During EMS Week (May 19-26), a time of reflection is called for.
EMS stands for Emergency Medical Service; add some humor and you come up with earn money and sleeping, although sleeping and humor is not always the case. I’ve always said, “If you don’t go a little crazy, you’ll go insane.”
Who or what inspired us? What brought us here? What has kept that internal flame burning throughout your career? That desire to help people.
There’s a lot of sacrifice involved in being in Emergency Medical Services – paid or volunteer. Day in and day out, in various weather conditions, fed and well rested or not, missing holidays, family gatherings and times for yourself. Sacrificing time with someone we love to go out and help a stranger. When someone crashes along the highway or is called home to God, we’re there. We’re there even when someone takes a stumble and has a scratched knee or bump to their head. Or even if someone just needs to talk.
Many times we get asked: “What’s the worst/ craziest you’ve seen?” We’ve seen things that would last a lifetime. We’re witnesses to life’s tragedies. From a family not making it home after a Sunday drive or someone not waking up one morning, to pronouncing unrestrained children and adults dead on scene, a house fire where a family loses all their belongings except what they ran out of the house wearing, or coming upon a family member sick, hurt or deceased. Keeping in mind, I must do my job first then I can cry and mourn afterwards.
I describe all with a mixture of laughter and joy, because sometimes, you’re lucky enough to deliver a baby in the field or stand by at special events in your hometown or at sporting events and those Friday night lights.
Now, don’t get me wrong; running with bright lights and loud sirens is an adrenaline rush. But once the adrenaline is gone, we’re back to being normal. We’re human, not superhumans; there are days certain calls affect us too; we just can’t show it until after all is said and done. Some of us cry in a group, crowd or alone.
Being in EMS has its perks and also reality checks, reminding us how delicate and unpredictable life is, how in a heartbeat life can change.
It takes a special individual and an even stronger support system. Family is our backbone, and family we become. We may not always hear or get a “thank you,” but at the right time we’re thanked for the job we do. We’re in it to help people in their time of need.
We go out at all times, sacrificing our lives for strangers. We respond because we are doing God’s job here on earth, and it’s our “calling” as I see it.
EMS week is a time to reflect, stand proud, appreciate, motivate, inspire, work together, celebrate, touch the lives of people and leave a lasting impression.
Adrianna Rincon, EMT-Intermediate, Supervisor, EMS Instructor