24 June 2006

The Washing of the Water

23 June 2006

"The Washing of the Water"

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I really don't have much to say here. I am kind of standing besides myself here.

Over the past two days, Northern Ohio has received so much rain, that it has been the worst flooding in over 35 years.

Several counties have been declared disaster areas. Hundreds of people have been told to flee their homes and evacuated.  The Northern part of the state has been left in ruins.

On Thursday, Two kids thought that they could take their Jeep past a barrier and make it across the raging flood waters in a town about fifteen miles south.  Getting stuck, they felt thier lives in danger, vacated the vehicle, and clung to a tree untill help came.

In the water went a diver from the local fire department attempting to rescue the two youths as their fear grew and the water rose.

The diver got caught by the current.....

And never came back up.

Tied to a rope line, his fellow firefighters pulled him in only to find him lifeless and still.

With a raging urgency to revive their commrade, the heroic attempts made to save his life on scene and en route to the hospital remained fueled and anticipant.

At the hospital, he was pronounced dead.

Below is the article if you care to read it.

To all my fellow brothers and sister out there...Please be careful...I am thinking of you.

Click here to read article

Rounding Third and Heading Home,


18 June 2006

A Walk Down Memory Lane

18 June 2006

"A Walk Down Memory Lane"

I am looking for a show of hand of those of you that are still out there whom have done something to relive a piece of their childhood or some other event that displayed a cructial part of your life.

Maybe you drove past your childhood home reminiscing your youth and the times that you spent there.  Maybe you rented a movie that you have seen more times than you can count, yet it brings a feeling of comfort and security in some sort of Hollywood magic kind of way.  How about going to a high school athletic event and while sitting in th bleachers, it takes you back to when you roamed the campus with your friends.

Each of have done something that turns back the hands of time whether we want to admit it or not...so stop trying to deny it.

Yesterday, was one of those moments...for me that is.

Saturday, I found myself proctoring a National Registry exam at my former employer where I still teach.  Before me were twenty-four young paramedic hopefuls brought here to demonstrate their abilities to fuction as a pre-hospital provider and don the title "paramedic" to their genre.

Looking into the eyes of these young kids, I saw tension, urgency, doubt, and most of all fear.  This was it for them. The hands-on test that they worked for over a years time to achieve.  The "Go hard or go home" atmosphere enstowed on them as they pulled the curtain back and entered onto the stage that would have twelve of their peers and other instructors grading them on a national recognition level.  This was it for them...and you could see it in their faces.

Looking at the students line up awaiting to see what station that they will acquire first, I closed my eyes and remembered the first time I was standing in that line awaiting my fate.

Gosh, I was so nervous. I remember that I spilled my coffee right off the bat as I set it down in the first station that went in. This was bad for two reasons. First, the impression that I felt I was leaving at the ripe age of eighteen, was a reflection of what I thought these instructors would think mirrors my ability to help people. Not something that I needed to accelerate my angst and already stirring emotions.

The second was that I didn't drink coffee...but I needed something to occupy my time while I waited.

Getting through that day was ranked right up there with starting school for the first time, picking up my first date that was unchaperoned at the door, my first kiss, my first break-up, and the first time I realized that it all comes full circle.

Watching the kids in the hall lined up wearing the uniforms for the company that they represent, it took me back to my first day as an EMT.

My shift didn't start till 8:00 AM but I think I was up around 5:30 with excitement and fear blended into a nice cocktail garnished with a nervous twist.  Could I do this job? What if I mess up?  What will I see once I am really out there?  I remember waking up in a cold sweat wondering...what is truly out there.

Putting on my new uniform, I remember that I stared into the mirror for what seemed like days making sure that every wrinkle was out and that my badge and name tag was polished to the hilt.  Looking at my watch, I saw that it was time to go. The five minute ride to the fire house would seem like a long torturous trip to a door where the unknown laid on the other side.  I remember standing in front of the door for a good five minutes before I knocked thinking...this was it. This is where you become an adult. This is where your life begins.  It was time to take a leap of faith.

Sitting in my seat, I saw my first student was ready to test out. An eager young man from Columbus who would be devirginized in the world of practical testing here in front of me.  He was nervous...so was I...for him.

He made it through flawlessly...as did many of the others that came to my station. The later it got in the day, the more relaxed these kids became knocking out their stations.  But...this was only part of the game...this was the easy part.

As I walked upstairs, I saw the canidates smoking, drinking copious amounts of coffee and soft drinks, and pacing wondering what was next.

Then it came....

Everyone was summomed to the conference room to find out their fates.  Did they move on...did they get to try again...or do they get told to try something else. 

I remember standing outside the door pacing so hard, I think that they had to replace tiles once I was finished. My friend handed me some more coffee..I think it was decaf this time.  I felt my hands sweat so much, the cup became slick with persperation. My heart beat out of my chest, and my stomach turned so much that it felt as if someone was constructing a city deep in my digestive tract.  At this point is where you start to second guess yourself. Did I put that belt on tight enough? Did I check to see if he was bleeding there?  Did I give the right amount of oxygen?  The speed of thought seemed so fast that light looked at my thoughts telling me to slow down.

Then the door opened....and my name was called......

Watching these kids go in and come back on was like watching American Idol when the auditions are playing.  Some of them came out jumping up and down elated that they made it screaming at the top of their lungs. Some came out crying and falling to the ground as if the world they were living in suddenly came down on them and told them that their time was up.

Watching the whole process brought me back to who I was and where I had come from. These kids were going to be the new hope, the new talent, and most of all, our new heros.

Welcome to the brotherhood, guys.  You earned it.

Rounding Third and Heading Home,