I was working my per diem job. I had a good partner with a lot of experience so I was excited for the shift in anticipation of learning something new. Our first job as for a pronouncement. As we rolled on scene the local police lieutenant asked if we were medics (in the state I work we have a two tier response of BLS only and ALS only crews). When I confirmed his assumption, he advised us that the patient was a fellow medic.
Upon learning this update we were shocked. My state has 1400 active paramedics and we both understood that this was definitely going to hit home. God bless the police lieutenant and sergeant on scene for trying to make the pronouncement the responsibility of the local medical examiner; however, at the end we had to perform the pronouncement.
Now I’m a brand new paramedic with 7 years in the industry (5 years in a busy urban system) and only a year as a medic. This job hit home for me not only as a medic but as a human. In this case, the notes left in the apartment were dated over two weeks prior and the medical examiner tried to argue about securing an ECG strip with us via police. So I gave my opinion back about the request and went about my business the rest of the shift.
Within two hours coworkers at my company were trying to confirm the story and ask details (I didn’t mind, I felt talking about it with senior people was therapeutic). I got home and it hit me hard. What bothered me was in a community in my state so small, nobody checked up on this soul who was hurting, that this person felt so alone not to reach out to others, and that it was so easy to feel very alone in this local community.
As an urban provider I felt hurt and torn. Torn that I shouldn’t be hurt but that since it’s one of our own and that the loss was so untimely that there was a chance at prevention. For those reading? I found solace in people I trust and have looked at and have been mentors. I pray every night for the deceased and there family and most important…. I implore those feeling lost and alone, I have got your six like many others do, you might feel alone but please reach out and seek therapy for the experiences that bother you.
The permanent solution to life is not worth it. The problems are temporary and us as a community can be there for all of us and reduce our suicide rate. From one medic to all in ems, we are here for you and will be there for you in the worst of experiences. Don’t give up just reach out.
– Story written by an anonymous paramedic.