Here's a weird twist of fate; shortly after deciding that I had said pretty much all I had to say, and before becoming a parody of what a good Fire/EMS blog should be, I sort of pulled the plug from what once was, if I do say so myself, a pretty good blog. I pulled the plug on my Facebook account as well, thinking I didn't have much to say there, either, and didn't want to become a stalker.
Along comes AOL. Yes, America Online the company that once had the market of internet surfers pretty much covered. They still are a giant in the internet world, and my homepage is actually set to AOL.com. I guess I'm a creature of habit, they still have my e-mail account as well. They asked if I would be interested in contributing to a story for them about EMS, and all that goes with it. I gave it some thought, considered the consequences and eventually agreed to do it.
After a few e-mail exchanges with some representatives from AOL we set a time and date for a film crew to come to Providence to shoot a thing for their homepage. It is going to be three or four minutes, maybe five, of me talking about the job, the people and the crazy things that happen dubbed over some footage of Providence and the workings of an EMS crew.
Adam and Jeff, two guys from New York City managed to escape the wreckage from Hurricane Sandy and make the trip to RI. I googled Adam and found some impressive work that he has done, my favorite being a story about soldiers who have lost limbs in the wars and how they cope.
They filmed here for nearly seven hours. That is a lot of material to edit, especially considering their subject has a tendency to never stop talking, especially when the subject is himself.
Sometime in December the piece will run. I have no idea what to expect, all I know is a lot of people will be linking to Rescuing Providence from AOL, people who have no idea who we are, what we do or how we do it. I'm hoping that the finished product represents all of us well, and judging from Adam's prior work am confidant that it will, but a lot can happen in seven hours, and I'm sure I said some dumb things.
I agreed to do it because A.) I am a ham, and B.) Somebody had to do it, and it may as well be me.
I know there are more skilled medics out there, and more dedicated ones, and people who live, eat and breathe EMS. There are funnier, better looking people that could have represented us, and probably would have done a better job. But what if they found one of those medics? You know the ones, the burned out, beat up, cynical, hate the world and all of the people in it medics. What then?
I simply do not want the face of EMS to be bitter, sarcastic or annoyed. It took me a lot of years to find peace with the endless barrage of non-emergent and repeat callers. The general public does not now, nor ever will understand the long hours, lousy pay, emotional and physical demands of the job. They do not care that we have seen it all, then saw it again.
They expect an EMS responder to be cool, and efficient, and kind.
I hope I pulled it off. At least Rescuing Providence will go down with a roar, rather than a whimper.
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