Like any job EMS has it’s negative aspects. Often we can get bogged down with them and forget why we became EMT’s or Paramedics and miss out on the cool stuff. The opportunities that can matter and leave us as individuals feeling like we have a pretty cool job after all.
Recently I had the opportunity to do a stand by for a Wounded Warrior Project Bike Ride.
If you know me you know that this is a foundation that I support and have in the past donated a percentage of sales to them. I never have had the chance though to be at an event in person and see first hand the amazing dedication of its members and the participation of the Wounded Warriors themselves.
We arrived at the staging area and I did not know this but the Project provides all the bicycles and tricycles and helmets. They provide the water and organizational support to have these events succeed. So as I watched the staff unload the bikes, lining them up I grew emotional knowing what this was all for. I began to realize this was more than the commercials I have seen on TV.
Not that I wasn’t aware of the depth of this organization and the importance of what they provide for our wounded veterans. I think it was more of seeing it first hand and perhaps knowing it was so much bigger than me and my simple donation.
As we began the riding route, a few bikes had issues. The WWP also had staff to troubleshoot and fix any issues with the bikes along the way. This was a short 13 mile ride and included one short break midway. During this break I knew my role was to support them in a medical role. My partner would go around to see if the participants needed anything from us during the break and to let them we were there should they require us. There was one rider who fell early in the ride but got back on his bike and continued on.
In all there were about 35-40 participants and staff and the pace was set to the slowest rider, never leaving any one rider behind too far. It wasn’t a race. It was a ride to support the Wounded Warriors and the WWP.
The entire event lasted about 4 hours. Not long. But long enough to for me to realize that I get to do some pretty cool stuff in EMS.
I have been on Third Watch, meet actors, singers and athletes.
The honor I felt being a part of this Wounded Warrior Project Bike Ride was beyond anything I can think of in recent years. I suppose as a veteran myself I feel a connection to these warriors. While I can never compare what they have gone through or what they continue to struggle with. I still feel they are my brothers and sisters.
It is experiences like this that make me proud to be in EMS. That drive me forward to look beyond the negatives and focus on the positives.
Maybe we can’t all be a part of events like this. To sit back and say “What a cool job I have”.
Yet I have to disagree in that each day we have opportunities to say just that. The newborn we delivered, the STEMI we alerted, the CVA we recognized or even the hypoglycemic patients we treated. To me these are all pretty cool things we are a part of and do everyday.
I think by recognizing that we are professionals, that what we do for our patients and their families really can matter. We can say “What a cool job I have”.
We can feel honored in being in a position to help others when no one else can. It’s an honor that I think we all overlook sometimes. It’s an honor and privilege to be allowed into peoples homes everyday when they are at their worst. We must recognize this and treat it that way.
I hope you as my reader recognizes this. If not, my hope is that you get to do something cool like I have mentioned in this post. Something that makes you take a step back and realize that being offered these opportunities truly is a cool part about EMS.
I have posted some pictures below from the stand by and I hope you will go check out the Wounded Warrior Project by clicking here.