Everything you read here should be considered fiction. Patient rights will always be respected. Any resemblance to persons living or not is purely coincidental.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Winding Road

Just a quick rundown of how I ended up here.  You see, when I was a bit of a kid, all I wanted to do was raise and race sled dogs.  Then when I was in my teens (and the full sled dog kennel emptied out) I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian.  So off to college where I did very little studying for a year, then decided I was way too stupid to get into vet school.  Worked at a factory for a while and decided an education would be a very good thing indeed.  Became a career undergraduate student, where one of my last "filler" courses was Wilderness First Responder (WFR).  The only class I never skipped throughout my college education.  It was too much fun!  I didn't want to miss out on one day of the information.  Then I went off in the real world for internships and a steady, low-paying job mapping stuff.  I let my First Responder certification lapse, but took a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) class a few years later just to keep my skills up.

I pondered the Wilderness EMT course (EMT-B) but the cost and a full month off work kept me out of it.  And laziness too.  It just didn't seem to make sense to do all that work in 30 days - I don't know if my brain could handle that compact a schedule.

Anyhow, last summer I was out doing an outdoor writing/painting retreat when one of the older folks took a tumble down the trail and got a nasty facial laceration.  I handled the scene for 30 minutes or so until the ranger-medics arrived and did a wheeled-litter extraction out of the backcountry.  I stood there with bloody gloves and wanted more.  Wanted to be one of those attending and helping out.

So I contacted the EMS coordinator and asked what I could do - so happened they were planning a First Responder course over the winter and I could jump in.  After class I moved to the ambulance, helping out the EMS Coordinator and head medic by working on inventory, driving to the hospital (I know where every bump in the road lies), and attending when time, space, and the situation allow.

So what's next?  I definitely want to do my EMT-B, but there haven't been any classes in the area - meaning within 2 hours driving distance - so I started looking at online offerings.  Still not sure about that avenue.  Also unsure about whether Paramedic school is in my future. I guess just unsure about the road ahead in my EMS life altogether.

I'm at the tail end of my thirties and adding EMS to my life has been the best decision I ever made.  That's all I know for sure right now.

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