Ok...quick story and then I have something very special for you to read. My childhood friend Jeannie Berry.....moved from Florida to North Dakota when we were teenagers....and we lost track of each other....until a few years ago....we found each other again with the help of the internet. Anyways...she is a paramedic...and wrote an amazing saga about being a paramedic. I thought it was definitely worth sharing it with my readers so here it is:
Hi! The following is my story of working a declared emergency as a paramedic. It is also my new blog on myspace. Hope you get a picture of what it is like for all emergency workers when there is an emergency in your area. Take time to appreciate them all.
I have just finished working a 72 hour shift - most of which was during a time of a declared emergency due to a winter storm. I have to say it was very exciting, but almost scary, at times. The storm came in with ice first - LOTS of ice! Then we had snow, then slush, then ice... through it all, the roads were very slick and, at times, almost impassable. Trees were falling across roads - and on houses - power lines were coming down - yet people still had to get out in their cars to see what was going on. The result was.................... car accidents running out our ears! I would get a call for one and have more coming in before I even finished that one! My partner and I decided we needed to have the power of arrest in times like this. No one was supposed to be on the road anyway, but of course, the ones who think they are an exception and they can do anything because nothing is going to happen to them - they were the ones we were running to. There were so many joyriders going in the ditch and hitting each other and we had to go see if there were injuries and get a refusal - and here the truck is tied up and can't respond to another call that really needed us. We should have been able to arrest them right there! Well... we should have been able to do something! How about the power of citation?I was the only medic in the county for 60 hrs of it, so I was kept hopping! If I was on one of these calls where there was supposed to be injuries... Well, here is an example: I was on one of these calls waaaay out on a mountain and a call came in for a broken back. They had to send a basic crew out with the rescue squad to go up and get him. They got him packed up and tried to bring him down the way they went up and 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. If these "stupid" people had stayed home I would not have been at a joyriders accident and I would have been available to go up with the squad and get him.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 - again a joyrider - when a tree almost fell on me. Well, not real close - but close enough! It scared 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 find... 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 so that was our contact with dispatch.I ended up with a 5 yr old who couldn't breathe and I had to be taken in by the rescue unit amphious vehicle, a diabetic emergency, 2 chest pains, a serious cardiac dysrhythmia, a broken back (fell 30 feet out of tree he was cutting limbs out of), a broken hip, abdominal pain (again taken in by rescue),... there was more - and the myriad of car accidents. You get the picture by now, I guess.I think if I had any doubts as to whether this was what I should be doing, I sure have none now. I am glad I was working during this time. I enjoyed every minute of it and to know I was there during a time of crisis is a feeling I can't explain.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!
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
11 months ago