Crazy bright lights flash making you nervously rush to the shoulder of the road, and sirens blow loudly as the mega vehicle shoves its way beside you. The one time you are running late for your morning Skinny Vanilla Latte they block the whole intersection. Annoying. Sorry for their loss, but I need coffee before going into the office. The people in the Response Unit #52 don’t have a face. They are to do their jobs and are expected to perform up to our standards and needs. I mean for real, only those behind a desk in a suit have “real” jobs anyway, right? The irritating sounds and aggravating traffic jams become the face of EMTs. Their cute uniforms and bold attitudes are as far as we see. They seem nice enough but truly need to stay out of our way. Now don’t blow off my blog just yet…
What about the time you were forced to pick up your iPhone to plea for help? When the one you love was gasping for breath, you remember the uniformed men that rushed past the cars honking and the people yelling to get to where you were; that was a face of hope. In the moment at 4:00 in the morning when you were collapsed on the ground, those were the arms that picked you up; that was a face of strength. As her perfect little face was turning blue the gloved hands were the ones that pumped life back into your baby’s body; that was a face of skill.
In those moments when life is shattering they step in. For you, they may be heroes. For the little girl watching wide-eyed from the roadside, they may be her goal in life, her dream job. Really, it is more than what happens on scene. When they leave the chaos of the emergency room, there are questions, concerns, and wondering. Countless hours are unnerving by what they experience day in and day out. “Thank God I was there in time.” “If they would have called 3 minutes sooner I could have saved her.” “I felt her last heartbeat.” “I watched his last breath.”
I can promise, these are paramedics that jump into ambulances and willingly fight for your life without looking at race or wealth. They give with everything in their power. Every single day they are depended on for their knowledge, ability, and calling. Yes, that is right. It is a calling, a gift, a mission.
Next time a wailing ambulance roars by you at the traffic light or the flashing lights in front of all the traffic gives you a minor headache think differently. Could you do what they do everyday? The gruesome sights, the emotional struggle, the long nights are all for you. The medic running through the field to find the ejected body has a face; it is a face of rescue. The person behind the ambulance wheel has a face; it is a face of care. Think about life from their eyes, and thank a medic today.
-A Paramedic’s Daughter