my GPA up. Prior to this, I can report that I nearly passed out at the sight of my own blood and passed up many opportunities to have been “bitten” by the bug that seems to bite so many of us and keep us in the field. I did CPR on a cardiac arrest victim while still in High School and got a picture in the paper, the whole nine yards – but I thought of it neither as anything special nor what I wanted to spend my life doing. It just never appealed to me.
So after dropping out of my major and starting to wonder what I was going to do with my life, I needed a job. Being 19, there weren’t a lot of EMT jobs to be had, but I found a small, local company, and the Director at the time seemed to appreciate that his shop was one of the few that might consider hiring me. After a couple days of “riding out,” during which I realized my “A” in EMT class meant absolutely nothing to the patient lying on the cot in front of me…. I started the real learning.
Within the first month, I stared blankly at an acquaintance who was relatively uninjured in the collision she knew she caused, trying to find words to console her as we both watched a mother being loaded into another ambulance. I’m sure our faces held equal expressions of horror as we watched rescuers feverishly attempting a resuscitation we all knew was as futile as the one being attempted on the infant that had been riding, unrestrained, in the back seat. Nothing in class or life had prepared me for that challenge, and it was only one of many since. What a ride it has been.
In the years intervening, I have been fortunate to work in a variety of roles and settings, at the top and bottom of many ladders, both figurative and literal. What has remained relatively constant has been a passion for seeing things continually improve. Sure, that sounds like I’m just following the directions in Chapter 1 of every EMT book published in the last twenty years, but it’s pretty undeniably the source of my fire….. it’s pretty simple, to me: Just do your best, and try to do it a little better than you did yesterday, and you can sleep well knowing that you did everything you could. Seems simple, but I also know it’s hard to feel like that’s enough sometimes. (But that will be another post).
What’s that, I left out all the details? Blah. I have a hard time believing it would make any difference to any reader how many years I’ve put in at which department or in what role. I’m sure those details will come out. For now, I’ll just say that I’m “old” enough in the profession to be able to talk about the “old days” without anyone snickering, but young enough that I’m excited by every new gadget, even when they invariably turn out to be high-priced crap that doesn’t hold a candle to a good set of ears.
Thanks for reading, and as the posts start coming, feel free to tell me what you think – good, bad, or ugly. As therapeutic as this blogging thing is likely to be for me, I’d like to know that someone else gets something out of it, too.
Happy EMS Week and please, stay safe and take care of each other.