First Responders First Hand

My husband is a paramedic. When we were dating, I would ride out with him occasionally. After being together 15 years, I rarely do.

Last Tuesday night was National Night Out. My husband and I took his EMS Supervisor truck to visit the local neighborhood we had been assigned to meet and greet all of the families, and let the children play on and look at the truck. We received a 911 call for a multi-vehicle accident on the local interstate. Of course, because I was with him I went along.

I have been a nurse for over 20 years and trauma was my first love in the “business.” I have never worked in the field as the first responders do. I worked in the emergency room and saw my fair share of trauma. However, nothing impressed me like the scene I witnessed the other night from the sidelines.

There were seven vehicles involved. As we arrived on scene the fire department and police department were already in the midst of the action, tending to the most serious and giving CPR to one patient. As the multiple EMS units arrived, I witnessed an amazing sight. All the different departments worked in tandem. There was chaos all around them but each first responder was calm, working together, and taking care of the victims, the scene, and keeping the crowd under control. It looked like a well-choreographed dance. As the lead medic on scene, my husband did triage and made sure to assess every person involved in the accident, no matter how uninjured they appeared. The police were controlling the scene as well as helping where needed for patient care, as were the firefighters. The patients were loaded in the ambulances and transferred to the hospital quite quickly. Two of the firefighters went in an ambulance to lend extra hands on the more critical patient. The fire department was assessing the scene for any dangers from the crash; the police officers were controlling the scene and crowd. They were also marking the scene for investigation to determine what transpired to cause the accident and interviewing eyewitnesses to the accident.

So the moral of my story: It’s easy to say thank you and post on line how much I support our first responders, because I truly do, but seeing them in action on a multi-trauma scene was a true eye opener for me. My appreciation for the teamwork between departments and the lives saved that night gave me a completely new perspective of appreciation.

Thank you paramedics, firefighters, and police officers for all you do for our community to keep us safe, and help us when we are in crisis.

Now, I wonder how my level of appreciation for our soldiers (and I already greatly appreciate them) would be impacted if I were to witness their daily “grind?” Thank you military men and women for serving our country.
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