It’s all over. I have served the public for almost 19 years as an EMT, Fireman, paramedic, EMS educator, and flight paramedic. Not to mention my stints in the ERs. What do I do now?
I didn’t want to leave but if I stayed I would have done something bad to myself. A person can only take so much. I had to leave. Not just because of the job but because of money as well. EMS has gone backwards. I left medicine after 19 years making a whopping $13.50/hr. Years of education, putting my life and body in harms way, losing lives and saving them. For $13.50/hr. Wow.
At one time we were protected by unions. That was a great time. Now we are lucky to get 1 week vacation. Definitely no paid holidays anymore. It’s been 3 weeks. I can’t sleep, I wake unprovoked, I can’t talk to people, I’m withdrawn, I’m lonely. Wait nothing has changed since leaving medicine.
I used to be the happiest person. Now I’m the saddest. My friends poke fun at my expense, they don’t want me to be around them because I’m so withdrawn, my family wants me to do stuff but I can’t even do that. I left with no pensions, no retirement saved, no good source of income, and nobody to talk to. Things look bleak. But I couldn’t stay any longer.
All I know is how to help people, how to walk into a horror show and be calm as can be, how to deliver proper and procedural medication/skills to dying patients, but nobody knows how to help me.I’ve done everything right but why is everything wrong? I’ve scoured the internet for help, even looked into disability. There’s nothing really out there for people who served the country within the country. Sad. I can only see myself losing everything I’ve earned and worked for in a matter of months. Then what? Return to medicine?
Story written by Jason, Flight Paramedic with 19 years on the job.