Captain Wishart

From Rescuing Providence, 2010 ish. The ” babe” just got sworn is as Captain, Providence, RI Fire Department. She has more lives to save, congratulations Captain Wishart!

Wisdom from the mouth of babes….

I dragged myself into Rescue 5’s office this morning, took the portable from Teresa and got ready to start another shift, this time looking forward to five o’clock so I could get back to Rescue 1 and start the countdown till 0700.

Every now and then a beacon of light enters my vision, so bright it’s nearly blinding. I fumble through my days, always waiting for a shift to end, a call to be over, another cycle in the books. I keep the future in mind always, at ten years I had ten to go, fifteen five more, now at eighteen two more and out, time to “enjoy my life.”

“I have no idea how I’m going to be able to do this for two more years,” I said to Teresa. We work the same shift, “C” Group, her in charge of Rescue 5, me at Rescue 1, Zack at Rescue 4, Doc Vinnacco at 3 and an Acting Captain at 2. We’ve worked together for seven or eight years now, the officers steady with a steady stream of Rescue Technicians coming and going. Some of the techs stick around, Terry’s partner John has been around for a while and doesn’t look to be going anywhere any time soon. Can’t say I blame him. Zack has Stephanie, almost a year now and holding steady. The six of us make a difficult job bearable, at times even fun.

“What if next week were your last?” asked Teresa, wanting to get home and get some rest but staying at work for a few extra minutes to talk some sense into somebody she cares about. “When you leave here you will never come back. A big part of your life will be over. Why would you want that to rush past you?”

“I don’t know.”

“You’re not ready to leave, you love it too much. Think about your friends in the station, the hospitals, even the patients. This is an amazing ride, slow down and enjoy every minute, who knows if you’ll even be alive in two years.”

I don’t think she is even thirty years old. I had been a firefighter for ten years when we met in EMT Cardiac class in 2000. She was just a kid who wanted to deliver babies some day. Two years later she was sworn is as a Providence Firefighter. A few weeks later she was assigned to Rescue 5. A couple of weeks after that she and JoeEMT who comments here responded to Thayer Street for a man in a car who put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. I heard the call dispatched and knew the mess they were heading toward, worried how the sight would effect her. She did okay, and continues to thrive in a field where burnout is almost a prerequisite for employment.

She even dispenses some profound advice now and then. I think she’s delivered a baby or two.

Thanks, Teresa. I believe it’s going to be a good day…

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