Smoke fills the parking lot, obscuring the scene. It lifts a little, the crowd roars when the band steps out of their bus. A man is down, possibly injured, not breathing, no pulse. I need some rhythm, and the drummer and bass player start pumping. One beat a second, 1,2,3,4 and,2,3,4 and 1,2,3,4… The roadies move in, taking the lifeless form with them, and into the van they go. The drummer keeps his steady beat, the wind section kicks in with a non-re-breather, the lead guitar player knocks out a face melting, adrenaline charged solo through the IV line…They stop, the crowd waits…
I feel for a pulse, watch the monitor, and kick the band back into rhythm. Our roadies get the van moving, we’re headed to the next gig, but this is no practice session in the back of the bus, this is the show, mistakes are not part of the program. In perfect synchrony we play on, the steady beat from the rhythm section keeping the lead guitar focused, doing the things that make it all come together in perfect harmony.
We enter the arena, security parts the crowd, bright lights blind us, the trauma team waits. The body on the stretcher rises, the crowd goes wild…
Yeah, I’m a dork. But I’d rather be a dork who loves what he does than somebody who is so good at what he does he just goes through the motions, never gets excited and says things like, “been there, done that.”
I love EMS. Where else can a simple guy feel like a rock star. The roaring crowds are figments of my imagination, and the guitars and drums and all that just some goofy thing I wrote, but still, the feeling I get when responding to a call is as strong now as it was twenty three years ago. (I know, I’m retired, but it seems like the bell could tip any minute)
Few people know true job satisfaction, and fewer still know that without a doubt what they did on any given day made a difference in another person’s life. Hardly anybody can say that they brought a life into the world, and cut an umbilical cord or three, or say they were with an elderly lady during her last graceful moments, or that they got somebody’s ticker ticking again.
“It’s all good, and its all in fun, so get in the pit and try and love someone!”
Well, I ain’t no Kid Rock, but I do know how it feels to be a rock star. It doesn’t matter if nobody is listening, or cheering, because it feels great.