13 January 2008
Have you ever actually "stopped" in order to appreciate time? It is one of those things that are overlooked and taken for granted, yet eventually, we all run out of. In a world where "time is money" we tend to get wrapped up with the light at the end of the tunnel that we forget to notice the colors, sounds, textures, and sensory stimulations that make our journey into the great unknown, just that....great.
So, I thought that today, I would write a comparison to help, maybe guide you through the rest of your life which is an hourglass glued to the table, slowly getting smaller with every waking breath and take you inside the mind of the paramedic and EMT and show you how ten minutes are an eternity.
In ten minutes, you have taken a warm shower in peace and feel refreshed and ready for the world. In ten minutes, I have stood out in the pooring rain holding the hand of a car accident victim telling her I am not going to leave her while the fire department cuts away the steel and fiberglass in order to get her out.
In ten minutes, you stand in line to get an overpriced cup of coffee with some name that is longer than some third world countries. In ten minutes, I am trying to start AND finish my meal while I am en route to the next call which happens to be the sixth one in four hours since my shift started.
In ten minutes, you have a conversation with your parents over the cell phone because you have just that much time to kill before you are at your destination. In ten minutes, I am pumping on the chest of a stranger's loved one who was found on thier bedroom floor working against a clock that I am already way behind hoping that a miracle will come.
In ten minutes, you complain that your job, your boss, and your coworkers are something that you just want to do without and that they are just one more piece of stress that you could live without. In ten minutes, I am waiting for a helicopter to transport a victim from an accident that may never make it to work again.
In ten minutes, you try on several new outfits wondering which ones will look great in the up coming season. In ten minutes, I pray that I can change the same clothes that I have been stuck in for 36 plus hours and are covered in smoke, dirt, and blood.
In ten minutes, you go to bed hoping that you won't forget to pick up milk tomorrow. I may not even see my bed in ten minutes.
In ten minutes, you contemplate what to do for your birthday. In ten minutes, I am celebrating someone's birth on a lonely stretch of highway.
In ten minutes, you meet a stranger because he has an item you want to buy. In ten minutes, I meet a stranger because he wants to breathe.
In ten minutes, you hear a siren and curiously go looking to see what and where the trouble is. I am hoping you pull over so that I am where I need to be in under ten minutes.
In ten minutes, you may see an old friend for the first time in a long time. In ten minutes, I may see a stranger for the last.
In ten minutes, you go through the room greeting all your family members during a holiday event. Ten minutes is all I get with mine miles apart via cell phone on the way back from the hospital.
In ten minutes, you may get to know me. In ten minutes, I may know everything I need to about you.
In ten minutes, you will forget who I am. In ten minutes, I will never forget who you are.
To all the active and potential EMS personnel out there, I want to thank you for what you do as the brother and sisterhood we share is unlike anything else you may expirience.
What we do is a calling...it is something that we don't choose, but rather it chooses us.
Rounding Third and Heading Home,