I couldn’t have said it better myself! I’m not in this business to make money, because we are one of the lowest paid professions out there. Did you know that over 75% of America relies on VOLUNTEER firefighters?? These people, like me, risk their lives for NOTHING! Zero pay! I work on an ambulance, that’s how I make money to pay bills to continue schooling so I can VOLUNTEER as a firefighter. I bet you didn’t know that 96% of EMT’s cannot pay their bills off their single full time job? They require another one or more jobs to make a living. When I find that webpage again, I will put the link here. (Unable to locate it, however for lots of information about this career visit EMS World Magazine. This is great information for us! But good for the public to read and understand too! Just one of MANY magazines out there.)
To pay my bills, I’m working 4 regular jobs and any side jobs I can. I work on two different ambulance services, I teach at one local college and about to start teaching at another, I teach CPR/First Aid for a friends business, I volunteer in that free time I have with my local fire department, AND I do whatever I can for money on the side of all of that.
But none of it has to do with the money. I love working on the ambulance and firetrucks love holding grandmas hand and listening to her when she calls 911 just for someone to visit. I love listing to grandpas war stories and his childhood. I love listening about your kids while I try to calm you. I love saving your life, even if it’s just by talking to you or listening. I will give my life for someone I’ve never met, I determined that the day I signed up for my first class.
I love teaching too, I love sharing my small amount of knowledge with new people trying to get in this career. I love helping people learn. I love watching them grow. I want to help them become better at their career, not only with their hands on skills, but their people skills as well. I want them to know that it’s not about giving drugs all the time, it’s about the patients mental needs too. Maybe they just need someone to talk to, in fact most the time that’s why you’re taking an elder patient to the hospital. Strictly because their family doesn’t visit, they get lonely and just need an ear.
Listen to them! You will hear some incredible stories. I promise.
I love my career! The only thing I hope to change about it, is to gain more respect for our field all around. The next time you hear those “annoying sirens” or don’t pull over for us, just remember what you would want people to do if you need us. Too many people complain that we cause more traffic and problems running lights and sirens, but when you need us you want to know what took so long. Did you PULL OVER AND STOP the last time an ambulance came up behind you? Or did you try to out run it?