1. #26
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    That is good to hear! I want to thank all who have put any input into this subject. I want to pursue this career more than anything and you all here on the forums have helped out a great deal with any of my questions that I have had. My father works alongside firefighters so he knows a little bit but other than that I don't really have anyone that i can talk to daily that is a firefighter except for all who are on the forums. So I just wanted to say thanks to everyone on here who takes the time to answer the questions of new firefighters and prospective firefighters. It helps out a lot!

    Cole

  2. #27
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    I think you'll find it's kind of like a roller coaster. At first you'll be shocked, surprised, angry and sometimes even entertained at some of the things you'll see. Then you become a little more hardened. Maybe even cynical and dismissive. Then you get older and start seeing people around your age with serious medical conditions and it hits closer to home. My worst times were pediatric calls when my kids were younger.

    There are no magic words of wisdom on this subject. If it ever stops affecting you completely, get into couseling or find a new career. I've got 27 years on the job this month. I'm still coming to grips with things I saw 20 years ago.

    Good Luck. Stay safe.

  3. #28
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    As others said, it is not the gore of the trauma, but the emotional trauma that gets to you. One medic shared this story with me (he didn't write it, just pointed me towards it) and it made me think of this thread:

    http://ambulancedriverfiles.com/2010/12/stains/

    I have my own thoughts on the link but I don't want to color or shade your view of the article. Suffice to say it does illustrate the point we're trying to make.

    Personally, I have not had problems. My first code was also my first fatal (scene pronounced), and I was working with an older detailed guy. He saw me a week later, and asked what I thought of the victim. I jokingly replied, "I think he's dead", not really understanding his question. He answered, "Then you'll be OK in this job." I do remember the victim, and a few of the others along the way, but not all. The ones I remember most are not the goriest, or the most sympathetic, or any rhyme or reason, just some stuck with me while others are just "meat".

    Meanwhile my one partner has been doing this 4 times as long, and nothing ever bothered him either. Then one day we had a "routine" trauma code, and he nearly had a breakdown. All of the past ones came to haunt him, but especially the most recent one. Thing is, that one had no gore at all; we think he coded then crashed in a single car MVC, no blood or outward signs of trauma. I doubt he'd be one I would remember if not for the effect it had on my partner. My buddy had to go get counseling as it really did start to affect his sleeping, and in turn his home life, etc.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

  4. #29
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    Thanks for the link! it was great. It brings things into prospective and I hope that in my career I end up saving more lives than I see people pass away.

  5. #30
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    At first you may be like me - I got that feeling of "whoa", and I am generally pretty good with stuff like that. The first time I saw someone getting compressions done on them I was somewhat taken back, but then I saw it again. Then one day I was doing the compressions myself. After seeing it a couple of times you really get used to it. You really just need to keep in mind that you're there to help people in need, and that you're bound to see some grotesque things in this line of work (volunteer AND career).

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