Hoping for Calm

Friday night, we were dropping some things off at the EMS station. It was getting late and one of our paramedics helped carry the heavy stuff with a really cheerful attitude. As we turned to leave, we exchanged some pleasantries, including the fact that we hoped he would have a calm, uneventful night. He laughed and said he hoped for the same. It was a light exchange, but one that's stayed with us for a few days. Our paramedic friend wasn't hoping to spend the night watching TV or playing video games. He was genuinely hoping for few if no calls because he knows something that the rest of us sometimes forget: each one of those calls has the potential to change lives, for the worse. It takes a strong person to work in emergency medicine. We think of our ER nurses and doctors. There's a reason it's called the Emergency Department, because nearly every case involves a sense of urgency. They constantly deal with the "worst-case scenario." EMS is no different. The adrenaline levels on those ambulances must be off the chart. As one of our EMT friends confided: "You never know what you're going to find. You just hope whatever it is, you can truly help." That got us thinking. What if there wasn't anyone who would come when you called 9-1-1? What if that kind of help wasn't available? Truly, lives would change for the worse. This has been a tough few weeks for EMS, for the ER and for our community. Too many lives have changed due to recent events, and we are sad. But we are also so grateful (so grateful!!) for these kind, compassionate professionals who don't--who won't--give up, even if their last call nearly did them in. We're so grateful because the next call, as life goes, might be ours.