They say that trust is a valuable commodity, and it is. Many times trust has to be earned and not blindly given, except for some rare groups of people. One group of people that trust is given to is emergency services. Emergency services are trusted because when people call 911, they trust us with their lives, the lives of loved ones, and their property. They trust that we know what we are doing and that we can help the situation.
We not only get people’s trust, but people also put their hope in us. When emergency services roll, we get situations that are beyond the client's skill set or resources. A mother hands over a child who is not breathing and they are hoping that we can bring breath to the child’s lungs. A family that has just found a relative on the floor, who has no heartbeat, is hoping that a defibulator and crew can perform CPR to give that person a heartbeat once again.
Emergency services does not get the easy calls. We get called when a car may be wrapped around a tree or telephone pole. The crew has to work within the Golden Hour to get the person to the hospital. There may be a person trapped in a burning house. There may be hostages in a bank or supermarket, that law enforcement needs to rescue.
In many situations, emergency services is given the trust and people put all their hope in us. Sometimes we may actually think about all the responsibility that is thrust upon us and it can be overwhelming. We know that when we have little innocent lives, it effects the crews even more. We know that the family put all their hope in us. Sometimes it is like they think that we can always bring people back from the dead.
We also put our trust and hope in our officers and crew. We trust that our tools and our training will not fail us. We trust that our officers will utilize the resources that are available to them.
There are even times when emergency services may feel helpless. Emergency Responders may have all the training in their brain, the skill set at their fingertips, but they may not have the proper tools to do the work needed. One of the guys that I used to work with felt that way. He was extensively trained in heavy rescue and on a great team that performed vehicle extrications often. Well, he was following a relative who got into a really bad car accident. He felt helpless because the tools that he used were not there. His truck was not there. His crew was not there. He saw his relative in pain and knew how important the Golden Hour was, but he could not do anything to get the relative out. He had to put his hope that the town he was in would send the crew in time and that the crew would have the tools and knowledge to do what was necessary.
There are times where we know what to do and can do it, but the officers will not allow it to be done. We may feel helpless but we may not have the same situational awareness that the officer may have. They may have the big picture in view and see that the floors are going to give out, or that the roof may collapse. BUT that does not take away the fact that some of the emergency service workers feel helpless. It may even be extremely difficult for us to handle after the incident, especially if there is a loss of life.
I recently asked a group of emergency responders if they would have joined emergency services if they knew the horrors that they would be seeing. Like I figured, they said that they would do the job no matter what. To me, that is the answer of a true emergency responder; sacrifice ourselves for our fellow man.
I, personally, hope that emergency services knows that the work that is done is noble work and that they should not feel helpless if they are doing all that they can and are trained to do. Anytime that emergency services has doubts they can always put the hope in God. If you do feel that you may have doubts or may feel helpless and need to talk with someone, you can reach out to a chaplain or someone from your local crisis team.
We can always have people put their hope into God. He is always here for you.
Thank you for all you do.