Thank you EMS workers

Last night I watched, as many of you did, a young man fall to the ground in a football game on live television. I saw an ambulance rush onto the field and do what they do. Rightfully so, Damar Hamlin has the attention and prayers of the entire country. Lord, in Your mercy…

My perspective on the event itself comes from a 911 responder’s viewpoint, as I begin my 6th year as an EMS emergency responder with the Short Gap Volunteer Fire Company. I have been the one to show up on the scene of cardiac arrests. I have the training to know what to do with all the equipment on the ambulance to give folks a chance. I have performed and sent 12 lead EKG’s to the hospital from the scene so the hospital gets a 15 minute head start to get the heart doctor to the hospital. I have used the AED to shock a heart. I have watched paramedics work above and beyond my training giving life saving drugs. And I am but one of a dozen or so active call runners at our local volunteer station. So when they spoke about what was going on with the player last night, I have been in many similar situations. Tens of thousands of us from across the country watched it from this perspective.

My reach is very small and very limited. 30 or 50 or 100 people will read this today. If it gets a lot of shares, perhaps several hundred views. I do not write this so I will get the “thank you for your service” attaboys. I don’t need them. I have a job as a pastor where I get paid a fair salary to serve Jesus Christ full time. My reward is in heaven, as the Bible states. I write this today because, in the moment last night, we were reminded of what is important. We saw practically minimum wage workers, or perhaps even volunteers, put their training into action to try and help a fellow human being who was in distress.

I am blessed to see that nearly every day at the fire department. Most of the volunteers in small communities like ours do EMS paid for a living. When they’re off work, they are volunteering to serve you. And those folks, including dispatchers, are among the most underpaid, most selfless, most important people in every small town across America. I count it a blessing to be personally associated with a few, and with every one across the nation via our connection through the national EMS. I say thank you today to them all. Every one of them was empathetic to the ones from among us that were on that field in Cincinnati last night.

PS… You can always show your support through a donation, buy a raffle ticket, attend a fundraiser, or drop off a case of sports drinks to your local station.

Autumn struggles to plug in
the ambulance after a run.
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