I don’t know if people like me–people who are trained to respond and are confident in their ability to do so–see mass casualties differently than most. When I see images from the latest disaster, terrorist attack, or mass shooting flash across my screen, my eyes are drawn to the rescuers, not the victims. I focus […]
“Welcome to Providence,” my training officer said to us, sixty-four trainees all about to begin a career in the fire service. Some of us had experience, some did not. We were told to forget everything we knew or thought we knew about the vocation we had chosen, because now we were going to learn things […]
Saturday morning, 10:00. Twelve calls last night, two so far today. Ten yesterday. Seven hours to go. An overdose, heart attack, numerous drunks, a fall or two and a guy who smashed himself in the head with an ax three times before stabbing himself with a key hole saw and slashing his wrists with a […]
Once the patient becomes the focus of contempt, it’s time to go. You cannot view anybody under your care with contempt. Can’t be done. Once that line is crossed, your career as an EMT, Paramedic, Nurse, PA, Doctor or surgeon is over. O-V-E-R. Ridicule is a form of contempt, but still acceptable under some circumstances.
I’m watching the news, and there it is, again and again: Firefighters, medics, and police putting shattered bodies and psyches of the people who survived the killings back together. Las Vegas, Manchester, Orlando, London, San Bernardino, Paris, New York, Germany . . . The people who survive the attacks live through the most horrific moments […]