Before the new ER at Rhode island Hospital was finished, complete with a helicopter landing pad on the roof, we would be dispatched to a parking lot near the hospital and wait for the air ambulances to land. The pilot would give the signal and we would bring the stretcher to them. The crews were always locked in on the patient, seldom engaged us small talk, were a bit arrogant but always professional.
After a few years I actually started to like them. Years later I learned to not only like them, but admire what they did as well. They are the consummate professionals, looked the part, and lived the part. Nowhere in EMS have I seen such military-like precision concerning patient care.
We don't see the crews much anymore, we are out of the equation. The choppers land on the roof, the hospital staff takes it from there. The thing I miss most is the ride back to their ride, when they became regular people-if you got past the can-do rigidity they presented, and we would tell a few stories commiserate about our shifts and relax for a moment.
Thoughts and prayers to my brothers and sisters who lost their lives while doing what they truly love, and best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery to those injured.