1. #1
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    Default can't forget a face

    So I had my first Code to repond to a week ago and was chosen as the Firefighter/EMT to ride along and do the CPR in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. In a way it was a great learning experience but I am having trouble with the man's face who had the heart attack. I am not trying to make a drama out of it because the event itself (and his consequent death) didn't really bother me. What I am having trouble with is having the most vivid memory of what his face looks like and I am seeing it in my mind whenever I am not doing anything else. As I said, I am not really upset about the event, just I can't stop seeing the guys face. It didn't help any that he had eyes that always looked like they were following you (kind of like a paining I have seen before). What do you guys do to separate yourself from the incident after all is said and done?

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    I remember my first code i saw. It was an elderly woman, and she was just looking off, and i couldn't forget that face, and the way she looked for a week. But you try and block that out of your memory, and go on the next call that comes your way. Because thats your job, and people depend on you to be in the right state of mind. If you have any hobbies, like playing basketball, baseball, building model airplanes, hanging out with friends, etc, i suggest doing that, and soon the memory of the eyes will still be there, but it will be gone from your thoughts.

    Good Luck.

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    Default faces

    when you look at them, think of them as dolls just like the ones you practice on in the firehouse. it gets easier with time, also just like the other guy said, get a hobby and keep your mind active

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    i would recomend if youre having a problem with it in a day or so see about getting a debrief done, they work wonders...

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    if you like playing football or baseball or basketball,go.sport can help to feel better after a difficult call.

    some people need to talk with friends about the call they had.each person is different.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

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    We all remember our first code. Mine was a 23 year old girl who shot herself in the head. This was 25 years ago and I still remember it. Thousands of calls have been logged in my mental slide carosel since that day. I have had many terrible ones and I choose not to dwell on them. I choose to remember the good ones and the fun in the fire station with my crews.

    For every bad call, I remember 10 that turned out well. I also think about the stories told during lunch and dinner at the firehouse. I never laugh so hard on my days off as I do at the fire station.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    First was a newborn laborador pup(the mother layed on it and it was no longer breathing.did some compressions and a few breaths...it lived), second was a 80 some odd year old guy who had been recieving cpr 10 minutes or so before we got their on an ambo ride along(died). 3rd and most important was my father...who is still alive...thank God! The rest( and there have been more than I can count since starting at my new dept in 04) just haven't seemed to bother me.

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    i still see my first one, partially burned body, but just remember what he did and it doesn't bother me,

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    The first one is always the hardest, and everybody remembers their first. My suggestion is the same as everybody else's: Try to do something to take your mind off of it, and if that doesn't help then you should definitely participate in a debriefing as it really does help. Also, don't think that your fellow Firefighters will think less of you because of it. Some of these are easy to cope with(i.e. older people), whereas some of them are harder to cope with (i.e. little kids or teenagers that had the rest of their lives ahead of them). That's why there is such a camaraderie in the firehouse, because your fellow Firefighters have all been there. For me, just sitting around the firehouse shooting the breeze is as good of, if not better for coping than a formal debriefing is.
    Last edited by wishooter; 11-07-2007 at 11:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddy10 View Post
    when you look at them, think of them as dolls just like the ones you practice on in the firehouse
    Oh, and for the record I do not recommend thinking of them as dolls like at the firehouse. That's somebody's grandmother, grandfather, mom, dad, kid, grandkid, etc. Just something to think about.

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    the memory will probably just fade away on its own, you'll remember the call and certain details but sadly in this line of work you'll see something else, probably worse and then that one will stay in your head until the next one pretty soon they will all blend together...stay busy, remember what you learned on that call. sorry to say there will be more dead people and things you will see that you wish you didn't but i try to think that this persons last image may have been a fireman doing everything they could to help which is why we do what we do. its not dramatic that you can't get it out of your head everyone has a different experience...good luck

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    I just had a tough call myself, it wasnt my first, not even close, but this was the most traumatic for me. I was one of the First Responders at a shooting in a little town, 6 teenagers killed, and one survivor. And any of you that live in a small town of 2,000 or less, know that you know everyone. I even knew the shooter who they shot later. But that is one image I wish I could erase from my head. I knew all the kids in there, and for some of our EMT's it was family that they had to see. We all had a de-briefing that morning and another 3 days later. It did help a little, but we find each other comming to each other just to talk, and that really helps. Im never going to forget this, nor is anyone in the community. Im very lucky for my friends and the sqaud I work with. Its not easy, some wanted to quit, but someone said " If I dont do this work...then someone else has to". It made good sense to me. Dont be afraid to get counsling, this is not a macho thing. Ive seen alot of bad stuff, thought I had seen it all... till this call. My first few after that were really tough, but Im doing better. Just something we have to live with in this proffession, try to think of the good things, it helps. Sorry, so long winded, just had to speak my peace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onehotcowboy View Post
    Its not easy, some wanted to quit, but someone said " If I dont do this work...then someone else has to".
    Hang in there brother. That event of course made national news and was a shock to us all. I won't even start on the shooter and all the implications....
    Anyone that responded on that call is hopefully doing well. But, by all means seek out professional help!
    Look at our responders to Oklahoma City, Baby Jessica and of course 9/11.

    Now to the quote about "...then someone else has to."
    Don't be a martyr. There are plenty of people out there that are willing to enter into this profession. If someone continues in this field having been through something like that, and had thoughts of quitting but didn't because they think no one else will be around to do the job; then they are on the road to rapid burn-out.

    Hang tough,
    bam

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    Never an easy thing to get out of your mind. Hopefully it will pass soon but if not as somebody else said get a debrief and hopefully that will clear things up.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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