I am chief of our local volunteer squad. I make a point to stay in contact with our retirees and make them feel at home at our business meetings, they share war stories and help with keeping our rookies in line.
Several years ago I had a retiree that due to diabetes had lost both legs and had started having major cardiac issues. I had picked him up this one night in mind, he was suffering from CHF and had been told by his cardiologist that there was not much they could do. I wanted to get a saline lock in place to expedite care once we arrived at the ED.
He was being “a difficult patient”, not wanting me to provide care that I knew was very much needed. Due to our prior relationship, I straddle the foot of the stretcher and looked him in the eye and we had a heart to heart in the back of the unit. He finally allowed me to put the lock in.
The ED transferred him out to our major medical center a little over an hour away. A week later he was discharged home, he was getting ready for bed later that evening. He drove his wheelchair into the bathroom and collapsed. One of my members lives a few houses down and first responded and began CPR.
I arrived with my partner while another ALS provider responded from our sister station. We did everything right, it was a brother on the floor, pulses. Needless to say, I have never felt so helpless in all my 15 years of service as I did that night. Several days later, I was extremely humbled and honored to present his widow with the flag at his funeral.
– Story written by an anonymous 43 year old female EMT-Intermediate/FF, 15 years on the job.