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  1. #21
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    #1 thing to remember: You are not god and cannot change things when people die. Your 0500 pt had been dead for several hrs and nothing anyone was going to do would change that fact.
    Show compassion for the family members and move on.

    #2 get used to the fact that everyone will at some point die.
    We can some times make a difference in peoples illness or injuries.

  2. #22
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    I'll tell you I remember 4 codes I've been on real well... The first code I was ever on was when I was 16 years old and it was my friends (who was also apart of my company) grandmother. So you want to talk about something there. I was a bit affected about it but a few days later I got over it.

    The 2nd I remember was back in August of 2011 when we were dispatched to a confined space rescue.
    We pulled the guy out of the well and I started CPR on the guy who was blue and covered in human waste. (I just found out I got a Unit Citation from Firehouse Magazine for this)

    The 3rd was the first Cardiac arrest I ran. I was first one there and it came in as a heart attack. Found the guy down and not breathing told the communications center and started CPR.

    The 4th was new years eve which was my first save. That was one of the best feelings ever.

    So keep your head high we don't kill them all. Eventually you come across someone you can save.

  3. #23
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    Much like the starter of this thread, I to started in the fire service very young. I was hired just before my 19th b-day. I had the benefit, however, of having a grandfather, father, and older brother in the fire service, so I grew up hearing about the gross and terrible things that my dad did yesterday at work. My first code was my very first call on my very first clinical for EMT class. I remember thinking that it seemed pretty normal, which I realize is very strange. Throughout my first year on the job, I ran 5 codes, including an infant. None of them bothered me. Out of the blue, I had a call that stuck with me. It was not a death, not violent, not a pediatric, but a simple home-to-hospital transfer. The pt. was a 30-something mother of 3 who was a terminal cancer patient. Her skin was a pale green, was very edemic, and had no strength. Looking around, we saw pictures of her and her kids (no father) and old pictures of her in beauty pageants. She was barely recognizable. When we asked how she was doing, she said that she was going to the hospital to die, so that her kids wouldn't have to go through it in their home.
    That stuck with me for a while.

  4. #24
    Forum Member bcjack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    As had been said by many, you never "get used to it". I recall a good friend and paramedic once told me, "You can't save them all." "It isn't your fault that the patient is in the condition they are in. You didn't make them drive drunk and crash, you didn't make them eat all of that nasty food that gave them the heart attack, you didn't make them take the drugs they overdosed on, and you didn't make them have the medical condition that you have been called for. You were called to fix whatever it was that was the result of that person's actions. You will give it 110% effort, using all of the training and tools you have at your disposal, and whatever the end result, you just need to know you did everything you could, and whatever happens... Happens."

    If it starts wearing on you, GET HELP!!! Seek assistance from your Employee Assistance Program. Don't let this career KILL YOU!! There are people out there who can and want to help you. Don't let that old macho bull*** stand in the way of your mental health. I've been doing this since 1973, and I guarantee you, there are times where you just need to have some help getting through it. ASK FOR THE HELP, AND ACCEPT IT!!

    Best wishes on a long and productive career. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

    (Thank you Mike)

  5. #25
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    Sounds like a lot of good advice here. I am going through my first application process with a paid department. I have no fire/medic experience as I am coming from a construction career. However, if I am lucky enough to get chosen to serve, I feel fortunate that my wife of 8 years has been an ER nurse for 12 years, with a few of those years being at a trauma center. She has seen it all as well and would be an invaluable resource to be able to "unload" to and actually be able to understand and sympathize with what I would be dealing with.

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