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The End Of The Road

February 16th, 2006

Well, it looks like I am finally done with EMS life. I decided to make my complete exit, and have given up on my Paramedic certification.

I will say that I have loved my career. My peers have told me that they are sad to see me go, and I am just as sad to do so. However, after 16 years, I have had enough, and so has my family.

It has been a great job. I have had no other job that gave me so much personal reward. There were many tough times, and life in EMS is almost never grand, but at least it is satisfying. The job caused many personal problems for me and my family. It nearly destroyed my marriage, and took many hours of enjoyment away from my daughter and I. I think it is all due to the addicting nature of the EMS life. It truly is an addicting career, and one that will swallow your whole life if you let it. That was my mistake. I allowed my job to come before my family so many times, that in the end, I had to make a choice. I know this is the right one.

I do love my family, and I only hope that this decision will finally put an end to any questions they may have about my loyalty. As for the friends that I have made through my career, I can only hope that they understand, and will stand behind me on this decision, like they have on so many other occasions.

The friends I have made throughout my career have been the very best I could have hoped for. There were so many times that, as a Paramedic, they had to doubt my decisions, but in the end they always stood behind me.

I consider myself to have been one of the best Paramedics around. Over the years I have managed to continually educate myself, and now have a stack of certifications nearly 2 inches tall. I have received numerous accommodations from my peers, as well as two from the governor of my state, one for the deliver of a premature breach baby, and the other for my handling of a mass casualty disaster.

However, there is only one license that I am going to keep now. With that license, I promised to love honor and cherish someone, and that is the career I will spend the rest of my life.

Kind regards and best wishes to all my friends and colleagues.

How it all started

December 26th, 2005

My wife and I married very young. We really did not have any clue what was in store for us, and thought we knew it all. I guess we all know what that is like. However, we were still in high school, and that made things tough. We spent the next 3 years living in almost nothing, and at one point, even our car. We finally had decent jobs, and were able to rent a house that we loved. It was small, but it was a decent place, and the neighbors were friendly.

About a year after we had lived there, one neighbor invited us for dinner. We had always enjoyed the company of their children, but had never really known the adults of the house. All we knew was that the wife rarely left home, and the husband was in and out all the time. We could tell that he was some sort of emergency worker, but not really sure what type.

While at their house for dinner, we heard their police scanner start sounding off all sorts of tones and alerts. Then, the husband jumped up and started putting on his coat and gloves. As he headed out the door, he turned and asked me if I wanted to go. I hesitantly said sure, and joined him for the ride. Along the way, he told me that there was a car accident down the street about 2 miles. He said it was a serious accident, so he wanted me to be prepared.

We arrived “On the scene” and he started unloading some of his gear. All I could do is stand and watch. There was a car on its side, and a full sized truck over a large embankment. He asked me to look in the car for anyone hurt, and he headed off to help the ones in the truck.

As I ran over to the car, I realized that nobody was inside of it, but there were a couple of people standing along side the road, and they had that look. It was the look of fear and relief that a person has after an accident like this. As I approached them, I was able to notice that they seemed to be alright, and when I asked them, they confirmed that. They said they had some bruises, but nothing major, so I turned to go and help my friend with the truck.

I climbed down the hill, and found my friend Randall, half in and half out of the truck. It was occupied by one man, and he was in serious need of help. He had a very large laceration to his face, and an obviously broken arm. Everything we tried to do hurt the man, and I was not quite sure what I was even doing there anyway. Basically the only thing I was able to do to help was let Randall know when 15 seconds was up. He was timing a heart rate, and I was the one with the watch.

It did not take long, and an ambulance arrived to get me off the hook. As the EMTs approached, I could tell they knew Randall, and basically left him in charge of everything. At this point, I just stood back and watched with amazement. These people that had showed up obviously knew what they were doing. They all seemed to work together; like it was something they had done all of their life. One would rip tape, and the other would hold out his hand, and not a word was said from either. There were boxes being opened, and bandages being put on the patient. It all took about 5 minutes, and they began to move the patient out of the truck, and up the hill. I still remember thinking to myself, “Whoa, what a night,” as they drove away in the ambulance.

Later in the evening, Randall started telling me about his job. He was an EMT at the local ambulance service, and had been there for about 2 years. He told me I could come and ride with him any time I liked, and I knew I would be taking him up on the offer.

I was pretty shocked to find out that a person could go from being an average Joe like me to an EMT working like Randall in just a few months. Until then, I always thought the ones riding around in ambulances were probably doctors or nurses. It was like someone had just embedded into my brain that I now knew what I was doing with the rest of my life.

One year later, I was an EMT, and working along side Randall. I was still new at the job, but I also now understood why people did it for such low pay. It was the thrill, the teamwork, the attitudes, and the absolute love of the job that kept people there, and made them want to stay late, and arrive early to work.

I had finally found my destiny, and I was loving every second of it.