I’ve been an Emergency Medical Technician since January 2008.I never wanted to, or saw myself working on an ambulance. I wanted to be a Firefighter.
As I started college for my Fire Science degree, I quickly realized that in order to be on a Fire Department (that isn’t in the city, for the most part) you need to have some type of medical license. I guess that makes sense since 95% of all fire department calls are medical… So I started out with just getting my Basic EMT license. I ended up with an awesome teacher who changed my entire view on the subject, and then after a year on the ambulance I realized that the ambo and not the firetruck, was where I was supposed to be.
At this point, I am a Volunteer on a department that is connected to 911. November 2013 will be my 4 year anniversary with my squad. I have never received a single cent for my hours and efforts. I’m proud to be a Volley, but I do need to make a living. Don’t we all? In January 2014 I will continue my search in the paid ambulance field.
People outside of the firehouse don’t understand the bother/sisterhood that Fire/EMS can be. They don’t understand, that even as a volunteer, your doing a job that can sometimes the only pay you need can respect, gratitude, a smile, holding someones hand.
I’m an EMT, I’m a volunteer… I still wear a uniform and run out the door, jump behind the wheel of a box, and haul ass to help someone I don’t know in their worst (sometimes not so worst) times of need. I still do compression’s ventilation, simple intubation, and bandage wounds. I still get yelled at and threatened by drunk and high patients. I still get puked on, covered in urine or feces, and carry people out of hoard-houses. I still see babies, teenagers, and adults leave this world, sometimes being there as they take their last breath while we spend an hour trying to extricate their body from a mangled auto wreck.
Whether it takes another 4 years to get onto a paid department, I will always be a volunteer. My 911 experiences are what I live for in this job, and unless I find a 911 gig in the city, out in the country, or whatever… I will always be an EMT (maybe one day a paramedic!) and whether I’m paid or not, I will ride the box until the day comes that I no longer can.