After taking the role as a paramedic for a morning, I came to the quick realization that I shouldn’t quit my day job.
As part of EMS Awareness Week I was invited to be a media medic and although it was only for a morning I got a glimpse into the reality paramedics face every day.
I was given four years of training condensed into a 15-minute tutorial. Hopping into the ambulance with my medic partner Chris Warren, I realized 15 minutes was not nearly enough.
“When the call comes in, say ‘unit 901 standing by,’” my partner told me.
“Unit 109 … I mean 190 … of, 901 whatever … standing …” I couldn’t even get the words out of my mouth before we were roaring off to the call.
I was met by a woman in hysterics, screaming something about her boyfriend getting electrocuted — and this was before I could even get out of the ambulance. Not to mention the nosy reporter wanting the scoop on what was going down.
All in a day’s work for Calgary EMS, Warren told me.
“We just wanted to let you guys see what kind of things and scenarios we deal with and train for. But every situation is different and while you train for certain things you never know what is going to happen.”
After saving the fake dummy’s life with CPR in the back of an ambulance, albeit breaking his teeth in the process, I learned the city’s unsung heroes are saving lives everyday before they even get to the hospital.
For now, I’ll just stick with reporting the news — not being in the middle of it.