Category Archives:

The Pool

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He sat on the stretcher; skinny kid, good thing, too or the bullet that grazed him would have been in his body. I let him talk on his cell phone en route to the ER, didn’t bother me much, it sounded like he was talking to his mom who was pretty upset. He repeated over […]

No puedo respirar

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It’s crazy in there, people screaming, confusion and chaos so contagious even the dog looks worried. The old lady is lying in her bed, struggling to breathe. Surrounding her are her well-intentioned but completely useless family, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, and a grandchild or two. The old lady is sucking on her empty inhaler […]

You can’t go back, or can you?

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My grandson loves fire trucks. He’s two, and he’s obsessed. When he hears a siren in the distance, he is instantly alert, and he scans his environment for the source. If he could, he would find it, follow it, and be part of whatever it is that made the noise necessary. Kind of like his […]

General Alarm

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“Attention, Engines 10, 11, 3; Ladders 5 and 1; Special Hazards; and Division 1: a still box.” I kept my ears tuned to the radio while I chopped some onions, waiting to hear from the 10s. It didn’t take long. “Engine 10 to fire alarm, heavy smoke condition.” I chopped a little faster. At the […]

Kindness is contagious

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Toward the end of my days as a firefighter/EMT in Providence, RI things had turned pretty grim. Bitterness had crept into my psyche, anger and resentment too. How could the job I loved have turned against me, I wondered, every day worse than the one before it. The administration was clueless, the union indifferent and […]

Caregiver, or taker?

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He said she didn’t give him his medications’ she said she did. After 27 years of marriage, it had come to this. For the last seven years she was his caretaker. He was confined to his bed for the most part after three heart attacks and a stroke rendering him disabled. It looked like she […]

Timeless Deeds

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By Michael Morse If I told this story once, I have told it a million times. When I had no hope, nowhere to turn and no answers, I called 911. My father was in the final stages of brain cancer, my mother was at the end of her rope caring for him, and I was […]

Lasting Impression

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He was dead. His friends paced the room, smoking cigarettes, sneaking glances at their fallen comrade. He died sitting in his favorite chair, or at least his most recent favorite. One of the smoking guys had let him stay with him these last few months, he had nowhere else to go. The doctors at the […]

Piss is my favorite

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Overheard in the back of Rescue 1, during a clean-up. “Piss isn’t too bad.” “Puke is the worst.” “Nah, shit’s worse than puke, any day.” “Blood is easy, it doesn’t stink.” “That’s why piss isn’t bad, easy clean-up.” “Old piss is pretty bad.” “New shit is worse than old shit.” “It’s still runny.” “Speaking of […]

Nobody told me

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By Michael Morse EMS was something that I had to learn if I wanted to be a firefighter. I didn’t embrace it. I went through the motions, memorized rather than learned, and barely passed the exams that were needed to obtain my certification. I took the EMT Basic class with about seventy like-minded individuals, all […]

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