My friend Todd left a comment on my last post, http://rescuingprovidence.com/2012/07/maybe-i-should/ advising me to move on to a Ladder Company, less stressful I think his message was. He should know, nearly twenty years in the trenches gives a guy a lot of wisdom.
But less stressful? Ha! My guess is Ladder 2 had a little stress going on when they pulled up to this one yesterday. Stress comes in many different forms, and as Plato said, "Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
We are all on duty, when we're on duty, and every one of us does their part.
There may be less runs on a ladder company, a little more down time, and definitely a lot more fun, (I served on Ladder 7 for a year and Ladder 4 for three) but less stress? I don't think so. Incidentally, when I crawled out of the window and into the dead woman's lap, guess who greeted me?
The members from Engine 2 and Ladder 7, that's who.
EMS in Providence, and lots of other places as well is victim to its own largess. We simply cannot be there for everybody who needs to be seen by the medical community. Real emergencies happen, and happen all the time, but not nearly in the numbers our numbers would suggest.
Mr618 left a thoughtful comment on that post as well, and I hope some younger people who read this blog take heed, it's some great advice. I know simply from the look on the faces of the people on scene at that call how they were affected. I know these people like my own family, have worked with most of them for twenty years, some at least ten and a few five. Nobody, and I mean nobody walks away from such a horrific scene unscathed. Had my wife not called when she did, and I missed the call from home my own defense mechanisms would have been deployed, walls up, barbed wire in place, bazookas ready. But she did call, and I was opened up, and the emotions were let go, and I breathed a little easier, and in short order was ready for the next one. I hope the other people called home, or did what was needed to let it go.
The looks on the faces on that rooftop where a forty-nine year old lady lie dead were a far cry from the looks on the faces at this two-alarm fire.
Fire is a destructive force, no denying that, but has a certain cleansing quality to it as well.
Great job as always, I'm proud to work with all of you.