I’m just a Paramedic. I say it all the time. I don’t mean it to sound as derogatory towards my profession as it does….but it comes out that way. Maybe it’s because I always had my eye set on that white coat-I still do. Maybe it’s because I came into this field because God threw me into it and I had NO clue what on earth EMS was.
Today I finally got a chance to sit down and think about the history of today-September 11. Today I was able to reflect on what it means to be “just a Paramedic”.
Seventeen years ago, paramedics (among so many other public servants) checked off their truck and went to grab breakfast. They probably ran a few stubbed toe calls or maybe even a heart attack call. They cleared those calls and went to the station, propped their feet up, turned on the TV to drown out the day and started working on their call reports. Then the tones dropped. They probably perked up a little more because fire and supervisors were all dispatched…then structure support …then more higher ups…more agencies…then the dispatch came through: A plane has hit one of the twin towers. Their heart hit their stomach. They began to shake as their adrenaline spiked. Some may have had a third person riding along that they told to dig out the triage kit that they never use and get ready. They drove towards the smoke as people ran away. They grabbed their partner’s hand in a silent way to say be careful. They climbed the stairs. The towers crashed- they never came out.
Ten paramedics died. Many firemen were also EMTs or paramedics . I’m sure the count is higher but this is what my research gave.
I started my journey in 2011 as a EMT basic at Gaston Lifesaving Crew. I obtained my Associate degree in EMS as a Paramedic in 2014 and my Bachelors degree in 2017. I have seen many people take their last breath and I have seen many more get a second chance. I’ve seen things I wish, with all my heart, that I could unsee.
This weekend we are prepping for a potential category 5 hurricane to come directly our way. Destruction and devastation are guaranteed…we just don’t know to what degree . Ironically, on 9/11/2018-today…we sent out a group of EMTs and Paramedics to the coast to help care for those affected. Many of us will be working in our county this weekend no matter how severe the storm.
On this day-historically- and today (due to the storm) I have never been more proud to be “just a Paramedic” . I work with some of the most amazing and medically gifted people. I have learned more doing this job then I ever could going straight into med school or PA school. It has also taught me the meaning of selflessness.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8