What Makes this Job so great?
This is a simple question in some ways. In some ways not so simple. Years ago when I embarked on my journey as a first responder I thought I had the answer nailed. I recall running alarms and thinking to myself, “Wow this job is great,” attributing the greatness to the specifics of the alarm. What I failed to realize in my EMS infancy was that sooner or later these alarms become foggy in your mind, hazy with difficulty recalling specifics. Certainly we all have a few that stand out, so to speak, but even those become foggy as time passes. So as time passed I realized that maybe what makes this job so great is something different than the exciting alarms we run. How can we ascribe greatness to a job, when that ascribed greatness is in a large part due to a clouded recollection of specifics? Maybe for some this can be reconciled, but for me I noticed my answer to this question changing. Though oddly enough, looking back, I think I already knew the answer.
So, what does make this job so great? Is it the alarms we run? Maybe the rescues we get? Perhaps it’s the saves we make? Possibly the unprecedented privilege of impacting a complete strangers life in a moments notice, hopefully for the better. Are these things what make our job so great? I say no, this is what makes our job important. This is what makes our job necessary. This is what makes our job unique and at the same time unequivocally difficult yet satisfying. But is it what makes the job great? No, not for me. What makes this job great is not what we do, but WHO we do it with.
Thank you to all the first responders out there. Keep up the work, the grind, the night shifts, and the day. Keep answering the call, meeting tragedy at the threshold and holding the line. What you do matters, it is important, it is necessary. But while doing so take time to comfort each other, lift each other up, encourage each other in their difficulties and moments of weakness. Take a moment to realize that WE are what make this job great, not what we do.
— Own the Day and Go out the Door with Intent —
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