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Nissan Paramedic.

Nissan Paramedic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As some of you may know, last week when I was in Chicago on a celebratory vacation (graduation) to see my daughters and their families, I had an unfortunate accident. About ten minutes after our arrival at my older daughter’s home, I lifted my camera bag out of the car when I felt a sudden, searing pain that ran from my wrist up past my elbow. Excrutiating. I was immobilized. Once back in the house my son-in-law ran for ice and my husband tried to comfort me with words. Nothing worked. Every movement of my body only exacerbated the pain in my arm. When we determined that I was unable to get into a car to make a run to the emergency room, John (son-in-law) called an ambulance. Within minutes a crew of men from the fire department showed up to apply first aid while we awaited the ambulance. And all were focused on helping to ease my pain. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics gave me a painkiller, loaded me on a stretcher and into the ambulance, and we were off. The night was cold with blustery snow, and we had to drive at a snail’s pace through Chicago rush hour traffic! On the way to the hospital I discovered that the paramedic with me in the ambulance was “Joe.” Joe has done this kind of work for 25 years more or less. He loves his work. His father, a brother, and an uncle are also paramedics. I also met Victor and Carlito who were attentive and caring. I must admit that until this experience, I never really thought about the work that emergency service personnel do, or the danger they face while doing their work. I appreciated that these types of services existed, but never really thought about the people who are first responders to all types of emergencies. Last Monday night while in the back of the ambulance on the way to the hospital, I felt genuine gratitude for Joe, Victor, Carlito, and all the others whose names I did not get. Thank you to all emergency service personnel whose sole purpose is to provide emergency aid and transport to folks in need.


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