Article: I Have Ghosts in My Head

This is a powerful article about the inevitable party question: So, what’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen?

I can’t remember how many times I’ve been in this situation. I’ve been out of the business for quite a while now, so it doesn’t happen much any more, but man…..Always bothered me. My standby answer was: “Depends on your definition of worst.”

That could be followed with: “Do you mean how much blood was spread across the highway? Or how long it took to clean the puke, blood and other bodily fluids out of the back of my ambulance? Or how long it took to get the smell out of my nose? Or do you mean saddest – cuz I’ve got a bunch of those.”

Too many definitions of “worst”. And on the rare occasion when I do share some stories, it’s never even close to the actual worst……

Article: I have ghosts in my head.


“It’s Not Your Fault”….I Lied….

Wow, is this powerful….The video in the link below describes a scenario that probably almost anyone who has spent a few years on an ambulance can understand.

While I don’t remember any specific time I told this type of lie, I am quite certain that I did. How can you not? “It’s not your fault…..” “It’s not as bad as it looks….” And any number of little (or big) white lies we tell to comfort the patient or the family……

And our selves……

Here’s the link to “It’s not your fault”

I do not belive I ever told the lie he describes, although I dealt with at least my share of SIDS. However, I was in a very similar situation – the only difference was that Mom already knew….and lying to her would not have changed anything……

(I have written about the emotions surrounding my experience and how it effected my for years, here, , if you are interested….)




Link: Video Describing PTSD and Treatments

Here is a link to a video describing the symptoms of PTSD. The first half talks about what causes it and some of the symptoms. The rest addresses some treatment options.

It is very basic and simple, but does a great job of hitting the important highlights in a fairly short period of time – a bit over 5 minutes. If you know someone who is dealing with PTSD, but really don’t understand what that means, I think this will be very helpful. But keep in mind, this video will not help you comprehend the intensity and magnitude of the symptoms, or the loss of control that is often felt by someone with PTSD.

It is a great place to start…..

Article: 5 Stresses of Firefighters

Great article…..

A Pause to Honor….

I find this very interesting. It is a fantastic idea. And, at the same, possibly a horrible idea.

The article linked below talks about hospital emergency workers “pausing” to honor a patient that has not responded to their efforts to save their life. Essentially, a moment of silence for someone they did not know at all.

In many cases, probably most cases, I think this would be a great way to bring a different kind of closure to a situation that is, in itself, so final – and yet, possibly not completely resolved for those who worked so hard for a different outcome. Taking just a moment to come to grips with what has just happened, might make it easier to step away and move on….

On the other hand, at least for me, there were many times that stopping to accept what had happened would have put me over the edge. The scenarios that were just so utterly horrific……If I stopped to think about it, I would not have been able to get back in the ambulance and run the next call…..

The article is about hospital workers. I wonder if it would have the same effect on field crews. Not to take anything away from the hospital folks – the death is just a real – but it is a different situation. Chances are pretty good that the patient the ER staff has stopped to honor was brought in by an ambulance crew who has already left the room to do paperwork and clean up the rig. Would it be effective for the crew to come back to the patients room? Or stop where ever they happen to be when they get word? If they even get word?

Yep, definitely interesting……….

Article: Nobody Taught Me How…….

This is an excellent post! Not about PTSD, but about being a paramedic – It’s about the parts of the job nobody taught you and you had to learn on your own…..

PSA: No warning for PTSD


A Paramedic’s Comfort

This is an excellent post by a fellow blogger. Sums it up nicely, if you ask me….

An Alarming Trend: News Story About Firefighter Suicides

This is a great story. The statistics are shocking. Horrifying even. If I’m doing my math right, about 17% more firefighters committed suicide than were killed in the line of duty last year…….Two of them were my friends and former co-workers.

That’s not ok.

It is encouraging, though to see that, perhaps, things are starting to change. Take away quote: “It’s going to take a while to get rid of that stigma of, ’It’s not okay to not be okay,’ ”

Article: Why 20 Years of Firefighting May Be Enough

Yep – This one pretty much sums it up. Very powerful.

As I started to read it, I was sure the emotions would well up and come pouring out. But they didn’t. In fact, I’m not really feeling anything. And I’m pretty sure that is not a good sign. The lack of emotion makes me wonder if I have actually made any progress. Or if I have slipped a bit lately…..But his story is mine, right down to the sleep patterns. There was just too much. I simply could not handle anymore. Period. I was done. And I’m still dealing with it – more than 15 years later……..


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