I can honestly say I was rather flattered to be asked to contribute to a project like this. I see what I do as just that - what I do, it's my job. I don't take it well when called a hero, I get uncomfortable when people tell me how awesome my job is or ask me if it's exciting or tell me how amazing it is I get to save lives. I love what I do, don't get me wrong...it's way more than a pay check. I can't imagine myself anywhere but on an ambulance. I just don't see it as something so special like the "outsiders" do.
I took an EMT class at the suggestion of a friend. Every other job I tried just left me bored and uninspired. The class was $75 and gave me something to do for a summer. Even if I hated it, it was no huge loss. I started running on trucks as a student once I got my CPR card, even though the program I went through didn't require it. I have a fear of failure and I didn't want to be a gung-ho EMT, fresh out of school, who freaked out on my first call. Before even carrying a state EMT card, I had been on all types of calls - psych emergencies, cardiac emergencies, strokes, traumas, pediatrics, and even a cardiac arrest one Sunday morning in church. The more I ran on the truck, the more I got comfortable, the more I liked it, and the more it became my life.
Two years later, I'm on the payroll with 3 different ambulance providers. Corporate EMS, and two municipal EMS agencies. Both have their pros and cons, and some people are better suited for one as opposed to the other. There will always be little things that irritate me, be it management decisions, stupid policies, or useless partners. However, I can say that every day when I come home from work, I feel like I accomplished something and maybe made someone's bad day a little better. My father tells me all the time that he wishes he had a job where he truly got to help people every day, and how proud he is of me for committing myself to something and truly enjoying it, and in the process, learning that money isn't everything.
I don't have many great war stories. Funny ones, sure...but few that everyone hasn't already heard before. I'm just doing my thing out there on the trucks, getting my ducks in a row so I can move on and be a paramedic, and making the choice to make a career out of this crazy little job.