Im a 19 year old female. Im currently a volunteer on my town rescue squad and i love it. I just started a few months ago so im still a probie. Im currently on medical leave so the squad is being put on hold for a little bit.But one thing ive learned,mayb its just me im not sure but whether ur a firefighter or ems personel your team is always there for you if you need help as well. Im still learning and i dont know how everything works. But my squad is like a second family to me. Is it wrong to think of them that way? My family isnt thrilled abt me being on the squad. They want me to go for something else. Ive tried my best to explain to them that its not about the money. I want to go to college for paramedic. I love to help people and this is the way i love doing it. I wouldnt change it for the world. Anyone have any suggestions as how to help explain to people that its not always about money. atleast in my eyes its about helping and saving lives? Some may disagree with that statment. But thats one persons oppinion.

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"If you love your job you will never work a day in your life" Im a volunteer firefighter/EMT. Im planing on going back to school to get my paramedic. My dads a dentist and moms a nurse. They both think I should to somthing that makes a little more money. I just tell them I love what Im doing and I'd rather have a job I like than be rich and hate going to work every day. My parents are proud of me. Im sure when your parents see how hard you are working in school and on the job, and see how much you are helping the community, they will be proud of you.
Sorry about the mix up. As long as you do what you love everybody else should respect that
thats no problem i didnt clearly explain it. my fault. Ths is what i love doing but not that many people respect that.
I agree that you should do what you love, it will never be boring and you will always be happy, as far as making them understand, that can be tricky. My parents weren't sure how to take me being an EMT until they had to call 911 for my dad having a heart attack, once they saw how quickly the guys got there and saved my dads life they changed their opinion of it and now support my decision and sometimes brag to family members about it, I can only imagine what they are thinking now that I am a firefighter as well
as far as life outside the job. at first i was always covering shifts & i actually started getting sick cause i was goin 50 some hours without any sleep thts the reason im now on med leave cause i started going unconsious. But my boyfriend does a pretty good job at keeping me interactive w friends and family and keeping me from over working.
it never has been boring and ive been happy for the most part. Its just really hard to get them to understand. I thought that things would change after the first time they had to call 911 for me. My rescue squad had to show up. But even then it didnt change anything.
speaking as an EX truck driver I had to train myself to stay up and after 36 hours of being awake you shouldnt be awake. At 48 yours You start blacking out and you start thinking did I stop at that stop sign? At 54 hours you cant stay awake you drift off and run off the road and when it scares the crap out of you that gives you a little bit of adrenaline. Now were at 60 hours you are asleep weather you know it or not. When you wake up in a truck stop at the fuel island with some one shaking you sayin hey man you ok you have gone to far.

I dont remember leaving arkansas but I remember asking that guy where I was and when he said Oklahoma City I realized I had been asleep for 5 hours. That scared me worse than anything I got out of my truck and started lookin around for damage to the truck praying that I didnt hit anyone. I didnt I called every county along the way askin if they had had any wrecks in the past 5 hours thank god they didnt but after that night I havent pushed myself that hard. I hope you will read this and think about it and see if its worth it to push yourself that hard.
ill say i definitly deserved u being blunt the way u did. I appreciate that cause it did make me realize alot of things. im still looking at those sites u wanted me to read up on. To answer the two questions u had asked me in all honesty. Im on the job because i want to make a difference in helping people and saving lives. To answer ur second question. I realize no its not ok to be staying up that many hours straight. Im doing no good to my pt or myself. And im on medical leave because i got sick i started going unconsious and seizing. Im realizing that me doing that had a big part in me getting sick. I guess u can say in a sence i asked for it. I guess i have alot more work to do if i do want to become a good paramedic cause at ths point im doing no good to myself.
your absolutly right. Its not worth losing my life at the rate i was going pushing myself to the max. I got myself sick and its the consequences to my actions. And i realize i was wrong for that.
lol. i guess i understand now where my boyfriend was coming from. He's not on a squad or into wat i am. But ever since i started getting sick over the last few months going unconsious I realize now that he and my family probly arent fond of me doing ths because of the way i handled myself and went on so long and deprived myself of sleep for that long. Thank you very much Ralph!! I will def take ur advice and read those sites.
Cassandra, I have found that it is difficult to explain the rational for why we love our work. It is like explaining your feelings, you can provide some words to represent how you feel, but the same words can represent other feelings as well. Your parents will likely never "get it." You could try to sit down with them and see where their problem is.

Are they worried about your safety? Ask your chief if you can share the SOP/SOGs with them, I am sure it is riddled with documents just related to your personal safety. Share with them the amount of time that you spend learning and training on safety. BSI is not just a catch phrase. Cowboy EMS is not practiced very much anymore, and most EMS protocols require higher BSI use then most nursing protocols. I recently took a class over health and safety compliance at my local school. I received 3 wrong answers on a test because my protocols require glove usage during pt. contact, but the test was written for nursing staff where BSI is only considered if there is known to be body fluid contact. I was in the ER the other day and witnessed a nurse wipe blood off an arm with 4x4s in bare hands. Surely your squad preaches against this.

Are they worried about the time away from home? If you work 2-24s you are away from home for 2 whole days a week, but you are home the other 5 days. How many people can claim this without collecting monies from the state? This is part of the life change that is hard to get use too, but it is something people learn to overcome.

Are they worried about the money? I admit the pay is not the greatest, but a committed individual can make a decent living. If you end up working 2-24s, and break down the schedule, you get paid for 48 hours, 8 of which are overtime. You spend 2 days a week away from home and have the option for other employment during the rest of your time. You will have the skill set to teach CPR, possible work at a school as an instructor, and then there are the action filled part time jobs such as ski patrol, working p/t in EMS for white water rafting companies, perhaps being available for high school sporting events and the such. The money is out there to be made, you just need to be creative.

If the problem is about lack of respect, well, you might be on your own. EMS is not highly respected compared to similar fields like Fire or Nursing. I believe this will change during our careers, but it will take dedicated workers to make sure the respect is earned. EMS is a fairly new field and we need to come together and build the profession to make it more respectable. As far as respect goes, I personally do not care how I am received by others as long as I am seen as professional. Again, you can not explain why you love this work, but you can have the self satisfaction that goes along with the positive effect you have on people lives.
Good input Ralph!

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