The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Monday, December 29, 2014

EMS: Heroes or Adrenaline Junkies?

Chillin After Dinner at SARS Substation 
I am was no hero.

I want to make that totally, unabashedly, clear.

As a matter of fact, I'm possibly very selfish.

Being a paramedic gave me back more than I put into it.

It's not an untruth to say I was attracted to it because I wanted to help people.

But the real truth is, the rush I got from the adrenalin of pushing a needle into a vein, or delivering a shock to a fluttering heart, or snaking my way into the crushed metal of a car, was the main attraction to the job.

Every medic, every EMT, every firefighter (if being honest) would tell you they love to hear a report of a major pile up on the turnpike or a four alarm fire with entrapment. When the words "put the helicopter on standby" or "fly the bird" are broadcast over the radio, our veins constrict; our hearts pound, our pupils dilate.
Yeah, baby, this is good shit.
It's not that we want suffering in the world, it's that, if there's got to be some tragedy going down, we want to be there so we can witness it first hand, so we can patch up the holes, so we can save a life.

So we have stories to tell.

When the summer nights are long and the calls are slow and we sit in a semi circle on white plastic chairs smoking cigarettes under a full moon, we have this to say:
"Remember that Easter we got hit out for the accident on 309? When we pulled up to the scene there were three bodies lying on the road? And Darin almost ran right over one of the bodies?"
"Remember that water rescue? We spent two days searching for those teenagers and then it turns out it was just a prank? Lori broke up with me because I missed our anniversary dinner."
"Remember that car rescue in front of the bank? The one where that Hilltown firefighter smelled like booze so the cops kicked him off scene?"
"Remember how Martin and Shoppy got into a fist fight during that rescue in front of the motorcycle shop because Shoppy forgot to crib the car?"
We are not heroes.
We are junkies.
Adrenaline junkies.
Story junkies.

 Excerpt from Girl Medic: Confession of Chaos and Calamity Behind the Sirens.