Living Life with a Paramedic

By the time we started dating, Marc had already completed his BAA, but boy, I had no clue what I was getting myself into!

Marc, firstly, is one of a select few people that I know that truly has the most golden heart. Noble beyond belief, stable, passionate, compassionate, giving…. Are there enough words to describe what he truly is? How can I describe this wonderous being, when words fail me? How do you describe a man who would give up his life to save each one of us, no matter the situation, the danger, the turn of events? My personal Jesus.

There are the downsides, too. Do you have even the faintest idea how I yearn for him? How I fret and worry when he works, never knowing if he will come home alive while he is nearly sideswiped by cars on the highway in the early hours of the morning, treating gunshot victims who are drunk and swaying their bloody hands around, treating your family who decided to overdose because no one can simply take the time to care?

Could you begin to imagine when I wake up with no SMS telling me he is home safe because he forgot – too tired from his shift , how I convince myself with horror that he is lying in a morgue somewhere, alone, and no one has told me? That maybe he has been shot, hit by a car, injured. Why such torture?

You take him for granted. I treasure every moment, as if it is my last, because he leaves his family to care for yours. And yet you allow your family member to drink an obscene amount of alcohol, and crash into a car of unsuspecting people, a family, with your children in the car with him, and you allow both families to be torn apart. And then that person gets angry and threatens those same paramedics who are trying to simply treat his gushing head, while your children are being covered up in a foil wrap, to be taken to the morgue, thick, red blood seeping onto the tarry ground, seeping with life away from the body.

Yes, I am angry. Perhaps too much. But I simply cannot bring myself to apologize. These brave men have such a difficult job, they see gruesome wounds, they declare people dead. They work long hours. They are there to help you but many a time it seems to simply be taken for granted,

It angers me when we are responding and some twat won’t get out our way. Or when someone speeds around a sharp corner – see you later, Buddy. I don’t  understand why people do silly things, but we need to care, people. Take some time, life is oh-so-short, not everyone lives to the ripe old age of 100. Some reach their expiry date much sooner, others cause the expiry date of others.

We have our good times. Both within the medical profession, we argue about different treatment strategies, about how low blood pressure can drop before we become truly concerned, about how I, as a nurse, am apparently a “doctor’s bitch” (according to Youtube).

But when I watch him pump someone’s chest,willing the heart to pump again, and the lungs to expand with air, or when I watch him place a plaster over a little girl’s cut, my heart is ever so proud. I know he has his fears too – a fear of working with neonates, a fear that he will fuck up, a fear that certain images will never be removed from his mind- I still know that he will push through and get the job done, and sometimes, simply do a thorough job well done, and unclasp his hands, and move away from that chest that refuses to rise. A game it seems, and he hopes to win, but sometimes you have to lose too.

Please take note, appreciate our paramedics, policemen and firemen, and take note of these tips that can save them the seconds needed to save a person’s life:

– Move out the way! The siren is not some ice-cream truck for you to flock to and block. If there is no emergency path on the road, assist in creating one. If on the highway, move as far over as possible to your lane (eg to the left in the left lane, and to the right in the middle lane) in order to allow the ambulance or paramedic to go through. Watch what the ambulance does.

– At a scene, please don’t stop and stare. You are hampering traffic, and could cause another accident. If on foot, please don’t crowd around, the paramedics need ample space to work.

– If you witnessed an accident, please stay behind and await the police (if they do not arrive please report it at the nearest police station)

– When the ambulance or response car is behind you please DO NOT slam on breaks! Either move out the way, and if this is not possible, try speed up until the ambulance can move past you.

– If there is a shortage of paramedics, offer to help. There are simple things you can do with the guidance of a paramedic, which can be of true help! Holding the patients head, calming the patient down, translating into English are vital in the prevention of a patient’s condition worsening. Taking a first aid course can save lives, what is stopping you from doing it?

– Please do not shout at the paramedics. We understand you are concerned for your family member or friend, but we struggle to understand you when you are blubbering. Take a deep breath in, and then tell us. Knowing if your family/friend is allergic to anything, have any conditions or are on any medications can be of real assistance in giving them the correct treatment.

– Honour a paramedic/policeman/fireman. Donate money to their bases, bring them lunch, anything. SHow your appreciation in any way you can 🙂

 – When calling their call center (082911 or 084124 – have you put it in your cellphone yet?) remain calm, talk clearly, and let the call taker know what exactly happened, as well as have the address and contact details on hand before you call. The operator will guide you.

– Take care of yourselves and your family and friends. Go on, tell your loved ones that you love them. Right now. No regrets. The more you take care of yourselves, and the less risk you put yourself and others, the less trauma and deaths there re, in the preventable ones. Look after your health. Don’t do drugs.



3 responses to this post.

  1. Amazing post!!


  2. Wow,this is a very powerful post. I can’t explain the impact it had on me. My sisters boyfriend is a paramedic,I don’t think I’ve ever given much thought about how she feels when he is out working. She has accompanied him on one or two shifts. I’ll certainly add your blog to my reader.


  3. […] post is titled “Living Life with a Paramedic” and is both a personal perspective post by a friend and a reminder what a paramedic’s […]


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