The call that changed him.
When I was a kid my dad came home from an EMS call and broke down. I didn’t really understand it then.
He had responded to an MVA. A drunk driver had hit two young sisters as they were crossing the street. When he hit them they were launched in the air with such force that their shoes remained on the pavement where they once stood. My dad, another EMT and a paramedic worked on the girls. They brought them to the hospital where they were pronounced.
The paramedic, he resigned that night. The other EMT, he never went on another call again. My dad, he hugged his children a little tighter every day from then on out. He was never the same after that call.
Years later, on what would have been the girls’ 18th birthday, their mom came to our house, along with the other EMT and the paramedic. It was closure. Closure they all needed. Ten years later they still weren’t ok.
It’s been about 15 years since that call and my dad still doesn’t like talking about it. He still has flashbacks.
So if you’ve had a bad call and are upset, or beating yourself up over not being able to move past it, know it’s ok. It doesn’t make you less of a person, it doesn’t make you a bad EMT.
It’s ok to struggle, what’s not ok is struggling alone.