Small moments in other people’s lives

She answered the call, in the background a baby, screaming. She sent an engine company, an ALS rig and the police, the outcome was not so good. She found out an hour later, and couldn’t  get the sounds out of her head.

It got me thinking how of how many people are affected by every call we go on. Obviously, the people making the 911 call, then the dispatchers, then us, then the people who hear the sirens and see the lights, and get out of the way, or not. Neighbors, friends, family; everybody who sees a fire truck, police cruiser or ambulance pull up at somebodies house can’t help but be curious.

It’s like a ripple in the universe, I wonder how far it goes. When the outcome is positive, does the energy go forward and add to the general flow of things, and if so, when things go badly does that change the tide for everybody involved, no matter how small a part?

A few years ago I realized how important my role in all of this is. When I arrive on scene at an emergency, every move I make is embedded into the memory of the people who called for help. It may be subconsciously, but the experience lingers.

Years pass. The memory fades. Some things stand out. The time the ambulance people helped Dad when he fell. When Mom crashed her car on 95, the firemen were so nice. They helped the baby when she swallowed a marble. They tried their hardest to get Grandma back but it was just her time to die.

It is an enormous responsibility, one not to be taken lightly. For generations people will talk about us when they get together. How we act lives long after the act itself is over.

And for us? Small moments in other people’s lives linger, sometimes for seconds, hours or a few days, and other times they stay with us for good.

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