Sunday, October 7, 2007

How Dare He!

Ambulance Driver commented on the previous post:
OTOH, I read your blog posts, brother. Don't take this the wrong way, but you're not a paramedic at heart. You're a firefighter who runs paramedic calls. You're probably not going to be happy in a pure EMS role, and the job deserves someone with their heart in it.

I read that, and re-read that. I got to thinking; I've ridden the ambulance more in my career than the fire engine. I taken the BLS, BTLS, PHTLS, well, all the "LS's". I've handled everything from scratches to gunshots, babies to elderly, bullshit to true emergency. How dare he say I'm not a paramedic at heart.

But then I thought about it. And you know what? He's right.

See, you can do a thing and that thing may not be what defines you. Or it may not be what you see yourself as.

It kind of hit me when I walked out to my truck. On the back I have a fire department sticker. I don't have a Paramedic sticker. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I am a firefighter. To me it kinda goes together with being a paramedic, but I don't tell people that. I went to paramedic school on my own, before being hired as a fireman. But, I did it to help me get hired with a fire department. I have several T-shirts from various fire departments around the country. I have exactly zero paramedic shirts.


Does all this mean I'm not a good paramedic? Not at all (and I think AD would agree). I take a lot of pride in the knowledge and experience I have as a paramedic. I think it makes me a better person. The knowledge and experience I have gained as a paramedic have served me well several times in my personal life. Not bragging, but I have in fact saved a couple of lives. I am very thankful of that.

But you know what? I worked at Texas Instruments before I got into EMS and Fire. I built machines that made IC chips. But I don't think of myself as an electronic guy at heart either. I have more than a bit of experience in electrical wiring, low voltage DC and household AC. I still don't consider myself an electrician. I can even run a lathe or a mill to a certain extent, but I'm not a machinists. I can build a house, and have remodeled my own. I don't think of myself as a carpenter.

But you know what all those things have helped me do? Be a better fireman.

Then am I just a Fireman?


I'm the guy who builds computers for my family.
I'm the guy who makes his own Biodiesel fuel.
I'm the guy who tears out walls in his house and adds rooms.
I'm the guy who runs new electrical outlets for the kitchen.
I'm the guy who built and wired his own shop.
I'm the guy who works on guns.
I'm the guy who is a fireman.

I'm Mr Fixit.


Ambulance Driver said...

Oh, I'd agree fully that you're a good paramedic.

It's just not what defines you.

You're a fireman. That's what you do. And it's a good thing.

Gerald said...

I notice of all the things you listed, you didn't mention being a paramedic!

Mr. Fixit said...

Freudian slip?

Detail Medic said...

Very good points made, and now I have no idea what the hell I am... I fear I am a paramedic at heart when it's not "cool" to be. I think EMS Lt is probably my calling. It's what I'd be good at. With my luck they'll offer me a supression position when I'm ready to promote.

DW said...

Cool, now you know, and your decisions will be holding that in mind henceforth.