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  1. #1
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    Default How do I move on

    Last thursday I responded to a MVA involing two of my friends. The female that was a pretty good friend didn't make it. When I arrived on scene I was the seconded person to her and I checked her pulse and assisted in inserting a J tube. She coded as soon as she hit the back board. She was so messed up i didn't reconize her. I didn't find out till I got to the hospital. Now everytime I close my eyes I see her face and the look of her slumped over the center console of her car. My question is how long does this last and how can i get over this.
    Kyle Beard
    Engine 221 "East Side Express"
    FTM-PTM


  2. #2
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    This is my worst nightmare, and I'm sorry you've had to experience it. My idea is this, if you cannot do a CISD session, talk to your chief, or whomever and get into some counseling. No one will think any less of you for doing it. Get the help you need brother...many, many programs out there.
    FF/NREMT-B

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  3. #3
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    Kyle:

    Sorry you had to be involved in helping someone you know that has been involved in a tragedy like that. In many smaller areas, most of the people we help are people we know or are even our own family members. For many of us, that is why we do what we do - to help our families, friends, and neighbors. Occasionally, a tragedy like this happens to someone we know. The last images of this person will likely stay with you for a long time. Not meaning to lessen the impact, but it is a risk we take. Hopefully the positive outcomes of the calls we have outweigh the bad ones.

    How to get over this? If it was someone you were close too, "getting over it" might not be the best way to phrase it. Getting through it, to me, is better. I've found that talking to family (at home and the firehouse) help a lot. While those at home may not fully understand, those at the firehouse can offer a lot. You might even consider higher levels of help, such as health care professionals, CISD personnel, and clergy. The grieving process is a cruel process to go through, but if you learn about it, it seems to help. Recognizing the signs of grieving may not make things easier, but it could keep things from getting worse. The pastoral care department at a hospital has a lot of information about this (there are other sources too, but these guys are IMHO the best).

    How long will this stay with you? I can't answer that for you. It's the images of the ones we are closest too that stay the longest. It just means you are human and you care. Two excellent qualities to have. I have been to several tragedies but none compare to my two "worst case scenarios". In August 2001, I was the first rescuer at an MVA where the patient was my dad. He later died in the ER (where my wife was working). While it was my worst call, I would have not wanted to be anywhere else than by his side. He was alert the whole time despite his injuries. I was even by his side in the ER when he breathed his last. It is a vivid memory, but it also prevented a lot of unanswered questions. Last February, my 2nd "worst call" happened. I was on my way home from work when I came across an MVA - rollover with ejection. The person was the best friend to my son. He was on his way to my son's house when it happened. I called for the cavalry (which was also my own department) and did what I could until help got there. Again, I was in his room when his heart beat it's last.

    I still have the images of these two events with me every day. I think that it is normal. There is still grief and sadness around each one, but it isn't as heartwrenching as it has been in the past. It doesn't go away, but it does get easier.

    You hurt because you care. Hang in there.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Damn Hang in there Bro...

    My worst nightmare as well, and something Ive managed to avoid so far (acctualy being on scene), knock on wood (ouch).

    Hard to say how long it will take, but time should help. Have you talked with anyone, a chaplin maybe? Perhaps you should.

    But be prepared, you may never get totaly over it. You just have to accept that you cant save everyone, no matter how hard you try.

    Ive experianced 3 situations in my 23 years that involved unexpected deaths of co workers and one a co workers family.

    About 5 years ago, we lost one of my shifts FF/Medics in an air ambulance crash. He left a wife and 5 young children. Everytime I walk into our station that he worked out of, I see the big memorial we have to him on the wall in the day room, and in my mind I see his kids.

    About 10 years ago, we lost one of DCs to an anyurism right after he got off shift. I was on the last call he ever ran. It was a F/A at around 0400, and I recall like it was yesterday, standing next to the DC truck giving him a report on the situation and him saying he had a killer headach. 4 hours later he was gone. He left a wife and 4 boys, 2 of whom are now volunteers with us. Everytime I see either one of them it brings it all back, so Im not sure Ill ever truly get over that one.

    Its tough, but life goes on and you have to worry about the ones that are still here and will need your help.

    Good luck and keep your chin up.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  5. #5
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    Kyle
    I am deeply sorry for the loss of your friend. As others have already said, you do need to talk to someone about this, whether it is through CISD, your chief, a chaplin. Please find someone to talk to Kyle, don't keep it inside of you.

    Sherry

  6. #6
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    Like others have said,see about a CISD meeting ASAP.
    I haven't lost any friends during my time with the fire service,but I have lost a bunch while working on the river.A guy fell into a barge he was resetting covertops on and the company's only meeting on the accident with us was to ask"You guys are gonna be coming in tomorrow,won't you?"
    We went off,got some beer,came back to the wharf to sit in the lounge and get skunk drunk and talked about it all night.Though we were all on line at 0600,we were hacked at the port captain for not giving the guys that saw it some time off to deal with it.
    Not one of us is with that harbor outfit in Memphis.
    It might not help you stop grieving over the loss of your friend,and it shouldn't.But maybe it'll ease the pain enough for you to come to grips and stay with what you are doing.
    I truy feel for you and only wish that you find a way to deal with your pain.You have friends and a support sytem to help.Use them.

  7. #7
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    i want to think everyone for your support. it means alot to me. today was the funeral and it was hard. all i want to do is give the family a hug and tell them i tired because i swear to yall that i tired my damnest to try and save her even before i knew who it was. it hurts that i will never see her anymore. thank you all for your support its greatly appericated
    Kyle Beard
    Engine 221 "East Side Express"
    FTM-PTM

  8. #8
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonslayer22
    i want to think everyone for your support. it means alot to me. today was the funeral and it was hard. all i want to do is give the family a hug and tell them i tired because i swear to yall that i tired my damnest to try and save her even before i knew who it was. it hurts that i will never see her anymore. thank you all for your support its greatly appericated
    .Kyle what have you done for yourself ? Have to tlak to your chief ? Gotten CISD set up ?> Spoke to anyone you trust on the call about this call ?> How are you doing ?
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  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Kyle, you've started in the correct direction right here on the forums. Last year brought a number of bad things my way, and the brotherhood came through for me. Made some really good friends from here on the forums and they helped me through along with my family, friends and firefighters from our department. I'd be willing to bet that anyone replying to you on this thread would be happy to PM or talk with you over the phone, please don't feel shy about reaching out.


    And a side note to Josh and Mark, Thanks for being a friend!
    Last edited by arhaney; 10-18-2005 at 11:11 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Kyle
    Please do not hesitate to PM me if you want to chat ok. Everyone here cares and we are here for you. I hope you are looking after yourself. Please. please find someone you trust to talk to about this. Do not be afraid to ask for help.

    Sherry

  11. #11
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    thanks everyone. I spoke with two really close friends who are also on the department with me and they have also givein me some advice. Tonite one of them made a phone call and activated CISD for me. I will know something in the next couple of days. The part that is bothering me the most is the running the whole call thorugh my mind every minute of everyday wondering and trying to figure out what i could have done to change the outcome. The other EMT's on scene knew that I knew who the girl was and I didn't relize it was her till we got to the hospital, so another EMT relived me and had me take care of another patient. I keep thinking if I would have stayed with her would it have changed anything. It just hurts. Today at the funeral all i wanted to do was hug her parents and tell them that I tired because I swear to everyone that I did. I really did try. But knowing that what I did wasn't good enough to save a friend hurts.
    Kyle Beard
    Engine 221 "East Side Express"
    FTM-PTM

  12. #12
    Forum Member emtcsmith's Avatar
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    We never really forget calls like that, and as hard as it seems now its calls like that in the end that make us a better provider. None of us doubt you did everything you could in the chance you had it will just take time for you to come to realize that for yourself. Add me to the list of people you can contact if you need to talk to someone.

  13. #13
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    Kyle
    I am glad to hear that you have talked with friends and will have the support of CISD. You did everything you could. Please do not think less of yourself because you could not save her. Firefighters are not gods. That does not make you less of a firefighter or a friend that she could not be saved. That power rests with a higher being. You did everything you could by being there for her. take care of yourself now.

  14. #14
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Dragonslayer.

    The two most important things you must remind yourself.

    1. Yes, you tried to do everything possible to save her.
    2. At the scene as you tried to save her, you were not aware of who she was.

    This is important.

    You gave everything you had to try to save someone you didn't know. You couldn't have done more if you had recognised her.

    You did your best Brother.

    Discuss these feelings with the CSID Team, they are important and will allow you to build a focus to move through this anguish.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  15. #15
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    i have another question about the CISD. I was told to expect a phone call to set up the time and everything. But i have never been to one and don't know what to expect. I dont' like talking about it because all it does is bring back memorys that i don't wanna think about. What happens and what does it accomplish
    Kyle Beard
    Engine 221 "East Side Express"
    FTM-PTM

  16. #16
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Dragon

    One day, off in the future you may be "privileged" enough to work on a CSID Team.

    It will probaly contain people who have been through the fire you are feeling, and other less mortals, such as those with medical degrees in the human mind, who have seen nothing with their eyes.

    Trust me, talking to the people who have walked before you will help.

    If you find one of them who has a foot in both of the camps mentioned above, let them in, they can help.

    Hard call Brother. Talking hurts. Dealing with it hurts.

    Living with it hurts a damn site more, and a damn site longer.

    Front up, deal with it now for a short term anguish, beats the @ss of the long term option.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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