Had It

I can isolate, stick my head in the sand and pretend all is well in EMS. I can write cute little stories about holding old ladies hands and comforting a little kid who broke his arm. I can go the disgruntled employee route just as easily, and write stories about the morons who call 911 for hangnails, and the drunks and psych patients and doctor's offices who abuse the system. As a matter of fact, I've gone down both of those roads.

I can make it look like everything is just great here in EMS land, everybody is happy, nobody burned out, just one big happy family. I can tell everybody about how great it is to use my skills in the field, and use the right drugs at the right time, and cardiovert, and splint, bandage and manage shock. I can tell everybody Jedi stories about the impossible stick I managed to get, in the bottom of a junkies foot, or upside down left handed in a burning vehicle. I think I might have written about that stuff too.

But I'd rather not leave it at that. I'd prefer to tell it like it is. The way I see it, EMS is a group of great people doing the best they can. Simple as that. People are different. There have different temperaments, different styles and different dreams and goals. Volunteers, private ambulance companies, fire departments-it doesn't matter. Some of us have had it, some can't get enough, some are somewhere in the middle. The ones that can't get enough eventually turn into the ones that have had it soon enough, and the cycle begins again.

This EMS thing is just weird. Even after twenty some years, some days I've had it, and some days I still can't get enough of it.

Thanks for reading. I know it isn't always easy, or politically correct, and might anger some union supporters one day while alienating private medics the next. But it is the truth, the way I see it.



  • Pat Blackman/Grandma Muggle says:

    You have every right to “tell it like it is” Michael. You live the life and are in on the good and the bad.
    I want you to know that, I am so glad that you and your brothers and sisters are there for us.
    As I write, we are about to call 911 for Rick. Erratic blood pressure and pulse rate and weakness. I am confident that he will be taken care of with courtesy and professionalism.
    Am I scared? Hell yes, but not nearly so scared as I would be if you folks were not there for us.
    I’ll send you an update.
    Thanks to each of you for all that you do. God bless. Love, Pat.

  • Vincent Sheehan says:

    Tell it straight, Mike . Don’t pull punches. The truth hurts, but makes for better practices. I know spent years R2 , 6000 r/p/yr We know what it must be like now. Thanks Vinny S.

  • Pat Blackman/Grandma Muggle says:

    Michael, Rick was admitted to Jane Brown last night. Part of the problem was CO2 retention. The usual COPD stuff as well of course. He is doing better today and they are working for even more improvement. We live in hope.
    As predicted he was treated with courtesy and professionalism and so was I.
    Of course, when one of “the boys” turns out to be a lovely young woman EMT he likes it even more. LOL. Well he is a fella you know. 😉
    Thanks for your good words. I shall indeed “stay strong.” Thanks Capt. Love, Pat.

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