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 […]

EMS on the fireground

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By Michael Morse After 10 years of training and experience in busy fire companies, I was fortunate to become an officer on ALS Rescue Co. 1 in Providence, Rhode Island. Comparatively, few crews handle emergency medical services (EMS) in Providence, and we were “out” far more often than we were “in.” The opportunity to be […]

Capturing Reality

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To this day, “Emergency!” remains the only Fire/EMS show that I simply had to watch. Of course, I was 10-years-old when it first aired, back when my brother and I were fairly certain it was our destiny to save the world. I was going to be the medic, he figured he would be captured by […]

Going in

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Stretching the line, masking up and going in; everything else melts away, nothing matters but the job burning in front of you; no doubt, no fear no worries. Knowing that the people beside you, above you and behind you would die with you rather than let you go alone is how we do it, day […]

Rescue 911

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We’re driving down Angel Street at three o’clock in the afternoon, perfect late summer day, nice iced coffee in the cup holder, pretty girls in summer dresses everywhere and no runs coming our way. We approach The Rhode Island School of Design just as a bus is leaving, full of kids going home from a […]

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