Back in 2006, I was conducting a First Aid/CPR/AED course for my employer. The company -- amazingly -- allowed each of its almost 1000 employees to sponsor a non-employee for First Aid/CPR/AED training, at the employer's expense.
Part of my lecture was along these lines:
We do not go into emergency services because of the fantastic schedules. We know that for the first twenty years, we will miss every holiday, every birthday, every wedding anniversary, every school play, every PTA meeting. We do not go into emergency services for the fancy uniforms. The uniforms are polyester: they are hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and they always look horrible. We do not go into emergency services for the money. There is no money in emergency services: most of us are volunteers, or at best, paid-on-call. We do not go into emergency services for fame, fortune, glory, or greed. Do you know the name of even one police officer, firefighter, or paramedic in your town? Or do you know only the Johnnie Gages and Roy DeSotos, the Barney Millers, the Tommy Gavins? We may not admit this, especially when we're sober, but we go into emergency services because we want to make a difference. We want to keep our friends and families, our neighbors, even strangers, safe and healthy. We want people to go home to their families, their spouses, their children, in the same condition as when they left in the morning. We don't want to see tears, we don't want to hear anguished crying, we don't want to tell people their loved ones are never coming home. We want people to stay alive, to go on vacation, to see their children marry, to bounce grandchildren on their knees...
Well, the wife of one of our staff members was in that class, and she listened to what I said. No, she more than listened, she heard, she understood, for the following year when it was time to recertify her CPR, she told me she was back in school, going for a paramedic certificate to pay her way through nursing school... to become a trauma nurse and eventually, a flight crew member of the local air ambulance.
What brought that memory to mind?
Via Mustang Bobby
Yeah, I guess I made a difference, too.