Emergency In the Hands of Superheros
‘In the middle of a difficulty lies a savior’
Life is precious. Life must be saved. And last but not least; life must be preserved no matter the situation; which faces a victim even if it is life-threatening.
This might be the position and core value of the ‘special teams’ of health care providers; paramedics and other Emergency Medical Technicians; as they go about their usual activities of saving the life of individuals. They do this while on and off duty because their task is a calling; a vocation.
For you to become a paramedic
You’ve got to exhibit leadership and problem-solving skills; especially during times of disasters and more importantly be flexible enough to handle critical and life-threatening situations while maintaining a modicum of serenity and calmness; which reassures a victim/patient that they are in good hands and they are gonna make it.
“Strategic thinking requires a willingness to consider all alternatives, to share the information needed to develop them, and to commit to following through on a plan of action that best serves the long-term interests of the whole community.”
There is always the panic and tedium of the whole life-saving task. You must realize that paramedics don’t offer treatment as such. But are superheroes who are task with rescuing victims or patients who are involved in accidents or other incidences; which require urgent medical attention.
A little bit about this site’s history
This website was initially established by the Professional Paramedic Association of Winnipeg and was used to create awareness of the need to improve the Emergency Response Unit in the region through the increase of ambulances and paramedics available to respond to emergency situations.
The website is still about love and appreciation of the crucial role that paramedics are tasked with Take a look at the posts below that have some more interesting information on this topic.
Well I guess not everyone can say this about their job
I consider myself one of the few lucky ones who really enjoy their work. The thing is I have always been fascinated by paramedics and ambulances since a very young age. Right from childhood I always knew that I wanted to be a paramedic and work on emergency issues in an ambulance. Of course saving lives is extremely rewarding. But a lot of hard work goes into it; which, sadly not everyone can see or appreciate.
A lot of times people do not appreciate the work of a paramedic. But there are times when we receive genuine appreciation in profuse measure; which truly makes my day and makes me feel like a superhero sans a cape!
So what does it feel like to be a paramedic?
Well, first things first, I want to clarify that this job is not a cakewalk. We belong to the most highly-trained group of EMTs; which stands for Emergency Medical Technicians. I have spent a significant amount of time undergoing demanding training programs in ALS or Advanced Life Support.
This way I can carry out life-saving rescue operations along with fellow paramedics. The reason why I chose to be a paramedic is because I like this occupation. The fact that I can save lives is very special to me, it is actually an exhilarating feeling!
I have always wanted to have a rewarding job
Sure, if I had been a fitness trainer and was helping people struggling with weight loss then it would have been rewarding. But personally, I don’t think it would count as satisfactory for me. It is the same for spreading breast cancer awareness or similar profiles.
However, I have always wanted to make significant contributions to the lives of people around me and being a paramedic in the society is the best way of doing it. Truly speaking, I cannot imagine myself in any other occupation.
An average working day
Days consists of performing cardiac support on heart attack victims, stabilizing the head, neck or other broken parts of the victims before they get admitted to a hospital, resuscitating drowning victims, etc. Other day-to-day tasks that I perform are administering intravenous or IV fluids, performing emergency respiratory procedures on patients with blocked airways, treating wounds and assessing health situations.
Nonetheless, I have also been involved in performing emergency childbirth procedures thrice and was successful. My fellow paramedics joked that I can actually change my profession and be a midwife!
What people often ask me
‘Does it feel scary to be a paramedic?’ Not going to lie, it does feel frightening to be in my shoes sometime because paramedics always have to be on their toes! Time is truly of the essence in case of medical emergencies and sometimes our actions are the deciding factors as to whether the patient would survive or not. Therefore, there is a significant amount of pressure associated with this job.
Nevertheless, I always try to put in my hundred percent so that I can always be in top form in case of critical rescue situations like fire rescues, car accidents, crime scenes, airplane crashes and other such emergencies. It’s not an easy occupation. But it is definitely one that gets me going because I am very much invested in my job!
A Horrible Emergency Situation
As an EMT there are Emergency situations; which are kind of haunting and forever leave a mark on you life and career how much how hard you try to solve them. Not that there’s much that you can do. But you failed to do. Although, the complications and at times the ‘mysteries’; which surround a certain emergency.
During my career
Nonetheless, I encountered such a situation and it completely shattered me. I was working on a night shift; which began from 18:00hrs till midnight. In my team there was Emily, Mike and I, and we had been in the office from the time that we arrived till around 10 when the distress call came.
The information that we were provided with by the caller involved an incidence of twin girls who had multiple second degree burns resulting from an assault attack by their father and another emergency situation of their older brother who had been knocked unconscious by a heavy object and was still lying down unconscious.
The ages of all these kids was indicated as below 10. Quickly, we took all the equipment that we needed to handle the emergencies as well as the drugs that would be required. Since the victims were three, we required taking two ambulances. But the ambulance driver of one was not available. We decided to use one and hurry to handle the situation while the other one would catch with us while at the emergency scene.
When we arrived at the scene.
When we got there, what met us shocked us. There lay naked bodies of the young girls unconscious and were surrounded by a few neighbors who seemed clueless on what to do. At least the were trying to resuscitate the boy. But the girls were completely neglected. They had burns all over the bodies.
I was shocked. For a moment too my colleagues also stood clueless of what to do and it was Emily who was first to respond by checking the pulse of one girl. This giving me some courage and bringing me back to reality made me spring to the next girl while mike prepared what we would need.
I was shocked
Unfortunately, the girl that I monitored her pulse was already dead; but her sister wasn’t. Mike had gone to attend to the boy by the time that I realized the girl was dead and so we were left together with Emily to help the girl.
It happened that their dad, who had fled by the time that neighbors were alerted by the screaming of the girls, was suffering from postpartum psychosis. His wife was not in town and when the kid’s father happened to have a change of mood, he decided to burn them to exorcise some evil spirits; which he claimed that the kids were possessed with. He used hot oil to do so; which he claimed was holy and when the boy tried to escape he was struck by a baseball. But while the girls were left to face the painful ordeal. What madness!
We rushed them to the hospital
The other girl succumbed to the burns and never made it alive. She died in my hands and whenever I remember this and the extent of their condition I’m gripped with fear. Luckily the boy survived.
What I’ve never figured to date was why the father was never hospitalized or at least the kid’s mother failed to act as soon as he quit using medication, something she had prior information of.
A Stuck Tampon
Some medical emergencies can at times turn out to be comical although we all are trained to consider emergencies as urgent and requiring unwavering attention. Therefore no matter what time or place that an emergency call comes through, we’ve got to respond timely and handle the situation in the most professional manner possible.
One night while patrolling the neighborhood of my time in an ambulance waiting for any emergency situation; which might happen in the area so that we can respond timely, there came a radio call about a teenage girl who was experiencing serious abdominal pains.
When we rushed to the scene
The parents of the girls ushered us to her bedroom where she lay writhing in pain. The parents thought that she could have been poisoned. I thought that too although I also figured out that it could have been an attempted abortion gone sour.
As usual our first response to such an emergency is to discern the cause of her pain so that we can administer the correct first aid and response as we take her to the hospital. Of course she couldn’t talk. So we quickly did IV on her and put a drip of some drugs and hurriedly rushed her to the hospital.
The doctor who attended to her thought that she was suffering from kidney stones. Anyway she was first tested for poison; which was negative and there was no indication that she could have procured an abortion; actually there was no indication that she was pregnant at all. The test and diagnosis for kidney stones also turned out negative.
By this time the pain was a bit relieved and she could speak
The doctor did a vaginal examination and discovered that there was a tampon in there. It happened that the girl had been on her periods a fortnight prior to the emergency and on that day she went out drinking too much and had sex. It was then that the tampon got lodged inside without her knowledge and was the cause of her pains. Obviously her partner must have been too drunk too. Anyway she was treated and given some antibiotics and released.
A Funny Emergency Situation
Working as a paramedic can get you in some challenging emergencies; which at times end up fatally, while others are simply pathetic. But quiet funny. There are some emergencies whereby the victims feel shy to talk about though they require medical attention.
One day we received an alarming call from a lady who was in tears as she called for help. We tried to identify the cause of the situation so that we could prepare ourselves to handle it (some situations may require special equipment; which might not be in an ambulance. But available at the hospital and can save a life as we rush the patient to the hospital).
She was completely reluctant to let us know the details of the emergency. Of course we could have termed the whole incidence as a hoax. But since she seemed someone mature and was crying pitifully on the phone; we rushed to attend to her.
When we arrived at her place
She was still sobbing. But got relieved when she saw us. She looked fine and when we inquired what the emergency was; she was first reluctant again to tell her. I personally thought that she was playing games. Then after reassuring her that all will go well she told her us she wouldn’t want her situation revealed to her husband.
It happened that she was a stay-at-home mum and her husband was at work when she decided to use her sex toy. Mistakenly, instead of using a lubricant, she used her craft glue; which was her strong contact adhesive and her private parts got really messy.
Amid tears, she would threaten to sue us incase her husband knew and repeated all the statement all the way to the hospital. Lucky enough she received treatment and discharged with no complication on the same day.
To date I still wonder if her husband came to know of the situation; and if he did how did he react. Could it have been his fault?
A Horrible Emergency Response
As an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT); there is always the challenge of working at odd hours and responding to emergencies call in any region though the greatest challenge usually results from handling different emergency situations each and every day as you try to help people during times when they need help the most. But most emergency situations are a matter of life and death.
You might be lucky to help a person; (something that the person will certainly remember and thank you as long as he/she is alive). Yet still, a person may succumb to death; a situation which might haunt you forever and even break you.
My Story …
It was a blissful morning and my fourth day at work as a paramedic. During the three days that I had worked as an EMT we had responded to about 12 emergency situations had all had gone well with little hitches.
Now on my fourth morning, after I arrived at work, I went ahead to check resuscitation equipment to ensure all was well while other colleagues were checking other Emergency equipment.
Then came the distress call
Nevertheless, it was a 60 year old man who was suffering from cardiac arrest. We were dispatched with notes that he had collapsed in his bedroom and he was not breathing and no pulse could be detected. Then there was this ridiculous comment at the bottom of the note chit; That the man could have been a victim of over usage of Cialis; (a type of drug used to improve erection while having sexual intercourse).
So as we navigated thorough the busy morning hours when a lot of people are heading to work and oblivious of the siren or alarm of the ambulance, I wondered the condition of the victim. What would he be like? Will he still have an erection when we arrived? Yeah, I admit my thinking was quite stupid. But I couldn’t help it.
I wasn’t new to medicine
Although, I’d never encountered such a situation during my past 8 years as a nurse practitioner prior to being a EMT. Yet I knew I was the one supposed to handle the situation.
‘Be prepared for intubation’ my colleague told me as we whisked the ambulance to the victim’s address. When we arrived at the scene, we met a lady worried and crying and we hastily took our emergency gear and followed her to where the victim was.
I proceeded to check is pulse with a cardiac monitor dots to ascertain if he was truly on asystole. It beeped. But in an abnormal rhythm so I knew that the patient needed a CPR urgent. My colleague had figured that out and already heresponse team.
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