Generations

The fire started in the kitchen, he told me, his mother and aunt had been drinking, and forgot about the pan of oil on the stovetop. It ignited, then before they could put it out the stove caught fire. It was an oil stove, he said, before they had natural gas. He was in the attic bedroom with his brother when he smelled the smoke, and heard the screams from downstairs.

The fire spread quickly, the entire first floor went up, then the flames came after him and his brother. He was terrified, and thought he would die. His brother went to a window, and stood on the ledge as the fire trucks approached, but he couldn't wait, and he jumped. A branch from a tree punctured his side, and he died shortly after hitting the ground. He waited, a six year old boy, alone in an attic, fire approaching, heat intolerable, smoke choking him, but he waited, and the firemen came, and picked him up, and covered him best they could and carried him out of the house.

We sat in silence for a moment then, and I looked again at his leg, his entire calf and shin covered with scars from the skin grafts. The scars went all the way up he told me, but those firemen saved his life, and would have saved his brother, too, if he had waited.

"You fellas do a heck of a job" he said, as I checked the flow of the IV, and rechecked his vitals. He's in his sixties now, has had four heart attacks, lives with a defibrillator implanted in his chest, and deformed legs, and a lost brother in 1954.

The sixty-something year old man on my stretcher still had the sparkle of the six year old kid whose life was forever marked all those years ago as he told me his story, and let another generation of Providence Firefighters do their job.

I closed my eyes for a moment, and pictured the old Jakes as they must have looked back then, and realized they were likely younger than me when they saved my patients life the first time. But to Albert it doesn't really matter, because when he needs us, we are there.

 

 

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Michael Morse

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Comments
Ben Ploner
EMS Staffed by Nurses
Maybe i'm missing something, but what does a transfer truck have to do with community paramedicine? Regardless, i'm in Canada and there have been a number of successful projects here using blended RN/Paramedic staffing to fill physician shortages in rural communities, as well as both using both NP's and Paramedics to deliver hospital grade care…
2014-08-20 16:13:54
Andy Jason
EMS Staffed by Nurses
Reading these comments makes me laugh and be angry both. The rig you see pictured, is not used as a 911 ambulance. This rig is used for RN and CCT transfers. I work for this company, and yes we do have RNs that fill street shifts on the paramedic ambulances. When in these trucks there…
2014-08-20 15:25:11
BH
EMS Staffed by Nurses
Notice the company name: Stat TRANSFERS. Trying to insinuate that I'm insulted because nurses are doing horizontal taxi runs is specious at best. And for the record, the hole being filled by CP programs is a hole that nursing created. Tough shit if they feel threatened.
2014-08-20 13:12:57
ralphrepo
EMS Staffed by Nurses
Nurses through the years have shown that they can function remarkably well in combat zones, disasters, and epidemics. Like first responder doctors, which are routinely used in some countries, having an RN on board means providing a higher level of clinical care for the patient. Paramedics who are not RNs would hate the idea as…
2014-08-20 08:30:16
Adrenaline Junky | Rescuing Providence
EMS Staffed by Nurses
[…] and “shares” generated by it as justification for your words then the post “EMS staffed by Nurses” was a huge success. I actually saw that picture a while ago and stored it in the old noggin until I […]
2014-08-19 18:37:31

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