Next time you think I’m just an Uber with flashing lights

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I don’t remember the first time I told a family member their loved one died. I can’t see their face or the color of their skin, but I can feel it.

I can’t remember the first time a family member pleaded with me to help get their loved one off of heroin, the first time I came to your house and you’re laughing and giggling with your child but you’re in a panic because they’ve eaten a piece of dog food or put something up their ear.

But I do remember this one time I found out a patient spoke Ukrainian because that’s the country he pointed to on a map.

Try as I can, I can’t remember my first alcoholic patient or my first heart attack victim.

I do remember this homeless lady I got to settle for a turkey sandwich because the emergency room is all out of cheese sticks.

I don’t remember your name, I don’t remember who you were, but I remember holding your hand as you died with a cell phone propped up against your ear so you could at least hear the voice of somebody you love over 1000 miles away.

I’m just a simple EMT, no different than 1000 others like me working right. Keenly aware of how privileged we are, how blessed we are to do a job that’s so rewarding, complex, tragic, frustrating, uplifting, life-changing. It’s quite magical when you think about it, how in one job you see so many facets of life in the back of one truck.

Would you join me just for a day?

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Story submitted by Ben.

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