And that’s why I do this job

I just finished reading a great post on Jeramedic’s Blog about his first true save in the field. The whole time I was reading it, I couldn’t help but remember my first. Fortunately Jeremiah got to see the save right before his eyes. I had gotten pulses back in the field, but I knew (or thought) the downtime was to long for her to have any real neuro activity. I actually left the hospital sure that she wasn’t going to make it. That’s where this story gets good.

I was teaching an EMT class at the local college one night. The semester had just started and I having the students introduce themselves and explain why they want to become an EMT. After 20 minutes of the usual “I need this for my job” or “I want to be a firefighter”, a student asked to share a story if I didn’t mind. I encouraged him to take all the time he needs.

He walked up front and told the story of how he witnessed his mom collapse and go into cardiac arrest. He talked about how he didn’t know what to do and how scared he was. Then he started to explain what happened once the ambulance showed up. As his story went on, I started paying closer attention. This sounded familiar…..very familiar. After he told his story, I excused myself from the class for a minute and called a break. I made a call to my dispatch center and asked to reference the last name and see if any patient’s were run for a cardiac arrest in the last year. Just as I suspected, I ran his mom a little over a year ago. I was the paramedic that he was talking about.

Not quite sure how to approach this, I asked to speak to him in private. I thanked him for sharing the story and broke the news. He immediately teared up and gave me a big hug and thanked me over and over again. He went back in the class and announced to everyone that I was paramedic that saved his moms life. Everyone clapped for a good few minutes. I was full of emotion and didn’t really know how to act at that point. He went on to tell everyone that this is the very reason he wanted to become an EMT and eventually become a paramedic. I couldn’t believe it. I had inspired someone to do this job without even knowing.

He asked if I would be willing to share my side of the story, to which I did. I started from the point where we were dispatched an explained the series of events up until we reached the hospital. I watched tears come to everyones eyes and it wasn’t until that point that I truly understood why I do this job.

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