The Ups and Downs of Saving Lives

It started with a Facebook request from an emergency responder and the comments came pouring in: what is life like in your shoes? The life of a firefighter, paramedic, police officer or other first responder can go from zero to 100 in a matter of seconds. The stress of saving lives comes at an emotional price for those we depend on. News 25’s Jennifer Tubwell has more.
Firefighter Casey Lessard said, “People look at us as heroes, but we’re really not. Just average guys.” Emergency responders won’t call themselves heroes but when everything breaks loose, they’re the guys the rest of us depend on to think and act quickly.
That’s what happened just months ago, when a child was ejected from a car, waiting to be transported to the hospital with the rest of his family, afraid. “He’s on a backboard, he can’t move, with me, so he’s scared. I borrowed one of the cell phones from someone that was right next to me. “Happy Feet” happened to be the first video to pop up, watched it with him. He calmed down almost instantly,” said Lessard.
The job is long hours, heavy loads, heavy emotions, pain, sleep deprivation, hunger, sadness and brutal reality. These are the words a current EMS provider used to describe what it’s like in their shoes. Paramedic Alan Clampett said, “Firefighters and other crew members do their best to save lives and sometimes it’s not enough. That’s one of those critical instant response triggers, feeling anything you’ve done is not enough.”
While professional counseling is usually available, many find support among each other, where they can open up to with those who understand their struggle firsthand.
Psychologists encourage responders to know their emotional triggers and seek professional help when venting is not enough so that they can continue doing what they love without sacrificing their own lives or families.
If the strains of saving lives on a regular basis becomes too heavy of a burden to bear, professional help is always available.

Categories: Local News, News

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