Tuesday, March 08, 2005

rescue shift blogging

Tonight I'm on duty on the rescue truck, pulling my 12 hour shift for the week at the station. So far, the night has been uneventful, only one page out to the west side of the county for a wreck, and we were cancelled because of no injury or entrapment. We'll see how the rest of the night goes. After all, I get paid the same whether I'm up all night, or sleep all night. Come to think of it, it's double what I got paid for last week. A 100% raise every week, coolness. That's right, I get paid exactly nothing for this, which confirms I'm crazy.

Some background - in addition to paid and volunteer fire departments, Alabama has volunteer Rescue Squads, which I am a member of my local Squad. The Rescue Squads typically respond to vehicle accidents with patient trapped in vehicles, land search and rescues, water search and rescues such as boating accidents, hiking accidents, structure collapse (such as after a tornado), floods, and anything else that's not a standard medical call or a fire. In Alabama Rescue Squads work with the ambulance services and fire departments depending on the type of emergency.

Being and EMT is not how I make my living. Far from it, I give not only my time, but my money as well, to be an EMT on a Rescue Squad. I've never been paid to be an EMT, and I think I'll keep it that way. I do it because I love the work, because I enjoy helping others.


You should know said...

Two Comments...
1. Some Rescue Squads in Alabama do routinely respond to the standard medical call, one of the 2 rescue squads I am proud to be a member of does mainly first response on medical. Some rescue squads also provide the only ambulance for the area.
2. I do get paid for being a Paramedic, and that does not change how much I love the work, or how much I enjoy helping others. The way you made it sound is those of us that do get paid to do it, do not have the same passion.

mira said...

I've never worked with any other Rescue Squads, so I don't know the details of what all the others do or don't do. I realize that some are the only ambulance service in their area, I believe that's mostly in south Alabama.

I'm sure you've met some paid EMTs/Paramedics who treat it as "just a paycheck". Not everyone who draws a check has that attitude; you're one of the lucky ones who has the chance to get paid for what you love.