I’m Giving Up

When I first got into this field I volunteered 6 months on the ambulance waiting for them to hire me. I have fought for every job I have to prove myself. Every day I work my ass off, cleaning, working, doing everyone else’s work. I volunteer to help all the time, do extra hours, volunteer time, stay around to help, but does it matter? Does it mean anything?

No. It never does and it never will.

I see people all the time get hired, never having to volunteer. People say what excellent employees they are, but I see them sitting around all the time. Zero experience and just walk into a job. They get full time while I’m busting my ass to stay on the part time list.

It pisses me off! More than I can ever explain! More than it probably should. I can’t explain the hurt inside me, the feeling of being forgotten. I can’t stop the pain and I can’t explain why it’s so strong. Tonight I can’t handle it anymore. I’m done! I give up! I quit! I’ll never be good enough, ever. It’s as simple as that.

Don’t Mistake Our Smile

I read an incredible story, written by a local paramedic. He was off duty and became a part of an amazing rescue attempt to save a life. Unfortunately the life was lost, however his story made me think. He talked about the hurt and feelings after the rescue, how quiet the car ride home was, and how he knew his friend had the same feelings but not once did they discuss it.

I am guilt of what I am about to write about, I’ve caught myself and partner doing the same thing. I hope one day to start educating fire and EMS crews, but right now I don’t have the degree for that. Instead I will stick to sharing my thoughts here.

I don’t remember a class during my fire and EMS training that was titled “Feelings: Keep Them Hidden.” I can’t recall a time in class where the instructors lectured us on not showing emotions. And I certainly don’t recall any training on how to deal with the emotional drain this career can have on a person. Is this what leads to so many suicides within our field?

We often see things the majority of the world is spared, our eyes have seen tragedy and our hearts have felt great pain, but no one ever talks about it. Many times I have ran calls with my partner, tragic calls, but we never discuss it. We ride back to the station in complete silence then we laugh it off with other crews.

Don’t mistake our laughter for not caring, our laughter has become our way to deal with the pain. Somewhere between school ending and starting to settle into the field we learn that laughter hides the pain. They say laughter is the best medicine, but laughter can’t take it away. The memories are still there, the pain still weighs in our hearts.

Sometimes the smallest thing will bring the memories back, maybe the same smell from that horrible day. Or the sunset after that day, it looks so much like the sunset now. All the emotions and memories come flooding back, but we just laugh it off.

Often times crews I am with discuss the sick sense of humor you have to have to be able to work in this career, but they don’t mean what I thought when I first heard that. What we mean is, you have to have the ability to laugh about it so you don’t let it bother you as much, but laughing about something so tragic makes a person look crazy to the outside world. To the normal people, that live their lives unaware of the horrors in this world, our laughter is confused for not caring.

We send men and woman to fight for our country and offer them very little help when they come back. We send police officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, and first responders into some horrible situations, yet offer them no help to learn how to deal with the things they see. How many lives will be taken before we start educating and offering help?

The next time you see us laughing after a tragedy, please remember we are not laughing at the people, we are laughing for ourselves. We are human, we still hurt too, but to keep doing this job we must laugh it off. I remember some young kids asking how we deal with what we see and the firefighter standing next to me had the ability to explain it like no one I have ever heard.

“Each one of us has out own memory book, we take the pictures and memories of the events and file it away in that book. A book we never open willingly. We laugh then file it away, never to be opened again. Some people have books 5 inches thick and still live each day happy, while others books are only 1 inch thick and completely full. Each of us have our own limit, but you will know when that book is full. Once it is, you will know. You will know it is time to quit.”

So each of us must know our limit. You must know when it is time to stop. Once your book is full and you can no longer laugh the pain away, it is time to walk away. Don’t let this career take your beautiful life, you have done wonderful things. You were there for someone when they needed help, they will be forever grateful for that, but much like us and our feelings, they don’t always know how to show theirs. People often forget that a simple “thank you” can make us smile for weeks. A true smile, that makes this job all worth it.

EMS Week

It was a wonderful EMS week full of goodies! : ) Now it’s time to get out there and thank your veterans for your freedom! This holiday wasn’t free!

As you know, I hate being called an “ambulance driver” and there are many people that don’t know much about EMT’s and Paramedic’s. It’s ok if you don’t know, but please do not call us ambulance drivers. The picture pretty much sums up what we are.

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Working My Ass Off!

Not that I have one to work off. One of my job, when I started there last year the guys swore they were going to make me fat. Well, they have failed so far because not only are they not making me fat, I seem to weigh less now. I’m one of those girls you hate because I can eat anything and everything and not gain an ounce. The difference between me and some of those girls though, I don’t go around calling myself fat. I also HATE that I can’t gain weight! I’m too freaking skinny and don’t like it at all!

Now with that said, I started my newest job this week. It has been my dream job! They keep telling us to be proud of ourselves, that not many people make it there. They picked us because we truly are the best in the field. Boy is the pressure on! I’m loving it! Loving the people, but the pressure…I’m freaking nervous! I’m afraid I don’t know enough, I’m afraid I’ll mess up, or not know the drugs or doses, or just…I’m fucking scared!!! But my man swears I know my stuff, that it all comes natural on a call, and that I was just born to be there. We shall see.

What does this jobĀ  have to do with having no ass? Well ALL of my uniform had to be ordered! I’m too freaking small! They had no shirts, dress shirts, polos, pants, boots, job shirts, coats…NOTHING in my size! They didn’t even have gear for me for vehicle accidents and what not. It’s horrible! But other than that…I FREAKING LOVE IT!!!!! They people are great, the job is great, the Chief is really cool, the officer staff is awesome…I just love it! I’m SO happy with the job! I will tell you more about the pressures and stuff, but for now I need sleep. I’m stuck at hell job tomorrow…it’s going to ruin my week!

Day 19

I have nothing more to be thankful for. Not one. I thought all day and not a single thing comes to mind. Am I that horrible of a person? I can’t even be thankful for anything?

A little back story about the weekend and how I got to where I am right now…alone…

I was having a bad day, just one problem after another. Stuck at “hell” job all day, stupid drivers coming home, phone call from my mom all pissy, then my dad telling me about my grandma…just a bad day. Well, my man was in the area so he went to my house and waited for me to get there from work. I came in just stressed and not in a good mood. First he asks what my problem was, no hi…nothing…just, “what’s wrong now?” Am I that predictable? So I started by telling him crappy drivers made my day worse and without me even getting to explain about my grandma or the phone call from my mother, he responds with, “You’re ruining your life. You need to let it go.”

Probably not a bad response if you look at it and looking back now it wasn’t the worst response he could have chosen, however this particular night it was a “trigger” and I lost it. My response was something along the lines of, “I don’t need this tonight” and I took off upstairs in tears. I just couldn’t take anymore that day. His response to that? He left. Walked right out the door. I needed comfort, not another person to walk away. Am I that horrible to deal with?

By then I was pissed. Beyond pissed! I sent all kinds of horrible texts, ones I probably shouldn’t have, but I did it. I told him I’m done with him, with this family, with everyone. I told him to leave me alone and go enjoy his “happy fucking life” and that was the last message I sent. I have not responded to a single text message, phone call, nor e-mail from him for two days. He’s tried…sort of, but has yet to say sorry at all. So for now…I refuse to talk to him. I may have messed up, and I know my already bad day made things worse, but I refuse to let it be 100% my fault.

As for my grandma…got the call today that the doctors want to intubate so I had no choice but to go to the hospital. My mother and father are both on me about seeing her, but you know what…she’s been nothing but a bitch to me every time I see here…why should I take off work to go up there? I have bills to pay and I just flat out don’t want to be around her. Call me evil. I don’t give a shit anymore.

I guess being in EMS has given me a cold heart when it comes to the sick and dying. I’m used to it so to speak. It’s a part of life, I’m at peace with it, and know it’s coming. If it’s their time, it’s their time. If I lost the grandparents that helped raise me…yes it would hurt, I’d cry and miss them horribly, however it’s life. I don’t know…I don’t know how to deal with emotions. I don’t know what to do, what to say. I just…I don’t know. It’s life. And the grandma that is in bad shape…well, she has not been kind for a long time now…she’d be better off with my grandpa anyway because she has been a COMPLETELY different person without him.

What can I say…I’m a cold hearted bitch and I want nothing to do with anything right now. I’m done with it all. I’m tired of hurting. I’m tired of feeling. I’m tired.