Firefighting and EMS is the most challenging, exciting, and rewarding career imaginable. I believe this because the amount of training and education that goes into becoming a Firefighter/EMT-B is extremely intense. Firefighting is exciting because every day presents a unique challenge and the exhilaration of helping people during a difficult, and more often than not, is a fight –for –life time in their lives. .In August 2005, I applied to Drexel Heights Fire Academy because I was tired of my current job at La Colina Health Care. I was tired of washing dishes and living from pay check to pay check. I wanted something more, something more challenging and exciting. Something I could look forward to in life. On a particular day in August, I was sitting in my mom’s office venting about it when she said”here’s the paper find a new job” I started looking in the paper when I found an ad for Firefighter and EMT-Basic at Drexel Heights Fire Department. I started thinking about it and remembered when I was kid I wanted to be a Firefighter and after watching my house burn down, it really hit me that this is what I am supposed to do in life. I passed all my testing that was required to get accepted into the Academy. From there my world was turned upside down and inside out; I got the challenge that I wanted, I got accepted! We were covering two to three chapters a night, spending eight to ten hours training on the weekends and to top it off we did physical training (P.T.) before every class; a typical day for my academy included P.T. at 6 am, class stared at 8 am, lunch was at 12 pm, and we ended at 5pm. We started on September 1, 2005 and graduated on April 6, 2006. During the six months of training, we covered Firefighting I and II, Rope Rescue I, First Responder Operations Hazardous Materials and Wild land firefighting. Once I finished the Fire Academy, I went into the Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT) Course; this course was about two and half mouths long. Just like the fire academy, we studied and trained for about eight to ten hours a day. The good thing was I did not have do P.T. in the mornings. While completing the EMT course I had to complete eight patient contacts and 24 hours of clinical time. It was just another typical day at Station 3, shift change was in about 20 minutes, on May 21, 2006 where I was assigned to complete my ride along for clinical hours and patient contacts, I always showed up early for my shift, I started my day just like always with my truck check; making sure all my EMS supplies were in stock– just in case we got busy and we were unable to get back to station to resupply. It was 7:30 in morning when Jason, Dave, and I got are first call. The tones went off and we were dispatched to a resident’s house for a sick call. The patient had a high fever, vomiting all night, and blood pressure of 220 over 180. We assessed the woman, and transported the patient to the hospital for medical intervention. We filled out the paper work at the hospital and headed back to the station. Once we got back to the station the tones went off “Medic 163, Medic 163, bleeding patient on the corner of 3rd and Cardinal.” Maddox replying” Medic 163 in route”, Wilson and I headed on our way to the scene along with Pima Sheriff‘s Department. We picked the patient up, treated him on scene, and then transported him to the hospital. We did up the paper work at the hospital and headed back to the station. We got back to the station and it was quiet so we decided to go to Oasis Restaurant. Just as we got ten feet from station the tones went off and then call came in. “Medic 163, Medic 163 MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident) on I-19 East bound, multiple patients injured,” and Maddox replied” Medic 163 in route.” Just then I heard our Battalion Chief come over the radio “BC 163 in route, requesting Medic 162, Medic 164 to the scene, and Air Emergency on standby.” We approached the scene from the west. As we approached the scene, visibility was zero, it was smoky and a lot of dust from the crash. . Tucson Fire Department was there putting out the fire involving some motorcycles. Our patients were ejected to the median and were in pretty bad shape. Our patient had third degree burns around his left leg, an avulsion; his skin had been torn off to the bone on three quarters of his skull. I applied a C- collar on his neck to prevent any further injury and to stabilize his neck. Maddox preformed a rapid trauma assessment on the patient to make sure there were no other injuries that needed to be attended to. Maddox and I loaded the patient and drove code 3 to the hospital with sirens howling through the air. As I was sitting in the back with Wilson, the Paramedic who I was shadowing, started an IV, and gave the patient saline solution for extra fluids. While at the hospital, I got to watch a procedure where the Doctors removed about 1cm by 2 feet long strip of tissue from his leg, which allowed for swelling in the leg so the blood flow would not be obstructed. After we finished are paper work and checked out we headed back to the station for lunch. On the way back I could not help but think how exciting it is to be a Firefighter/EMT-B. This why I believe Firefighter/EMT-B is a challenging and exciting career. You never know what to except and you are always training for the unexpected. Every day is something new and exciting. The amount of training and time involved in this career is never ending and is the biggest reward anyone can take. In the end becoming a Firefighter/EMT-B was the best choice of my life.
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