Happy EMS week to all my friends and neighbors who work in the pre-hospital emergency medical field.
Your service to your community is not always understood, but for the most part is appreciated. I say, for the most part because there are some of you who may read this and think that the EMT, paramedic or paramedic/firefighter has a cake job.
Believe me, I've heard it all. From, “Really, how many people really die in front of you,” to, “You've got it so easy, you get to watch TV and at night you sleep most of your shift."
When you hear these things you cringe and even begin to think that the majority of people in your community may have these misconceptions. Trust me, they do
The large majorities of folks out here love you and support you in the difficult job you do.
I worked in the EMS field for 20 years until a motorcycle accident ended my career. I worked in North County for one of the busiest ambulance services in Missouri and I worked in West County, a much slower pace but the trauma and acute illnesses were no less severe.
I know what you deal with everyday and I know the roller coaster of emotions that accompany your job. For those of you who do not work in EMS, the draw to this occupation is the adrenalin rush and the need to be involved. Involved with people and the desire to be on the other side of the yellow caution tape.
Ask any EMS worker and they'll tell you the job is 90 percent routine and 10 percent complete and utter chaos. Those who stay in EMS past their first license expiration (five years) are those who can make order out of the chaos and work under the stress of family members screaming and crying and all the while treating the patient calmly and methodically. This is a job where you can do everything exactly right and still have a negative result.
You can also make every mistake humanly possible and patients survive
despite your care.
In most jobs, the day is like a kiddie’ ride at a carnival, mostly flat and slow with a little hill or dip right around lunch and time to clock out. In EMS, the highs are higher, like helping in the delivery a healthy baby or the first breath of a child who
was choking on a piece of hotdog. But the lows are lower, like the senseless death of a teenager shot or a 40-something dad who you are unable to revive after his first and only heart attack.
These types of calls can happen all at once, in the same shift or only once in a career, depending on where you work.
I can only speak for myself when I say thank you. Thank You for being at your station tonight, sleeping away from your family. I also want to thank your wife and children for loaning you out for the night to help keep my family safe.
Happy EMS week from me and from the doctors and staff at Our Urgent Care.