Friday, October 12, 2007

Band of Brothers (Sisters too!)

A few years ago I never would have dreamed that I would be doing what I am now. I have considered becoming a paramedic for years and years, it was one of my childhood dream occupations. I have always held paramedics and the police in a sort of awe, I wanted to be out there with them, doing what the paramedics did, but I was always afraid that I wouldn't be able to take it. Now, I feel like I'm a part of the brotherhood. Granted, my level of training and experience is nothing compared to most, but I still feel like I belong. Even as a rookie in a volunteer organization, I'm part of the group.

I love being in uniform, I see the world through a different lens when I am on duty, and I am treated differently. A lot of people I know, especially old high school friends (and enemies - for that matter!), would be amazed to see who I am in uniform, the confidence and knowledge I display. I am not saying this to be arrogant, I just really like the transformation. Instead of being intimidated by a police officer, I walk up and start joking around with them, and they do the same with me. There is a distinct difference, a weird connection with others in uniform that the public will never understand unless they take part. Just walking around, I would never approach a police officer, paramedic or firefighter just to chat unless I knew them. There is a very interesting 'we're all in this together' mentality that allows for fast friendships, joking and conversations that I just didn't understand before I became a part of it.

Hmmm, I'm making it sound like a weird sort of cult, I'm just not sure how to explain it. I guess it's kinda what cops feel for each other, they all have each other's backs, and there is a special bond between them because of that. When you know that the man or woman next to you would do anything to help you in a time of trial, you can't help but feel a special connection. I've looked around on a few calls now and just felt an awe at the number of people gathered to help us as we help the patient. Myriads of police and fire will jump at the slightest word, they will carry equipment, control crowds, support us as we climb over bleachers and be oh-so-quick to pounce on an unruly and dangerous patient. I am reminded of the drunk lady call I wrote about earlier, at one point she smacked me, albeit playfully, and I wasn't going to put up with that. I very sharply said, "DON'T hit me!", and with that, every cop in the vicinity and my three partners, NDP, Roy and John, swung around abruptly. Their reaction surprised me at the time, each and every one of them was more then ready and willing to take her down if it looked like I needed help.

It is neat to be a part of emergency services, the uniform connects us all in a way that I never imagined. True, we have our differences, and I am repeatedly told that I am NOT ALLOWED to like firemen (long story here, hehe), but when it all boils down to it, we all have each other's backs, and that is am incredible feeling. I have two shifts this weekend, both are football games, and I have great partners as usual, so they should be fun. Now I'm off to iron my shirt and polish my boots, I have to keep up the sparky little rookie reputation that the guys so dearly love to make fun of. Ah well, I love them in all of their scuffed-boot, wrinkled-shirt, cynical, jaded glory.

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