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Fanfiction & Writing
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Not really a fanfic, but this seemed the most appropriate thread to post this in. As most of you know, I'm a paramedic. A few days ago I had a rough call at work. I went home and went to sleep after the shift. When I woke up I still had thoughts bouncing around in my head about the call. So I decided to try and write them out. This was the result.
I'd very much value your thoughts and feelings about this. I've had a few calls to try and submit it for publication on an EMS website, but wanted to get some more feedback before I went down that route.
An hour and a half longer, that's all you have left in your shift.
You kick off your boots and settle into the easy chair at the station and lean back for a rest.
It doesn't last.
The tones sound as they always do, "male unresponsive" comes over the air as you sit up and zip your boots back up.
The lights are on and the siren screams as more information comes in from dispatch. "CPR in progress."
Mentally you're rehearsing the steps as you hear Fire and PD acknowledge their own dispatchers.
Police cars are already on scene as you arrive with Fire right behind you.
You step out of the cab and into the back of the truck. The jump bag is already on the cot. You add the monitor, drug bag, and IV kit.
While you and your partner wheel the cot across the grass you see pre-teen age kids chasing after the dogs that got out. Crap, this man is a father.
You walk up the steps and there's a Police Officer bobbing over your patient’s chest performing CPR.
You put your hands on your patient's neck, hoping for something, anything. Nothing's there. "Dispatch, Alpha 52, Confirm Class 1."
The monitor is on and pads are placed on your patient’s chest. You tell the Officer to hold compressions. It feels crazy but your hoping for V-Fib or V-Tach.
You know it's an uphill battle now, but as your partner puts in the airway you know the family downstairs is desperate for you to do everything you can.
More firefighters show up as you drill into your patient’s shoulder. Those drugs in your bag won't do anything unless you've got a way to get them into your patient.
You push epinephrine, your partner squeezes the BVM, your supervisor arrives with the CPR machine, all the while the dread you felt keeps growing.
You know the clock started ticking the moment you made your Class 1 radio call. It's been thirty minutes. Nothing's changed.
You pull out your cell phone and have dispatch patch you through to the hospital. You give your report.
"Time of death..."
You look at your team, tell them to stop, and say "thanks for trying."
While your partner starts to unhook the patent from the equipment, you walk downstairs.
As soon as you say, "I'm so sorry..." you know they're not listening anymore.
They cry and hold each other.
"Yes, you can go up and see him. Just give me a minute to get my equipment out of the way."
The monitor is detached, the oxygen is turned off, and gently you put a sheet over the patient.
You watch as the family says good-bye one last time.
Equipment is packed back up. You clear the scene and drive to the hospital to change your drug bag.
Some of your co-workers are off to the side talking when you get back to the station. You just want to write this damn report and go home.
It's foggy as you drive home, seems appropriate.
You get home and fall asleep due to sheer tiredness.
It's warm and sunny when you wake up.
It's time to pick up your daughter from daycare. She smiles at you when you show up. You smile back and hold her close.
"Lord be with that family," you pray. "Be with them in their time of struggle. Send them comfort and peace. May they remember one day all tears will be wiped away and Your peace will reign for eternity."
You put "Confidence" by Sanctus Real on while you write this. The music helps reignite your spark.
You know in a few short hours you'll put your uniform back on, step into your ambulance, and once again the tones will sound. You'll be there.
But that's still hours away. Right now you're going to go take your daughter for a walk.
I saw you mention this in the Shoutbox and it was quite the read. And by that I mean it left me an emotional wreck. My other half is a Police Officer & he has been the officer in this story a number of times - first on scene & providing CPR, at times with family present & no sign of hope. And then there’s the turmoil of waiting weeks for blood tests, because he’s rushed in & there’s no time to think about masks/contamination, there’s just a duty/desire to preserve human life even when the odds aren’t stacked in your favor. I guess what I’m trying to say in that I felt this & it hit close to home. Sometimes I struggle with how quickly he seems to process some of the things he has to deal with on the job, but the little moments you’ve described with your family help me to understand that just a little better.
I’m not sure this was quite the feedback you were hoping for. To summarize - I think you should go for it in terms of publishing it to the website you mentioned. It was real, raw and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Jenna. For the comments about the poem and also sharing about your other half. I'm glad I could help give you a little more perspective about being a First Responder.
I'm planning on trying to submit this by the end of the week. Thanks for the feedback. It does help.
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