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Just Another Day In EMS

I delivered a baby on the ambulance stretcher
I baptized a newborn who's life ended before it began.

I hugged a frightened child.
I was kissed by an intoxicated old man.

I held the hand of a teenage girl while she delivered a 3 pound baby.
I listened to the mournful squeak of a stretcher being wheeled to the morgue.

I gently stroked the fragile hand of a 102 year old woman.
I hesitated at the outreached hand of a 300 pound prisoner in handcuffs.

I trudged for ten hours in my boots.
I had a teenager vomit on those same boots.

I rubbed the feverish body of a 14-year-old cancer patient.
I cradled the ice-cold hand of a child hit by a car.

I was referred to as "an angel of mercy".
I was called every four-letter word in the book.

I always see fear in people's eyes.
I never see joy or relief.

I listened to a tormented voice pleading for the preservation of life.
I heard the threatening words of one bent on self destruction.

I spoke with a girl who was hoping she had the flu, not a pregnancy.
I see innocent people hurt by a drunk driver, and the drunk driver is never hurt.

I marveled at the genius of a cardiologist.
I saw a 12-year-old boy who shot himself in the head, and the gun was still loaded at his feet.

I talked in circles with a schizophrenic person.
I was horrified at the battered body of a child whose parents were incapable of love.

I gazed at a horribly burned body.
I shuddered at a cold water drowning.

I see women beaten up by their spouses, but they never press charges.
I walk into houses and do CPR with family watching over my shoulder in tears.

I arrive at serious auto accidents, and the first words I hear are, "Am I going to die?"
I find out hours later they did die.

I listen to the repeated question "Why?", from a family devastated by death.
I search my soul for the answers to their question.

This is just another day in EMS.

Derek Perry, EMT I
Foothill Ambulance Co.
Sacramento, CA

 
POETRY

Why God Made Paramedics

I Want To Tell You Lies

What's It All For?

Roadside Oneside

The Men And Women Of EMS

I Wish You Could See

Death Of An Innocent

The Heart Of EMS

T'was The Night Before Christmas: EMS Style

A Paramedic

Just Another Day In EMS

The Burned-Out Christmas Poem

Super-Human Or Not

What's Your Name?

Christmas Eve And The Life Of An EMT