We kiss are families goodbye, we give them a hug, and we tell them that “I Love You,” then we head to work. Our office in not in a large building, our office is a highly sophisticated and built ambulance, equipped with many warning devices that light up the night and sirens that wails an eerie cry to please pull aside so that we may pass by.
Our office does not have a desk instead it has two bucket seats. We depend upon on our partner who too has said goodbye to his/her family. The partners work the next twelve hours side by side, always at the ready to answer someone’s cry for help. Working four to five days a week in specially designed ambulances that provides the space and equipment used to treat and transport the sick and injured.
Working twelve hours together partners form a special bond, they work many terrible scenes that include homes or the twisted remains of a once intact vehicle. We respond to hostile scenes where violence may still be taking place. Partners work as one, communicating to one another instead open dialogue we communicate with body language.
At the end of our shift we clean and restock our mobile office and park it in its assigned spot. The partners walk to their cars and wish each other a good day off and head for home. Once again the paramedic is reunited with their spouses and their children, seldom do we talk about our job, for some our jobs are called gruesome, for others they do not understand. Our spouse knows when we have a really bad call, through our silence at times. What is not talked about are the many dangers we face, we don’t talk to our spouse about the possibility of injury or death. We don’t talk about it to our partners, it’s an unspoken knowledge that the work we do can be so dangerous. (EMS DANGER)
Another day and time to leave for work, we once again say goodbye to our families, with a hug and a kiss. Once again we join our partner and prepare our mobile office for another shift. As partners we call in service and begin our new day. (The pictures below illustrate the horror that every paramedic quietly thinks about in the back of his or her mine that a similar fate could occur today, tomorrow, or next month.)Every time we receive an emergency call the chances of sustaining a disabling injury or a fatal injury increases. Drivers who have their car radios turn too loud, making the wail of the siren mute.
The emergency run alone is one of the most dangerous moments for the paramedic crew. Drivers who fail to the yield, or run a red light, or a stop sign could cause in the ambulance being hit. Assaults against paramedics continue to increase every year and as a result paramedics have become targets from the very patients that they are trying to help, Paramedics have sustained injuries and have been killed by both patients and even by distressed family members.
Then the unthinkable happens, a car fails to see or hear the Ambulance sirens and emergency lights, private vehicles have caused accidents that result in the striking of one or both the Paramedics working to save a life at the scene of a car accident. A vehicle strikes one of the Paramedics killing him/instantly.
The doorbell rings at the fallen medic’s home. The spouse opens the door to find a paramedic supervisor and a police officer with their head held low. The spouse knows that their loved one will, not becoming home tonight or any other night. He or she has answered their final call.
There will be one last farewell as the casket is placed in an Ambulance now headed to the medic’s final resting place. A caravan forms behind the Ambulance, Ambulances, Fire Apparatus, and Police Vehicles follow behind, as their lights flashing, there is no wail of a siren just the eerie silence and muffled tears at the loss of a Partner as the casket is lowered with the fallen comrade.