Through dark of night and light of day… in wind, rain, sleet, snow, or sunshine… no matter what the circumstances, we are there when needed - often at risk to our own lives.
We may wake you at night with our siren or ask you to let us by on the road, but rest assured that we are rushing to someone in their hour of need and sometimes every second counts! Maybe someone is choking, maybe a child is hurt - or maybe a heart has stopped beating - but we are going to do what we can.
As a paramedic, I respond to many situations, from an "I don't feel good" to a critical situation of life and death. We don't always win those, as I have learned if it is someone's time, there is nothing we can do. One thing I have to remember: We can't save them all. I do this for those I CAN help - for those who need someone in what might be the worst time of their lives.
The hardest situation I have been in was a storm in January of 2009. I was the only medic in the county for 60 hours, so I was kept hopping! I was wet to the skin in a wet coat in below freezing weather for 60 hours. There were car wrecks everywhere! While on one call another would come in for another. In the middle of all the wrecks, a call came in way out on a mountain for a broken back.
I was tied up at the scene of an accident when dispatch had to send a basic crew out with the rescue squad to go up and get the man with the broken back. They got him packed up and tried to bring him down the way they went up but too many trees had fallen. It took them over an hour to find a way to get him down and to the truck. By then I was free of the accident scene and was waiting for them. The sad thing is, no one should have been out on the roads. Joyriders had caused the accident that had tied me up. They were just checking things out. Most of the wrecks were due to these cirucumstances. If they had stayed home they would not have been in the ditch and I would have been available to go up with the squad and get the man with the broken back. That's where I was really needed.
We drove over trees, through trees, under trees so low and ice laden that I think the truck even ducked to try to make it. Over power lines and under them, so low that I actually felt the truck cringe when they scraped the top. We crawled along mud tracks, with the rescue units cutting a way for us through the fallen trees. I was at an accident scene when a tree almost fell on me. I refused to look up because if I was going to get hit, I didn't want to see it coming since there was nothing I could do about it anyway. I figured if God determined it was my time, and He chose a tree to take me home, I just didn't want to know about it first.
With no electric we had trouble finding fuel, food was hard to come by... no lights or heat at the station (not that we really got to see it), our radios were out and I was the only one with a working cell phone to have contact with dispatch.
I ended up with a 5 yr old who couldn't breathe. The rescue squads amphibious vehicle had to take me up since our truck couldn't make it. I had a diabetic emergency, 2 chest pains, a serious cardiac dysrhythmia. The man with the broken back, who had fallen 30 feet out of tree where he was cutting limbs . Also, a broken hip and severe abdominal pain (again taken in by rescue vehicle). There was a lot more, along with myriad car accidents. You get the picture by now, I guess.
There is such a feeling of satisfaction knowing I could be there in such a time of need. It is hard to explain to many who don't understand why we do what we do.
We don't get the recognition that fire and police get - and that is okay. I don't do it for recognition. The thing is... you may not hear much about us but if you need us - we are there!
I am proud to be a paramedic!