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When most people see an ambulance they just naturally assume that we are all paid people doing our jobs. Quite the contrary in most towns; most of us are just volunteers. Some of us give 40+ hours a week and others give on average of 1 or 2 hours, either way we are giving our time to the community. I find strong comfort in helping someone in his or her time of sickness or need, so I am among the few that give an enormous amount of time. And I love every minute of it. So what is it that I love so much. An EMT is also known as an Emergency Medical Technician or ambulance attendant. Each state has different law also but in all states we have to take a state certified class mandated by the state department of health. In this class we learn a variety of things including patient care and the as well as popular and unpopular illnesses. Our knowledge base is very wide due to the nature of illnesses and injuries we may incur. Sometimes I think of us as mini-doctors.

I live close enough to our local firehouse to be able to “run” from my home. Which makes it easier on my, since I don’t have to sleep at the firehouse or commit all of my running time there. The firehouse provides us with pagers for to hear our dispatch. A loud piercing beeping noise followed by the tones sent out for our station alerts us. That beeping sends the first of many steps my body goes through when responding to a call. My adrenaline starts and body knows exactly what to do without me having to think. I grab my jumpsuit and run out to my car. (In the state I reside, provided we use it wisely we are permitted to have blue lights in our personal vehicles). As I start my car I flip the switch to turn my blue light on and I head to the firehouse as quick as possible. If I am lucky my driver is already they’re waiting for me. I jump in the front seat, respond with the radio room located at the county building, and we proceed to our call. As I said previously we have a variety of calls from a nosebleed to chest pains, with patients of all ages, races, colors, and personalities. Sometimes my patient and I have personality conflicts and that is when I am obligated to take a step back and adapt to their personality. Everyone that calls for us is scared not feeling well, and looking to me for reassurance. Some patients don’t go to the hospital, they think of me as a full-fledged doctor. But I am not, so my help doesn’t always cure them, so I try to persuade all of patients to ride with me to the hospital to get checked out. Once we in the ambulance, my job begins. I try to make my patient comfortable and assess their injury or illness. I then alert the hospital of my findings and our estimated time of arrival so they are prepared for us. Upon arrival at the hospital I take my patient in, speak to the ER doctor gather any other information that may come up and I wish my patient the best. Heading back o the firehouse I always second-guess and review in my head the call to make sure I did everything in my power to help that person. At the firehouse I make sure that ambulance is clean and ready for our next trip, write my report and go home.

This field gives the greatest adrenaline rush anyone can feel, since I do have a full time job I run most of shift (6-hour increments) on the weekends and during the middle of the night. I feel what separates us from other volunteers is the lack of a set schedule and never knowing whether tonight is going give me a full nights sleep or not. I can’t remember the last time I spent a full holiday with my family, someone out there always needs my help, and that’s a great feeling. Thank god my family and friends understand.

Although this may sound to you like a stressful hobby that requires a lot of time and effort, I wouldn’t trade it for the world; for I have not found another hobby as rewarding as this. So please the next time you see an ambulance pull over and let us pass we are out to help someone. And please try to remember this pray for all of us,

God, help them (me) as they (I) go today, accept whatever fate may be
Use their (my) hands, use their (my) mind
Protect that (this) EMT.