By Anonymous, London.
When asked what I do for a living, my response usually garners words of admiration and respect yet I don’t think anyone really gets it.
When you ask me how it feels, I can only answer in single words and, depending on my day, those single words may be ones of elation or abject misery.
I’ve always wanted to be what I am now. Via a 12 year career in advertising/marketing, I can assure you that I’m a better paramedic than I ever was at lying to people to sell them stuff.
Invariably, when conversation has turned to work, I get asked the same question time and time again. “What’s the worst job you have ever done?”. No one ever asks what the best job I have ever done is, but I can assure you, best and worst are intrinsically linked.
Wearing a uniform and having Paramedic on my shoulder is something I am very proud of. I have seen things that very few have and I have witnessed things that I never want to again. I have seen humanity at it’s very best, it’s utter worst and everything in between.
Every day we wade through a mire of pointless calls for headaches and hangovers through to cut fingers and broken nails. Every so often, however, we stumble into “cardiac arrest, conscious-no, breathing-no”.
No one person saves someone’s life, a team of us do. A team that live and breathe for these calls, the calls that the ambulance service are here for. We are a group of people whose lives are littered with broken relationships, lost friends and PTSD. We are a group of people who do what we do because we ultimately love what we do. What we do is a calling. What we do, for us, is what being us is all about.
How does it feel to save a life? There are no words to describe it. To be responsible, in part, for someone to still walk this earth, kiss their wife, husband or children again is why we are here. It’s what we do, it’s what we love and it’s why we sacrifice so much.
People often say “couldn’t do your job”, I say, yes you could. Whether you would want to is another matter.